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Networking Particularities of Men and Women

In today’s world of the corporate ladder, it is obvious to anyone that networking is the key that ultimately leads to career advancements. For example, through your own networking you could be selected for projects and assignments that will lead in future to a promotion. However, women don’t really reap the benefits of this ‘system’ given the simple fact that they are less likely to get hired or promoted in manager roles (i.e. 79 women promoted to 100 men promoted according to a 2018 study done by McKinsey & Co. and LeanIn.org called Women in the Workplace).

When women seek a professional mentor, the study has revealed, that they usually look for someone they want to be friends with rather than someone they can learn from. Other studies have shown women aren’t getting the tough feedback they require in order to move ahead. The best mentors will always push, dare, and confront their mentees, and challenge them to take on assignments that will further their career.

However, men look to form professional partnerships. Men have no issue doing business with anyone, even though they don’t necessarily like that particular someone, as long as that individual can help them achieve their goals. Men understand that a working relationship can be annulled when it’s no longer beneficial. Women have the tendency to be suspicious when utilising their social ties whilst also overemphasising the moral aspects of networking.

We know that social networks are critical to professional advancement. We also know that men are more likely to rise to leadership positions.

Why the difference?

Because women seek positions on an executive level they often face numerous cultural and political obstacles than men normally do, they benefit from an inner circle of close female contacts that can share private information about things like an organisation’s attitudes toward female leaders, which helps strengthen women’s job search, interviewing, and negotiation strategies.  While men had inner circles in their networks too – contacts that they communicated with most – we found that the gender composition of males’ inner circles was not related to job placement.

The Power of Direct Placement

Winning a placement within executive leadership positions straight out of masters degrees benefit both men and women alike. Early-career women, especially, can use this route to sidestep longstanding labour-market challenges, including stereotyping and discrimination, which result in lower pay, lesser advancement opportunities, and a higher rate of dropping out of the labour market altogether.

But little is known about the links between graduate school and placement into these positions.  We wanted to understand whether one’s network enables MBAs to find the right opportunities, setting the stage for successful careers.

To connect features of social networks at school to job placement success, we analysed 4.5 million anonymised email correspondences among a subset of all 728 MBA graduates (74.5% men, 25.5% women) in the classes of 2006 and 2007 at a top U.S. business school. We measured job placement success by the level of authority and pay each graduate achieved after school.

Network Smarter, Not Harder

Studies suggest that women can benefit from taking a strategic approach to networking.

First, seek quality over quantity in your overall network. Keep in mind in this context, is less a function of how many people you know but who those people are.  Identifying and connecting with people who are connected to multiple networks is a key strategy.

Related to that point is the idea of embracing randomness. The more you associate with similar-minded or experienced people, the less likely you will be to diversify your network and inner circle. Because we tend to target actively when we network, we are prone to restrict targeting to people most like ourselves.

How do you break the pattern? Try random selection. We found that the random sorting of business-school students into sections, for example, raised the odds that female students will befriend those with experience and goals beyond their own, again expanding their knowledge and contacts in career-enhancing ways. Randomness democratizes the networking process, ultimately enhancing it.

Finally, beware a closed inner circle. When your inner circle is too interconnected—the people within it are similar and have similar contacts—it can feel socially secure but fail to generate key insights and opportunities. Workplace or industry affinity groups, for example, become closed structures in many cases. There’s nothing wrong with being part of such a group, but try to complement it with others representing more diverse experience and connections.

Employers, too, can aim to create more diverse small groups, to promote the development of women. Rather than creating just an affinity group of female coders, for example, populate a separate group with members from a cross-section of the organization that increase the chances of making unexpected connections, to better inform and support individuals.

Various studies also suggest that women face a greater challenge in networking to find professional opportunities – they, more than men, need to maintain both wide networks and informative inner circles in order to land the best positions. The good news is that by taking a smart approach, women can continue to find meaningful advancement possibilities while helping their peers and more junior contacts do the same.

Recent studies suggest women require a female-only inner circle in order to thrive and a larger well-connected networking system in regards to professional advancement. Men, on the other hand, do not do so well when engaging in a same-sex inner circle at all. All in all, it can be concluded that, for women, a networking system is simply not enough. It is clear that women have to network smarter and quite differently than men. It may sound exhausting, but it’s definitely worth it.

There is a real value in providing companies with the tools to carry out regular organisational assessments and this is where Great People Inside comes to your aid. Our online platform offers the best solutions and tools for your company to thrive in every type of industry and any possible situation your organisation may find itself. In terms of lowering your employee turnover rates, we recommend our GR8 Full Spectrum assessment for hiring and 360° Survey for retention. Finding the right talent, the best fit for the job and your organisation can be a very challenging task. It requires deep knowledge of your own organisation’s culture and a keen understanding of the candidate’s personality, strengths, interests, work style and other characteristics. Our technology and solutions will do the work for you, helping you find employees who can flourish and reach the highest performance required to constantly bring your company forward.

