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    Entries in HR (377)

    Friday
    Sep222017

    PODCAST: #HRHappyHour 297 - Enterprise Learning and Development in 2017

    HR Happy Hour 297 - Enterprise Learning and Development in 2017

    Host: Steve Boese

    Guest: Jenny Dearborn, SVP and CLO, SAP

    Listen to the show HERE

    This week on the HR Happy Hour Show, Steve is joined by Jenny Dearborn, SVP and Chief Learning Officer of SAP to talk about enterprise learning and development, the role of technology, and how companies and individuals can best prepare themselves for the world of work ahead.

    With all the changes, dynamism, and challenges facing organizations as well as employees with respect to ongoing learning, skills development, and the need to prepare both our organizations and ourselves for the future world of work, the role of the learning leader and its importance have changed over time.

    From the era of 'formal' training, to design focused approaches, to the modern world of mobile and social learning, the need for organizations, and HR and learning leaders to continuously adapt and change has never been more important.

    Jenny shared insights from her perspective as the CLO of a large, global organization, as well as her years advising both individuals and organizations as they contend with important learning and development challenges in 2017 and beyond.

    Additionally, Jenny and Steve talked about their mutual love and admiration for super heroes and comic books, and geeked out about Wonder Woman.

    You can listen to the show on the show page HERE, or by using the widget player below:

    Jenny's upcoming book, The Data Driven Leader: A Powerful Approach to Leading with Analytics, Driving Decisions, and Delivering Breakthrough Business Results can be pre-ordered here.

    Thanks to HR Happy Hour Show sponsor Virgin Pulsewww.virginpulse.com.

    Subscribe to the HR Happy Hour Show on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher Radio, or wherever you get your podcasts - just search for 'HR Happy Hour'.

    Wednesday
    Sep202017

    How important is knowing the product for a new hire?

    I riffed yesterday about how JetBlue is leaning into a pretty serious shortage of pilot candidates by expanding the talent pools and significantly increasing their investment in training and development in order to essentially 'build' the candidates they are having trouble finding otherwise. And while 'airline pilot' seems like one of the last kinds of job ads you'd see with a 'no experience required' listed in the job req, JetBlue is trying to make it work in order to meet their recruiting goals.

    I thought about that case study/experiment again this morning when I saw the announcement of the newest appointee to the Twitter Board of Directors, (not quite having the responsibility of an airline pilot, but hang in their with me for a minute). Turns out the newest member of Twitter's board is not really a user of Twitter.

    From a piece in Business Insider titled Ex-Google CFO Patrick Pichette is joining Twitter's board, and he just tweeted for the first time:

    Twitter's board is swapping Pepsi CFO Hugh Johnston for ex-Google CFO Patrick Pichette.

    Johnston is leaving Twitter to join Microsoft's board, he said in a series of tweets Tuesday. Pichette is joining Twitter's board after retiring as Google's CFO in 2015 and completing a two-year sabbatical.

    Interestingly, Pichette doesn't seem to be much of a Twitter user. His account says he joined the service in February 2017 and his first tweet was published Tuesday announcing his appointment to the board

    Ok, so the dude was a successful C-suite exec, had a high-profile gig at one of the world's most admired companies, and then cashed out to take two years having fun and whatever it is people with lots of cash and time on their hands like to do. He didn't have time to Tweet at all, but then again, being CFO of Google probably consumes a ton of time and energy and those two-year sabbaticals can be exhausting. I mean, just think about how you feel after your two-day sabbatical at the end of every week. Then multiply that feeling by 350 or so.

    But I digress.

    The point is the newest member of the Board of Directors for Twitter, a company that has been around for a decade, and for better or worse, has been a pretty significant influence on news, politics, social causes, and more for most of that time, has never really used Twitter.

    I would imagine in the last ten years there must have been a time or two where Mr. Pichette at least considered setting up a Twitter account and testing out the product/service and each time decided, 'That's not really for me.'

