Hiring bias: Facebook Job Ads promoting age discrimination?

Hiring bias: Facebook Job Ads promoting age discrimination?

Ever noticed relevant jobs appearing in your job hunt websites – LinkedIn, Naukri, Indeed, CareerBuilder, Monster, and now even Facebook? The method applied is the same as customers on ecommerce websites are used to when they get recommendations based on past product purchases or browsing history. The method is called micro-targeting, only in this case it does not show the pair of shoes that may look good on you, but the next step you should make in your career. The keyword matching and text parsing ends up landing people their dream jobs; but what if the employer had the power to make the job posting invisible to you based on your demographics?

Facebook has recently come under scrutiny for being party to age discrimination in its job ads.  An investigative report done in collaboration between New York Times and ProPublica has made some revelations on age discrimination that has happened on Facebook job postings by targeting advertisements to younger audiences; and the same postings were invisible to the age group which has been filtered out of the target audience. A Verizon ad for a job in a unit focused on financial planning and analysis was set to run on Facebook feeds of users between age of 25 and 36, residents or recent visitors of Washington, and had shown an interest in finance. The hundreds of millions of people on Facebook who do not fall into these filters were oblivious to the existence of this advertisement.

Not just Verizon, but other top employers like Goldman Sachs, Target, Amazon, UPS, State Farm, and Facebook itself have placed recruitment ads “limited to particular age groups,” according to NYT’s and ProPublica’s investigation.

Not just Facebook, but Google and LinkedIn also allow for excluding people basis their age whilst posting job ads. And employers posting jobs do not always intend to do age-targeting. Amazon, in its response to ProPublica and NYT said that they “discovered some recruiting ads had targeting that was inconsistent with their approach of searching for any candidate over the age of 18.” LinkedIn altogether changed its system to prevent such targeting in employment ads, after being contacted by ProPublica.

While Facebook “disagrees” and denies the micro-targeting to be a case of conscious age discrimination, and compares the micro-targeting to the targeting done in employment ads in magazines (like AARP or Teen Vogue with readership of a certain age group) and on TV shows targeted at younger or older people.

The legal implications of this kept aside, this raises some serious questions on the present and future of talent acquisition.

Does the option of micro-targeting feed into an employer’s bias?

The option of targeting advertising gives tremendous power to employers. And if they happen to be biased, this power can be misused so very easily, can it not? An employer, who may not consider women employees an asset in their maternity period, may choose to exclude them from the demographics of people who see the job ad. Businesses have their fair share of concerns with rewarding the vacant chair.

The Valley is already infamous with its employee burnout shenanigans. The average age of employees in tech companies is in and around 30 years, and it is an open secret that the younger generation is preferred over older ones to work in their high pressure, high performance environment. Why wouldn’t, in that case, a biased employer choose to bypass the out-of-favour generations?

Or when United Parcel Service targeted a “part time package delivery” job ad to people between the age of 18 and 24, wasn’t it an extension of their bias towards hiring young people?

Can employers be caught unaware and unintendedly misuse micro-targeting?

Amazon wasn’t alone in being caught off guard when its job advertisement on Facebook was not visible to people above 50. Hubspot, an inbound marketing and sales software company, also ended up “mistakenly” micro-targeting based on age on Facebook for the Social Media Director job. A Hubspot representative told ProPublica and Times that “the use of the targeted age-range selection on the Facebook ad was frankly a mistake on our part given our lack of experience using that platform for job postings and not a feature we will use again.” Does this mean employers can unintentionally end up discriminating because they are unaware of the technicalities of posting jobs online? And if that is the case, shouldn’t they be trained so that this inadvertent mistake does not happen?

Does micro-targeting open avenues of discrimination against minorities?

The Hubspot job never featured on the Facebook feed of Mark Edelstein, a 58-year old, legally blind job-seeker in the field of social media strategy and marketing. It was because he did not fit the age criteria. Does his age or his physical disability negatively affect his employability? It may not affect his ability, but an employer who deliberately is against hiring people with disabilities will take him out of contention by making the job invisible to him in the first place. Facebook has anyway been in a legal tussle over racially discriminating house ads, owing to its “ethnic affinity” feature in ads. If such discriminatory features (surrounding ethnicity, gender, religion, etc.) were included in job ad postings as well, it may open avenues of discrimination. Such would be the nature of discrimination, too, that only an investigative report would ever reveal it.

