How to Thrive in HR in the Age of Digital Disruption

In an age of digital disruption, technology is transforming every aspect of a company including employee recruitment and managing a 21st-century workforce. In order to keep up the evolution, HR and business leaders can no longer operate in their old paradigms. Are you prepared for this new revolution? We sat down with Josh Bersin, Principal and Founder,

Bersin by Deloitte, Deloitte Consulting LLP to discuss the major trends and role of technology in the changing HR landscape.

Highlighted below are three key points from the discussion. For a complete view, check out the Leading Edge webcast.

1. Three important HR trends
Each year Deloitte publishes the Global Human Capital Trends Report. According to Josh and the 2017 Trends report. Here are three key trends of focus:

1. Companies are no longer operating in hierarchies, but rather as teams and networks. Organizations are striving to break down silos, to encourage collaboration. This requires restructuring organizations to fit the needs of the future.

2. Employees need continuous learning. With technology such as AI, employees are uneasy about the implications and unknowns as it pertains to their job. This is driving companies to build “always-on” learning experiences that allow employees to build skills, quickly and easily, on their own terms.

3. Use cognitive tools and data for recruiting to find the best people for the team and company; making the recruiting process an art and science.

2. Digital adoption is centered in HR
According to Josh, HR has to play a leading role in helping the company, and its leaders, become digital and understand the digital characteristics that benefit the organization. These digitally based processes and tools reinvent how HR operates, producing team-centric HR solutions, and elevating the HR tools. Adoption of these tools requires understanding what employees need and producing experiences, tools, coaching exercises, and apps that support individuals and teams. It helps them perform, excel, and thrive in their roles and responsibilities. Also, don’t forget to make it simple and easy for your employees to access the tools so you can increase adoption.

3. Get leadership’s attention
This topic is imperative to get your organization on the digital train. A simple approach can help you frame the conversation.

Identify the top concerns of your CEO, or business stakeholders, and determine the issues or personnel that are impacting the business agenda or stalling progress from being made.

Take those issues back to your HR department and apply design thinking to work toward the core of the issue. Think about the challenge in context to the stakeholder, what they need to achieve as a whole, how the issues are affecting their division and others, etc. To give an example of an executive leadership issue that HR creatively tackled, during the digital disruption of mobile commerce, Visa’s executive team felt that their experience in this new technology was lacking. Instead of hiring new people, Visa University was created. It is a digital platform used to promote digital learning and help their employees learn more about mobile commerce. It’s a collaborative platform where employees can learn together, share best practices, and build new digital solutions in the e-commerce market.

More firms willing to hike wages next year

MANILA, Philippines — Average salary hike across industries is projected to be higher in Philippines compared to other economies in the region next year as the country’s stable economic growth is prompting more companies to pay more, a new report by global human resources consulting firm Mercer showed.

Mercer’s Global Compensation Planning Report and Total Remuneration Survey revealed that overall salary increase across industries in the Philippines is seen at 6.3 percent for next year.

The projected increase is higher than that of Thailand (5.3 percent), Malaysia (5.2 percent), Korea (4.4 percent), Hong Kong (3.9 percent), Singapore (3.9 percent), Taiwan (3.6 percent) and Japan (2.1 percent).

In the Philippines, companies in the fast-moving consumer goods, energy and life sciences sectors are reported to be more aggressive, forecasting 6.5 percent to 6.7 percent salary increase.

“Mature industries such as energy, consumer and pharmaceutical tend to pay more compared to emerging industries such as the shared services and business process outsourcing,” Mercer said.

The Philippine market is also bullish on hiring, the report indicated, with 47 percent of the companies surveyed planning to add headcount in the next 12 months as skills shortage continues to be acute across all levels of career.

Mercer said there remains a mismatch between the skills employees possess and skills demanded by employers in the country as the current educational and technical infrastructure is not producing enough “ready for work” employees.

Jobs that are difficult to recruit and retain are sales, finance, and IT positions at both professional and management levels, the report showed.

“The diversity of employees in the workplace in the Philippines is increasing rapidly and resulting in multi-generational workforce in organizations. We are also noticing year-over-year increase in the number of employees on local plus packages especially in the IT and BPO industries. Given the different needs and aspirations of all these employee groups, organizations should be changing their approach to creating employee value proposition,” said Floriza Molon, Philippines career business leader at Mercer.

