The top HR books of 2014

Our ultimate Christmas reading list for HR

With the holiday season coming up, it’s time to plan your beach reading list. I don’t know about you, but I love using this time as a springboard into a productive new year. So I’ve picked out some of the best new HR reads for the Christmas break.

If you’ve got other recommendations we haven’t featured, I’d love you to jump into the comments below or tweet me @cognology.

Smart Tribes: How Teams Become Brilliant Together by Christine Comaford

Smart Tribes

Christine Comaford is an applied neuroscience expert with over 30 years of company building experience. Smart Tribes uses this experience to look at how leaders can drive productivity through engagement.

A workplace culture where employees lie low, suck up and procrastinate may meet short term deadlines. But these behaviours don’t encourage company growth and development. Comaford gives practical applied neuroscience tips to get all your employees unstuck and engaged with the organisation.

The Alliance: Managing Talent in the Networked Age by Reid Hoffman, Ben Casnocha, and Chris Yeh

The Alliance

Co-written by Reid Hoffman (the co-founder of LinkedIn), this book looks at how businesses should work with their employees in the digital age.

Organisations can no longer promise employees lifetime work, but they also can’t just treat employees as free agents for hire. The solution Hoffman proposes is to think of employees more as allies than family or free agents.

Treating employees as allies creates a mutually beneficial workplace environment. Employers benefit from employees who see projects through and build the organisation. Employees gain development and the necessary skills to progress their careers.

This book is all about how the creation of an alliance between employer and employee creates great conversations, trust and retention of the best individuals required for a successful business.

Invisibles: The Power of Anonymous Work in an Age of Relentless Self-Promotion by David Zweig 

Invisibles

David Zweig’s latest book explores the careers of the “Invisibles”. These are the people who work in critical background roles. They typically only receive recognition when something goes wrong (rather than when they do outstanding work).

Zweig goes backstage at a Radiohead concert with their head guitar tech rather than a member of the band. He talks to an interpreter who works in a closed-door meeting at the UN. And he talks to the lead structural engineer of China’s tallest skyscraper, rather than its architect.

This book will help you identify your invisibles – directing recognition to quiet achievers for a job well done.

Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don’t by Simon Sinek

Leaders Eat Last

Simon Sinek is the bestselling author of “Start With Why”. He returns with his latest book on how every organisation can make their employees love work every day.

The primary message behind this book is that leaders who are willing to put the wellbeing of their employees first will succeed.

The book looks at why some teams succeed and some are forever bound by infighting. It will give you tips on trust building and several practical case studies that apply Sinek’s ideas. Pick this book up to find out why leadership isn’t theory, it’s biology.

The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers by Ben Horowitz

The Hard Thing About Hard Things

Ben Horowitz is the co-founder of Andreessen Horowitz. As well as funding a number of multi-billion dollar businesses, he’s had plenty of experience in the CEO chair. It’s one of the reasons he’s one of the most respected CEO advisors in Silicon Valley.

This is a no-holds barred look at what it really takes to build a successful and enduring company. 20% of this book is focused on entrepreneurs, but the remaining 80% is pure HR gold. This book will take you inside the CEO perspective on critical people issues. Horowitz also gives you practical frameworks to deal with the hardest of HR issues.

The Hard Thing About Hard Things is full of battle worn experience about what it really takes to grow a successful, people first businesses.

Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration by Ed Catmull and Amy Wallace

Creativity, Inc.

Ed Catmull founded Pixar Animation Studios with Steve Jobs and John Lasseter.

Creativity, Inc. is an exploration into how any business can inject creativity into the way things are done. Catmull discusses everything from meetings, post-mortems, and the braintrust sessions that lead to the realisation (and sometimes cancellation) of key films.

Ed’s credibility comes from the success of Pixar’s films, having broken box office records and garnered over 30 academy awards. This book is for anyone looking for battle-hardened tips on what it really takes to drive an innovation first culture.

How Google Works by Eric Schmidt and Jonathan Rosenberg

How Google Works

Eric Schmidt is the executive chairman and former CEO of Google. Jonathan Rosenberg is Google’s former senior vice president of products. Both came to Google ten years ago to help Google’s founders, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, restructure everything they knew about management.

This book covers a range of the experiences that Schmidt and Brin had whilst working at Google. These include seeing how technology was tipping the balance of power, and creating new products just to attract key employees dubbed “smart creatives”.

This book is full of disruption and personal anecdotes from Google staff. Don’t miss this insider take on how Google invented their data driven approach to people management.

The Virgin Way: Everything I Know About Leadership by Richard Branson

The Virgin Way

Richard Branson is the CEO of the Virgin Group (as if you didn’t know that already). In his latest book, Branson draws on 40 years of insights to identify what really makes an effective leader.