Will an employer’s assumptions about a certain group of people lead to the latter’s disadvantage?

Humans make assumptions. And if an employer’s assumption is that people between the age of 18 and 24 make the best ‘Package Delivery People’, then it makes sense for the employer to use micro-targeting in its job advertisement. Maybe that was the thought process of the recruiter at UPS when (s)he filtered the job ad to feature in the feed of the preferred age category. Certain demographics are assumed to be fit for certain roles – men for the armed forces, women for the nursing industry – and if an employer’s assumptions are reciprocated in micro-targeted job ads, then it doesn’t bode well to the diversity discourse.


Is there really no distinction between targeted marketing in publications and broadcast media, and digital channels?

The defence of those accused of micro-targeting has been consistent with the theory that it is no different from what has been happening in the advertising industry since the concept emerged – the only difference is the medium. But an intriguing aspect to understand here is that everybody could pick up a Teen Vogue or watch a Nickelodeon whenever they intended to. On the internet, if the ad is not targeted at you, you will never see it. The proposition around the invisibility of the ad is what makes it potentially dangerous – given it is misused.

What do employers need to do?

The steps required for employers are fairly simple. Be aware so that Amazon and Hubspot-like inadvertent mistakes are avoided; and do not discriminate by targeting advertisements to certain preferred demographics. As for job ad hosts like Facebook, Google, and LinkedIn, they need to be careful of the features they introduce in their bouquet of marketing offerings. Any micro targeting should not lead to discrimination on any grounds – there shouldn’t be more Edelsteins, and that is the responsibility of these new-age tech companies.


Source:  https://www.peoplematters.in/article/recruitment/facebook-job-ads-discrimination-apprehension-17158?utm_source=top_nav&utm_medium=article&utm_content=17158

Recruiting and Hiring Top-Quality Employees


As all employers quickly learn, there’s a world of difference between a worker who’s correctly matched to their job and their organization, and one who is not.

But how do you find and match the right people to the right jobs by including, in your comprehensive people strategy, a well-structured recruiting and selection program. The key to successfully developing such a program is to follow a proven recruiting process for the positions you need to fill. Resist the temptation to omit steps, because shortcutting the process can short change your results. Here’s what you’ll need to do:

  1. Develop accurate job descriptions. Your first step is to make sure you have an effective job description for each position in your company. Your job descriptions should reflect careful thought as to the roles the individual will fill, the skill sets they’ll need, the personality attributes that are important to completing their tasks, and any relevant experience that would differentiate one applicant from another. This may sound fairly basic, but you’d be surprised at how many small companies fail to develop or maintain updated job descriptions.
  2. Compile a “success profile.” In addition to creating job descriptions, it’s important to develop a “success profile” of the ideal employee for key positions in your company that are critical to the execution of your business plan. These might include such positions as team leaders, district managers and salespeople. For example, let’s say you currently have 20 salespeople. Within that group, you have four that are top performers, 12 that are middle-of-the-road and four that aren’t quite making the grade. If you could bump the number of folks in the top group from 20 percent to 33 percent, that could have a dramatic impact on your company’s performance.

To accomplish that goal, you need to profile everyone in the sales group to identify any skills and attributes that are common to the top group but missing from the other groups. Using this information, you’ll be able to develop a profile to help you select the candidates most likely to succeed in that position. Remember, you can’t tell if you’ve found a match if you’re not matching candidates against a specific profile.

  1. Draft the ad, describing the position and the key qualifications required. Although some applicants will ignore these requirements and respond regardless, including this information will help you limit the number of unqualified applicants.
  2. Post the ad in the mediums most likely to reach your potential job candidates. Of course, the Internet has become the leading venue for posting job openings, but don’t overlook targeted industry publications and local newspapers.
  3. Develop a series of phone-screening questions. Compile a list of suitable questions you can ask over the phone to help you quickly identify qualified candidates and eliminate everyone else.
  4. Review the resumes you receive and identify your best candidates. Once you post your ad, you’ll start receiving resumes…sometimes many more than you anticipated. Knowing what you’re looking for in terms of experience, education and skills will help you weed through these resumes quickly and identify potential candidates.
  5. Screen candidates by phone. Once you’ve narrowed your stack of resumes to a handful of potential applicants, call the candidates and use your phone-screening questions to further narrow the field. Using a consistent set of questions in both this step and your face-to-face interviews will help ensure you’re evaluating candidates equally.
  6. Select candidates for assessment. Based on the responses to your phone interviews, select the candidates you feel are best qualified for the next step in the process.
  7. Assess your potential candidates for their skills and attributes using a proven assessment tool. A resume and phone interview can only tell you so much about a job applicant, so you’ll need a dependable assessment tool to help you analyze the core behavioral traits and cognitive reasoning speed of your applicants. For example, a good test will provide insights as to whether the individual is conscientious or lackadaisical, introverted or extroverted, agreeable or uncompromising, open to new ideas or close-minded, and emotionally stable or anxious and insecure.

