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    Entries in Jobs (44)

    Friday
    Jan252019

    Cool Job Alert: The Weinermobile Needs Drivers

    Looking to make a career change?

    Or maybe you are a college student scheduled to graduate this spring and wondering what your next move will be?

    Do you like (in no particular order), driving, public relations, marketing, and hot dogs?

    Well if so you are in luck - the iconic Oscar Meyer Wienermobile is looking for a new batch of drivers. Here are the details as reported on Mental Floss:

    Applications are being accepted for the one-year position now through January 31. Hotdoggers tasked with commandeering the Wienermobile will be responsible for doing media interviews and appearing at grocery store, military, and charity events across the country. The position is primarily a PR job, and candidates with a BA or BS in public relations, journalism, communications, advertising, or marketing are preferred.

    Carl Mayer, the nephew of Oscar Mayer, introduced the first Wienermobile in 1936, and today there are six vehicles on the road making 1400 stops a year. After disappearing for a couple decades, the Wienermobile was revived in 1986 for its 50th anniversary. Oscar Mayer hires 12 new hotdoggers each year and usually receives more than 1000 applications.

    The job comes with benefits and a competitive salary in addition to the impressive title. The new hires must be ready to hit the road in June of this year. for a shot at becoming Oscar Mayer's next Wienermobile driver, email your resume by the end of the month.

    Steve here, I don't have much else to add to this, other than to say if I didn't have a ton of other commitments this year I would absolutely toss my name in the ring for a spot as a Weinermobile driver. It just looks like an awesome job - traveling all over the country, passing out free hot dogs, getting to ride in one of the most unique vehicles ever created - what's not to love? Even the name of the job, 'Hotdogger' is super cool.

    I am going to follow the story this year and try to get an interview for the HR Happy Hour Show with one of the new lucky drivers this summer - if any readers have an 'in' with the Kraft/Heinz/Oscar Meyer people, let me know.

    And now I want to have a hot dog.

    Have a great weekend!

    Monday
    Dec172018

    Three Observations from the LinkedIn 2018 Emerging Jobs Report

    Recently, our pals at LinkedIn released their 2018 Emerging Jobs Report, a look at the jobs and skills that have been most in demand from employers on the LinkedIn platform, both in 2018 and over the last few years. it is a really excellent look at activity on the LinkedIn platform, which I am pretty confident in stating is the world's largest professional networking site, and which remains for many organizations one of the most important sourcing and recruiting tools.

    I have been a little skeptical or perhaps cynical over the years at these kinds of reports, mainly because they always seemed to skew way towards the jobs and skills that Silicon Valley Tech companies were seeking, and was not terribly illustrative or indicative of the overall US labor market. Said differently, the kinds of jobs that LinkedIn usually reports are 'hot' are the kinds of jobs very few people actually have. Office and administrative support or retail salesperson (two of the most common job categories in the US), never make these lists. And while there remains a little of that kind of 'not the real world' feel to the Emerging Jobs Report, (you will see in a moment what I mean), there are also some pretty interesting and important insights in the report I wanted to highlight. So here goes..

    1. As I alluded to above, the top 'emerging job' is one almost no one has

    Number one on the LinkedIn list for emerging jobs in 2018 is called 'Blockchain Developer' with 33x growth in activity and interested in 2018. If you are a blockchain developer or are an HR or talent person who is recruiting blockchain developers, well, I probably have nothing else to offer you on this post. Suffice it to say, for 99% of us the next blockchain developer we run into will be the first. But let's keep looking through the report.

    2. Number three on the emerging jobs list is actually a job lots of people have, most of us have someone in our lives who has this job, and lots of the HR and talent pros reading this are probably recruiting for - Application Sales Executive

    According to LinkedIn, there has been a 8x increase in activity for these roles. This is pretty amazing to me, as there have been Application Sales Executives in just about every tech company for ages. For a mature kind of job type to see that much growth year over year is remarkable and also, hopefully a signal that the pace of innovation, development, and new technology hitting the market will continue in 2019. Sales is no doubt not for everyone, but this data suggests plenty of opportunity for those willing to put in the time and effort.

    3. The number one skill that LinkedIn claims employers are having trouble finding has nothing to do with Blockchain, or AI, or software development of any kind.

    LinkedIn says that 'Oral Communication' is the skill group with the highest shortage in nearly every major city in the country. Think skills like public speaking, effective communication, presentation skills and the like Maybe it's because we (the societal we) have spent a decade or more trying to convince every kid that he/she needs to learn how to code, that many of us, (especially anyone under 30), has essentially replaced phone calls with text messages, or that the classical liberal arts kind of education and background has over time been diminished in value. Whatever the reason, employers are having trouble finding candidates with quality skills in oral communication. That to me is more interesting than however many more people go chasing blockchain development skills in 2019.

    Go check the entire report over on the LinkedIn blog. It is a fascinating look at one (admittedly big) slice of the job market.

    Have a great week!