Request a free demo:

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Sources:

https://www.wired.com/story/women-leadership-job-networking/

https://www.fastcompany.com/90277129/the-hidden-networking-gap-between-men-and-women

https://hbr.org/2019/02/research-men-and-women-need-different-kinds-of-networks-to-succeed

Top Challenges CEOs Face Nowadays

In a series of interviews conducted with CEOs of large companies in the United Kingdom, it has been discovered that close to 50% of all chief executives have stated that the role was “not what I expected beforehand.” The goal of this series of interviews was to determine what are the current challenges and best practices that CEOs should take into consideration when they accept this role in businesses nowadays. Furthermore, what happens when an organisation loses a visionary CEO? Most likely, innovation disappears and the company drifts for years out of sheer momentum and brand awareness. Organisations that go through these changes inevitably suffer the consequences and they rarely reclaim their former glory.

The aforementioned interviews have also revealed that most newly appointed CEOs find the transition period particularly challenging, even those professionals who have years of experience in this role. They have also mentioned certain aspects that new CEOs should always take into account: a correct flow of information that goes within and outside the organisation, managing time and energy accordingly and institute a clear framework in managing relationships with the board and external shareholders.

Managing Time & Energy

Stuart Fletcher, former CEO of Bupa had this to say: “Being time-constrained is a given, but the key is managing your energy. I’m very conscious of where I divert and direct my energy, where I get my energy and what saps it.” As mentioned above, older and more experienced CEOs understand the importance of time and energy management.

For example, chief executives spend a lot of time in all sorts of meeting with the board. Instead of treating board members as a drain of energy, many CEOs have stated that realising board colleagues can be a sort of insight and advice and can turn themselves into a proper source of energy. One of the CEOs interviewed has said: “It took a real mindset shift on my part but turning engagements with the board from an energy-draining exercise into a source of support and advice contributed greatly to my personal success and to the feeling that I had advocates around me.” Another important factor that must be looked into when managing time and energy is building a strong senior team as soon as possible, as Paul Foster, CEO of Sellafield has stated: “I spent too long working across multiple roles [CEO and previous role], when I should have been bringing in new hires.”

Managing Internal-External Relationships

CEOs recognise the importance of building trust with all stakeholders, with a priority focus on the board, investors and the media. Among those we interviewed, most spend on average about 50% of their time managing internal and external relationships.

Almost half of that 50% is taken up with board engagement. Nearly all former CEOs who did not focus on cultivating their professional relationships with board members yearned in hindsight that they had. Left all alone, board members can be influenced by investors or media outlets that focus on short-term goals often at the expense of strategies to build longer-term value.  This risk will be especially high with board members who do not really understand or adhere to a company’s business strategy or opportunities for value creation.

CEOs have reported that building relationships with investors and other external factors — customers, media, industry contacts and regulators — is often burdensome and time-consuming than anticipated. Rob Peabody, CEO of Husky Energy Peabody has characterised the process of managing externally as being able to “write your own scorecard”— with numerous opportunities to build support for long-term goals and build patience among investors. CEOs like Mr. Peabody are highly aware that good relationships with external shareholders are “two-way streets.” CEOs who regularly connect with investors will use their feedback to improve communication in presentations and materials regarding the company and in various media interviews.

The Information Flow

The impact of asymmetric information is most obvious and most damaging in the relationship between chief executives and external shareholders. Stock price is often driven in part by the messages a CEO communicates through engagement with investors, analysts, and the media. Learning to control this information flow is considered a quintessential factor in career longevity.

Inexperienced CEOs often revert to old, previously successful behaviours in times of stress, but eventually realize that they are no longer appropriate or effective in their new role. Survey respondents highlighted the need for CEOs to quickly adapt, clearly outline a personal strategy, and regularly evaluate themselves against it. “Am I getting the information I need from the business units?” and “Am I spending enough time on individual relationships with board members?” is important and can help identify challenges early or avoid them altogether. They also note that while the job can be isolating there is often help available. New CEOs who find that they are struggling to adjust should consider seeking counsel from a more experienced CEO, senior consultant, or coach to help guide their efforts and increase chances of success.

CEOs have a lot to manage at any given point in time given the fact that they are tasked with increasing business revenue whilst also managing employees and customers, there are a lot of variables nowadays. As a CEO you must be aware that there are many challenges throughout the day; some that can be planned in hindsight but others not so much.