The success profile you created for each position will help you determine which behavioral traits are important for that position. For example, you would expect a successful salesperson to be extroverted. On the other hand, someone filling a clerical position might be more introverted.

These assessment tests can be administered in person or online. Online testing and submission of results can help you determine whether the applicant should be invited for a personal interview.

  1. Schedule and conduct candidate interviews. Once you’ve selected candidates based on the previous steps, schedule and conduct the interviews. Use a consistent set of 10 or 12 questions to maintain a structured interview and offer a sound basis for comparing applicants.
  2. Select the candidate. Make your selection by matching the best applicant to the profiled job description.
  3. Run a background check on the individual to uncover any potential problems not revealed by previous testing and interviews.
  4. Make your offer to the candidate. The information you collected during the interview process will provide you with important insights as to starting compensation levels and training needs.



Additional Pre-Recruiting Tips

Before you start the hiring process, determine your strategy relative to how people fit into your organization. What is your process for making sure they’re a good fit with your company’s culture? Decide whether your approach to the cultural question should include a second interview. Also, who else, if anyone, do you involve in the interviews to help make this selection and judge the candidate? Your goal is to have a plan that will help you determine whether you have a qualified applicant who will fit into your company’s culture.

In addition, decide whether you’re going to conduct pre-employment testing. How much is it worth for you to know an individual’s strengths and weaknesses, not just as a hire/don’t hire test, but as a coaching tool to help you determine their training needs and the best approach to maximize the person’s productivity? Pre-employment testing is often overlooked, when it could be a very valuable tool. For example, if you find an applicant who fits the job description and appears to be the person you want to hire, pre-employment testing can help you determine how to work with them more effectively and move them along in your organization.


Beyond the Resume: How to Choose the Best Candidates

A traditional resume (or a LinkedIn profile) may be necessary for anyone who’s looking for a job, but in my 10 years as a business owner, I’ve never relied on either one to hire.

Honestly, I think resumes are a waste of time.

Part of the problem is that it’s human nature to exaggerate or even glorify a simple role. But the bigger issue is that there are a lot of things resumes can’t tell you about a candidate—like whether he’s the type of person you want to work with or whether she’ll fit in with your company’s style.

Instead, I’ve used a few non-traditional techniques that help me look beyond the resume to find great employees. Here are some tips for finding the best hires for your business without relying solely on a piece of paper or virtual profile.

Pay Extra Attention to the Application
The first step in the hiring process often involves an application. In the tech industry, where an ad for a job usually results in a high volume of applications, I play close attention to how people handle this initial interaction. Do applicants craft a personalized, interesting cover letter and follow up with an email or phone call a week later? Or do they simply fire off their resume without taking the time to interact beyond that? Someone who doesn’t take the time to be “remembered” not only seems less eager, but is most likely not a serious candidate.

One sneaky way to weed out the candidates who are just blasting out their cover letters is to add a special code or a hashtag to your application. I’ve been known to say something like “be sure to include #iactuallyreadthis on your cover letter.” I know immediately that the people who don’t put my special code in their letter aren’t paying attention to detail. And that fact alone tells me they probably aren’t right for us.

Do More Than Ask Questions at the Interview
When you bring your narrowed-down bunch of candidates in for interviews, you’ll definitely want to sit down with them and ask the standard questions , including soliciting specific examples from their previous work experience. But I also like to see how people perform on the job, rather than just have them tell me.

For example, if you’re hiring someone to answer phones, have candidates answer a mock phone call and see how they do. If you’re looking for developers, have them refactor some code. Even if you’re looking for something less task-based, like a project manager , you can have the candidate look at a current project outline and see what kind of questions or suggestions he or she might have.