Branson’s leadership methods have never been conventional. He’s never read a book on leadership himself (and since he suffers from dyslexia, I’m not surprised). But his ability to grow so many successful businesses over 40 years makes him more than qualified.

This book is high on the list for anyone who wants a very different view on what it takes to lead.

The Gen Z Effect: The Six Forces Shaping the Future of Business by Tom Koulopoulos and Dan Keldsen 

The GenZ Effect

The Gen Z Effect is a book on how technology is the defining factor that unites different generations. It’s a refreshing approach, considering most generational books focus on the differences rather than similarities. The Gen Z Effect examines the possibility of a post-generational workplace where technology allows us to work and communicate fluidly together, without age-based boundaries.

The power of technology in the workplace is something I’m really passionate about. If you share this passion, this is a worthwhile look at the role that technology can play the future of work.

The Moment of Clarity: Using the Human Sciences to Solve Your Toughest Business Problems by Christian Madsbjerg and Mikkel B. Rasmussen

The Moment Of Clarity

The Moment of Clarity looks at how traditional problem solving methods aren’t effective against problems that involve a high degree of uncertainty.

Madsbjerg and Rasmussen use theories and tools from anthropology, sociology, philosophy, and psychology to create a practical framework to pull businesses through those uncertain times. They call this process “sensemaking”.

This book is for anyone who wants a different approach to people strategy. The moments of clarity offered in this book have already been used by companies such as Lego, Samsung, and Adidas. The Moment of Clarity gives you the competitive advantage already used by some of the world’s largest companies.

The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg

The Power Of Habit

Charles Duhigg is a Pulitzer Prize winning business reporter and author. In his latest book, Duhigg looks at why we fall into routine.

Duhigg uses a range of powerful case studies. These include the boardroom of Procter and Gamble and the sidelines of the NFL. His book argues that the secret to achieving any long-term goal is by understanding how to manipulate habits to your advantage.

This book will help you transform your professional interactions and broader business through the power of habit.

The Soft Edge: Where Great Companies Find Lasting Success by Rich Karlgaard

The Soft Edge

Rich Karlgaard is an author and keynote speaker. He has several books on business under his belt, and The Soft Edge is his latest entry into the study of business excellence.

“The Soft Edge” represents the creative side of business. Karlgaard argues that CEOs who struggle to think in terms of soft skills will lose out in long-term success and innovation.

I love this book because it emphasises just why all business decisions need to include a human factor (which is often hard to quantify). This is a great read for anyone who wants to learn how the human side of business can be your biggest competitive advantage.

So there you have it, my top 12 HR books of 2014

Have you read an amazing business book that’s a glaring omission from this list? Let me know in the comments and I’ll add it to my reading list.

And finally, make sure you’re subscribed to the Cognology newsletter for more great articles just like this. You can sign up on the top right of this page.

Talent Management Talk #2 – The skills crunch (Featuring Hannah Jacques-Jones and Con Sotidis)

In this week’s Talent Management Talk I’m joined by Hannah Jacques-Jones from The Faculty and Con Sotidis from LearnKotch to talk about the skills crunch (and all things learning and development).

This is a fascinating discussion about the impending skills crunch from a number of perspectives. Both Hannah and Con give their unique insights into how employers can use training and the right L&D approach to combat the coming skills shortage.

You can watch the discussion and read the full transcript below. If you have any further insights you’d like to share, jump on the comments below or reach me on Twitter at @cognology.

Watch the highlights below (or see the full 30 minute discussion here)

Talent management talk 2

Jon Windust:   
Hi everybody and welcome to Talent Management Talk. I’m Jon Windust CEO of Cognology, and with me here today to talk about skills and capability and development is Hannah Jacques-Jones from The Faculty, and Con Sotidis from LearnKotch. Welcome.

Con Sotidis:              
Thanks.

Hannah Jacques-Jones:    
Thank you. Thank you for having us.

Jon Windust:            
Thank you. Okay, so what I’d like to do is start by exploring who The Faculty is and what their connection with skills and capability and development is.

Hannah Jacques-Jones:     
Sure. The Faculty is a management consultancy but in a very niche industry. We operate purely in procurement and supply chain. There are three main sections of The Faculty. There’s a networks and round tables element, there’s consulting and there’s the training and capability section which fits in with you at Cognology. Through that we run a lot of skills assessments, capability assessments. We have a long history of doing that over 10 years.

Jon Windust:    
I find it fascinating that you’ve got this organisation that specialises in one space. I wonder if this is actually part of the future. We’re going to hit a skills crunch in maybe 10 years’ time, some might argue we’ve got a skills crunch now, and whether what you’re doing at The Faculty is part of the answer. Tell me about the capability frame works that you guys have developed and how you guys actually use that with your clients?