There is a real value in providing companies with the tools to carry out regular organisational assessments and this is where Great People Inside comes to your aid. Our online platform offers the best solutions and tools for your company to thrive in every type of industry and any possible situation your organisation may find itself. In terms of lowering your employee turnover rates, we recommend our GR8 Full Spectrum assessment for hiring and 360° Survey for retention. Finding the right talent, the best fit for the job and your organisation can be a very challenging task. It requires deep knowledge of your own organisation’s culture and a keen understanding of the candidate’s personality, strengths, interests, work style and other characteristics. Our technology and solutions will do the work for you, helping you find employees who can flourish and reach the highest performance required to constantly bring your company forward.

Request a free demo:

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Sources:

https://www.inc.com/young-entrepreneur-council/the-top-5-challenges-of-ceos-and-how-to-solve-them.html

https://boardmember.com/challenges-replacing-visionary-ceo/

https://hbr.org/2019/01/the-3-challenges-every-new-ceo-faces

Anatomy of a Future HR Leader

Extract from an article published in HR Magazine:

“What should the HR leader of tomorrow look like? A seemingly simple question… The answer though is a much more complex – or perhaps alarmingly short and unilluminating – ‘we just don’t know’. And it’s safe to say that tomorrow’s world will be even more difficult to forecast moment to moment. Which means predicting the exact technical skills HR professionals will need – in a future characterised by continual reskilling and ‘agile learning’ for all parts of the workforce – will become an increasingly fraught endeavour.

The one thing we do know, however, is that to survive and thrive in the future world of work – particularly when it comes to leadership positions – professionals will need to be able to stay resilient, positive, open-minded and strategically-savvy in the face of sudden dramatic changes of direction. This was the conclusion a panel of top current and former HRDs (representing the public, private and third sectors) came to when they met towards the end of last year to discuss the topic with HR magazine; and to help compile an assessment, in partnership with psychometrics firm Great People Inside (GPI), to see whether those on track to be HR leaders have what it takes.

Our panel chose nine dimensions (see box below), selecting for each where HR business partners (HRBPs) should sit along a sliding scale of one to 10 to have HR leadership potential. Stress and resilience, engagement, curiosity and self-awareness, and a VUCA approach were qualities our panel decided the HR leader of the future should possess in particularly strong amounts  (i.e. the more resilient, engaged, curious and VUCA-ready the better).”

To read the full article, please access this link.

 

Work-Life Balance for Parents: Is it Achievable?

Work-life balance has become an obsession for everyone nowadays. There are numerous articles, research papers and self-help books that are offering people advice on how to begin or develop a better balance between their personal and work lives. Unfortunately, the advice given in these reading materials are generally focused on the idea of making changes on individual levels, team expectations in relation to your job attributes or even organisational contexts that affect you only.

In a research paper published recently by Human Relations, they have discovered that our very own upbringing can have a powerful influence on our career and life decisions. Subconsciously, we learn and mirror our parents’ behaviour in terms of work-life balance. The research conducted by Human Relations had 148 in-depth interviews with around 80 parents working in London for law and accounting companies. An equal number of men and women were interviewed with ages ranging from 30 to 50 years old and with positions in middle or upper management roles. In the case of male participants in the study, the majority of them had a stay-at-home wife, but in the case of female participants, this wasn’t the case at all. It is also important to know that most of the participants were coming from middle-class families who were typically formed from a stay-at-home mother and a working father.

The principles and ideas they share are in a direct correlation with the deeply ingrained routines and ideas coming straight from their parents.

Replicating the Parental Model

The majority of male participants have been reported to have a work-life balance similar to the family they grew up in. Like their fathers before them, these men are the sole breadwinners in their household. This has made them internalise the work ethic and has ended with them working very long hours. As mentioned above this effect was stronger for men, due to the fact that both men and women in the study have designated the same-sex parent as their role-model.

Given the fact that these people have seen their parents working hard throughout their childhood and adolescence, their professional careers were inclined to follow in the same footsteps. Although they were able to rationalise and acknowledge the fact that their compulsive work ethic had negative effects on their personal lives it was very difficult for them to change their behaviour both on and off work. Even remotely trying to act divergently, this ‘pre-disposition’ continued to be seen in their actions.

Breaking Off the Parental Model

Worryingly enough, there are fewer cases in which participants have said that they have rejected their parents’ work-life balance. In most cases, this was an intentional act of breaking the ‘status-quo’, but there were a few cases in which participants wanted to distance themselves from their parents’ model even though they wanted to follow up in their footsteps.

Like every human being on this planet, some participants have started to question the influence their parents have had on them, after pondering on failures, regrets or traumatic experiences they might have picked up along their adult life (i.e. a close friend or relative getting sick). After such an experience, participants had a tendency to overhaul their entire schedule and refuse to no longer work weekends or even leaving their employer and finding themselves an environment with a more manageable schedule.

In the case of women, there were two groups that were identified as serious in their significance: women who wanted to be more close to their families because they had workaholic mothers and women who wanted to be more actively involved in the workforce due to their regret-filled stay-at-home mothers.