    Monday
    May212018

    The challenge of recruiting for a job we think is going away

    If there is one job in the American labor force that presents an incredibly interesting, complex, and important case study on supply and demand, price economics, the impact of automation on work, and the current and future labor force it is the job of commercial truck driver.

    A couple of important statistics to keep in mind before we wade into some of the details that make commercial trucking so darn interesting, (at least to labor market and automation geeks like me).

    According to the American Trucking Association there are about 3.5 million commercial truck drivers in the US. And 71% of all the freight tonnage in the country is moved by truck. Finally, according to the BLS, truck drivers earn an average of about $24 an hour, and have an average age of about 55 years old.

    There are a couple of other factors specific to commercial trucking that tend to make it a difficult job to perform and to recruit for - traditionally new entrants have had to fund their own, expensive training and certification, for new drivers, the hours and time away from home are significant, the job itself is stressful, hard, and tends to foster really unhealthy habits, (poor sleep, fast-food, little exercise), and finally, and perhaps most importantly, commercial truck driving has been increasingly seen as being a job that can and will soon be replaced and disrupted by automation. Estimates of the impact of automation on commercial truck driving vary, but one representative example from Goldman Sachs, estimates that as many as 300K trucking jobs will be lost annually, once self-driving trucks become more widely adopted.

    Factor all of this in, the hard lifestyle, the relatively low pay, the looming threat of automation making many of these jobs redundant - oh, I didn't even mention the federal regulations making most of these jobs not available to workers under 21 and the strong market for alternative jobs in construction and energy luring many of the trucking industry's target candidates - and you would probably bet that the US economy is not producing as many new truck drivers as it has in the past.

    And you would be right. But the problem of many US companies, (and consumers), is that while we wait for Elon Musk's fleet of autonomous semi-trucks to take over American highways, and in the age of increasing demand for shipments (driven by the strong economy and Amazon Prime), the industry is seeing an increasing shortage of commercial truck drivers.

    Here's a chart from the American Trucking Association illustrating the problem facing the trucking industry shown as the estimate of unfilled truck driver jobs:

    According to the ATA's estimates, there could be as many as 180,000 trucking jobs unfilled within 10 years. And that kind of a shortfall, should it indeed play out that way, will have a pretty significant ripple effect throughout large swaths of the economy.

    Wages and benefits for truckers, which have been increasing steadily, will have to continue to rise. The transportation companies will have to pass these costs to their customers - manufacturers and retailers and commodity producers - who will past them on to their customers, who will pass them on to you and I. And the development timeline for the kinds of autonomous trucks that might stand in for the human truck drivers will have to accelerate.

    But in the meantime, at least the next 5 or 10 years, if the current trends hold, the US economy and labor market is going to have to find a way to recruit and retain more truck drivers. And lately, it seems like the transportation and other companies have not really cracked the code on just how to do that.

    A tough job, with lots of stress, with relatively poor to average pay, that we keep writing breathless stories about how it will soon be made obsolete by technology, with an aging cohort of workers currently in place, might represent the toughest recruiting challenge in recent memory.

    Sure, everyone likes to think 'tech' recruiting is hard, and it probably is. But I would wager a good commercial trucking recruiter would be worth their weight in whatever it is their company needs to get from one side of the country to the other.

    Anyone out there doing this kind of recruiting? Would love to hear how it is going on the front lines.

    Have a great week!

    Wednesday
    Apr182018

    Job Titles of the Future: Technology Ambassador

    Traditionally the institutions that have wielded power and influence and have amassed significant wealth and made an impact on people's lives were governments, (and to some extent religions). When a country's government enacts a policy or issues some new set of rules and regulations, this tends to have an outsize impact and effect on the people of that country, and if the country is big and influential enough, can even impact people all over the world. Just one recent example - the US/China trade and tariff disputes have sent global equity markets on a kind of wild, roller coaster ride lately - effecting markets and wealth of people all over the world.

    To a less direct, but by no means insignificant degree, changes in direction or policy from important religious organizations can effect people all over the world. The major world religions are not confined within one country or even two or three - they have followers all across the globe. If tomorrow the Pope issued a decree that, say, women are not allowed to become priests, that news would stir congregations in two hundred countries.

    But increasingly there is another set of globe spanning institutions that have perhaps even more worldwide influence and importance in people's lives and in commerce than say do most individual countries or single religions - the world's largest technology companies. Think Facebook with its 2 billion users. Google with its incredible reach and dominance in web search and mobile phone operating systems. Amazon with its seemingly inexorable march to dominate e-commerce and cloud computing. Apple, with more cash on hand than many small countries. And we haven't even mentioned the Chinese tech giants like Alibaba and Tencent. In China, Tencent's WeChat impacts everything - news, communication, shopping, banking, and more.