Hannah Jacques-Jones:     
One of the things we see a lot of is that technical skills are really important, absolutely, but it’s the softer skills, leadership, the influencing skills that really set people apart from normal.

Jon Windust:     
Right.

Hannah Jacques-Jones:    
Our frameworks are based upon competencies that are made up of those technical skills but also commercial skills and leadership skills. So we’re finding a nice balance, or that sweet spot between all three and we really focus on developing commercial leaders.

Jon Windust:           
Right and how did you actually go about developing this framework? How did it come about?

Hannah Jacques-Jones:     
So the competencies themselves, we did a lot of research looking at the future and where the future of procurement was heading. Then actually breaking that future down into procurement skills and also commercial and leadership skills.

Jon Windust:     
Con, you’re an expert in learning and development, what do you think of the skills crunch? Is it real now? What’s it going to look like in 10 years’ time?

Con Sotidis:       
Look Jon, what we’re seeing in current research is that there’s definitely going to be a skills crunch in the next 10 years. Employers are already saying that they’re finding it hard to find appropriate employees with the right skills. Mainly it’s because of the digitisation of the economy and also because we’re moving towards social media usage in business like Hannah touched on before.

I think it’s crucial that we get more development happening because the area is still very much lacking, and we find that investment in that area is still not meeting the investment in our technical skills.

Jon Windust:           
Right, and actually if there’s one thing that’s not going to change over the next 10 years, it is that crucial need for leadership, right?

Con Sotidis:         
That’s right.

Hannah Jacques-Jones:    
Absolutely, and it will just become even more necessary.

Jon Windust:       
Yes. We won’t name the clients, but you’re going to work with a particular client’s procurement group, how do you work with them? How does the sort of capability framework fit in there?

Hannah Jacques-Jones:     
We have a standard framework that we use but in order to make it meaningful and sustainable for the client, we suggest that we actually tailor it to them and what their specific needs are. We run a lot of workshops as well and that really helps with the change in management to any assessment because the people automatically get a bit nervous or scared when they hear about assessments.

If they’ve actually been part of the build and really inputted into it, it helps a lot and we have a great success rate. Even when assessments are non-mandatory, it’s actually getting 100% uptake on that.

Jon Windust:        
Right, okay. So you go in there, you develop these capability frameworks, and then what happens there?

Hannah Jacques-Jones:
Then we have the assessment. We partnered with Cognology to house our assessments. We have a manager assessment and a self-assessment normally, that’s the standard. But we’re also, as part of the round table networks that we’re doing, doing some research this year and we’ve set some benchmarks, across industry benchmarks, for what “good” actually looks like.

Because it’s all well and good having a self-assessment or manager assessment in numbers but what does that relate to and what should you be aiming for and striving towards? So those benchmarks really help to ground those results.

Jon Windust:    
I think what you guys have done with benchmarks is actually really interesting, and how you arrived at those benchmarks. Can you share how that happened?

Hannah Jacques-Jones:     
One of the difficulties, and this happens in a lot of industries but in procurement especially, is that job roles in one organisation to another look very different, so how do you actually compare one person from one organisation to another, even if they have the same job title.

Jon Windust:          
Right.

Hannah Jacques-Jones:    
The first thing we did was looking at job roles across the procurement industry and what are they actually called… actually defining the responsibilities and forming a description of that role. Then based upon those descriptions, those outputs, getting our round table members to say what level of capability is required based on the outputs only for those different competencies. That’s how we set about producing that benchmark.

Con Sotidis:          
And in the learning world we visualise that, or we call that a know-do-be framework. So it’s what you need to know, what do you need to be able to do, and what are you aiming to be like?

What you do is you go in there, Jon, and you set up a conversation with the business about that know-do-be perspective, and then you find what the minimum is that people need to know, and then you build on that for different levels. Say if you’re a leader in that procurement area, you also need some soft skills. If you’re a more technical operative, you probably don’t need those same soft skills but you need some other skills about business acumen or something like that.

The other thing, just quickly Jon, that Hannah talked about is that collaboration, that co-design. When you co-design with business you get a lot more buy-in, and when you get a business involved and is part of that process which The Faculty is doing, you’ll find that when you roll out, people are very much able to adapt and also embrace the learning because they know they’ve been part of the process That’s what The Faculty is doing.

Jon Windust:         
Okay, so we’ll do this assessment process, and then what happens with that information then?

Hannah Jacques-Jones:   
Well, good question. What should happen is that the manager should sit down and have a very good conversation with their employees, sit down and discuss the report and the outputs because it’s all based upon development and what they need, then coming up with some development options to actually meet those gaps.

Another thing I think is really important, especially in the skills crunch, is to do the succession planning, because gone are the days where people are invested in their organisation and their waiting for their 40 year gold watch. It just doesn’t happen anymore.