Parents who actually manage to achieve a rewarding work-life balance do not designate all their time and effort into making their children happy. Interestingly enough, these parents strive on raising children with a strong sense of responsibility who will eventually grow into respectable and responsible adults. These are the parents who ask their kids to help around the house by giving them chores. They establish a clear set of consequences if the kids do not follow through with their tasks. By enabling their children to value hard work and also, this being of quintessential importance, experience disappointment, their personal development will be more easily done.

Neglecting Themselves

Adults often forget about taking care of themselves. This statement is even truer when you’re a parent. It may very well be a cliché, but more often than not clichés are true so it is pretty clear that if you don’t take care of yourself, you won’t be able to help the closest people to you. Sometimes it may seem near impossible to have some well-deserved ‘me time’, especially if your schedule throughout the day has left you overtired or stretched to the very last drop of energy.

There are a few successful parents in the study that have discovered that taking care of themselves offers them the best chance at being efficient and productive over long periods of time. Relaxation and sleep may be essential, but exercise plays a decisive role nowadays. Physical activity not only improves overall health levels, but it is the key towards finding the right balance between work and family time.

Post-Work Guilt

Somewhat surprising, many parents wouldn’t want to be working full-time, but unfortunately, the current economic and social climate doesn’t offer the possibility of one to stay home or even work part-time. 44% of working mothers have reported they would be thrilled about the idea of working part-time. As mentioned above, this would not be financially feasible. Parents who succeed in today’s working environment have ridden themselves of guilt over the fact that they are working full-time. They feel there is no point in wasting time and energy over-thinking this problem. Coming up with the best plan for their scenario seems like the next best thing (i.e. working flexible hours, full-time job with kids somehow has to work).

Great People Inside provides easy-to-use tools and processes to attract, assess, match, select, onboard, manage, develop, benchmark and maintain workforces anywhere in the world.

Finding the right talent, the best fit for the job and your organisation can be a very challenging task. It requires deep knowledge of your own organisation’s culture and a keen understanding of the candidate’s personality, strengths, interests, work style and other characteristics. Our technology and solutions will do the work for you, helping you find employees who can flourish and reach the highest performance required to constantly bring your company forward.

Request a free demo:

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Sources:

https://www.inc.com/amy-morin/the-5-things-successful-parents-give-up-to-reach-a-work-life-balance.html

https://www.forbes.com/sites/amymorin/2014/01/20/the-five-things-successful-working-parents-give-up-to-reach-a-work-life-balance/#59e263a157ea

https://hbr.org/2017/10/your-feelings-about-work-life-balance-are-shaped-by-what-you-saw-your-parents-do

Great People Inside Conference: HR (R)Evolution – 11,12 October Brasov, Romania

Registration for the Great People Inside Conference: “The New World of Work” – the only international event held in Romania for 14 consecutive years –  has started!

We are currently at the beginning of the 4th industrial revolution.
Professional transformations are set in motion by globalisation and technological revolutions, especially a digital revolution – going from mechanical technology towards digital technology. The speed at which these changes are occurring is not going to slow down – in the next 20 years we will witness a continuous revolution of the workplace and workforce, marked by volatility, uncertainty and complexity.

The Great People Inside Conference: HR (R)Evolution, which will take place on 11&12 Octomber 2017 at Kronwell Hotel, Brasov, Romania,  will launch into interesting and challenging discussions regarding the pace of technological changes being made, the effects it has on jobs and the implications it has on HR, organisations, and employees.

A unique concept bringing together business representatives, entrepreneurs, managers, specialists and researchers in the field of human resources from all industries; psychologists, representatives of central and local authorities, large consulting companies, as well as internationally renowned experts from the United States of America, Canada, Czech Republic, Italy, Spain and Germany.

The 2-day programme combines thematic presentations, bold conversations and group discussions in an interesting manner, with the purpose of discovering techniques and strategies that will determine success in the near future, eliminating the uncertainty of this transitional moment and preparing for the rapid changes that occur in the workforce.

An event dedicated to sharing ideas, inspiration and information regarding the future of work.

For more information, please visit the conference’s dedicated website.

 

Salary Talk – dangerous but necessary?

 

Talking about salaries with your coworkers is always a difficult and sensitive issue at the workplace and can potentially lead to problems with your employer. Although it’s not illegal to discuss wages around the office, it is something that is frowned upon. Of course, there will be situations when salary will have to be discussed and when that happens, it must be handled with great care so it doesn’t come back to haunt you.

How to Talk about Salary

If you really wish to discuss this topic with your coworkers, approach this conversation with caution. At first, it would be wise if you talked with your ‘work buddies’. Every person involved should avoid mentioning the discussion to anyone else. A safe way to bring up this subject is to discuss about people who have left the company in the past, or have moved to another department. It might be a bad idea altogether because of the discussions that could spiral afterwards.