You’ll also want to look beyond the skills and experience to make sure the candidate fits well with your company culture. At my company ShortStack , we don’t want to see a candidate on her “best behavior”—we want to see how she’ll be to hang out with during lunch or maybe even over a beer, because that’s part of our culture. Every Friday, our whole teams goes out to lunch together. It’s meant to be a fun outing, so I will invite prospective employees to make sure they can relax with us—or at least try to relax!

Use References Right
You probably already ask your applicants to provide references (and if you don’t, you should), but you want to make sure you’re using these contacts to their fullest potential to get the information you want.

For example, I’ll ask references about the candidate’s work performance, but I’ll also ask what the person’s sense of humor is like. This can tell you a lot, and as far as I know, won’t get you into legal trouble. (Ask your legal counsel to be sure—HR laws vary from state to state.) If the person’s more of a serious type—or on the other end of the spectrum, the office joker—he or she might not be a good fit for your organization.

I also like to ask if a candidate’s work area was clean or messy, how he or she interacted with the rest of the staff, and if he or she participated in any external activities, such as softball or volunteering. Think of what matters to you and your company culture , and use that as a guide for questions.

Use Trial Periods
I know this isn’t possible with all positions but, if possible, take the potential employee for a test drive before hiring full-time. Trial periods are almost like internships , but better paid and more serious. They can last for a few weeks or a few months, but can give you a good idea of whether the person is the right fit for your office.

For example, we give potential graphic designers and developers a few (paid) freelance projects to start with and then see if they have the skills we’re looking for. Look at it from an investment standpoint: If the salary is $60,000 and you invest $1,000 in a freelance project and discover that the person isn’t the right fit, you’re not out $1,000—you just saved yourself $59,000!

It’s also important to pay from a legal standpoint. The person could have a great idea that you want to move forward with, but if he or she wasn’t paid and you don’t end up making a full-time offer, you could run into legal issues if you end up using the idea.

If you do go down this path, try not to mention the possibility of a full-time position so if the person doesn’t work out, it’s easier to move on to the next candidate. Make sure to clearly state that the period of work-for-hire is for a certain number of weeks and includes specific responsibilities.

The next time you’re looking to hire, think beyond the resume. Resumes are great for providing a list of (potentially exaggerated) skills, but building a successful team requires more than a list of traits on paper.


Source: https://www.themuse.com/advice/beyond-the-resume-how-to-choose-the-best-candidates

Five ways to get honest feedback from your team

The ability to ask for and receive honest feedback is one of the building blocks of an organisation’s work culture. This feedback is important as a tool to measure efficacy of practices, processes, and leaders. It is critical for companies to implement efficient systems through which employees can give frequent and honest disclosures about their opinions on all things workplace-related. ET brings you some expert opinions on how to get honest feedback from your team.

Have Widespread Involvement
An environment of inclusivity is essential for transparent feedback and honest communication. “Companies can roll out quarterly engagement surveys to associates to gather in-depth understanding of where it stands, and managers should also be coached to have conversations with associates,” said Hari Vasudev, vice-president of technology at Walmart Labs India.

Pick Up Cues
Managers and other senior leaders must keep their eyes and ears open on the floor every day to pick up cues or feedback that colleagues may be hesitant to share otherwise, said Vasudev. “Collaborative workspaces can go a long way in making it easy for managers to interact with their teams to build a rapport,” he said.

Hold Skip-Level Meetings
Such meetings are a great way to ensure that employees are able to voice their concerns and have their opinions heard without trepidation. “Skip-levels make room for real-time feedback — which is essential if you want to retain your younger employees — and prove to be even more useful in the event that you spot a potential setback before it escalates,” said Pallavi Jha, chairperson and managing director, Dale Carnegie Training India.

Introduce Some Anonymity
The option to share feedback without fear of any setback or threat can often induce employees to provide really valuable insights, said Suresh Bose, head of group human resource at Vedanta Group. “A formal, non-anonymous feedback form will only reveal some of the superficial, non-threatening issues that affect the workplace, without mentioning the most important, underlying problems,” Bose said.

Create An Open Culture
While town-hall meetings, surveys, and feedback sessions are great methods to know what your employees feel, remember that the quality of feedback that you receive is largely dependent on the culture that you’ve created. “If you appear approachable and reasonable, you’ll find that your employees will be more honest about what they think,” said Jha. Vedanta’s Bose recommends that organisations create a portal where employees can share feedback without any hesitation.