People are invested in their careers, their development, and as an employer, if you’re able to show them a career path in your organisation and make it clear and transparent, people are more likely to want to stay and invest back into the organisation as much as you’re investing in them.

Jon Windust:     
Yes, this is one of the things I really like about your capability framework, you can see a clear path.

Hannah Jacques-Jones:   
Absolutely.

Jon Windust:      
So you’re at this level here, you can see what’s required there.

Hannah Jacques-Jones:     
And then it’s empowering. It’s up to you to drive that forward.

Jon Windust:    
Right, yes.

Con Sotidis:          
That’s what we find with the skills crunch. What businesses are finding is that because people are leaving because of better options, then they haven’t got the right people to come up to that level.

Jon Windust:  
Right.

Con Sotidis:        
So identifying that talent via the capability framework or via management observations, by other processes, is very key to business sustainability going forward.

Jon Windust:     
Right, all right, let’s move on to now the learning development side of things. We’ve done assessment. We’ve worked out that, “Okay, these are the gaps that we’ve got and we need to develop.” Perhaps Con, can you talk about what are best practices …

Con Sotidis:  
I think just quickly there, what Hannah said is “people perceive assessment in different ways”. I think you’re right. I think we all come from that traditional learning environment. We went to school and we did our exam, we got assessed.

There is a perception with our probably more mature workforce that, “I’m going to be assessed. If I’m not good enough I’ve got to go back and get retrained,” this or that. How we position assessment is part of the ongoing development. That’s why you find these days we don’t have the traditional pass or fail, it’s about competent, not yet competent and so forth, moving up to that next level.

Assessment is important, like Hannah said, sit down with your manager and frame a learning plan about a process, “that I am currently here. I need to get to here. What are we going to do about it?” And not just the formal stuff. There’s a lot of informal stuff, the coaching, the mentoring on the job, but also support the individual to undertake some of their own learning.

In the previous organisation I was with, the graduates, they were keen to do their learning outside normal hours. They would say to me, “Con, where’s my tablet? Where’s my iPad? I want to be able to do this,” We don’t support that at the moment. So we’ve also got to be in tune with our workforce and how they want to learn, and support them in that learning journey.

Jon Windust:    
Yes, I kind of have this sense that coaching, mentoring, and something more akin to what an apprenticeship is going to start becoming the norm in organisations.

Con Sotidis:     
Yes, that’s a big thing. Coaching and mentoring is becoming more effective because it’s got the experiential aspect too, so it’s about learning on the job. We find in that formal classroom, it’ll give you that knowledge and also might give you a bit of that what we want you to do, but if you want to start bettering the behaviours, it’s that coach, that mentor that works with you on a day to day basis.

Hannah Jacques-Jones:     
We’re finding that trend as well. I mean everything that we recommend is through that 70/20/10 framework. So 70% on the job, 20% in coaching and mentoring, and then 10% in the classroom. We really see that coaching and mentoring is the trend moving forward but what it requires is some training to begin with because you have to have a base level because otherwise the coaching and mentoring is just almost one-on-one training. You’re not going to get the return on investment then, so you need to make sure that …

Con Sotidis:              
That’s where a framework that Hannah talks about, gives you that benchmark about what is the minimum knowledge you need to have.

Hannah Jacques-Jones:   
Yes.

Con Sotidis:  
So develop a program which gives that and whether it’s formal, it could be an E-learning product that gives you that knowledge, it could be a quick guide, something like that, maybe a two or three page document. There’s a variety of ways we can do it. We don’t always think about a formal classroom. As you know, there’s a variety of ways to get that knowledge.

Jon Windust:  
Yes, that’s one of the things I like about a good quality capability framework, is that it actually first tells you what you need to know but also in a sense it teaches you if it’s a good quality framework.

Con Sotidis:     
True.

Jon Windust:      
So we were talking just a moment ago about baseline development. How do you actually go about doing it? What is the baseline development?

Hannah Jacques-Jones:     
In terms of training, is that what you’re referring to?

Jon Windust:  
Yes.

Hannah Jacques-Jones:     
We develop a lot of tailored training for organisations and again a lot of those going in and workshopping it to see what their needs actually are. And then making sure that whatever training it is that we are building for them, aligns in some way back to the business objectives and their overall strategies. It’s helping the business and the organisation move forward as well.

Jon Windust:     
Yes, we mentioned before 70/20/10. Con, what is 70/20/10?

Con Sotidis:
Okay, well 70/20/10 has been around for a while. I probably don’t know the author’s name off the top of my head but it’s… basically like Hannah said, it’s about how we find learning is most effective and how we find that the knowledge transfer occurs. So we find that as individuals we get 10% of our learning from formal scenario, it could be online, it could be a classroom.