    Which is certainly his prerogative. I imagine there are lots of successful, accomplished, smart types who have decided not to engage on or otherwise use Twitter. But usually those kinds of people don't get appointed to executive or board-level roles on Twitter. And this isn't a knock on Mr. Pichette and his ability to do a great job on Twitter's board. His CFO experience might be just what Twitter needs right now.

    But just like the JetBlue story, the appointment of Pichette, seemingly a person who does not know all that much about the product of Twitter to the Board speaks to the increasing importance in tightening labor markets of taking a more expansive view of the addressable talent pools.

    Train someone to be a commercial airline pilot who has never flown a plane of any kind? 

    Sure.

    Put someone on the Board of Directors of a company who has never used or experienced the product?

    Ok.

    Hire someone for your next Marketing Manager role who doesn't actually have 'Seven years of progressive experience doing exactly the job we want you to do here in the same industry that we are in?'

    Why not?

    Have a great day!

    Tuesday
    Sep192017

    A reminder that any 'skills gap' is also an employer's problem to solve

    Whether or not there is a true 'skills gap' crisis in the US labor market is certainly subject to debate. For every analysis that indicates that the pipeline of qualified candidates that colleges and other training programs are producing are not meeting the demands of employers for specific skills, you can pretty easily find other data that suggests the US has more than enough of available talent to meet most employer needs.

    But while the data and thinking around the existence of a true skills gap can seem contradictory, the investments and ownership by employers of the problem (assuming it is a problem), has tended to shift in one consistent direction. Namely, over time employers have tended to want to invest less in development, apprenticeship, and other initiatives for either entry level employees or for more experienced hires who require more advanced and specific experience and skills.

    Most employers these days, it seems, want new hires whatever the level or role to walk in to the organization immediately ready to be productive without needing long ramp up times and without having to make extensive and expensive investments in training.

    But what if the roles that the company needs to fill are so specialized, require an incredibly specific set of skills, and that these skills have been demonstrated and certified with proof of thousands of hours of practice? For these kinds of jobs, companies have to become more involved and invested in developing candidate pipelines you would think. It is either that, or face a candidate shortage, experience longer fill times, and likely suffer serious adverse businss impact in the form of lost revenue, poor customer service, and missed deadlines.

    One company, faced with exactly this recruiting and development challenge, and facing an extremely tight and competitive candidate market is doing almost exactly the opposite of what many companies have done with respect to investment in new hire development. They are expanding the market, looking beyond their normal sources for candidates, and most importantly, taking ownership of the 'skills gap' challenge.

    The company is JetBlue Airlines and the hard to fill role is commercial airline pilot.

    From a recent piece on PSFK on how JetBlue is trying to address this recruiting challenge:

    The airline company developed Gateway Select, a special training program for its pilots that took people with little to no flying experiences and turned them into pilots. The program worked out so well for the company that they are once again looking for new recruits. The first round opened in 2016, with 24 chosen applicants out of a pool of 1,5000, including a grocery store clerk, an accountant, and a baggage handler. Trainees will learn about meteorology, aerodynamics and aircraft systems, go through flight simulators, and get in the necessary 1,500 hours of flying experience.

    Think about that a little bit.

    One of the most specific, demanding, and important jobs in the world, commercial airline pilot, and JetBlue is essentially looking past traditional candidate pools and feeder programs, (mostly the US military which has their own pilot shortages they are dealing with), and taking ownership of their challenge by thinking differently about what constitutes a good candidate.

    If JetBlue is willing and able to train the 'right' candidates for pilot roles, even if they are currently accountants or store clerks, then what is holding you back in expanding your own ideas about candidates and their suitability for your open roles?

    Think about that when you post your next position for a finance or HR or marketing or operations role where you require 10+ years of relevant and specific experience doing exactly the same job that you are hiring for.

    If JetBlue can turn store clerks into pilots, then you too can think more expansively and creatively about who is qualified for your roles.

    Have a great day!