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10 Steps to a Successful Career Change

Interested in a new career? People seek to change careers for many different reasons. Your career goals or values may have changed, you may have discovered new interests that you would like to incorporate into your job, you may wish to make more money, or have more flexible hours, just to name a few.

Before you make a decision like this, it is important to take the time to evaluate your present situation, to explore career options and to choose a career that will be more satisfying for you.

Review these tips for assessing your interests, exploring options, evaluating alternative career paths and making the move to a new career.

10 Steps to a Successful Career Change
1. Evaluate your current job satisfaction.

Keep a journal of your daily reactions to your job situation and look for recurring themes. Which aspects of your current job do you like and dislike? Are your dissatisfactions related to the content of your work, your company culture or the people with whom you work?

2. Assess your interests, values and skills.

Review past successful roles, volunteer work, projects and jobs to identify preferred activities and skills. Determine whether your core values and skills are addressed through your current career. There are free online tools you can use to help assess career alternatives.

3. Consider alternative careers.

Brainstorm ideas for career alternatives by researching career options, and discussing your core values and skills with friends, family, and networking contacts.

If you’re having difficulty coming up with ideas, consider meeting with a career counselor for professional advice.

4. Check out job options.

Conduct a preliminary comparative evaluation of several fields to identify a few targets for in-depth research. You can find a wealth of information online simply by Googling the jobs that interest you.

5. Get personal.

Find out as much as much as you can about those fields and reach out to personal contacts in those sectors for informational interviews. A good source of contacts for informational interviewers is your college alumni career network. LinkedIn is another great resource for finding contacts in specific career fields of interest.

6. Set up a job shadow (or two).

Shadow professionals in fields of primary interest to observe work first hand. Spend anywhere from a few hours to a few days job shadowing people who have jobs that interest you. Your college career office is a good place to find alumni volunteers who are willing to host job shadowers. Here’s more information on job shadowing and how it works.

7. Try it out.

Identify volunteer and freelance activities related to your target field to test your interest e.g. if you are thinking of publishing as a career, try editing the PTA newsletter. If you’re interested in working with animals, volunteer at your local shelter.

8. Take a class.

Investigate educational opportunities that would bridge your background to your new field. Consider taking an evening course at a local college or an online course. Spend some time at one day or weekend seminars.

Contact professional groups in your target field for suggestions.

9. Upgrade your skills.

Look for ways to develop new skills in your current job which would pave the way for a change e.g. offer to write a grant proposal if grant writing is valued in your new field. If your company offers in-house training, sign up for as many classes as you can.

10. Consider a new job in the same industry.

Consider alternative roles within your current industry which would utilize the industry knowledge you already have e.g. If you are a store manager for a large retail chain and have grown tired of the evening and weekend hours, consider a move to corporate recruiting within the retail industry. Or if you are a programmer who doesn’t want to program, consider technical sales or project management.

Write a Career Change Resume and Cover Letter
When you’re ready to start applying for jobs in your new industry, be sure to writing a cover letter that reflects your aspirations, as well a resume that is refocus based on your new goals.’


Source: https://www.thebalance.com/successful-career-change-2058452

Are you looking for a new job? What’s the best way to start a job search,

Are you looking for a new job? What’s the best way to start a job search, find companies who want to interview you, and get hired?

Here are ten steps you can take to find a new job, including where to look for jobs, the top job sites to use, how to use your connections to boost your job hunt, how to ace the interview, how to follow up, and more advice on how to get hired for your next job.

Find the Best Job Listings

What are the best sites to use to find job openings fast? Check out the best job search engine sites, job banks, company websites, networking sites, niche job sites, and sites listed by type of job. Also consider working with a recruiter to maximize your opportunities. Review a list of the best job sites to use to get started. More

Keep Your Job Search Focused

Use the job search engines to find jobs by using keywords that match your interests and the location where you want to work. Narrowing your search criteria will help you focus your job search and will give you more relevant job listings to review and fewer non-relevant job listings to weed through. Use advanced search options to drill down to the location where you want to work and the specific positions you’re interested in. More

Build Your Professional Brand

Create profiles on LinkedIn and other networking sites. A strong personal brand that portrays you in a professional light will provide recruiters, employers, and contacts with a strong positive impression of you as a candidate they should be interested in. These nine simple tips will help you build a better LinkedIn profile.