Why you shouldn’t talk about wages

There is always the possibility to find out that your coworkers are earning more than you and from then on, jealousy and resentfulness are just around the corner. If the situation is in reverse, than your coworkers may start resenting you and you may as well be phased out from common break times or from social events after work. Besides the resentment, morale and teamwork in the workplace may suffer terribly. This could lead to potential problems with your manager, especially if he or she specifically asked you not to initiate such conversations. Although you cannot get fired over this, your job may become troublesome to perform. It’s always good to focus on what you can do by yourself to boost your salary; getting involved in more projects where you feel your contribution may be decisive. Initiative comes a long way.

When you should discuss salaries

Apart from the obvious risks mentioned above, there are a few scenarios which are worth exploring when talking about wages. If you discover you are being underpaid in comparison to your colleagues, it’s a good thing you find out early on. This will offer you the possibility to analyse the range of salaries amongst the office and you could negotiate a better pay further down the line with your manager. There is a slight chance that all your coworkers, including yourself, are being underpaid. Thankfully, there are websites (Payscale.com) where people can compare the average salaries for similar positions in various companies. If everyone’s pay is under the market average, you may work together to find a solution in which all of you can get a fair wage. You should always take into account the fact that every person’s circumstances are different, so your approach should be well thought out.

What managers can do

Discussing pay with your employees can prove to be difficult. Conversations with your staff can bring up various emotions, most of them negative such as: jealousy, greed and sometimes even hate. Employees are likely unaware that pay is different due to factors like education, training, negotiating skills and, of course, experience. In order to avoid back talks around the office, that may as well affect company morale, here are a few strategies managers could deploy so that employees feel their work is treated with respect:

  • Decent salaries – Have a look at the company’s finances and, if possible, have the salaries at a competitive level in the marketplace.
  • Encourage official workplace discussions – People need to feel safe and comfortable if they are to approach the HR department with enquiries or considerations regarding pay or workplace conditions.
  • Future potential – It’s important for managers to have constant conversations with their employees, everything ranging from salary range to professional development. Advise and guide them towards adding more skills, trainings and certifications to their existing palette. Additions that would lead to a promotion and automatically a pay raise.
  • Internal surveys – It is always good to get a read on the workplace atmosphere. You can discover the level of morale, engagement and how to solve these issues as well. It also gives a chance for employees to have their voice heard on various themes regarding the company.

Companies should know by now that their employees represent the backbone of their organisation. Trust and appraisal can keep problems at bay even before they get the chance to escalate. With the help of the HR department, issues such as this should resolve themselves quite easily.

Great People Inside can help you find the right talent, the best fit for the job and your organisation. It requires deep knowledge of your own organisation’s culture and keen understanding of the candidate’s personality, strengths, interests, work style and other characteristics. The GR8 360° tool is excellent at developing managerial competencies, skills and behaviours. When using this assessment, you will find over 50 dimensions that come along with suggestions for future improvement and development. Our technology and solutions will do the work for you, helping you find employees who can flourish and reach the highest performance required to constantly bring your company forward.

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Sources:

http://work.chron.com/can-tell-coworkers-salary-7204.html

https://www.monster.com/career-advice/article/dangers-discussing-pay-coworkers

 

Reducing Employee Turnover

In the majority of cases, a high employee turnover is not regarded as ideal for a company’s reputation, performance and goals. The costs themselves are high due to the fact that people are leaving, thus leading to numerous hirings and training programs for the constant flow of new employees. If your company has experienced high turnover in recent times, it might be time to think about effective retention strategies.

A high employee turnover is bad for any organisation’s bottom line. It has been estimated that the cost of replacing an employee is nearly double their salary for a year. Morale can also go down if too many people come and go through the office doors.

There are a number of ways in which you can reduce employee turnover and they are not as difficult as you might think. When employees feel their work environment offers them the necessary support for them to achieve their goals that is when they thrive the most.

There are many ways in which you can make your employees feel that their work is appreciated enough so they don’t leave or you are not forced to fire them. Let’s go through these ideas step-by-step:

  1. Flexibility – Work flexibility is all about the possibility of working either from home, a café or even while on vacation, as long as employees have a good internet connection (and that is not hard to find nowadays). People are more motivated to produce great results when they have the opportunity to work in the environment they’re most productive. This idea works best on the new generation i.e. millennials.
  2. Honest job expectations – Many companies suffer from high employee turnover due to the fact that employees are assigned something different from what they have seen in the initial job description. When employees are given responsibilities that do not suit their interests and strengths, their drive to perform goes to ground.
  3. Promote a healthy work-life balance – The work-life balance has become extremely important to employees, but many managers fail to realise that. The managers should take care of their team in order for them to avoid employee burnout. Regular check-ups help, because if you observe something is not right with one of your staff you can give them a day off to decompress. It is key you do not bombard your employees with one too many projects at once.
  4. The possibility of professional growth – It is as clear as day that people are more interested in jobs where professional development is one of the advantages. In order to boost your company’s performance, (internal) growth has to be one of the core principles. Whether we are talking about a promotion or a simple salary raise, this will motivate your employees to achieve the organisation’s goals/objectives. Provide the opportunity for career and personal growth through training and education, challenging assignments and more responsibility. Welfare is important to people, undermining their value and pay would be a fatal mistake. Managers and CEOs should work hand in hand with the HR department in order to devise to most appropriate pay plan possible for their employees.
  5. Finding the best candidate from the beginning – It may seem like a pretty obvious idea, but many companies fail to realise the importance of the recruiting process. Besides the necessary skills any employee should have, try and find out if that person identifies with the company culture and gets along with the co-workers and managers.

This is where Great People Inside comes to your aid. Our online platform offers the best solutions and tools for your company to thrive in every type of industry and any possible situation your organisation may find itself. In terms of lowering your employee turnover rates we recommend our GR8 Full Spectrum assessment for hiring and 360° Survey for retention. Finding the right talent, the best fit for the job and your organisation, can be a very challenging task. It requires deep knowledge of your own organisation’s culture and keen understanding of the candidate’s personality, strengths, interests, work style and other characteristics. Our technology and solutions will do the work for you, helping you find employees who can flourish and reach the highest performance required to constantly bring your company forward.

 

Request a free demo:

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Sources:

Theculture.com

Guides.wsj.com

Thebalance.com

Why is freelancing so popular these days?

 

Freelancing is becoming a more and more common practice in this day and age because of the simple fact people get to ditch the routinely 9 to 5 schedule. In a study conducted by the HR service Paychex, the freelancer market has shown rapid growth. This surge in the freelancing market couldn’t have been foreseen back in 80s or 90s. To put things into perspective, between 2000 and 2014 the freelancer workforce has grown by 500% according to the same report from Paychex. This type of work environment has become possible due to the rise of startups, millennials and their pursuit for a more flexible work schedule. The economic recession and the continuous development of technology have also been key for this shift to occur.

At the moment, there are around 53 million freelancers working in the United States. Out of them all, 14.3 million are people who have full-time jobs, but also perform freelancer tasks when time allows it – they are also known as “moonlighters”. Another 9.3 million people do freelancing in combination with part-time jobs. The remaining people are working as full-time freelancers going from project to project. By 2020, it is estimated that over 40% of the workforce available in America will be pursuing independent work.

Given these numbers and the growing desire for more control over their own schedules, there now are co-working spaces specifically designed for freelancers. It is a well-known fact that working from home can become uncomfortable and maybe just a little bit depressing. In the U.S. this issue is beginning to be tackled, especially in large cities. For example, WeWork has become one of the most popular providers of common workspace for freelancers and has also started expanding outside the United States. They have concentrated on creating the best working atmosphere for everyone around, competing with the best startups. They provide independent workers with things such as fresh fruit, arcade games and even beer on tap. Why wouldn’t anyone want to be a freelancer these days?

Although some people may consider freelancing as a way of avoiding the real working world, businesses actually thrive on finding specific talent for particular projects and needs and with the advantage of a smaller fee. Instead of going through the hassle of interviewing and recruiting someone new (and all that comes with it), companies can now find consultants for each and every project they have. And more often than not, that person has more time to deal with arising issues when that happens.

It is important for people to understand that the freelancing world isn’t about “temporary” work. These people are highly experienced, professional and very engaged with the tasks they have to perform. All they want is more flexibility and most of time they get what they want.

There are also platforms that connect freelance workers with multinational organisations or even small local businesses. A primary example of this type of business is Upwork, a company which manages to connect 3.6 million organisations with over 9 million freelancers from all around the world (180 countries to be more precise). This platform allows large corporations to hire people when the need for a full-time employer isn’t justified and the need for cost control is very important. Small businesses profit from this service as well, especially when they require help with their finances, marketing strategy or even a product launch.

The industry of freelancing is highly evolved, given the fact that there are websites where you can hire people to do your daily menial tasks such as: house repairs, cleaning and running errands of any kind. TaskRabbit is known to offer people this type of service. Amazon is also in this area of business helping people with moving, cleaning, shopping and repairs.

But as with anything in this world, there must also be a downside. Although there are numerous platforms for people to find a job or get help in various activities, due to the increased number of such platforms and the obvious competition that ensues, many of the jobs available do not reach the living wage, which can be difficult for many people.

Finding the right talent, the best fit for the job and your organisation, can be a very challenging task. It requires deep knowledge of your own organisation’s culture and keen understanding of the candidate’s personality, strengths, interests, work style and other characteristics. Our technology and solutions will do the work for you, helping you find employees who can flourish and reach the highest performance required to constantly bring your company forward.