The report further revealed that Filipino employees have a high level of satisfaction when it comes to their work.

However, it said the high level of satisfaction does not translate into commitment to stay longer in their jobs as Filipino workers want to be recognized and rewarded for a wide range of contributions.

On the other hand, they leave because of pay, opportunity for promotion, and flexible work options.

“Overall, apart from compensation and benefits, it is also important take a more holistically view from a total rewards perspective and to have a successful employee value proposition that not just addresses immediate retention needs but also the future talent attraction and retention plans. Innovative employee benefits are also key in helping employers differentiate and brand themselves as employees feel valued when employers take care of them and their families,” Molon said.

Five Steps to Protect Your Training With Reinforcement

Talent development professionals know the challenges of educating thousands of employees on a new product or skill set. But that’s just one part of the process. Next comes creating incentives that motivate employees to complete the course, and then you must ensure that employees retain this new knowledge so they can apply it to their jobs.

Think of these concepts as the training challenge, the incentive challenge, and the retention challenge.

It’s not uncommon for the talent development profession to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars addressing the training and incentive challenges, but then overlook the retention challenge entirely. In such cases, the forgetting curve begins to erode our hard-earned victories. The moment employees leave the classroom, their new knowledge drains away at a rapid pace. Within a few weeks, most of what they’ve learned disappears. That often results in a significant gap between learning and performance: What people learn doesn’t translate to improved job performance.

Corporate training success stories show that one of the most effective methods to tackle the retention challenge is to enroll employees in a training reinforcement plan as soon as they complete a learning program. Training reinforcement introduces carefully planned retention exercises (known as retrieval practices) so that learners retain knowledge and can apply it to their jobs.

The research

In the late 1800s, German psychologist Hermann Ebbinghaus discovered the forgetting curve. Since then, researchers have repeatedly shown that people instantly start forgetting what they’ve just learned—as much as 70 percent within 24 hours.

This issue is evident in all kinds of settings, and corporate learning is no exception. Making matters worse, typical training conditions don’t support long-term knowledge retention, leaving employees with an “illusion of knowing” (or “illusion of mastery”). The strategies often used to accelerate learning during training (for example, massing practice to minimize the time spent away from work, providing frequent feedback, and keeping the conditions of practice constant) are proved to be some of the worst techniques for long-term learning.

Therefore, the challenge to improve how we learn is this: Discover a way to interrupt the forgetting process and overcome the illusion of knowing.
The solution: Training reinforcement

We’re in luck. Cognitive psychologists have spent more than a century researching what works best for ensuring long-term learning retention. Studies show that effort is the key to deep, comprehensive, durable learning and the ability to transform knowledge into real-life actions. The more effortful and stimulating the learning process, the better we internalize new knowledge and the easier it is for us to recall and use that knowledge outside the initial training context.

That’s why a training reinforcement plan that uses retrieval practices is so effective. The primary goal of a training reinforcement plan is to foster long-term knowledge retention and understanding. It should prompt learners to actively recall and retrieve what they were taught by using short retrieval practices (mainly quizzes, but possibly also flashcards, smart tips, and microlearning modules). Every time we call up a memory, we reinforce a mental route in our mind and, therefore, increase our ability to connect what we know with what we can do. Even a single retrieval practice can produce significant improvements in retention.

The first thing you need to do is determine which corporate training programs can best benefit from a reinforcement dimension. Then you define a basic structure, choose a delivery method, and create the content. It’s not as complicated as you might think.
Here are five practical steps to get you started.

Prioritize your programs

For best results, prioritize which of your training programs need reinforcement based on three factors:

  • Criticality—which programs are most valuable to your company?
  • Cost—which programs are the most resource-intensive, in terms of both actual and opportunity costs?
  • Reach—which programs have the largest number of target trainees?

By focusing on those characteristics, you maximize your training reinforcement investment and put yourself in a better position to demonstrate value to executives.