Connect With Your Contacts

Now that you’ve created profiles on networking sites, start using them. Connect with everyone you know, because you never know which contact may be able to help you with your job search or put you in touch with someone who can. If you’re a college graduate, check out the networking opportunities available for alumni from your university. Do you belong to a professional association? It will be another good source for networking leads.

Use Job Search Apps and Tools

There are a variety of apps, widgets, gadgets, and tools that will help you to expedite your job search and manage your career. Use them to organize your job search and save valuable job searching time. You’ll be able to do many of your job search activities from your smartphone or tablet.

Create a List of Companies You’d Love to Work

Do you have a list of companies you would like to work for? If not, it’s a good idea to research company information and create a list of companies to target in your job search. All the information you need is available on the web, and it’s easy to find detailed information about potential employers online. Once you have a list of dream employers you’d love to work for, you can do some special outreach to get your application noticed. You may even be able to sign up to get email notifications for new job openings immediately after they are posted.

Take the Time to Target Your Resume and Cover Letter

How do employers know that you’ve got the skills they are looking for? You’ll need to show them. It’s important to take the time to write targeted resumes and cover letters that specifically link your qualifications to the hiring criteria for the jobs you are applying for.

The hiring manager will be able to see, at a glance, why and how you are qualified for the job. You’ll have a much better chance of getting an interview than if you merely sent a generic letter and resume.

Prepare to Ace the Interview

Taking the time, in advance, to prepare for an interview will help you succeed. The more prepared you are, the less stressful it will be.

Research the company before you go for the interview, dress appropriately, practice answering and asking interview questions, and make a concerted effort to impress the interviewer with your skills, experience, confidence, and expertise.

Don’t Forget to Follow Up
It’s important to follow up after an interview by thanking everyone you met with. Also reiterate your interest in the position and remind the hiring manager why you’re an excellent candidate for the job.

Everyone likes to be appreciated, and a quick email or note thanking the interviewer for his or her time will give you another opportunity to make a good impression.

Accept (or Decline) a Job Offer

When you receive a job offer, it’s important to take the time to carefully evaluate the offer so you are making an educated decision to accept, or to reject, it.

You don’t have to accept a job just because it was offered to you, but do carefully evaluate it and if you decline, do so politely. Keep in mind that it doesn’t have to be a “yes” or “no” decision. You may be able to negotiate the terms by making a counter offer. Or, you may be able to negotiate some extra perks that would make the job more enticing.

Source: https://www.thebalance.com/steps-to-find-a-new-job-2060725

Career goals to succeed in 2018

Digital disruption, artificial intelligence and a roller coaster of a job market are changing the way we work. The ability to adapt to new workplace requirements will determine future success for both the employees and the organisation. ET brings you the lowdown on the state of business environment/jobs in a slew of sectors, and how employees can adapt their career goals.

‘Incorporate learnings from changing industry landscape’
WHAT’S CHANGING: Disruption is the new normal in today’s day and age. New technologies such as driverless cars, shared mobility, AI and robotics, along with innovations in communication are changing the way we work and live. Massive and frequent change is a reality, and is altering the way traditional manufacturing functions. All these changes will have an impact on the people working in the sector and hence the over-arching career goal for anyone working in manufacturing today should be to understand the emerging trends and make sure they upskill themselves accordingly, says Milind Apte, HR head at CEAT.

Career goals should be based on an “outside-in” approach, incorporating learnings from the changing industry landscape.

Employees can develop this approach by understanding current market disruptions and focusing on innovation in research and development.

People are responsible for investing their time and energy in upskilling themselves to create value in products, and should be part of organisation drives on reskilling and upskilling and get certifi cations to gain digital knowledge.

‘Changes create new opportunities’
WHAT’S CHANGING: Any large change in industry creates new opportunities. The telecom industry is witnessing signifi cant consolidation, new models of customer reach and service. Similarly, consumer behaviour and consumption patterns are changing. All of these developments demand new and unique skills and competencies, says Suvamoy Roy Choudhury, director-HR at Vodafone India.

The telecom sector will demand new future-fi t technology skills in very large volumes in IoT, Big Data, analytics, cloud and Artifi cial Intelligence.

