Daily Top 5 Global HR News – 10 October 2017
We bring together from ICube Research and published news, a summary of 5 items that are contemporary. The news is curated from more than 50 HR related websites across more than 15 countries including Singapore, USA, UK, Canada, Australia, India, Malaysia and Kenya, among others.
The Daily Digest covers the Global view of latest people practices and technology developments amongst other areas.
1. To address the growing need
On the one hand, India has a large number of educated unemployed, and on the other, industry is desperately short of skilled professionals. One of the biggest challenges HR managers face, today, is finding candidates with the right skill sets. Being qualified is one thing, being skilled for the job quite another.
So how do we overcome the challenge of getting skilled professionals? Skill development training, if delivered in a balanced and well-defined manner, can help bring talent to industry. Against 12.8 million new entrants to the country’s workforce every year, the capacity of skill development is only around 3.1 million. The 12th Five Year Plan set out to increase this capacity to 15 million, and to meet this, skill development through engagement with both the public and private sectors stakeholders, was thought necessary.
The National Skill Development Corporation was set up as a part of the National Skill Development Mission in 2008 to 2009 to address the growing need for skilled manpower across sectors. It was felt that the skill of a large number of young people from the unorganised sector, who lack formal certification, could be utilised under umbrella initiatives recognised by the Government Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ambitious Skill India campaign targets training 40 crore people in different skills by 2022.
It includes initiatives like the National Skill Development Corporation; the Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana and the Deen Dayal Upadhyay Grameen Kaushalya Yogna —flagship schemes to incentivise skill training. But lack of awareness about such training programmes, absence of adaptability with changing market needs, and lack of vertical mobility are key challenges facing the skill development landscape in India. Private vocational training institutes can play a major role in helping government with skill development.
The growing disconnects between higher education and industry requirement in India is, today, a matter of grave concern. With our over-emphasis on academic performance, even top-ranked universities are producing qualified, but hardly employable graduates and the employability gap gets wider, every day.
Skill development needs to be a strong component of our educational curriculum. A good mix of classroom teaching and practical training is what is needed. The last few years has seen an exponential rise in the number of start-ups in the country. We need to explore the possibilities of investing and feed them not just with funds but also with well-trained and industryready professionals.
Job training institutes can play a big role in picking up deserving candidates with industry tie-ups. Smooth coordination between industry and placement institutes helps in tapping the right potential and creating industry-ready talent. Accreditations and certifications from the industry also add value to new entrants to the job market.
There is no dearth of jobs. The shortage really is of the required skills for a particular job. Many a time, an organisation needs only +2 candidates from a rural background to fill its vacancies. Training and placement institutes can match organisation’s and the candidate’s requirement. Perfect matching is the key to good placement.
The idea is to get the right candidate for the right job. Internships provide students hands-on work opportunity and help them learn to apply their theoretical knowledge to real life situation. They are stepping stones to the job market. Many companies give high-performing interns job offers; others give internship certificate which could help one land a good job.Institutes that have tie-ups with multinationals and industry bodies can facilitate internships and jobs. Good communication and soft skills are part of the job requirement. Placement training institutes can help master soft skills to increase their market value.
From expanding their business vocabulary and increasing their speaking skills, to writing customised e-mails for clients, and preparing interesting PowerPoint presentation, all these can be learnt at placement training institutes. Companies no longer just look for academic excellence; they lay great stress on a candidate’s suitability for the job and mock interviews and assessment tests can be great tools for preparing for the day of reckoning. They provide appropriate grooming and build up confidence for campus placement interview.
Placement institutes can conduct mock interviews, written assessments, and group discussions for recruitment. They can also organise seminars, workshops and motivational lectures by industry stalwarts to understand the latest trends and projections in the industry.
There is need to organise job fairs to aid the recruitment and networking. The attempt should be to connect prospective employees with multiple employers. Such recruitment fairs give students industry exposure and the interactions held provide real-time experience about the hiring process and methodologies.
We live in a fastchanging technological world. If India wants to move up in the comity of nations, we need to improve our educational infrastructure, and technology is its most important component.
We need to integrate technology at the grass root level and introduce futuristic skills.
(The writer is chairman, ICA Edu Skills)
2. ‘Tomorrow’s challenges in today’s buildings’ competition launches
BSRIA and Designing Buildings Wiki are launching an open competition calling for ideas that will address the issue of tomorrow’s challenges in today’s buildings
The competition is looking for ideas, which might only take a paragraph, or even a sentence to explain.
Tomorrow’s challenges in today’s buildings is open to students and professionals from all disciplines, and is seeking original ideas for design solutions to the future trends that will affect the built environment. It asks the question: how can buildings be designed today to ensure they are resilient to the changes they will face tomorrow?
Concepts could relate to:
• Urbanisation and demographics.
• Climate change.
• Digital technologies.
• Energy and efficiency.
• Health and wellbeing.
• And more…
Answers should be made up of two parts:
• Identify a significant future challenge.
