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HIRING

Is this the end of résumé?

With more and more companies turning to skills-based recruitment, are we waving goodbye to the résumé?

THERE’S A QUIET but significant shift underway in how companies are approaching hiring, and how jobseekers are finding jobs: skills-based hiring.

 

What is it? In a nutshell, it’s a shift away from looking at things like qualifications and academic credentials and towards employers looking for candidates who have a certain level of proficiency with a particular set of skills. And it just might kill the résumé, once and for all.

 

TestGorilla’s recent State of Skills-Based Hiring 2023 report found some convincing results, and suggested that skills-based hiring is being practiced in one form or another by a majority of employers.

 

“Employers who switched to skills-based hiring boast a recruitment process that is fast, fair, cost-effective and produces fewer mis-hires,” they write.

 

Their data seems to back this up: employers practicing skills-based hiring saw an 89 per cent improvement in employee retention, an 82 per cent reduction in the time it took them to hire and a 74 per cent decrease in the cost of recruiting and training. “Employers are struggling with the limitations of résumés,” they wrote. “Skills-based hiring provides solutions where resumes fall short.”

 

One thing analysts are watching is how Gen Z, in particular, adapts to this changing reality. They’re the first generation to really come up during an era where the résumé itself has been devalued to an extent ― the dual rise of algorithm-assisted candidate screening and AI tools like ChatGPT have led jobseekers to try to automate as much of the process as they can (if you’re hiring these days, it’s a near-certainty that a bunch of the cover letters you receive will have been computer-generated).

 

Skills-based hiring offers an alternative way to approach the question of hiring, and its proponents believe that it can have wide-ranging impacts, from benefits to the bottom line to the diversity of a company’s employees.

 

“The future will be won by skills,” said Matt Sidelman, president of the Burning Glass Institute. “Skills differentiate careers, express the dynamism of the economy, measure the distance between people and opportunity and open new avenues for equity.” Kieran Delamont

REMOTE WORK

Throwing a little more fuel on the WFH debate

A new study indicates flexible work models are linked to substantially higher revenue growth 

Companies COMPANIES THAT ALLOW remote work have experienced revenue growth that’s four times faster than those that are more stringent about office attendance

 

A new Flex Index report from Scoop, a tech company that produces hybrid work tools, prepared in partnership with the Boston Consulting Group, is making a strong case for the benefits of remote work to the bottom line.

 

The study looked at earnings reports from 554 public companies, employing over 26 million people, and found that between 2020 and 2022, companies that were “fully flexible” saw revenue growth of 21 per cent, compared to just 5 per cent for companies with hybrid or in-office policies.

 

Whereas much of the research around remote work has focused on how it affects morale and engagement, the Scoop report is one of the first to dig into the revenue benefits of remote work. That the gap in revenue growth was so stark was a bit of an eye-opener. “That gap was really surprising to us ― and larger than expected,” Scoop’s CEO Rob Sadow told Forbes.

 

What underlies this difference? Experts, and the report’s authors, have a few theories, but acknowledge that it’s hard to draw a straight line between one and the other ― flexible work doesn’t, on its own, grow revenue (though it may reduce costs).

 

Debbie Lovich, senior partner at Boston Consulting Group, suggested that it may be the case that companies who are open to flexible work policies are culturally more innovative. “If they’re less restrictive on work policies, they’re probably more pro-innovation, more purposeful and more engaging,” she said. “I doubt those companies would be taking attendance and measuring badge swipes.”

 

The report suggests a few other things. Younger companies are, on average, more flexible, they found, and it might make sense then that their revenue growth has been stronger. They also suggest that the benefits to employee morale may be filtering through to the balance sheet.

 

The answer is likely a bit of all these things. It will be interesting to see how these results evolve over the years ― after all, 2020 to 2022 were nothing if not exceptions to the norm. But the report’s authors see a fairly robust trend line here.

