Weekly Market Summary – 30th September 2018

Weekly Market Summary – 30th September 2018

Sean Burgess | PraxisIFM Asset Manager and Co-Founder Emirates HR

The third increase this year, with the benchmark federal funds rate up to a range of 2.00 to 2.25 percent and policymakers supporting a further rise this year. Chairman Jerome Powell cited the strength of the US economy and inflation remaining near the central bank’s 2 percent target as key reasons for the increase, whilst 12 of 16 policymakers are now expecting another rate hike in December.


In a week that saw the debut of a new sector within the S&P 500 that contains some technology heavyweights. The tech-heavy Nasdaq posted a modest 0.7 percent gain, the only major index that rose over the week, after the S&P 500 created a new communication services sector that contains internet related firms such as Netflix, Facebook and Alphabet – parent company of Google.


Triple what had originally been planned, as the populist coalition government increases spending to meet campaign promises. This will put the government on a collision course with the EU who have urged the country to cut the deficit, whilst more spending will lead to a downgrade by the ratings agencies. Italy’s FTSE MIB Index fell 4 percent and the euro dropped 1 percent over the week.


With the Shanghai Composite Index up 0.9 percent, as the latest round of US tariffs was overshadowed by proposals from major US index providers to include more yuan-dominated shares into their global portfolios. FTSE Russell and MSCI both unexpectedly announced plans to include more mainland stocks into the equity indices from next year, a welcome boost to foreign investor confidence.


For the first time since 2014, as traders anticipated that US sanctions on Iran could create a huge shortfall in global supply and force the international benchmark to $100 a barrel by year-end. Ironically, Donald Trump has urged global producers to pump more oil to avoid further price increases, however Saudi Arabia and their allies decided against boosting production at their meeting last week.

In other financial news:
  • IMF boosts Argentina bailout to $57bn, an increase of $19bn on the original package, to help battle a recession and a peso that has weakened 50% this year.
  • India to grow by 7.3 percent in 2018, outlined in a report by the Asian Development Bank that cited improved domestic demand and a revival in industrial growth.
  • Elon Musk investigated for securities fraud, sending Tesla shares down 14 percent on Friday, following the founders’ comments he would take the company private.
  • Petrobras agrees to a $853m fine, following a lengthy corruption case between Brazil’s embattled state-owned oil company and authorities in the US and Brazil.
Your 2018 Social Recruiting Strategy: Remember These 7 Key Elements

Your 2018 Social Recruiting Strategy: Remember These 7 Key Elements

(Editor’s Note: Today’s post is brought to you by Jefferson Online, a comprehensive university with preeminence in transdisciplinary, experiential professional education, research, and discovery, delivering exceptional value for 21st-century students. An online human resources degree from Jefferson Online can help provide you with the skills you need to be an effective recruiter today and tomorrow. Enjoy the post!)

Successful recruiters know what job seekers want – the most qualified candidates.

And for job seekers, finding a job is increasingly about who you know (versus only what you know). Though job boards are still a popular source, only 15 percent of job seekers were hired through job boards, according to a 2014 U.S. News and World Report. And those numbers don’t appear to have changed much since then.

Networking – whether that’s via the company’s employee referral programs or social media –  is where much of today’s recruitment is occurring. According to a Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) survey,  more than one-third of organizations have begun targeting smartphone users for recruitment, and 84 percent are using social media to do so. Match those numbers with 57 percent of job seekers using social media to research employers and job openings and it’s clear that companies need to invest in social recruitment.


What Is Social Recruiting?

I know this might sound like an old conversation, but the reality is that organizations aren’t taking full advantage of what a social recruiting strategy can bring to their recruitment efforts. Recruiting from social media isn’t as simple as posting your job on Twitter and waiting for applications to start rolling in. It requires forethought and execution. Here are the seven key considerations when developing your company’s social recruiting strategy:

  1. Build an agile recruiting team. A common statement I’m hearing from recruiters is “We have ten days to two weeks to engage with a candidate or we’ve lost them.” According to the digital marketing agency Meshworking, an organization’s recruiting team must have clear roles and responsibilities from the outset, and they must have the agility to move quickly. In addition, companies need to ensure that they have honest discussions about their social recruiting goals.
  1. Select the right platform for your message. Posting on every social media site isn’t typically a good idea; different social media sites involve different ways of communicating, and they cater to different audiences. Do your research about user demographics, then pick one or two sites to drive traffic to. The fewer sites you drive traffic to, the easier it is to maintain them and keep the content relevant to your intended audience. But, this doesn’t mean you can never change social sites (see #7).
  1. Create compelling content. Speaking of content, knowing who you’re speaking to and what skills are important for the job you’re hiring for allows you to craft the right message in the right way, to better resonate with your intended audience. A simple link to a job posting can garner some interest, but it’s important to remember that the current unemployment rate is lower than it’s been in decades. Fewer people looking for jobs means they are more willing to shop around for the right job, and it’s incumbent upon employers to “sell” job seekers on their companies.
  1. Focus on your company’s “wow” factor. Another recommendation that Meshworking makes is for organizations to emphasize the “wow” factors of their company. Ask yourself, “What’s the company’s mission statement and values? What makes the company unique? Has the company won any awards?” Combining this kind of content with employee testimonials can build both a sense excitement and transparency, which can attract job seekers to your company.
  1. Test your online application process. It’s important to make sure the company’s application process works the way you think it does…andthe way it’s supposed to. If an applicant clicks through to a social media post and lands on a career website that’s clumsy or slow, you’re likely to lose many potential applicants. According to a study from recruitment company Appcast, recruiters can boost conversion rates by up to 365 percent by reducing the length of the application process to just five minutes or less.
  1. Evaluate candidate fit. First and foremost, organizations need to be careful about using social media for unfair hiring or bias. There can be advantages in connecting with job seekers on social media. Organizations can see what kinds of topics applicants talk about, what their interests are, whether they behave professionally and who they’re connected to. Of course, none of this is a substitute for an in-person interview or skills test, but a social media profile can provide supplementary information to round out the candidate’s profile.
  1. Use metrics to measure success. It’s important to measure the return on investment (ROI) of your social recruiting strategy. Decide when you start and how you’ll measure ROI, then track that data as you pursue your social recruiting strategies. Common metrics include number of applications received, number of interviews conducted and, ultimately, number of candidates hired along with their retention rates.


Let’s face it. Recruiting is hard. And with new sources proliferating, it can be confusing to know how to master all of it. Social media is still popular and growing. Organizations cannot abandon social recruiting – especially not now! So, dust off that old social recruiting strategy, grab your recruiting team, and update your social goals. Your organization can’t afford to ignore it.


Source : http://www.humanresourcestoday.com/?open-article-id=8929493&article-title=your-2018-social-recruiting-strategy–remember-these-7-key-elements&blog-domain=hrbartender.com&blog-title=hr-bartender

Why It’s Time to Practice Radical Workforce Inclusion

Why It’s Time to Practice Radical Workforce Inclusion

Consumer confidence is at its highest in 17 years. Companies are investing, rapidly expanding, and of course, hiring. Unfortunately, they are quickly running out of qualified candidates. In addition to expected factors—demographic shifts, workers’ preferences, skills gap, location mismatch—there is another one at play: unwillingness to rethink work. This new imperative requires multiple shifts in how organizations look for, attract, develop, and retain talent.


From Job Descriptions to Work Design and Orchestration

Companies will continue to find it difficult to attract candidates that match job descriptions, especially if those descriptions require “unicorns.” The opportunity is arising for HR to distill the work to its essence and reconfigure what gets done by whom.

This brings flexibility in choices of talent (part time, contingents, stay at home moms with only 2-3 hours available, disabled individuals). It also demands new practices in orchestrating how the work gets done, measured, rewarded etc. The field of HR is facing a major disruption requiring adaptation of its traditional processes and norms to an agile, fluid, and distributed work environment.


From Traditional to Under-utilized Sources of Talent

Increases in life expectancy, population aging, women labor force participation–all impact the workforce composition and how organizations adapt to them. Despite the tight labor market, a sizeable segment of our population–for example women over 50–goes un-tapped, under-utilized, underpaid, or unemployed. When re-entering the workforce, women, have more difficulty sustaining their income level, let alone growing it.