Request a free demo:

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Sources:

Entrepreneur.com

Fastcompany.com

huffingtonpost.com

 

The Workplace of 2020 : A Different Experience Altogether

In the course of the next  few years, the workforce will be comprised of no less than five generations, starting from Traditionalists and Baby Boomers and ending with the all new “Generation 2020” – these being represented by people born after 1997. Given this situation, employers around the world will face numerous challenges in order to recruit, motivate and develop all of these different types of employees. It is believed that by 2020, the office will become mobile in order to accommodate employees worldwide. The best talents will claim imaginative, ingenious new contracts. Organisations unwilling or unable to provide such a shift in their business will suffer greatly in their mission of recruiting the best candidates.

HR departments face an uphill battle in preparing for 2020 and beyond. Large corporations are required to organise themselves globally in order to deal appropriately with employees, consumers, supply chain partners and shareholders who are dispersed worldwide. CSR(Corporate Social Responsibility) is on top of their list, followed closely by learning in terms of wikis, social media and blogs in order to extend their connectivity. Companies must adopt a series of changes ranging from operating processes to employee benefits – and everything must be done with complete transparency.

HR professionals are people too; hence they must continue to develop their skills and social awareness. They should know what is going on in their local communities, and understand its nuances, be aware of global issues and be open-minded in order to use new procedures such as crowd sourcing. By 2020, HR professionals should be proficient in everything digital and here is a list of a few things worth mentioning: video uploads, social networking, blogs, instant messaging, tagging etc.

The example given above isn’t the only change employers will have to face. By 2020, there will be 10 forces that will shape how employers think and act:

 

  1. Shifting workforce demographics” –In comparison to the 2010 workforce data, the predictions for 2020 show that US employees will comprise of even more people older than 55, more women and more Latinos. In Europe and Asia for example, due to a drop in fertility rates, the workforce will consist of even more aging individuals.
  2. The knowledge economy” –As mentioned in a previous article, the skill gap has started to represent a problem and will continue to be one in the foreseeable future. Work is becoming more technically demanding, and it will require skills such as: listening, relationship building, judgement, communicating with colleagues and problem solving.
  3. Globalisation” –For various reasons, a great number of companies included in the Financial Times Global 500, have their headquarters located in the following countries: Brazil, Russia, India or China. In just a few short years, the BRIC countries are said to become economic powerhouses. The workforce is becoming ‘virtual’, with less people on-site and with integrated headquarters operations.
  4. The digital workplace” – The digital space is growing at an increasingly high rate. Companies now require people who can cope with the sheer amount of information, whilst keeping it secure and private. Organisations are also looking for candidates who can generate new and exciting digital content.
  5. The omnipresence of mobile technology” –At a global scale, the number of mobile phones outnumber that of people. Consequently, there are countries where phones trump people.There are over 7,200 education apps already for the iPhone, some of them made by financial institutions, such as Wachovia and Bank of America, who use them for online performance support, sales training, product knowledge and sales training.
  6. The culture of connectivity” –Given the fact that we are always a few clicks away from social media, most people have become ‘ hyper connected’ and that is disrupting the balance and boundaries between home and office.
  7. Participation society” –Consumers are getting involved in improving any type of product, service and business. An example would be Best Buy’s Blue Shirt Nation, which amasses 24,000 employee users. They have gathered online via various social networks, in order to improve company operations.
  8. Social learning decade” –The period of time between 2010 and 2020 will become known as the time of ‘social networking, social learning and social media’.
  9. Corporate social responsibility” –By 2020, CSR will have become even more important than it is today. At present, 88% of people graduating university wish to work for companies that have CSR ideals complementary to their own. A great example for this is IBM’s Corporate Service Corps. They place members of their staff to work on CSR projects in developing countries where the organisation is expected to grow within the next years.
  10. Millennials in the workforce” – This group of people expect companies to use the same tools they have been using since they’ve become digitally active. Technology dominates every aspect of their lives and it comes as no surprise that 41% of millennials choose to communicate electronically at the office rather than on the phone or face to face. Millennials tend to use their own technology in the office and 75% of them think that access to technology makes them more efficient workers. Nonetheless, technology can be problematic and lead to inter-generational conflict in the workplace. This tension makes millennials feel held back by outdated working styles.

Finding the right talent, the best fit for the job and your organisation, can be a very challenging task. It requires deep knowledge of your own organisation’s culture and keen understanding of the candidate’s personality, strengths, interests, work style and other characteristics. Our technology and solutions will do the work for you, helping you find employees who can flourish and reach the highest performance required to constantly bring your company forward.