    The world's largest tech companies are in some ways like countries or religions themselves. Their users are like citizens, their terms of service, methods of interaction, rules of engagement, codes of conduct, and unique cultures and sub-cultures offer similarities to the framework of large, religous organizations. Their influence on global economics and societies cannot be underestimated. Just like global trade disputes have roiled financial markets in recent days, so has the Facebook data security drama and fallout. At this stage, who would argue that Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg isn't one of the world's most important people?

    So all that leads back to the title of the piece, the latest installment of the often imitated, but never surpassed 'Job Titles of the Future' series. The job title is Technology Ambassador and the details of this job come to us from the country of Denmark, who, as far as I can tell, are the first and only nation to create and name an official 'Technology Ambassador' for the country. 

    What does a Technology Ambassador do? Some details from a piece on Wired UK:

    Ambassadors are traditionally staid public officials, holed up in grand embassies in the farthest-flung corners of the world. Their job? Schmoozing the powerful, smoothing over tricky arguments and promoting their country. "Diplomacy has always been about putting people in outposts where there have been new activities and events - be it in conflict areas, or where innovation, creativity and new technology is influencing our ways of life," explains Casper Klynge, who has just taken up the role as the first ever ambassador to Silicon Valley.

    The job came about when Denmark's Foreign Office decided to create the post of what was then called a "Google ambassador", who would interact with the tech giants. The role was officially created in February; Klynge was appointed a few months later. In late August, he moved to California and into his Palo Alto embassy, where he plans to build a team of more than a dozen staff, supported by a back-office secretary and a number of tech attachés around the world - the first of which will be based in Klynge's old stomping ground, Asia.

    The most important role he has as ambassador shows just how much the world has changed in recent years: he's there to meet Silicon Valley's biggest companies in exactly the same way he has previously met with prime ministers and presidents. "We need to build those relationships because of the key influence these companies have over our daily lives," he says, "and, at the end of the day, over foreign policy and international affairs."

    This appointment of a Technology Ambassador show Denmark's really progressive, prescient, and probably soon to be copied approach to their nation's relationships with 'Big Tech' by other countries in the near future.

    These companies seem to only be growing in influence - signing on more and more of the world's population, developing ever more and more convenient capabilities and features to keep users engaged, and expanding into more areas of daily life. Think about it this way - what institution or entity is more influential on a macro basis, Facebook or a country like Denmark?

    These are certainly interesting times, tech companies have more users than most countries have citizens or religions have adherents. And unlike most counties and religions, their size and influence seems to still be trending higher. Denmark's decision to think about and treat Big Tech like nations have traditionally considered other nations is also incredibly interesting too. And a one of the most interesting 'Job Titles of the Future' we have came across yet.

    Have a great day!

     

     

     

    Thursday
    Nov302017

    It doesn't matter if the robots aren't coming for your job, they are coming for your neighbor's job

    After reading a flurry of pieces over the last few days about the progress being made in self-driving vehicle technology, I was reminded that one job category that seems likely to be highly pressured by this type of automation is commercial vehicle driving. You don't have to be a genius to realize that once Tesla (and others), get enough of their new commercial trucks into service, that Generation 2.0 of these trucks will attempt to not just eliminate diesel fuel and noxious emissions from their products - they will try to eliminate the driver too.

    And you probably caught something about Amazon's newest experiments with retail stores that have no cashiers. Or maybe you have heard about fast food giants like McDonald's or Panera pushing more self-service kiosks into their locations, to reduce the need for human cashiers and order-takers. Or the hotels that are using mobile robots to deliver room service meals to their guests. And the list goes on and on.

    And maybe after reading all these stories you say to yourself: "Self, these technology advancements are amazing. But good thing I am a (insert the white collar 'knowledge' job you have here) and not a truck driver or a cashier.' 

    And whether or not the robots are coming sooner or later for whatever 'knowledge' job you have today is probably debatable, let's pretend for the moment in the words of Big Brother, (yes, I am fan), - 'Knowledge worker X, you are safe'. Phew. That is a relief.

    But here is the thing, the kinds of jobs that are most vulnerable, most likely to be adversely impacted by automation are ones that are held by millions of people. Have a look at the chart below, from BLS data from May 2016.

     

    Look closely at that list of the Top 10 'most-held' job categories in the US and think about which of them, (Clue: It is almost all of them), are going to be increasingly pressured by technology, automation, and 'self-service'.

    There are about 150M people in the US labor force give or take. The Top 10 job categories in the above chart represent about 21 or 22 million workers - roughly 15% of all US workers. That is a huge number, especially considering that half a percent or a full percent moves in the unemployment rates are such big news.

    The potential and the consequences of labor automation are concerns for everyone - whether or not your job is 'safe'.

    And one last bit of food for thought. This issue, this challenge of automation and technology threatening jobs is also going to be a local one. Check out this chart below that shows the largest private employer for each state in the US. See any cause for concern?

    When Walmart decides to move more aggressively into online, self-service, robot customer service pods, and Amazon-like efficiency in their distribution centers there will be an impact too.

    But that's ok. You don't work at Walmart.

    But I bet you know someone who does.