The most shocking statistic is that half of the long-term unemployment in the US is comprised of women between 55 and 65. This segment will face financial insecurity because they will most likely outlive their spouses, marriages, and savings. On the other hand, women 55+ represent the single fastest growing age-gender segment of the American population in the labor force. Their share will account for more than 1/3 of additional workers entering the labor force over the next decade. This is a perfect example of a segment along with retired or seniors with big potential for companies to attract.


From Techno-phobia to Digital Fluency

Fear-inducing headlines about the machines taking over, artificial intelligence (AI) replacing humans, and millions of jobs disappearing are everywhere. Whether or not that will pan out is to be seen, but we can’t dismiss that both organizations and individuals need to consider the multiple aspects of digitization and prepare for it.

In order for anyone, especially women, to be competitive and have access to meaningful and fairly compensated jobs, they need to build skills that will be in demand over the next 3-5 years such as hybrid skills (both technical and social). This will bring a degree of future-proofing and enable them to stay in the workforce.

Equipped with technical and design skills, women can also influence the development of more inclusive technologies which in turn can open new customer segments and market opportunities to sell your products.


From Lay-offs to Upskilling

Over the past decade in pursuit of satisfying shareholders in a lackluster economy, companies focused on cost reductions, which would typically include a workforce reduction under the guise of skills obsolescence. With a turn to global growth and with fewer digitally-savvy candidates on the market, companies now have to rethink their workforce strategies and instead invest in upskilling of their workforce.

Ramping up takes multiple forms such as partnerships with educational institutions, with startups and most of this is investment in technical skills. Opportunity will be in supplementing those with hybrid skills. An example of a scalable model for growing hybrid skills, is provided by amazing.community. The non-profit creates a supportive environment for women to learn about design thinking, accessibility testing, AI and chatbots, then applying these skills to co-create a chatbot responsive to the needs of women 50+ (amazing.bot).

The idea is to distill complex topics into simple and digestible modules, build comfort level with them, and ultimately to lower the barriers of entry for non-digital-natives so they can transfer their skills to new spaces where jobs abound.

Upskilling is not only good for the business, but also is a responsible way to uplift communities, and have a positive impact on their brand, which in turn will attract more high-quality talent.


From Inherently Biased to Inclusive Hiring

People analytics use is on the rise. Algorithms are built to look at what made people successful in the past, creating models that rapidly sift through thousands of résumés to find the “optimal” individuals, and bring more of them into the organization.

There are some inherent flaws with this thinking–the definition of success in the past might not be what companies need for the future, and algorithms trained on old data might perpetuate old biases. It is important to raise awareness with hiring managers and recruiters about such flaws, especially when it is a matter of giving a chance to someone with a long résumé (typically also correlated with older age) that might have big career gaps (not always associated with typical “success” criteria).


From Pay Gap to Parity for All

Regardless of the progress we’ve made thus far, unfortunately, women still don’t get their fair share.Global gender parity is still over 200 years away. Analysis of 2017 Gender data from Visier’s Insight found that the gender pay gap widened in 2017 rather than becoming smaller. In 2016, women made 81 cents to the dollar, but in 2017, women made 78 cents to the dollar – that’s 22% less than men. Organizations have a long way to go to close the gap and there is no bigger urgency to take a stand than now.


Build-in Accessibility from Start

Digital technologies are changing how work gets done. Oftentimes such technologies are not inclusive (not designed with input from and consideration of the impact they will have on different segments of the population, especially the aging.) There is tremendous opportunity to re-think product design and development and create more accessible environments. This will impact the offerings’ reach and create a great sense of pride amongst the employees who are marginally involved in such work – leading to better engagement, retention and business results.

The status quo for workforce engagement is no longer an option and organizations better start thinking differently about their talent strategy and to devise more inclusive practices, processes and policies to create opportunities for a broader set of workforce segments. Women 50+ is a perfect example of an alternative talent segment – resilient, reliable and resourceful – that is ready to be engaged and involved! Are you ready for it?

Join the Inclusion by Design–a conference organized by amazing.community on Oct 23-24 in NYC to learn more about these shifts alongside leaders from the public, private and civic sectors. This is an opportunity to create real solutions, enable actions to help change the workplace narrative at the intersection of gender and age, and shape the future of work for women 50+. Register for this event today.


About amazing.community

amazing.community, a nonprofit organization with the mission of expanding the work horizon for women and transforming the narrative about aging and innovation by redefining inclusive workplaces and equipping women 50+ to thrive in them.To learn more please visit www.amazing.community or send a note to info@amazing.community.