Choose the right reinforcement structure
Your training reinforcement plan should start right after the initial training program ends and last no more than six weeks (depending on your content). Ideally, each session is five to 10 minutes in length and offered two to three times per week. Overwhelming your learners will only hurt your chances of success.
Choose the delivery method
Although you have several options for delivering training reinforcement content, mobile is an important one to consider. Native mobile apps make it easy and cost-effective to implement learning reinforcement in a corporate setting because they:

  • are tailored to the modern learner, offering a strong user experience and learner engagement
  • provide offline access to learning content
  • can work in step with cloud technologies to carve out intelligent, customized learning paths that respond instantly to the changing needs of individual employees
  • support a rapid development cycle
  • collect data at a granular level, both for real-time analytics and to provide individualized coaching opportunities.

Craft results-driven content

Content will make or break your training reinforcement plan. Excellent structure and scheduling with mediocre content creates the perfect storm for a stalled reinforcement plan.

The good news is that developing effective reinforcement content doesn’t need to be complex or time consuming. The idea isn’t to rehash everything that’s been taught in an initial course. To be effective, your plan needs to reinforce core information that is most fundamental to long-term retention and job performance. You can accomplish that in four steps.

First, identify core competencies. Focus on the most critical knowledge your employees need to transfer to their everyday jobs.
Second, develop a series of quizzes with a solid question bank, because quizzes are one of the best forms of retrieval practice. Your question bank needs to have several items for each competency covered in your reinforcement plan. Scenario-based questions, such as “What would you do in this situation?” are a particularly effective—especially when they’re challenging. Retrieval practices need to be effortful to be effective (but not overwhelming, of course).

Third, use additional bite-size learning resources. These might include flashcards or microlearning modules to enrich your learners’ reinforcement experience.

Last, use metrics and a control group to first sell the effectiveness of your reinforcement plan, and then to fine-tune as you go.

Start small, but start

Training reinforcement needs to become an integral part of your learning investments. Consider running a simple and inexpensive pilot to test the waters. By using analytics, you can measure and demonstrate how much you have increased the return on your training. That way, you would have tackled the forgetting curve head-on and, more importantly, you’ll no longer have to guess how your employees perform after training.

If you’d like to learn more about learning reinforcement, doing some extra reading is always a good idea. For a comprehensive overview on the latest research around durable learning and retention, read Make It Stick: The Science of Successful Learning by Peter Brown, Henry Roedinger, and Mark McDaniel.

Company lets employees share PTO

In this season of gratitude and giving, some companies are offering their personnel a way to make those virtues tangible.

One such company is New York-based Business Intelligence Associates (BIA), an e-discovery firm that has an office in Portage with 20 employees.

About seven or eight years ago, one of the firm’s staff members had a severe family emergency that required her to use up all of her paid time off (PTO).

The company wanted to help, said Brian Schrader, BIA president.

“Like many, she and her family didn’t have the resources to be able to continue for long after all of her available PTO and other leave had been exhausted,” he said. “In looking for ways that, within often-strict employee/labor laws, we could help our team member in need, we discovered a company that had created a PTO donation program.

“We immediately adopted that program, and the employee was able to take several more weeks without having to go on unemployment, disability or other assistance.”

Schrader said most needs for leave time fall within the three to five weeks of PTO the average BIA employee earns per year, depending on years worked in the company, so relatively few have had to take advantage of PTO sharing.

“It’s really a program that comes into play in those thankfully few instances where an employee has such a severe and lasting need that their normal PTO is exhausted,” he said.

Financially speaking, the impact on BIA of allowing leave sharing is low since it’s mostly a matter of moving already-allotted leave from one person to another.

But one of the things BIA had to consider before implementing the program was what the differential in pay rates might cost the firm after PTO is transferred.

“When we first got into it, (we knew) for accounting purposes, you have to track accrued PTO. One of the things we thought about was when you value a person’s PTO for accrual purposes … say I get paid $10 an hour, and you get paid $20, you’re getting PTO time that’s worth $10 instead of $20 or vice versa,” Schrader said.

“We looked at that and said, ‘At the end of the day, it’s not worth preventing this.’ The differential isn’t that much for most employees.”

A factor that helps prevent abuse of the policy is the family-oriented culture at BIA, Schrader said. Its close-knit teams usually already know when a co-worker is struggling. They know about the opportunity to share PTO, and they know the need is genuine rather than someone trying to game the system.