Jon Windust:  
So is this the training course?

Con Sotidis:     
Yes, the training course. The other 20% occurs from other activities. So it could be …

Hannah Jacques-Jones:  
Coaching or mentoring.

Con Sotidis: 
Coaching, mentoring, all that sort of stuff.

Then the 70% is the actual on the job. It’s actually learning on the job. More and more we find that’s more that sort of social interaction, the social media, we become more and more play in the space, the enterprise social networking, the Yammers, the SharePoints are playing a major role in that sort of learning on the job.

Jon Windust:   
Why does that work? Why does social learning work?

Con Sotidis:      
Because, again, it’s basically the way our DNA works, Jon. It’s how we’re made up. As individuals, as human beings and as a race we learn better by talking actively to each other. The water cooler conversations, “Did you know blah, blah, blah?” You think, “Oh, I never thought of it that way.”

Hannah Jacques-Jones:    
It’s also spoken so it resonates with you, to kind of really embed in the thinking.

Con Sotidis:   
Plus because it’s stayed in a social atmosphere where there’s no fear of observation or there’s no fear of being assessed. You are, I suppose, more prone and able to acquire that knowledge and learn from someone. I know, for example, when I go to the training course, you do the training course and then once you’ve finished the training course you go back to the work and when you get stuck, what do you do? You don’t go to the manual. I’ll tell you what I do, “Hey George, did you remember that at the course?” That’s what we all do.

Hannah Jacques-Jones:    
That goes right back to why the coaching and mentoring we’re seeing is a real trend, because that’s the bit that embeds the training you learnt in the classroom. It’s like, “Okay, I’ve come back and here’s my manual, what do I do with this?” It’s, “Okay, let’s workshop how that would work in reality and let’s work through some real examples.”

Jon Windust:    
I think it goes back as well … it’s something you said earlier that was pretty important though that the whole coaching and mentoring picture cannot work unless we’ve got the leaders there.

Hannah Jacques-Jones:   
Absolutely.

Jon Windust:       
So how do we develop leaders to actually be able to do that?

Con Sotidis:      
It’s skilling those leaders to be able to play that role. When I found the organisation we were at, we put a lot of … you’ve got to put effort into that. It’s the old “feed a man a fish, you feed him for the day, teach him how to fish” …

Hannah Jacques-Jones:     
Feed him for his life.

Jon Windust:        
Feed him for life, yes.

Con Sotidis:              
So it’s teaching those managers how to be able to undertake that process. You need to invest and the holy grail of any learning in an organisation is a middle manager.

Jon Windust:  
Right.

Con Sotidis:      
The holy grail of any learning event is not the senior manager, the senior manager is for buying. But it’s that middle manager who actually interacts with the individuals, the staff, that play a major role in how a good organisation progresses, because they’re the ones that are going to influence the subordinates and also up.

So invest in your middle managers as much as possible in relation to leadership training, coaching skills, mentoring skills, workshops.

Jon Windust:     
How are you guys doing it at The Faculty? How are you training the leaders to actually do this coaching?

Hannah Jacques-Jones:     
Well, one of the training programmes that we’re running at the moment, I mentioned earlier that it’s technical and leadership skills, we’re actually partnering with known business schools and the executive school. We do the more technical side and they’re really upskilling the leaders in those softer skills.

Jon Windust:   
Right, that makes a lot of sense.

Hannah Jacques-Jones:     
A lot of what we do is around stakeholder engagement. Whether that’s within the business or whether it’s external, its suppliers, and how you actually get them on board and sell the value that you can offer, a lot of that is to do with personality profiling, understanding what makes people tick and how you’re actually going to connect with them and communicate with them. We’ve found that that partnership with MBS has been really successful.

Con Sotidis:   
Can I add here that we also find it’s maybe more about the L&D space. We find that if we can invest in in that space, that coaching and mentoring space, us as L&D professionals need to also be aware of what we need to do. So we find that a distribution L&D practitioner needs to now expand their suite of offerings to be able to undertake that role, to be able to coach a leader on how to mentor, how to be a coach.

Hannah Jacques-Jones:     
Yes.

Con Sotidis:         
We find that L&D people need broader business acumen skills, and need broader communication relationship manager skills, because traditional L&D people are now meant to move out of their just purely structural design.

Hannah Jacques-Jones:  
Another thing that we’re finding helps is with the coaching and mentoring is “train the trainer”. So in terms of embedding something and making it sustainable for an organisation, we go in and maybe do the first few workshops. We’ll get people along and that we’re actually mentoring in delivering the training, and then they take that forward.

Jon Windust:    
Yes, and what we were talking about before about social learning, I actually think that’s a sort of fact there as well.

Con Sotidis:    
It is. It’s a big factor.