Source : http://www.humanresourcestoday.com/?open-article-id=8935268&article-title=why-it-s-time-to-practice-radical-workforce-inclusion&blog-domain=visier.com&blog-title=visier

How to Not Screw Up Remote Employee Onboarding

How to Not Screw Up Remote Employee Onboarding

Whether your team’s hiring its first remote employee or its 79th, don’t skimp on putting thoughtful intention behind your new hire onboarding program for remote workers.

Go ahead, pick out your worst fear about hiring remote workers below.

  • If I can’t see them, will they just do their laundry instead of work?
  • Our employees need to be “on” during our regular working hours, how can they if they’re roaming coffee houses around Europe with a 6-hour time difference?
  • Company culture and connectivity will suffer if we can’t play ping pong in person together, won’t it?

Did you have trouble picking just one? That’s okay, so did ExactHire when we started allowing employees to work remotely over seven years go. Fast forward to today and now

  • most of our employees work away from our Indianapolis-based office between three to five days per week,
  • we have teammates from Utah to Germany, and
  • many of us share our latest “water cooler” moments via Slack for a quick personal connection break.

Our organization has come a long way; however, we haven’t yet fully adopted the mentality of “remote first.” That is, truly distributing the workforce in such a way that remote work is the default setting–not just an option available to some. SaaS companies like StackOverflow and HelpScout are worth further investigation if you’re considering this cultural pivot for your employer. Personally, I’m going to advocate for an ExactHire version of StackOverflow’s “Bev Bash” in which a videoconference-driven happy hour periodically takes place!


Remote first = distributing your workforce in such a way that remote work is the default mode.


Another relevant read is Remote: Office Not Required by Basecamp Co-Founders, Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson. This book details Basecamp’s evolution into a remote first organization, including both the pitfalls and unexpected wins along the way. There’s no shortage of inspiration on how to make remote working arrangements possible for your organization these days.

In this post, I’ll focus on how to not screw up employee onboarding once you’ve committed to hiring a new fully-remote employee. For someone who is brand new to your organization and away from the office from the start, consider these items for your onboarding checklist.


1 – Make expectations and goals crystal clear

In the absence of in-person onboarding activities, picking up on body language and being a bystander to water cooler talk is more challenging. Therefore, organizations should put themselves in the shoes of new hires and brainstorm the details that new employees won’t necessarily absorb on their own.

Being transparent about expected working hours (despite time zone of new hire), explaining how organizational culture manifests itself and sharing milestone targets about what job success looks like at three months, six months and beyond are just a few of many possible details.

For example, in Remote, the authors talk about how it’s important for Basecamp to give its new hires a heads up that they may be bombarded by social media follower requests when joining the organization. Because their company is remote first, it has become common for employees to connect with one another on social media in order to get to know each other more quickly in the absence of traditional face time in the office.


2 – Make over communication a way of life

Nothing can trip up a remote working arrangement more quickly than a shortage of sufficient communication. If your company wants to make remote work work, then you need to commit to many modes of communication (“different strokes for different folks”) and in particular, abundant written communication.

Particularly if your remote employees are spread across different time zones, a bigger portion of your company’s internal communication will be asynchronous–with employees reading email, chat messages and Slack updates anywhere from minutes to hours after they are originally sent.

To amplify the effectiveness of asynchronous communication, be clear about your needs and consider capturing screenshots and creating short videos to better explain tasks and challenges to co-workers when big time zone differences diminish the ability to connect in real time.

Consider your communication culture and whether it makes sense to go to the extent of asking people to update their status when away from Slack, instant messenger, etc. While ExactHire doesn’t quite go this far, we do have an internal document that lists general working hours for all employees since individual availability varies widely depending on the day of the week.


3 – Organization is everything

While we’ve already established that communication is critical, committing to written communication goes deeper than the one-off messages and company announcements that happen on a daily basis. In the same way that ExactHire maintains a support knowledge base full of training documents for our customers about our products, employers with remote workers have an even greater responsibility than traditional employers to document policies, project statuses and resources in an internal knowledge base.