Schrader said while BIA hasn’t seen a one-to-one correlation between the leave-sharing policy and talent attraction, it is a benefit that never fails to surprise prospective workers.

“We were looking to do something above and beyond the normal. Most of our peers in the same market, as we are, offer basic health insurance. But we wanted to do the shared PTO,” he said.

Other perks the company offers include lunch-and-learns, where BIA provides free lunchtime training sessions; company outings to baseball games; and a “Wow” program in which employees vote to recognize the excellent work of their teammates, and the company rewards winners with a $1,000 bonus and three extra PTO days.

The company also offers the opportunity for employees to take three extra PTO days for community service at a charity of their choice. Schrader said whole departments often opt to volunteer as a group at the same place.

Partly thanks to these bonding activities, turnover at BIA is fairly low — last year it was around 5 percent of the company’s workforce of 65 to 70, Schrader said.

“We have employees who have been here five, 10, 15 years,” he said, noting the company is 15 years old.

Retention is increasingly important in such a tight labor market, Schrader said. It’s not just the Michigan office that has a hard time finding qualified workers; it’s also BIA’s other offices in Washington, D.C.; New York; and Denver.

“When we first moved into Michigan in 2008, it was the worst year of the economy (during the Great Recession),” he said. “Then we saw a swing in Michigan. When we first came in, there were tons of people in the job market. You would put out a posting for five or 10 positions and would get hundreds of applications. Now you don’t.

“Even today, a lot of it depends on the position. If I’m looking for a computer forensic expert or attorney — the highly trained, highly skilled workers — that’s harder.”

Although a lower unemployment rate is a good thing for the economy, it means the programs BIA puts in place for retention and workplace culture are crucial.

“We want people to get up and not dread going to work, but to like the company, the programs and the people they work with,” Schrader said.

“It’s not just touchy-feely. It does help the business. If everybody’s enjoying themselves and getting along, it translates into a better work environment and a better experience for customers.”

The Achilles’ heel: talent attraction and retention

It is imperative for politicians and economic development officers who crow about “bringing jobs” to West Michigan to cease the false bravado and address the enormous elephant in the room: talent attraction and retention.

This oft-cited Business Journal analysis is given new perspective by example of Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, who last week began twisting legislative arms for a $7-million national marketing campaign to attract workers to the state where 13,000 workers are needed (and not available) just for the jobs being created by Foxconn Technology Group, a deal Walker brokered with $3 billion in tax incentives. According to the Associated Press reports, Wisconsin has worker shortages amounting to 45,000 in seven years, across all industries. Reuters reported last week that Moody’s Investor Service dropped the credit rating for Racine County, the site of the new plant, citing the debt burden after authorization of financial incentives.

Grand Valley State University Seidman College of Business researchers have put Michigan’s deficit at 80,000 in the same period. Most of that shortage is exacerbated by deficiencies in educational attainment. Business Leaders for Michigan research shows the state ranks 31st among all U.S. states. The executive group has moved education issues to the front burner of priorities.

Business Journal reporting provides a pause to applaud a program to alleviate the shortages currently obstructing the skilled trades industry. Associated Builders and Contractors Western Michigan Chapter partnered with the Literacy Center of West Michigan to provide training for refugees through a Michigan Office of New Americans (MONA) grant. The collaboration provides job training for students in the English as a Second Language program. ABC/WMC Vice President of Workforce Development Jen Schottke told the Business Journal, “West Michigan has a large population of new Americans seeking work, and we thought this partnership would provide promising opportunities for both these individuals and our local construction employers.”

Another report provides an example of retention of employees. Business Intelligence Associates (BIA), an e-discovery firm that has an office in Portage with 20 employees, conducted a deep dive study to retain an employee who needed personal time for a family emergency, after exhausting time available. After looking for pathways within often-strict employee/labor laws, BIA found the answer by way of a company that created a PTO donation program. The employee was able to take several more weeks without having to go on unemployment, disability or other assistance.

Employers must use such out-of-the-box initiatives to stay ahead of the worker shortage tsunami. Politicians and economic development officers must do so, too. The problem isn’t more jobs, it is educational attainment and worker shortages.

HR Challenges in Rural Healthcare Show No Sign of Abatement

It is not just the rural hinterland, remote villages and tribal areas, quality tertiary healthcare is not available even to a bulk of urban population living outside a few glittering metropolitan cities.