Jon Windust:     
You’re teaching someone else what you’ve actually learned yourself.

Hannah Jacques-Jones:    
Yes.

Con Sotidis:           
There’s a lot of power, Jon, in what I call the user generated learning. There’s a lot of evidence to suggest now that we, as learning professionals, we’ve moved more from the creation to the curation.

Jon Windust:       
Right.

Con Sotidis:    
And what curation means is by supporting individuals to be able to have a conversation, and us as learning professionals facilitating that and curating the gems in a way where we can then offer them to the broader cohort of learners. Does that make sense?

Jon Windust:   
Yes.

Con Sotidis:      
So it’s about taking what the gems out of the conversation and curating and providing them as part and parcel of a more, I suppose, formal offering or whatever the case may be.

Jon Windust:      
Yes.

Hannah Jacques-Jones:   
It’s come from a meaningful background. It’s come from real life.

Con Sotidis:  
Exactly, people that have got their eye on the job.

Jon Windust:       
There are some big changes, isn’t there at the moment, happening in the L&D space? The roles are changing a lot.

Con Sotidis:  
The role is changing enormously. We’re finding now that … and I’ll just read you the recent ASTD, they do an industry report every year. We find that somehow or other, classroom learning is still number one, which is good. I always say to people, “We’re not going to see the end of classroom learning. We are humans. We need interaction. We need to be able to have a coffee and a biscuit and learn from people.” But we also find that there is a lot more invested in self-paced learning but unfortunately the thing we all thought was going to be big: the e-learning part, the mobile learning, we’re not seeing much take up.

Jon Windust:         
Right, interesting.

Con Sotidis:              
I think about 1.7% … 1.7% from memory reported that they were using m-learning, as in tablet, mobile. We find that there’s a lot invested in e-learning and I’ve been able to say that I think we need a bit of an e-learning craze. That’s okay but unfortunately that’s not expanded down to m-learning. T

he other thing we’re finding, Jon, is things like MOOCs are very popular. MOOCs are massive open online courses for those who are not aware.

Basically they’ve come from places like Harvard University and Stanford got into certain various arrangements and partnered up with Ed-Ex and Udacity, Coursera. So they are massive, they’re big, they’re open, they’re free, they’re online and you learn.

Hannah Jacques-Jones:  
Is it just like tuning into a lecture?

Con Sotidis:   
Yes but it’s more structured, it’s more modularised. You’ll have a video, you’ll have some content, you’ll have assignments, you can actually study towards a certificate saying you’ve done this course. And that can lead to some sort of RPL or recognition for a degree or course with Stanford or with Harvard or something like that.

Hannah Jacques-Jones:  
Do you think they’re effective?

Con Sotidis:         
Well look, there are two sides to this story. I think with MOOCs, I think in the higher education sector yes they can play a major role. I know someone like my son who is at Uni, never went to any lectures, just podcasted everything. These days they don’t go to any lectures. So a similar MOOC would have been really good for him to have but I think in a corporate environment, I think we still need to assess what role they can play.

There’s been some traction and that with certain organisations where they’ve done some trials of it. I’ve not yet seen any major evidence around effectiveness of MOOCs in a corporate environment. I think there’s a role for them to play as supporting some of the learning, maybe even supporting some of the coaching and mentoring. I just don’t think they’re the fad that was sold to us as one of the solutions we really had to have… So Jon, do you have a view on that?

Jon Windust:   
Well, I do have a view on that. The thing I like about MOOCs is … I think there’s a long way to go. I think there’s a lot of development that’s going to occur with them but the thing I do like about them is that you get the best quality teachers and they’re the ones doing the teaching. So it improves the quality of the presentation of the learning. There’s still the question about coaching and tutoring but I think that’s probably where the old role of teachers changes.

Hannah Jacques-Jones:     
Sorry, is there any interaction between the lecturer or the teacher and those that are tuning in?

Jon Windust:    
I think the way they try and do it, perhaps you can talk about this Con, is to get people to peer up and work with each other, which is the other thing that I think is great about it.

Con Sotidis:   
There are things called C-MOOCs they interact with each other on social networks and they interact with each other on assignments and things like that. One of my friends, a plug in for Helen Blunden, she’s a real firm believer of the C-MOOCs. I can see why because it’s about connecting. It’s about not only learning but also tapping to people …

Jon Windust:   
Just tell us about the C-MOOCs…

Con Sotidis:  
C-MOOCS are about, they’re called connectedness MOOCs. It’s more the connected MOOCs where you’re connected with individuals while you’re also learning.

