Category Archives: 3. News You Can Use

Eyes Are on Corporate Responses to Current Events

Using metrics such as environmental impact and workplace diversity, financiers have started to gauge a company’s viability as an investment by examining its social responsibility record. Recent events have only increased investors’ desire to fund organizations with policies that address social issues for a simple reason: They believe those companies will weather financial downturns better than those that do not.

Some companies have responded to the pressure to do good. To fight the pandemic, perfume companies Christian Dior, L’Oréal, and Estée Lauder started producing hand sanitizer. General Motors switched gears from manufacturing cars to making face masks. GM also converted one of its factories to help produce ventilators. One Italian energy firm made its supercomputer available to researchers looking for ways to battle the coronavirus.  

But perhaps most noteworthy to investors is the way in which organizations have begun to reexamine their internal hiring practices. Some investors are pressuring organizations to prioritize diversity and inclusion by publicizing their workplace demographics and initiating plans and to bring underrepresented groups into their workforce, according to an article in The Wall Street Journal. However, all companies are not eager to share their employee demographics because more often than not, those data do not demonstrate a commitment to workplace diversity.

Indeed, advocates for change say that the drive for more inclusion in corporate America will be an uphill battle. As an example, they point to the actions of the global sportswear company Adidas. At the beginning of the Black Lives Matter movement, Adidas declared its anti-racism stance; nevertheless, actual change within the organization backing up those words remains aspirational.

Still, the new reality is clear: Companies that address human rights, employee well-being, and diversity catch investors’ attention. Firms that adapt are more likely to thrive, says one analyst. Those that don’t will fail.

Discussion

  1. Why have the pandemic and social unrest in the U.S. forced companies to rethink their operations?
  2. Why do you think research shows that diverse workforces outperform those that lack diversity? 
  3. Which factors prompt investors to use their influence to effect change in U.S. companies’ behavior?

New Rules for Landing a Job in the Covid-19 Era

Video job interviews have become a fixture during the Covid-19 pandemic and
are likely here to stay.

While there is no doubt that the pandemic has had a negative impact on employment, job seekers still have some reason for optimism.

According to the HR software company Paycor, over half of small and midsize companies plan to hire full-time workers this year.

However, the current job market differs greatly from the situation before the pandemic, and job hunters need to be aware of the new rules for landing a position.

First and foremost is to maintain a robust presence on LinkedIn. Job seekers who use the platform are almost three times as likely to land a position at a company with which they have a LinkedIn connection.

The new rules of hiring also require applicants to be able to voice their career goals clearly. Job seekers who are uncertain about their career goals or who are just looking to earn a paycheck will find it impossible to sell themselves to a future employer. No company wants to provide a new-hire’s in-between or second-choice job.

Job hunters must also be realistic and honest. If the job requires employees to be in the office occasionally and the applicant is unwilling or lives too far away to make that feasible, the job seeker should not hide those limitations from the interviewer.

Know which industries are still hiring in your area. Health care, logistics and transportation, and real estate industries are recovering, while the arts, recreation and travel, and finance sectors are still shedding positions.

Finally, job candidates should prepare for an entirely virtual hiring process. Social distancing ended in-person interviews for the time being. To stand out when interviewing from home, focus on making a good first impression by looking the part.

Experts say it’s fine to be the most dressed-up person in the interview. Google’s director of talent and outreach advises starting the interview with friendly questions and being prepared with anecdotes that illustrate strengths and skills.

Discussion
What kinds of comments can you use to break the ice in the first moments of an online interview?

  1. Why are anecdotes an effective way to talk about skills?
  2. Why is a presence on LinkedIn mandatory in today’s workplace?

 

Communication Tops Employers’ Wants in New-Hires

Communication Tops Employers’ Wants in New-Hires

The top “resilient human skills” appearing in 84 percent of job postings are communication, (both written and oral), management and leadership skills, problem solving, teamwork, and critical thinking, according to findings from the labor market analytic firm Emsi.

Among those essential interpersonal skills, communication wins (35 percent).

Skills are labeled resilient because they flourish in any situation. They are like a rubber ball that bounces back in the case of adversity. Communicating effectively tops the list.

Resilient skills are especially valuable during times of crisis such as the COVID-19 pandemic. Consequently, it makes sense that grads should highlight these abilities on their résumés, and current students should focus on acquiring them.

Communication is considered an important core business skill because it is necessary for success in nearly every arena. While technical skills such as data analysis, software development, and programming languages can seem to be stealing the spotlight, no business can survive without the human beings who interact with customers, market the firm’s products, and oversee the company’s operations—in other words, communication.

So while having technical skills is desirable, having technical skills plus resilient skills such as communication is even more desirable. Jobs requiring people who are good at interpersonal communication, persuasive communication, and content creation are projected to grow eight percent over the next five years. Some, e.g., technical writers, earn a median advertised salary of $70,000/year.

College students planning on preparing for careers should pay heed and work toward acquiring the skills employers seek and need.

Discussion

  1. Why do today’s workers need to be resilient and flexible?
  2. Name several industries in which written and oral communication are important.
  3. Why do you think having both breadth of knowledge and depth of knowledge makes a worker highly valuable?