India is touted to become the third largest economy in the world in not-so-distant future but even when the country is making economic progress, rural healthcare still remains a conundrum that both the government as well as the private sector have been able to solve with limited success so far. Even the primary healthcare services have been found to be wanting in quality and quantity in the rural hinterlands, forget the secondary or tertiary healthcare. At a time when most diseases, including lifestyle related ailments, are permeating into both urban and rural households, there is heightened focus on these services in the villages and the associated human resource challenges in the sector.

Almost 70 percent of the doctors in India are concentrated in urban centers, serving around 30 percent of the total Indian population. People in urban India enjoy access to around 65 percent of the country’s hospital beds despite having less than 30 percent of the total population.

The difference in urban and rural healthcare services is only becoming starker and we still have a long way to go in building the bridges to cover the gaps in rural healthcare. Home to more than 60 percent of the national population, India can no longer simply dismiss its rural sector as the ‘sick child’, and needs to take essential steps in order to steer its healthy recovery.

Availability of trained medical professionals has been one of the raging issues in the upliftment of health and sanitation in remote areas to cater to the everyday needs of the habitants, who are thereby deprived of the basic medical facilities necessary for survival.

It is not just the rural hinterland, remote villages and tribal areas, quality tertiary healthcare is not available even to a bulk of urban population living outside a few glittering metropolitan cities. For example, in north India while Delhi NCR remains a hub of the best multi-specialty hospitals, even a 100 km move outside the region will leave you without a decent tertiary care hospital. This is evident from the fact that the Delhi NCR hospitals are crowded with people coming from Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Haryana and even West Bengal.

Burden of diseases present in rural areas also

The burden of disease has started to weigh heavily in rural areas. A lot of people have to travel long distances to avail of life-saving treatments like dialysis. In the absence of quality cardiac care in smaller towns and villages, many people fail to survive a heart attack as they are required to travel long distances to nearby cities with decent healthcare facilities.

There are a lot of primary healthcare centres, especially in rural areas but devil lies in details. They continue to suffer from shortage of trained staff and absenteeism, private sector finds little incentive in investing heavily in rural areas. However, through some low cost but effective initiatives, the private sector can play a positive role in helping address the deficit of manpower in rural healthcare to some extent.

Private sector can play a vital role

Private sector healthcare service providers can expand the scope of the treatment provided at primary healthcare centres in villages. We need more public private partnerships to involve the private sector in rural areas. These partnerships can offer incentives to doctors to offer services in rural areas for a small number of days of a year. With severe shortage of specialized cardiologists, nephrologists, neurologists and gynaecologists, rural populations often have to make with less skilled doctors or worse quacks. PPPs that can take skilled doctors of reputed hospitals to offer services in rural health centres and recommend patient transfer if needed, can play a role in bridging this gap.

Strategically Placed Hospitals

Villages might not make perfect business sense for private hospital chains to go and establish a hospital there. However, the needs for profit and social benefit can be balanced by opening hospitals in smaller towns and cities which cater to large surrounding populations. Such endeavours also attract doctors who have left their state in search of greener pastures back to their roots.

Empowering village youth and train local manpower

The entire spectrum of healthcare service providers from doctors to nurses, radiologists, pathologists and paramedics are in short supply in rural India. Launching training programs for nurses and paramedics in smaller centres is another important initiative that can help address manpower shortage to an extent.corporating locals into the extensive training programmes, the initiative can ensure a long term solution to the low manpower in rural healthcare, with a motive to not only provide quick medical assistance by experienced professionals but a broad vision to empower the community. This encouragement to generation of rural employment is no surprise, considering the position of the company as the highest private employer in health industry.

Addressing a cybersecurity skills shortage with a new approach to hiring

A recent surge in major cyberbreaches around the globe reveals cybersecurity threats are growing in both volume and sophistication, leaving potential victims scrambling to find ways to properly protect themselves and their data.

While arming your company with the best security software is a good start, it’s not enough. Cybercriminals are becoming increasingly savvy and businesses are falling short on adequately staffing their security teams to defend themselves against these hackers.