Hannah Jacques-Jones:
It gets back to the social …

Con Sotidis:  
Exactly. It’s not just a course you do and, “Thank you, see you later.” You’re also connecting, interacting, continue to learn, post events on what’s been presented. So they are, I suppose, more effective, and probably that’s where I think it’s going to move into the connected MOOCs rather than the stable MOOCs. But again, on MOOC, I think they’re finding there’s research there. We hear a lot about the dropout rates. Thousands of people join these MOOCs, I mean you can’t follow them down to completion.

Jon Windust: 
I actually heard one of the courses had over 300,000 people sign up for it.

Hannah Jacques-Jones:     
Wow, how many are tuning in but are actually busy typing doing something else.

Con Sotidis:      
That’s what I find too. There’s more offline. So you get the lectures there, you can do it offline.

Hannah Jacques-Jones:
Okay.

Jon Windust:        
Is that actually an issue though, people dropping out? If 300,000 people that sign up for a course, if only 50,000 finish, is that actually an issue? Is it a case of try before you buy, “I don’t like it, I’m going to drop out and do something else?”

Con Sotidis:      
Look, you make a very good point Jon and it’s a point that’s made quite a bit. The way I approach this is like any new intervention, we need some sort of measure. Every intervention is a measure in relation to completion.

Hannah Jacques-Jones:     
A measure of success.

Con Sotidis:     
Yes, assessments, transfer the learning and all that. Unfortunately, one of the measures that’s been associated with MOOCs is the sign-up rate and the completion rate. Look, it’s gone through a number of iterations with people and the conclusion we’ve all reached is, “Look, success is not really based on completion.” I’m okay with that but what happens with MOOCs is we find that the majority of people that are signing up have already got one or two or three degrees.

The vision for the MOOCs was to teach those people in Africa, Uganda, give them a chance to learn. Although there is signup from them, we find the majority of the signup is the people that already know this stuff, and to find that people already have one or two or three degree.

As one author quoted, “We are teaching people how to do something which they probably already know and are just looking to make some additional connections online.”

The other development that’s happening around learning is gamification. Gamification, I don’t know if you’re using it yet but gamification is really going big guns. Honestly, unlike e-learning which hasn’t picked up, I think gamification will continue to pick up. Gamification is about … we’ve all probably seen our teenage kids of friends or nephews and nieces, they play these games and they really get excited. It’s because they get to what? They get to move up. They get recognition.

Jon Windust:     
It’s instant feedback.

Con Sotidis:     
Exactly. They get recognition by peer. They get instant feedback. So things like badges, things like … even via LMS courses completing a course you get a little stamp on your little record. I can go in and say, “George has done that.” It gives me to go and do it too. It also creates motivation they say in most people to continue to develop, to keep up with the Joneses.

Hannah Jacques-Jones:     
We have an online procurement based industry networking site called Procurious and we have online learning there. Once you’ve completed the learning it goes on your profile so then people can see you’ve completed X module or what have you.

Con Sotidis:        
They get the recognition, credibility.

Hannah Jacques-Jones:   
Yes, it’s like creating your CV as well.

Con Sotidis:  
That’s right. So if you think about things like badges which is part of the gamification, and things like getting stars or unlocking a particular part of the next part of the learning process, really very popular. I think it’s going to be an area that’s going to take off.

Jon Windust:          
Yes.

Hannah Jacques-Jones:  
People like recognition. They like those gold stars.

Con Sotidis:  
We all do. We all like to be recognised, and Jon hit the nail on the head, Jon said instant feedback.

Jon Windust:    
Instant feedback, yes. I think that’s a large part of it.

Con Sotidis:      
It is.

Jon Windust:   
Let’s talk about Procurious because this fascinates me. What is Procurious and why did you guys actually create it?

Hannah Jacques-Jones:     
Procurious is an online social network specifically for the procurement industry. The Faculty mantra, if you like, is empowering procurement and actually bringing the procurement profession together. We see this really culminate in social media or social networking.

Jon Windust:    
Right.

Hannah Jacques-Jones:     
So it’s a place you can go and connect with likeminded people. You can ask questions that are specific to the industry. You can filter out all the noise that might be in LinkedIn or somewhere else.

Jon Windust:        
So it’s like LinkedIn but it’s sort of learning and development as well?

Hannah Jacques-Jones:     
It’s LinkedIn plus learning and development but specifically for procurement. So everything that goes on there is relevant to you as opposed to scrolling and scrolling to find something that means something.

Jon Windust:      
Yes.

Hannah Jacques-Jones:    
And yes, a part of that is online learning as well.

Jon Windust:            
Right, is recruitment part of the picture there as well?

Hannah Jacques-Jones:     
It isn’t at the moment. We’re trying to keep recruitment separate to that but you never know how things will evolve. We’re building it for the profession so if people want that, we’re very open to it …

Con Sotidis:              
Sorry Jon, you said earlier on in the piece about the skills crunch, I see what Hannah is doing in the Procurious sphere is developing specific areas for particular areas and specialisations, to be able to interact with each other, is going to be a way to go forward in relation to developing that particular skill set.