Expansion of rural footprint and particularly rural data consumption and emerging use cases will continue to sustain conventional telecommunication technology skills.

‘Broaden the approach for learning’
WHAT’S CHANGING: The coming year will be defi ned by behaviours such as learning agility, risk taking and knowledge-seeking.

As the landscape of technology continues to change, the key focus of employees in the IT industry should be on ‘cross skilling’.

It is essential that we invest in learning new technologies outside our domain and gain functional knowledge in emerging industries like fintech, social and digital media, says Shraddhanjali Rao, head of human resources at SAP India.

Employees need to develop a sense of urgency when it comes to learning and aggressively gain in-depth knowledge in more than one technology area. For instance, one of the SAP India’s employees is bringing Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning to life in core manufacturing industries.

Fresh talent should broaden their experience by taking up stretch assignments in different teams so as to dabble with multiple technologies simultaneously.
‘Take time for honest self-reflection’
WHAT’S CHANGING: The business environment is ever changing and employees must be able to showcase agility in learning new skills. It is important for employees to start the New Year with an honest self-refl ection and assessment of their own strengths, aspirations and sense of purpose, says Amit Prakash, HR head at Marico.

Honest self-introspection through the year can help employees build core skills as well as cross-functional ones. It will also help them develop functional and leadership competencies at a time when the need is to be innovative and drive a strong personal connect with customers..

Employees in the FMCG/retail sector must set the goal of not just assessing their strengths and aspirations but also identifying their career anchors, to ensure that their sense of purpose is aligned with their career goals.

‘Be ready to reinvent’
WHAT’S CHANGING: In the wake of current regulatory challenges, the pharma industry is going through a phase of reinvention. Considering the rise in number of inspections by USFDA over the last few years, career goals with respect to manufacturing functions would be including ‘Quality Mindset’ as part of work culture, ability to think beyond just “compliance” and practicing worldclass standard data integrity, Rituraj Sar, head-global learning & organisation development at Lupin Ltd.

For those in the fi eld force, career goals should include keeping abreast with the latest inventory management tools and hands-on exposure to Data Analytics.

Career goals for employees in the R&D space should include ability to adopt technology and understanding of professional project management skills.

Career goals with respect to manufacturing functions would be making ‘Quality Mindset’ as a part of work culture and building ability to think beyond just “compliance”.

‘Learn to digitally interface with customers’
WHAT’S CHANGING: The most important career goal for employees working in the banking and financial sector—in different roles such as product, relationship management, operations/processing or risk management—is to align their professional knowledge and skillsets with the rapidly changing digital technology ecosystem. The ability to collaborate with multiple systems and provide .rapid modelling without compromising on experience becomes the mainstream strategy for innovating on customer experience transformations, says Deodutta Kurane, group president of human capital management at Yes Bank

Employees should invest in courses for refreshing/acquiring skills of the future in areas such as virtual reality and augmented reality, machine learning and artificial intelligence, cyber security, big data/advanced analytics (coupled with UI/UX), digital marketing, Internet of Things (IoT), robotics/process automation, and position themselves to seize emerging and challenging career opportunities.

Employees must reorient themselves accordingly and quickly learn how to use technology to digitally interface with customers and deliver products and services.


Skill councils told to ensure jobs by industry

New Delhi: The government has asked industry to provide jobs to personnel trained in their respective sector skill councils, warning that future fund allocation to the council will be withheld and unutilised money will be taken back if there is no increase in hiring.

The push comes ahead of general elections scheduled in 2019, where the slow pace of job creation could be a big issue. The Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship, which funds the sector skill councils through the National Skill Development Corporation, has told them to ensure that their industry partners provide jobs to people who have been trained and that these numbers must be reflected on the smart portal created for the purpose, a person familiar with the matter told ET.

The skill development ministry funds the centrally sponsored Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana, which is the flagship scheme for skill training.

The allocation for FY18 was about Rs 3,000 crore compared with Rs 1,000 crore allotted in FY16.

Explaining the rationale behind the move, a senior government official told ET that the industry running a particular sector skill council is responsible for setting standards, training and giving certificates to trained individuals.

“If they can’t absorb their own trained people, who will do the task of providing jobs?” the official asked.

The skill councils have reluctantly agreed to take on board the government’s concern.