Demand for skilled security professionals is one of the biggest challenges facing the industry today, and it’s only expected to grow; experts predict a shortage of 1.5 million open and unfilled security positions by 2020. This gap is further exasperated by a lack of the right skills needed to meet the modern security landscape. In the face of increasing threats, this is a shortage the industry simply cannot afford.

One of the biggest hurdles behind the skills shortage is one that companies are creating for themselves – relying on outdated recruitment models and job descriptions to rapidly fill evolving security roles. At IBM, we advocate for a new-collar approach to hiring cybersecurity professionals, focusing on skills, experience and aptitude versus degrees alone. This approach has helped fill seats on the other end of the wire with qualified candidates, and we encourage the industry to evolve their talent acquisition strategy to do the same.

Here are some tips for doing just that:

Redefine hiring models

Work with internal teams and hiring managers to document the attributes and skills that are essential for your organization today and in the future. When doing so, consider positions that could be filled with non-traditional candidates or define new ones. For example, a Security Operations Centre (SOC) Analyst: he or she reports on security incidents, assists with the response and co-ordinates threat intelligence sharing across the SOC. This individual needs to be a multi-tasker with strong communication skills – capabilities acquired through experience, not just a four-year university degree.

Expand where you recruit

Encourage the recruitment team to expand their talent search into community colleges, private technical schools, and other educational programs, as a growing number of these institutions are offering cybersecurity programs yet remain untapped by employers. Build awareness of cybersecurity as a profession and your organization as an employer of such occupations by offering learning sessions and demonstrations.

Create new partnerships

Reach out to government organizations, educational institutions and academic programs in your region. By partnering with business leaders, many Canadian universities are making great strides in driving innovation that equips new graduates with the skills required to thrive in Canada’s evolving workforce. An example of this is IBM’s partnership with the University of New Brunswick, which has resulted in a security intelligence platform that was the catalyst for the creation of a global security division in Fredericton that supports more than 5,000 customers worldwide. A highly skilled professional local workforce has been critical to New Brunswick’s growing reputation as a global cybersecurity hub. Increased investment and collaboration between academia and business, along with other ecosystem partners in both the public and private sectors, will grow opportunities for a new collar workforce.

Develop robust support programs for new hires

Considering the shortage of skilled cybersecurity professionals, it’s important to retain new hires by supporting and engaging them as soon as they join the team. Beyond a comprehensive on-boarding program, employers should offer mentorships, rotational assignments and opportunities to shadow more experienced colleagues. Additionally, allow employees to work on a variety of projects and to explore new technologies – not only will this help the employee with professional development, but it makes him or her feel valued and provides the team with a fresh perspective.

Help employees build and refine skills

Cybersecurity is a highly dynamic field, which requires a constant refreshing of skills. Provide employees with opportunities to stay current by encouraging them to enroll in classes and conferences and pursue certifications. Also, do what you can to support existing employees from other functions who are interested in moving into cybersecurity as a new career; they too should have the opportunity to build and refine their skills in the space.

Is AI an opportunity for HR?

AI begins to make its way into more organisations, it’s a question that HR leaders have to take more seriously. So what are the opportunities and challenges that AI presents, and how can HR take a more active role in its development and deployment?

The possibilities of AI

It might come as a surprise to some people the extent to which AI is being used right now in organisations across the world, even at very senior levels. Take Mark Benioff, CEO of Salesforce for instance. He brings Einstein, his AI, to his Monday morning executive meetings and asks for its opinion. Einstein has access to a significant set of company data within Salesforce, and is able to group, analyse and create insights in response to questions. Not only are Einstein’s contributions based on mountains of data, but its contributions can present a different way of looking at a problem. This in turn allows other members of the executive team to feed off Einstein’s contribution, challenge their own thinking and reframe the problem. AI used in this manner could provide senior executives and boards with on-demand insights to help them make better decisions.

The people management issue

On the other end of the scale, there is the risk that introducing AI presents, particularly with widespread deployment across an organistion. If we take workforce engagement as an example, we know there is a direct correlation between engagement and productivity. An engaged workforce is a more productive workforce and therefore delivers better results. It’s not had to anticipate the likely friction within an organisation as AI starts to automate tasks that were previously owned by humans. The potential efficiency savings from AI could rapidly be undone through disenfranchised individuals seeing AI as a threat to their future job security. The risk to the organisation is at best lower engagement and at worst destabilisation.