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Sources:

“The 2020 Workplace” – Jeanne C. Meister and Karie Willyerd

Forbes.com

Top 7 HR Trends for 2017

A great many things will be changing in the HR world this year and they all revolve around one thing: the digital world. Although technology has been and will continuously change the world of work , the vast majority of changes will occur in the way we lead and oversee our companies’ operations. All of the HR trends that will be mentioned below involve ideas on how to “be digital” not just “act digital”.

Nowadays, the world of business is shifting from a “top-down hierarchical model” towards a “network of teams” where people are working in new and dynamic ways to solve problems. Businesses are now centred on the customers, everything around us moves at a very fast pace, thus creating the need for new ways of thinking and doing HR.

Prediction 1: Going further down into the Digital Era: As anyone who hasn’t been living in a cave for the past 20 years may have noticed, these are definitely the digital times. With the number of mobile phones forecasted to reach 4.77 bilion in 2017 and most of the jobs relying on computers to get work done, this year will lay even more emphasis on technology than before. Every employer will have to keep up with this trend, unless he wants to be left behind by  competitors that are willing to innovate with every given opportunity.

Prediction 2: Organisational Design Will Be Challenged Everywhere

Given the fact that, in today’s world, markets are ever-changing and new digital products and services are being developed daily, the conventional approaches do not apply anymore. Since the rapid evolution of the internet and cloud services, the level of entry within a market has been reduced considerably. It is practically impossible to withhold “your market” just because you are a large corporation – a small start-up could reinvent the whole industry right in front of your eyes, and afterwards you are left trailing them for years to come.

Prediction 3: Multigenerational workforce management skills will be required: This year, leaders and managers will have to face a new challenge due to the fact that millennials become increasingly active in the world of work, while, at the other side of the spectrum, many Baby Boomers refuse to retire at the traditional age. This requires new skills from the people in managing roles, since these two generations are as different as chalk and cheese and they have contrasting needs, goals and wishes.

Prediction 4: Culture and Engagement Will Remain Top Priorities

Although these topics might seem recurring, culture and engagement are some of the top priorities for HR managers everywhere. The cultural related issues will become increasingly more difficult to solve. This issue grows in importance. The latest research from Deloitte suggests that Millennials choose their employer based on their respective organisation’s “purpose”. In their latest High-Impact Leadership research, Deloitte discovered that organisations with a strong leadership culture are nine times better at finding and developing leaders than those companies who lack a consistent leadership culture.

Prediction 5: Focus on “Human Performance” and Wellbeing Will Become a Critical Part of HR, Talent, and Leadership

This may come as a shock to you but the overall engagement levels of today are no better than they were ten years ago. Taking into consideration the data obtained from Glassdoor, it has revealed that there is almost absolutely no improvement in employee ratings of their organisations during the past seven years. Approximately 40% of them think that “it is impossible to maintain a fast-growing career and a sound family life” given the “work-martyr” effect in organisations worldwide.

The idea for 2017 is simple – move HR from “personnel department” to a brand new role such as: “consultant in human performance”. There are numerous reasons why people are being held back from being productive at work and these range from: standing at a desk, defective office arrangements and management practices. There is a huge potential for HR in 2017 – to get rid of creating more and more programs that focus on “making work-life better”.

Prediction 6: Talent Recruitment

With all the technology available nowadays, including social networks, wearables and smartphones, talent is more easily accessible and has possibilities to choose form. 76% of full-time workers are either open to the idea of a new job or are actively looking for one, while 48% of employers are struggling to find the right people for their vacancies due to the skill gap. Given this situation, there will be a great emphasis on employee experience due to the fact that organisations are forced to focus more on their corporate culture and values if they wish to retain their best talent.

Prediction 7: There will be a huge focus on overcoming Algorithm Aversion

We have talked in a recent article about the advantages of relying on algorithms, rather than on the biased human instinct, but most HR seniors still face major difficulties when it comes to fully entrusting a computer. This struggle is understandable since the digital revolution happened basically overnight, but in order to take HR to the next level, managers ought to overcome their algorithm aversion and use the much more reliable, computer based, people analytics.

Great People Inside provides through the Next Generation People Intelligence Platform the best solutions and technology needed to find the right talent, the best fit for the job and for your organization. Easy to use and intuitive, the GR8PI Platform acknowledges all the latest trends and foreseeable employment issues in order for your company to thrive in the digital era.

 

 

Sources:

Bersin by Deloitte 2017 predictions

https://workplacetrends.com/candidate-experience-study/

https://workplacetrends.com/the-active-job-seeker-dilemma-study/

http://www.humanresourcestoday.com/2017/trends/?open-article-id=6004358&article-title=top-10-human-capital-trends-for-2017&blog-domain=predictiveindex.com&blog-title=the-predictive-index

http://www.forbes.com/sites/danschawbel/2016/11/01/workplace-trends-2017/#162b91063457

http://hrtrendinstitute.com/2016/11/23/hr_trends_2017/