• Offer a design solution for how that challenge could be tackled in today’s buildings.
The winner will receive £500 worth of BSRIA membership, training or publications, and along with four runners-up, will be featured in BSRIA’s Delta T magazine and on Designing Buildings Wiki.
Designing Buildings Wiki co-founder, architect Dr Gregor Harvie said:
“We already know many of challenges that will confront us in the next few decades, and the buildings we are designing now will have to face those challenges. So it is crucial we consider what design features we should be including in buildings now to ensure they have long-term resilience. This competition is an opportunity to put forward innovative, inspiring and even controversial ideas to help start the debate.”
BSRIA’s Information & Knowledge Manager, Steve Sansom, added:
“BSRIA is delighted to launch this competition with Designing Buildings Wiki. BSRIA has been a sponsor of the Wiki for a couple of years now and we’re excited to continue to take this partnership one step further in finding ways in which we can raise awareness of the trends that building designers have to get to grips with. BSRIA’s mission statement is ‘making buildings better’ and we feel strongly about enabling the industry to enhance the value of the built environment.
“BSRIA is supportive of first steps that building designers can take towards tackling future trends. And we are certainly keen to highlight education and creative and imaginative thought.
“Ergo, we’re hoping this competition will lead to cutting edge industry-changing processes.”
The competition closes on Thursday 2 November. You can enter here for the tomorrow’s challenges in today’s buildings competition.
3. Managing Talent In The New Age Economy
Corporate houses are experiencing ever increasing changes and challenges in the new age economy. Innovation, creativity, brand new ideas, research and development, and managing changes have become common phenomenon. The work environment is forcing people to renew their competencies and commitments in order to make the necessary contributions and have a competitive edge.
Having a proper understanding of changes and challenges lying ahead of us is immensely important. Identifying top performers and preparing them for strategic and leadership roles has become imperative. Hence, talent management has come into the picture as the dominating theme for the 21st century in business arenas. It is an essential force for achieving bigger goals, going from good to great, and long-term sustainability.
HR management has evolved through different phases. It started with administrative functions to personnel management, record keeping, management of attendance, leave, canteens, cleanliness, etc. With the increased responsibility of HR, the theory of Human Capital Management is taking its root in management, replacing earlier concepts. One of the prime HR thrusts is talent management. Talent management is nothing but a strategic role of HR management aligned with business goals and objectives, encompassing acquisition, development, engagement and retention of talent.
HR management is tactical, dealing with the day-to-day management of people, while talent management is strategic, associated with business goals and objectives. HR management is creating a congenial working environment where people can be more productive while talent management is engaging people who are talented, highly skilled, and specialised, with the objective of retaining them for a longer period for competitive edge and business success. Effective talent management is a win-win game. It ensures higher productivity than peers.
We may divide people working in any organisation into three categories: A, B, and C. Category A is the real talent in the organisation—they are mission-critical, self-motivated, proactive, highly energetic, creative, and full of ideas, trendsetters, and trouble-shooters. They energise others and are able to take tough decisions and maintain discipline in executions. They like and enjoy challenging and purpose-driven careers and rewarding experiences. They would like to work for a greater cause and in value creation. This category of people are small in number—they may make up a maximum of 20 percent of the organisation. It is very important to engage and retain this type of talented people. They should be given recognition in terms of pay and opportunities.
Most of the organisation is full of Category B—around 70 percent. They are reactive and critical to organisational success. They are followers, and require push and pull. Management requires extra attention, time and effort in developing and managing their performance at the desired level. Training, coaching, mentoring and counselling are essential for them. They need recognition too, mostly in monitory values.
Category C is non-productive—they are demotivated and destructive for the organisation. They kill other people’s enthusiasm, time and energy. C types may make up 10 percent, but honestly should not be allowed to continue their job for long as they hold a higher risk of negatively influencing peers and co-workers.
Talent management is not straightforward; it is a very critical role. As a top-down approach, the relevant authority in the management has to be convinced and supportive of talent management approaches and culture. The HR department or function heads are handicapped in acquisition, development, engagement and retention of talent and obtain benefits without sponsorship by the top management.
There is talent at different levels and individuals other than Category A who are highly mission-critical. It is important for HR and functional heads to look for such talent for strategic roles and leadership apart from nourishing existing talents properly. Engagement of talent is relatively more important, requiring a proper performance management system and feedback. Business leaders must reshuffle their perception and focus in order to promote and retain talent for greater success today and tomorrow.
M A Mannan is Head of Human Resources at Bangladesh Express Co Ltd, licensee of Federal Express Corporation.
4. What the Trump effect means for HR
As the winds of change swirl ever faster for HR professionals, it’s increasingly hard to keep up with what’s new or different – whether in Canada or further afield – and how it might impact your business.
KPMG partner and national lead for people and change services, Soula Courlas, is across all of the many developments, and shared her expert insights with HRD ahead of her speech at the HR Leaders Summit in November.