 

“These public companies have unlocked a way not just to scale flexible work for their people, but also to gain ground on talent attraction and employee engagement, which are working in tandem to drive business performance,” the report concludes. “Perhaps just the fact that remote employees feel productive, thanks to the right balance of home and work time, is helping them to focus on the work that matters.” Kieran Delamont

Terry Talks: Why great talent does not come cheap

Recruitment can be one of the most challenging aspects of being a business owner and employer. The challenge of identifying and attracting the right candidates (not just from a skills perspective but, more importantly, from a culture perspective) is difficult. It’s also something that requires professional practices necessary for protecting your business image and avoiding unnecessary turnover in your workforce. Unlike a Black Friday sale, if it’s too good to be true, it probably is. 

WATCH HERE

TECHNOLOGY

Did you send a bot to my meeting?

Sick of meetings? Microsofts new AI assistant will go in your place

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YOU’RE PROBABLY NOT alone if, at some point over the past couple years, you’ve wondered if these AI chatbots could take your meetings for you. Well, good news: Microsoft is making it happen.

 

Earlier this month, Microsoft launched Copilot, an AI tool that’s being integrated into Microsoft Office and Microsoft Teams. And yes, it can take your meetings for you, thanks to a feature that allows you to send an AI assistant to a meeting, generating a summary in the process. Google is reportedly working on a similar tool.

 

The technology is being deployed in interesting ways by companies who have dabbled with it. The Wall Street Journal reports that “companies have begun using AI to root out another workplace inefficiency: meetings,” noting that some forms of the tool will even alert speakers to when they’ve been hogging the floor, alter their tone and analyze engagement. WSJ spoke to some people who sit in a lot of meetings, who said that the tool was a bit creepy, but ultimately kind of helpful.

 

Naturally, some people have concerns ― and not just about dystopia, but rather what kind of ethical questions surround the practice.

 

“I’m afraid for what this means for the way we develop communication, the way we do meetings and the way we organize ourselves,” management professor Jeanine Turner told Fortune. For busy managers or bosses, the temptation to send an AI bot to a meeting might be greater ― but does it send the wrong message? Turner thinks it might. “It says you’re not important enough,” she reasoned.

 

Fortune also suggested that while bosses may come off as cold and impersonal for using the tool, that it’s the rank and file that gets hurt the most. “Gen Z employees in particular could be hard hit by AI bots in meetings,” writes Lila Maclellan. “Companies are already concerned about the missing social skills of young people entering the workforce; this cohort needs as much practice as possible dealing with various personality types and having real-time interactions and learning how to navigate sensitive topics.”

 

And in an environment where people are trying to get ahead, it could also stunt growth ― after all, how do you impress the boss when the boss isn’t there? Kieran Delamont

CULTURE

The lunch crunch is real

Employees are skipping lunch more often, despite the benefits associated with taking a break

WE’VE HEARD A lot over the last year or two about workloads increasing for employees as companies deal with labour shortages, turnover and frozen hiring budgets.

 

So, you might be asking, how is everyone managing? To which catering company ezCater’s annual lunch report ― a survey of 5,000 U.S. workers on their workplace food habits ― has an answer: they’re skipping lunch.

 

“With mounting pressures to hit deadlines and perform at work, more and more people are facing a time crunch when it comes to eating lunch on the job,” they said, noting that the number of people who say they never step away from their workstation to take a lunch has increased by a whopping 40 per cent this year.

 

It isn’t because they don’t see the need for lunch. A majority of workers said lunch makes them happier, and 48 per cent report feeling less burned out when they have lunch. But many simply feel they don’t have the time for it.

 

Diane Swint of ezCater believes this is a real problem. “There’s this disparity between how much employees understand the importance of a lunch break, and how many of them actually take a lunch break,” Swint told Digiday’s Worklife.

 

Steve O’Hear, a communications advisor, concurred. “Getting away from the desk often sparks a breakthrough in a problem I’m trying to solve, and a lunch break means finding time away from the laptop isn’t left to serendipity.”

 

One solution is employer-funded lunch, ezCater said (although, as a catering company, you might expect them to say that…). “You don’t need to provide free lunch every day, but twice-weekly subsidized meals make a difference ― to your employee’s happiness and wellbeing and to your team’s performance and productivity,” they write.

 

Don’t want to shell out for the lunch bill? Another solution is just to mandate lunch. “It can be once a week or every day, but encouraging 30-minute, no-meeting lunch breaks for the entire company (including senior leadership) sets the tone that your organization prioritizes employees’ mental health and physical wellbeing.” Kieran Delamont

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