And, it’s not just about basic documentation, but also the style or approach you take for documentation and communication. For example, at a previous employer I was quickly indoctrinated into the organizational norm of referring to all employees by just their initials in written communication, as well as the practice of hiding unwieldy URL addresses behind anchor text in interoffice emails. Mind you, this was a decade ago…before it was a tech-based cultural norm to go to such formatting lengths.

Internal consistency in communication supports effective organization.

Additionally, having easy-to-use tools to track items is essential. For example, in addition to Slack, ExactHire has leveraged platforms such as Google Docs, Trello, Basecamp and Jira for internal collaboration on a daily basis in recent years.


4 – Paperless employee onboarding

For both new hires and existing staff members, the employee onboarding process is full of opportunities to miss details. Take the pressure off of remembering which employees should be prompted to complete which new hire documents, tasks and forms by leveraging employee onboarding software.

An effective onboarding platform automatically presents the right paperwork, onboarding tasks and training prompts to different new hires based on factors such as their geographic location, FLSA status, security clearance and role type. Because additional to-do items are only presented to new hires and internal onboarding process stakeholders when certain basic prerequisites are already satisfied earlier in the process, the experience for the new hire is positive and stress for the staff member is minimal.


5 – Create inspiration with preparation

It’s stressful enough for a new hire on her first day at a new job in a traditional office. Now imagine how much more awkward a remote employee’s first day on the job can be if the employer is unprepared for her arrival.

Prepare new hires to hit the ground running quickly by sharing a super detailed onboarding plan and training schedule with them before their first day. Include links to your internal knowledge base and make resources for additional learning easy to find and searchable. This written documentation will easily fill the gaps between video conference calls and virtual job shadowing sessions with co-workers.

From a hardware standpoint, outfit new employees with the equipment they need to start work on day one. Your approach to this will vary depending on whether you ship a computer, phone, headset, etc. to your remote employees or have a policy in place that allows them to bring their own device (BYOD) to work. Regardless of your approach, make sure that all equipment and software access follows internal security protocols and that new hires are trained on how to handle secure data and what to do in the event of a breach.

Be sure to give new hires access to relevant communication groups, recurring calendar events and internal online resources in time for their first day–along with instructions or a description of each item’s objective. There’s no quicker way to alienate your remote employees than to forget to add them to your monthly all-hands meeting call, and then interrupt it fifteen minutes in to invite them to join last late.


6 – Tell your culture story

Fostering connectivity can be a struggle in a remote-driven workplace–especially in an organization that has transitioned from a traditional in-person office to a distributed workforce. While veteran employees instinctively understand the core values, mission and unwritten ways of doing things, newly hired remote employees won’t become a thread in the organizational tapestry without understanding its roots and also being prompted to share their own background.

Create a series of videos about key aspects of the company’s past that can be embedded into the onboarding process. Host a monthly company trivia session where employees log into Google Meet or Skype to answer questions and compete for swag.

Telling the organizational story to new hires is a best practice, but savvy employers will also build in the opportunity for its diverse new employees to make their own mark and share their own background. This might be accomplished with a virtual employee directory that features fun facts about new hires; or, occasional “lunch and learn” webinars that invite new employees to do a show and tell about their own city/country or hobbies and interests.


7 – Promote peer mentoring

Mentoring is not a new concept for employee onboarding; however, adopting it as a practice for a remote workforce is an emerging trend. From job shadows with veteran employees in a new hire’s first few days to monthly milestone check-ins with a designated “buddy,” virtual mentoring has a great deal of possibility for remote-friendly workplaces.

When creating a virtual mentoring program, account for factors that may influence likely success between mentor and mentee; such as, time zone difference, job role, interests and behavioral tendencies as evident from an employee assessment.

Take 1-on-1 mentoring a step further and invite mentors and mentees to quarterly tweet-ups or video conferences in which newer hires have a forum in which they can ask questions of mentors in real-time and within a group format. By listening to the questions and answers of peers, as well, new hires will likely shorten their own learning curve.


8 – Make time for face time

When done right, remote work allows employees to focus for longer periods of time without interruption. While distractions may occur in both the office and at home, there’s a distinct difference between immediately responding to someone knocking on your door versus waiting a few minutes to finish a task before responding to an email.