While putting international political and economic uncertainty back of mind – or, at least, ignoring US President Donald Trump and related turmoil – might feel more convenient for HR professionals, Courlas says it’s important that industry insiders are across all of those issues, from international leadership changes to Brexit to free-trade developments, and everything in between.
“What is happening now with all these provocative things that are being introduced by leaders around the world is creating a sense of instability, of potential angst, of fear, of loss, and a lot of uncertainty about the future,” Courlas says.
“It’s one of the biggest challenges and changes right now with this globalization – how can HR provide a sense of stability and calmness in the eye of this global storm.
That includes impacts on how business units operate – whether they’re expanding or shrinking, and who can work for them – as well as ensuring your organization’s leadership is sufficiently agile to adjust as the playing field changes.
“A lot of organizations are global, so whatever’s happening on the international scale is going to affect leaders and HR here in Canada. There’s the need to become much more focused, macro-focused, on global and other economic impacts to local organizations. HR needs to be on top of that to anticipate what the implications might be.”
It’s important, too, to be open and candid with employees about changes in the business, and how those might affect staff.
“Should they worry or should they not? Being transparent, communicating, giving people an opportunity through focus groups or some kind of forum where people can get together and talk about what is happening and get people’s insights into what they may need to feel a bit more comfortable and stable.”
She suggests HR also “take a role of creating a bit of a filter” – “being able to sift through what’s important to worry about and what’s not, and providing a sense of strength, stability and groundedness that employees and others in the organizations need to feel that they can weather these particular storms.”
Soula Courlas will speak at the HR Leaders Summit in November.
5. Opinion: Work-life balance must top the HR agenda
We need a new HR role if we are to develop an innovative flexible-working culture, argues Anna Meller
Fostering a balanced working culture is a business imperative. In the corporate world work-life balance challenges and the lack of gender balance at senior levels go hand in hand. The single biggest factor persuading professional women to ‘off ramp’ is their inability to see how they might demonstrate an appropriate commitment to their career when combined with child or elder care responsibilities.
A survey by the American Psychological Association published earlier this year revealed that this is a challenge increasingly felt by younger men, as they struggle to balance work with a more involved version of fatherhood.
At the same time technology pushes us relentlessly towards a culture of being always available. Sustaining work-life balance has become the biggest challenge on the wellbeing agenda.
Thirty years of research has confirmed that a good work-life balance is essential for good physical and mental health, employee engagement and retention. Flexible working – when well implemented – can be a powerful means for supporting balance. The Equality and Human Rights Commission is just the latest body to add its voice to mounting calls for greater access to flexible working as a way of reducing pay gaps and helping women progress.
Given this context, why is flexible working at senior levels still a rarity?
At the turn of the century the Families and Work Institute (New York) developed a multi-stage ‘evolving business case for work-life initiatives’. Stage one is a ‘focus on childcare’. The business objective here is to recruit and retain women and support them while they combine work with caring for young children. Some of us in the HR community will have distant memories of introducing such ‘family friendly’ initiatives before any legislation existed. Stage two moves us to a broader work-life focus generally supported by appropriate HR policies. So far, so good.
It is at stage three where things begin to unravel. It introduces a focus on organisational culture that requires winning ‘hearts and minds’ to more balanced ways of working. Many employers have yet to get his far. HR policies remain little more than a translation of employment legislation, while issues are addressed on a piecemeal basis. Changing organisational culture in this context is no different from any other culture change initiative. It must be approached as a well-planned project designed to change expectations and managerial behaviours, and make use of role models to demonstrate changed behaviours.
Once this is under way we can move to stage four and focus on work processes. It’s here that we begin to design new ways of working at senior levels. We create jobs that make the most of the scarce skills we’re aiming to retain, while allowing employees to live balanced lives.
There is nothing in this model that requires skills outside our current HR toolkit. We’re familiar with organisational change processes and we’ve been trained to design jobs. What we haven’t done so far is approach this as a strategic priority. When I ask colleagues in corporate HR roles who is responsible for the flexible-working agenda, I get shunted from pillar to post. It might be part of D&I, or an aspect of wellbeing, or perhaps simply a policy response to the organisation’s move to agile working. So where does the centre of expertise for crafting quality flexible jobs lie? Who in your HR department do employees turn to when they need support to develop an innovative flexible-working arrangement?
Over the decades we’ve seen the emergence of many new HR roles. In National Work Life Week I’m proposing another one: head of balanced working, wellbeing and inclusion. This strategic role acknowledges three organisational truths:
- Support for work-life balance must be embedded throughout the employee journey and individual HR policies designed to fit together to this end.
- In many organisations there’s more going on ‘under the radar’ and we can harness this to move forward.
- Work-life balance is personal and dynamic. It will change with our life circumstances. When we translate the management of work-life balance into a competency we can develop appropriate training to support employees and managers.
HR professionals have the necessary skills to achieve this – now let’s make this a strategic priority and be the ones to bring balance all the way to the boardroom.
Anna Meller is director of Sustainable Working
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(The articles above have been curated from various sources but not been edited by ICube staff)
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