No one really knows what widespread deployment of AI will look like and whether it really will be perceived as a threat. Regardless, HR leaders can get a step ahead of this by looking ahead at the most likely ways AI will be deployed within your business first and anticipating what the impact will be within the business.

Who is responsible for the decisions AI makes?

One of the most interesting conversations around AI is the level of control we should be prepared to give it. AI is often talked about as if it were an on/off switch; either an organisation uses AI or it doesn’t. But AI has many shades and each one of these shades has implications around control and responsibility. At it’s most basic level, AI can generate recommendations based on data that a human could choose to implement or ignore. A step on, and AI can not only generate recommendations based on data but also implement those recommendations before sending its activity in the form of a report to a human. A step further than that, and AI can make course corrections to human decisions, identifying decisions that don’t fit with the data it can access and re-correcting those decisions. The final step is full autonomous control, where AI identifies problems and solves them in a continual loop without the need for human intervention.

At each of these stages, control of the decision and therefore responsibility of the outcome is handed progressively more to AI. This has significant implications for humans involved in this chain of decision-making, and again HR leaders have an opportunity to help decide what level of control is right for their organisation.

Leading the executive conversation on digital competencies
Many individuals at executive level don’t have an awareness of what’s out there. HRDs are always looking to build credibility with the rest of the C-suite, and with AI, people leaders have the opportunity to lead the conversation with the rest of the executive team around the possibilities and potential that the business could unlock. One of the topics that regularly comes up when I talk to organisations is the digital competency of the leadership team. Leaders of businesses can be more effective, efficient and productive through the use of technology but they are not always digitally competent and are therefore unaware that’s the case.

Executives need to be accountable for developing their personal ability so that they can leverage this new wave of data, insight and AI. By encouraging a curiosity around the use of technology in their personal lives, it can create an open-minded view to the possibilities of AI within a professional setting. Again, there’s no reason why an HR leader can’t be seen to be leading this conversation given the implications it will have for the rest of the business.

Finding the next generation of leadership talent

This wave of technological advancement also has an impact on future hiring strategy. As digital competence becomes a skill set expected at executive level, it won’t be individuals from traditional businesses who will be in demand where their working practices haven’t changed for decades. People leaders will need to be looking at smaller, more nimble businesses where there is more opportunity for innovation and where they have more advanced working practices.

The flip side however, is if you take somebody out of that type of environment and put them into a large corporate that has a desire to operate differently, the organisational structure, the hierarchy, and the way the business works, isn’t always set up to accept new thinking.

So despite wanting these types of people, it’s not always easy to find them, extract them and persuade them to work for a large corporate because those individuals know that they perhaps won’t have the freedom to work how they want because of the organisational structures that have been built over many years. To be attractive to these individuals, there’s a whole process of change that the business has to go through to start doing things in a different way. The company has to bear in mind its cultural and behavioural mind shift.

It can’t be left up to the technologists

There is a temptation to leave AI up to the technologists within the business, the CIO/CTO or CDO, and then be reactive to the people needs of the organisation as they arise. It’s the technologists who have dominated the conversation so far on the likely uses of AI, and it’s the technologists who are introducing AI into our businesses, but the implications of AI are so great that it can’t just be left up to them. As daunting as the topic seems for senior HR leaders, there is a real opportunity to play a pivotal role in the adoption of AI, and as the most people centric function within the organisation, it’s as much an opportunity as a responsibility.

HR pros are increasingly turning to data for recruiting, engagement

Dive Brief:

  • HR is planning to invest heavily in people and data, with 47% of professionals saying they will be more data-driven in 2022, according to a new survey by Paycor. Harris Poll surveyed 500 HR practitioners and C-suite executives in small to midsize companies nationwide for the study.
  • Small businesses plan to focus on using “small data,” which allows information to be quickly interpreted and used by humans without excessive processing, the study, HR Trendcast, says.
  • Specifically, HR plans to use data to address what respondents said are their two biggest challenges: finding the right people and keeping them motivated.

Dive Insight:

HR continues to examine ways to become more strategic. Automation, artificial intelligence and other technological tools are freeing up HR professionals so that they can use their knowledge as human capital managers in more strategic ways. Technology is becoming especially important in helping HR managers meet recruiting and hiring goals.