    Thursday
    Sep142017

    PODCAST: #HRHappyHour 296 - HR Gives Back 2017

    HR Happy Hour 296 - HR Gives Back 2017

    Hosts: Steve BoeseTrish McFarlane

    Guest: Mollie Lombardi

    Listen HERE

    This week on the HR Happy Hour Show, Steve and Trish welcome Mollie Lombardi from Aptitude Research Partners to talk about HR Gives Back, an initiative to support and raise funds for Parkinson's Disease research.

    HR Gives Back was started by a group of HR industry veterans and is an all-volunteer effort to connect the generosity of the HR technology community to causes we believe in. With the support of the HR Technology Conference, and all of their amazing sponsors, they believe that together we can make a real difference for those impacted by Parkinson's disease by speeding a cure.

    Mollie shared how HR professionals and attendees of the upcoming HR Technology Conference can get involved with HR Gives Back through donations, events, advocacy, swag and more. And we even got to geek out on Payroll technology at the end of the show.

    You can listen to the show on the show page HERE or by using the widget player below:

    This is a super important issue, and we encourage all HR Happy Hour listeners to get involved, share the HR Gives Back story, and support the cause. Learn how to get involved at www.hrgivesback.org.

    Thanks to HR Happy Hour Show sponsor Virgin Pulse - www.virginpulse.com.

    Subscribe to the HR Happy Hour Show on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher Radio, or anywhere you get your podcasts.

    Tuesday
    Sep122017

    For anyone building or implementing AI for HR or hiring

    You can't swing a hammer anywhere these days without hitting an 'AI in HR' article, prediction, webinar, talk, or HR conference session. Heck, we will have a fair bit of AI in HR talk at the upcoming HR Technology Conference in October.

    But one of the important elements that the AI in HR pieces usually fail to address adequately, if at all, is the potential for inherent bias, unfairness, or even worse finding their way into the algorithms that will seep into HR and hiring decisions more and more. After all, this AI and these algorithms aren't (yet) able to construct themselves. They are all being developed by people, and as such, are certainly subject, potentially, to these people's own human imperfections. Said differently, what mechanism exists to protect the users and the people that the AI impacts from the biases, unconscious or otherwise, from the creators.

    I thought about this while reading an excellent essay on the Savage Minds anthropology blog written by Sally Applin titled Artificial Intelligence: Making AI in Our Images

    An quick excerpt from the piece, (but you really should read the entire thing)

    Automation currently employs constructed and estimated logic via algorithms to offer choices to people in a computerized context. At the present, the choices on offer within these systems are constrained to the logic of the person or persons programming these algorithms and developing that AI logic. These programs are created both by people of a specific gender for the most part (males), in particular kinds of industries and research groups (computer and technology), in specific geographic locales (Silicon Valley and other tech centers), and contain within them particular “baked-in” biases and assumptions based on the limitations and viewpoints of those creating them. As such, out of the gate, these efforts do not represent society writ large nor the individuals within them in any global context. This is worrying. We are already seeing examples of these processes not taking into consideration children, women, minorities, and older workers in terms of even basic hiring talent to create AI. As such, how can these algorithms, this AI, at the most basic level, be representative for any type of population other than its own creators?

    A really challenging and provocative point of view on the dangers of AI being (seemingly) created by mostly male mostly Silicon Valley types, with mostly the same kinds of backgrounds. 

    At a minimum for folks working on and thinking of implementing AI solutions in the HR space that will impact incredibly important life-impacting decisions like who should get hired for a job, we owe it to those who are going to be effected by these AIs to ask a few basic questions.

    Like, is the team developing the AI representative of a wide range of perspectives, backgrounds, nationalities, races, and gender balanced?

    Or what internal QA mechanisms have been put into place to protect against the kinds of human biases that Applin describes from seeping into the AI's own 'thought' processes?

    And finally, does the AI take into account differences in cultures, societies, national or local identities that us humans seem to be able to grasp pretty easily, but an AI can have a difficult time comprehending?

    Again, I encourage anyone at any level interested in AI in HR to think about these questions and more as we continue to chase more and 'better' ways to make the organization's decisions and interactions with people more accurate, efficient, effective - and let's hope - more equitable.