“The hasty move has compelled the industry driven sector skill councils to take on the challenge even when providing jobs is not the mandate of the councils,” officials from half-a-dozen sector skill councils told ET on condition of anonymity. “There is a huge mismatch between demand and supply in the job roles as a result of which industry is finding it difficult to absorb most of the trained people”.
The pace of job creation in India fell to a six-year low in 2015 at 1.35 lakh compared with 4.21 lakh new jobs in 2014 and 4.19 lakh in 2013, according to a quarterly survey of industries conducted by the labour bureau under the Ministry of Labour and Employment, even after the launch of the Skill India Mission. The survey tracks jobs creation in select sectors. Another stud y – the Fifth Annual Employment-Unemployment Survey – of households conducted by the labour bureau showed unemployment rate rising to a five-year high of 5% in 2015-16 compared with 4.9% in 2013-14 and 4.7% in 2012-13.

Sector skill councils are autonomous industry-led bodies that create occupational standards and qualification bodies, develop competency frameworks, conduct train-the-trainer programmes, conduct skill gap studies and assess and certify trainees.

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Customer service jobs more prone to automation

NEW DELHI: The world of jobs is in a state of flux, thanks to rising adoption of artificial intelligence, and the jobs that are most vulnerable to this automation drive are software-IT and customer services, says a report.

According to a report by employability assessment company Aspiring Minds, customer service, software and IT and accounting jobs have very high automation potential.

“Customer service jobs have the highest automation potential (64 per cent). This can be attributed to the fact that the processes in this function are repetitive and can be automated to a significant extent,” the report said.

Automation powered by artificial intelligence, machine learning and bots has created a state of uneasiness among workers as machines and bots are being brought to outperform humans in various tasks.

“We see tremendous potential in AI. In coming times, AI will be seen making businesses more efficient and enabling them to hire better,” said Varun Aggarwal, co-founder and CTO of Aspiring Minds.

However, cognitive skills like inductive and deductive reasoning are unaffected by automation. Coupled with high demand, these skills will emerge as the most sought-after skills in coming times, the report added.

On the other hand, general management and marketing have least automation potential as these roles require high critical and logical reasoning abilities to support creative and rational decision making, making them hard to automate.

Moreover, behavioural traits like people management and openness to experience are also unaltered by automation.

The report analysed more than 10 lakh job openings mapped to over 30 job roles and 100 job skills to identify the automation potential of the labour market in India


A buddy that helps you face interviews

Startup by Vizag lad becomes a big hit with job aspirants

Within five months of launching commercial operations, a Nasscom Warehouse-incubated startup has started drawing good response from job aspirants from India and abroad.

InterviewBuddy, founded by Ujwal Surampalli, a city youth, after completing MS from the Rhine-Waal University of Applied Sciences in Germany, has so far received 2,000-plus users including students, unemployed as well as experienced, who are looking for greener pastures. The clientèle includes job aspirants from the United States and Latin American countries such as Costa Rica and Argentina, Spain and South East Asia.

InterviewBuddy, which underwent incubation on virtual mode by Nasscom’s 10,000 startup programme for a year here, is a cloud-based solution open to all. What one needs is an Internet connection and a computer with a webcam. “The solution works out of your web browser and there is no need to download or install any software,” Mr. Ujwal told The Hindu .

The interview is automatically scheduled based on the convenient slots that an interviewer and an interviewee choose. It helps the aspirants in facing mock interviews with experts drawn from HR and technical rounds under real-time environment. The startup also provides dos and don’ts on e-mail before subjecting the aspirants to several rounds of interviews to improve their answering skills. The final interview recording and assessment report are available on the cloud for ready reference. Mr. Ujwal said InterviewBuddy was started with offering its services to individuals (B2C platform) and soon would be available on B2B platform for corporates to help them assess and interview potential employees. The B2B platform would be useful for recruitment firms in sourcing the right candidates and providing the right information to their clients.

The startup, which received angel funding from Alcove Partners, was recently recognised as a startup by the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), Government of India.

Exuding confidence over its success, Mr. Ujwal said they would become a $3- million company in a year, and grow into a $10 million one in five years recruiting 250 people in operations, interviewing, call centre support and help desk, technical development and support in the next two to three years.

It recently received a shot in the arm with its selection by the State government for involvement in its skill development programme.

Source: http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/tp-andhrapradesh/a-buddy-that-helps-you-face-interviews/article22291018.ece