The secret to winning the war for talent


In the long siege known as the war for talent, employers need a new battle plan. Instead of trying desperately to recruit from the outside to fill a growing skills gap, companies should turn to the resources that exist within their own workforces.

This is a build versus buy strategy, with greater emphasis placed on training to develop skills in-house to meet the organization’s current and future needs. As a recent Harvard Business Review article observed, rather than spending billions to acquire talent, a better approach is investing in the talent that’s already in place. “Poach-and-release is no longer a sustainable model for talent acquisition,” the authors write.

There is a greater-than-ever need for effective and efficient corporate training as the shortage of skilled workers heightens to an urgent business issue. At an education conference I attended recently, Senator Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) told the audience that the concern he hears most frequently from employers is the difficulty of hiring enough workers.

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Apple HR couldn’t care less if you have a college degree


You can get hired at Apple even without a fancy piece of paper telling people you got a lot of book learning.

The traditional life plan includes four years of college then a good job. But not everyone takes this path, and sometimes the lack of a college degree keeps some people from getting a job they are otherwise qualified for. But not at Apple.

Following a non-traditional career path is no problem getting hired at Apple. And that goes for positions beyond working at its retail stores.

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Moneyball for business: How AI is changing talent management


Fifteen years after Billy Beane disrupted Major League Baseball by applying analytics to scouting, corporations are rewriting the rules of recruiting.

The online games were easy–until I got to challenge number six. I was applying for a job at Unilever, the consumer-goods behemoth behind Axe Body Spray and Hellmann’s Real Mayonnaise. I was halfway through a series of puzzles designed to test 90 cognitive and emotional traits, everything from my memory and planning speed to my focus and appetite for risk. A machine had already scrutinized my application to determine whether I was fit to reach even this test-taking stage. Now, as I sat at my laptop, scratching my head over a probability game that involved wagering varying amounts of virtual money on whether I could hit my space bar five times within three seconds or 60 times within 12 seconds, an algorithm custom-built for Unilever analyzed my every click. With a timer ticking down on the screen . . . 12 . . . 11 . . . 10 . . . I furiously stabbed at my keyboard, my chances of joining one of the world’s largest employers literally at my fingertips.

More than a million job seekers have already undergone this kind of testing experience, developed by Pymetrics, a five-year-old startup cofounded by Frida Polli. An MIT-trained neuroscientist with an MBA from Harvard, Polli is pioneering new ways of assessing talent for brands such as Burger King and Unilever, based on decades of neuroscience research she says can predict behaviors common among high performers. “We realized this combination of data and machine learning would be hugely powerful, bringing recruiting from this super-antiquated, paper-and-pencil [process] into the future,” explains Polli, sitting barefoot on a couch at her spartan office near New York’s Flatiron District on a humid May morning, where about four dozen engineers, data scientists, and industrial-organizational psychologists sit behind glowing iMacs.

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The ever-changing face of the workplace: Infographic

changing workplace

Employers are adapting to the changing structure of the work environments

Today’s workplace is nothing like professional environments of the past, in part due to recent technology advances, and partly a result of the influence of the growing number of Millennials in the workforce . To meet these changes, employers are adapting not only their hiring practices but also the structure of the work environments.



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Who’s hiring and who isn’t hiring

Who has been hiring and hasn’t?

After the start of the worst six months for the U.S. labor market since the Great Depression five years ago, we learned last week that 203,000 new jobs were created in November and the unemployment rate dropped to 7%. Discussion in the immediate aftermath of the news centered on whether the report marked more of the ho-hum same or a sign that, after three years of puttering along, the economy might finally be preparing for a return to something approaching prosperity.



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The value of being the “weird” job candidate

Don’t be afraid to be weird (you probably are) — at least you’ll be remembered.

Hedwig von Restorff, a German psychologist, made an important, though not very counterintuitive, discovery in the 1930’s: things that somehow stand out are remembered more easily than typical things. Suppose we read the following list to a group and then asked them to recall it:

apple, truck, necklace, tomato, glass, dog, rock, umbrella, butter, spoon, Lady Gaga, pillow, pencil, chocolate, desk, banana, bug, soup, milk, tie



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Amazon to hire 5,000 for full-time warehouse jobs in the U.S.

An warehouse. Inc has unveiled a new hiring spree on Monday that will fill more than 5,000 new  full-time jobs at 17 of its fulfillment centers across the United States.   This is ahead of a visit by President Barack Obama to one of the Internet retailer’s giant distribution warehouses this week.



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Trying to build better workers with big data

Workers can now be analyzed like any other data.

As it turns out, bosses really do matter and they may matter more than we even realize. For example, in telephone call centers where hourly workers handle a steady stream of calls under demanding conditions, the communication skills and personal warmth of an employee’s supervisor are often crucial in determining the employee’s tenure and performance. Recent research shows that the quality of the supervisor may be more important than the experience and individual attributes of the workers themselves.



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Discover the Hidden Patterns of Tomorrow with Futurist Thomas Frey
Unlock Your Potential, Ignite Your Success.

By delving into the futuring techniques of Futurist Thomas Frey, you’ll embark on an enlightening journey.

Learn More about this exciting program.