Utilize video conference platforms such as Zoom or GoToMeeting to allow all employees to synchronously connect whenever the need arises. Perhaps your cultural norm is even to ask employees to always use video chat rather than voice-only phone calls when connecting for a meeting. However, when planning such video calls, and to be considerate of potential time zone differences, be intentional with the time allotted to focus on social connectivity rather than just covering things that might be more efficiently discussed via email.

Even in modern, 100% remote first workplaces, there’s a place for in-person interaction. Many employers that have largely distributed workforces still make time at least once per year to gather in person for social connection–as an entire organization. And while this type of event can inflate the company travel line item significantly, that is the tradeoff between having the overhead attributable to a physical office location versus employing a remote first approach. If that approach would break your budget, then consider smaller meetups between departments instead.


9 – Feed off of feedback

Emojis were once reserved for text-happy teenagers lamenting their latest breakup; however, in recent years they’ve earned their place as a remote work mainstay because they help express tone and emotion in a situation that might otherwise omit context for one’s mood.

And while it might still be a stretch for some to include them in email messaging, they thrive in messaging platforms such as Slack. And, they’re particularly helpful in a remote workforce when employees may have never met in person and do not yet understand the nuances of their peers’ personalities. Emojis are one way of leveraging feedback on a micro level so that remote employees can gauge how they’re communicating or performing.

On a macro level, employers hiring remote employees must give and receive feedback early and often throughout the onboarding process.

  • Gather new hire input in the pre-boarding phase to make sure that incoming employees have a firm grasp of the resources available to them to get started.
  • Hold virtual town hall meetings for new hires three months into their employment tenure for ideas on how to improve remote employee onboarding.
  • Make sure that supervisors have a regular cadence of offering constructive feedback to direct reports throughout the first year of employment, especially.


Successful Remote Employee Onboarding

Make your objective to create experiences in which remote employees feel as assimilated and supported as traditional in-office employees. Remember that it will take some experimentation, careful hiring and an open mind. If you don’t get it exactly right the first time, gather feedback to make an adjustment and try, try again!


Source : http://www.humanresourcestoday.com/?open-article-id=8933608&article-title=how-to-not-screw-up-remote-employee-onboarding&blog-domain=exacthire.com&blog-title=exacthire-hr-trends

Are you suffering from ‘Text Neck”?

Are you suffering from ‘Text Neck”?

Hold on a minute…next time you look at your phone just check your posture. You might find that you are putting an extra 27 kg of stress on your neck muscles and cervical vertebra.

New research has revealed that a 60-degree downward tilt of the head exerts 27kg of stress on the neck.   A mere 15-degree downward tilt of the head already exerts 12kg of stress on the neck.  You can almost compare it to hanging two and a half 5 litre water bottles from your neck!


What is ‘Text Neck’?

‘Text Neck’ is a new tech-induced neck syndrome.  It is used to describe sustained and repetitive stress on the neck as a result of sustained watching or texting on hand held devices over a long period of time.


What are the symptoms?

The symptoms can include the following;  neck stiffness and decreased ability to move and pain that can range from a general ache to a sharp pain in a specific spot.  The pain may radiate down to the arm or stay localised to the neck region.  The shoulder and upper back muscles could be tight and painful.  Often, tension type headaches can also be due to a ‘Text Neck’ syndrome.


How to avoid or manage a ‘Text Neck’?
  • Be aware of your posture at all times

Make sure your neck is not tilted forward while using your device.  Roll back your shoulders, straighten your spine, re-align your head so that your ears are in line with your shoulders and reposition your device so that it is at eye level.


  • Take frequent breaks

Move every 20 minutes. Stand up, stretch, take a deep breath and reset your posture.


  • Exercise

Moderate exercise helps to strengthen muscles that help with good posture.  It also relieves stress and tension that builds up in your body.


  • Seek medical advice and treatment

If your neck pain does not resolve in a few days, see a doctor and obtain a referral for treatment such as physiotherapy.  In most cases conservative treatment and management is all that is needed to resolve the pain.  The therapist will look at the causative factors, help you to change habits, do physical treatment to relieve the muscle spasm and pain and give you tools to help manage the condition.


  • Don’t delay management

It is better to get you neck pain and stiffness resolved sooner than later.


Physiotherapists at The Chiron Clinic Dubai.

For more information, follow the links: www.thechironclinic.com

Pin It on Pinterest