Company heads have cited the same top concerns as HR leaders: recruiting, retention and employee engagement. But finding the right candidates, hiring the most talented and keeping valued employees onboard will likely remain challenges in the tight labor market.

In addition to data, employers are looking to compete using upskilling, untapped labor pools and other creative solutions.

Don’t Let Job Rejection Ruin Your Chances for Future Work

When you’re not selected for the medical sales jobs of your dreams, it’s easy to feel slighted. It’s just as frustrating when you never hear back once you’ve submitted your application. But, it’s up to you to keep the lines of communication open with employers… even after being rejected for the job.

While 38 percent of the 5,000 job seekers surveyed in the 2017 CareerBuilder Candidate Experience study said they never get a response from employers, employers are waiting for job seekers to make the next first move.

In fact, in the same survey, 52 percent of the 1,505 hiring managers and recruiters surveyed said they wait for candidates to follow up. Without any post-application contact from job seekers, employers assume candidates aren’t interested or have found another job.

In the race for top talent, hiring managers focus on having a talent pool to pull from and look to fill positions quickly, so they want to keep those candidates who stand out, atop their list.

Here’s how to always be gracious in employer contact and help ensure you’re considered for future opportunities:

1) Show Your True Character

Building a positive team culture depends on team members who get along. The foundation of this is finding and building upon a shared interest. Even if you’re passed over for the job, there’s still a chance to show how you fit into the company culture.

For instance, if you discover that you share a goal or value of the company, a handwritten thank you note is the time to remind them of this connection. This demonstrates your active listening skills, and also shows that you care about the specific organization, instead of just landing a job.

In fact, you should send a unique note to every person with whom you interviewed. This shows respect and interest in the interviewers as people. Also, due to the fact that handwritten notes these days are rare, your kind gesture will be remembered.

2) Demonstrate Your Passion and Interest

Employers seek team members who are passionate about the industry and, specifically, their workplace.

Ideally, you created an opportunity during the hiring process to highlight a personal website and portfolio that demonstrates your professional knowledge and interest. In post-rejection communication, you can direct employers to these resources to demonstrate your industry knowledge and skill. This shows your confidence, ability, and that you’re not afraid to sell yourself, which is a positive quality for medical sales jobs.

For instance, if you’re aware that the company has recently purchased new equipment or participated in advanced research, and you’ve created content on the topic, provide a link to it in your follow-up correspondence.

Likewise, if you come across new information specific to a challenge you know the company is working to overcome, sharing relevant links is not only a way to show you’re following industry trends, but also proves that you care about the company’s problems by providing solutions.

You can also reach out to the company via social media by simply engaging in their posts.

3) See the Networking Opportunity

If you’ve networked online or in-person before the interview, you’re in a position to continue to network and continue to develop your relationship with the hiring manager. By maintaining this professional connection, you not only keep in mind of that hiring manager, but are positioning yourself for a reference or referral.

Additionally, if you were able to build rapport with the interview over a shared passion, this presents an opportunity to continue an ongoing discussion on your mutual interest.

4) Be Receptive to All Communication

If you find a company you love, you will benefit from being open to various opportunities where you can help them continue to grow. Don’t let the fact that your heart was set on one role cause you to ignore or overlook another option.

If you impressed the hiring manager, they could be a top referral source to other hiring managers within the org. In fact, of the 700 talent acquisition leaders surveyed in the 2017 LinkedIn U.S./Canada Recruiting Trends, 52 percent said they first look for employee referrals before contacting a candidate.

Actively networking with those you connected with during the interview process — both online and in-person — creates this opportunity. Mark communication on your calendar and make contact every few months, even it’s just an email or phone call to say ‘hello.’ That way, you are continually on the minds of these professionals.

In addition, it’s important to realize that there are also various reasons why a first pick candidate doesn’t work out (bad cultural fit, employee finds another job, etc.). The hiring process takes time and energy. Rather than go back to square one, employers will reach out to ‘second choice’ candidates.

By maintaining a reputation of a friendly and knowledgeable professional and being receptive to options outside your ideal, you’ll position yourself to quickly land rewarding medical sales jobs.