Not only to develop the particular skills but also their soft skills. Having separate little areas where individuals feel safe because they know the other people on there, they know these people are likeminded, they know what they’re talking about. I might throw a few acronyms out there and they know what that means.

Jon Windust:      
Yes.

Con Sotidis:            
It gives me that confidence to interact with these people and I feel comfortable.

Hannah Jacques-Jones:   
It’s also people are far more comfortable with recommendations as opposed to marketing or media. They trust what a peer says versus what an advert says.

Jon Windust:        
Yes.

Hannah Jacques-Jones:   
So that’s another thing.

Jon Windust:   
That’s right.

Con Sotidis:       
We’re finding also that at the moment through tweet chats, where people get together with a common purpose and have a conversation online via Twitter. In the conversation, you might have some experts on there too, you’re learning, what people do is archive that and have it as a resource to go back in later and tap into it.

So it’s, again, specialised little areas, like I run one around L&D and we have people that contribute to that. We talk on a variety of issues, then we archive it and you’ve got a little bit of a thread that people can tap in later on. And also make connections with people they trust, people they know. So that’s the way I think learning … it’s about that network, and that’s going to occur a lot more.

Jon Windust:            
Let’s switch gears and talk about 10 years’ time. What do you think the skills crunch is going to look like in 10 years’ time because on one hand we’ve got this aging workforce and then on the other hand we’ve got all these jobs that are expected to be automated. What do you think it’s going to look like?

Hannah Jacques-Jones:   
I think first of all we need to be worried about it now, not in 10 years’ time.

Jon Windust:          
Right.

Hannah Jacques-Jones:     
Absolutely prepare for it. I think, yes, the aging workforce, I think the workforce becoming ever more transient, the world becoming smaller. We’re going to have a lot more cultural issues and so cultural awareness, emotional intelligence become critical.

Con Sotidis:      
Remote working in Australia, teleworking, catering for work life balance…

Jon Windust:    
Right.

Con Sotidis:  
I’ll give you an example. We’re finding already Telecom New Zealand already allows their people, certain people to work from home in different shifts, so people are able to pick up their kids. Where I see that going Jon is that we’ll have a lot more ability for people to work when they want to work, how they want to work, and tap into their skills in that way, and organisations will change in that way.

Hannah Jacques-Jones:    
I totally agree. I think at the moment with work life balance, we’re already at 24/7, so how much can it increase by?

Jon Windust:     
Not by much.

Hannah Jacques-Jones:     
But I think that 9 to 5 will change. I think that’s the aspect, so those eight hours in a day might be two hours here and four hours there, depending on which time zone you’re in or you’re communicating with.

Jon Windust:       
Another thing I think might be part of this as well is we’ve just recently, in the last week, hired a retired guy and he wants to do 10 hours a week of work. Beautiful, perfect, we’ve got an experienced person that we can bring on board for those 10 hours of the week.

Con Sotidis:      
I think you’re right. Tap into the mature workforce. Also I believe that also if we tap into the disabled workforce, there is opportunity for those people who can continue to add to the workforce, who are available and got the skills we can tap into. I think that’s also important; that untapped workforce that’s out there.

Hannah Jacques-Jones:     
Yes.

Jon Windust:         
Yes, okay. Actually, that makes me think about freelancing sites as well. When you’re actually recruiting someone from a freelancing site, all you’re really concerned about is what skills does that person have and how well have they actually been rated against those skills, what their previous feedback is, and nothing else actually matters.

Hannah Jacques-Jones:     
It’s all the rating, back to the rating again.

Con Sotidis:     
If you’ve got a capability framework, you can put them through that and get an assessment on them, and straight away you’re laughing because you’re already there. You know what they need to know, what they need to do, what they need to have and need to be.

Hannah Jacques-Jones:     
I think those technical skills, those core skills that are required, are almost your license to come to the party.

Jon Windust:    
Right.

Hannah Jacques-Jones:     
Then it’s those recruiting on those softer skills, the kind of cultural fit is where I see HR and recruitment heading as well.

Con Sotidis:     
You’re right, we’re going to see a lot more of the freelancing occur. I think, like Hannah said earlier on, the relationship of individuals within the organisation is not going to be as strong in the years to come. It’s going to be more about me rather than the organisation. But having said that, they’ll committed and dedicated to what they’re doing.

Jon Windust:        
I think so and particularly if there’s a rating or reputation badge or something like that at stake, feedback.

Con Sotidis:  
Yes, reputation.

Hannah Jacques-Jones:     
I think employers can really invest, really invest with their staff and their development. They can earn the employer of choice status, then that will give them a competitive advantage.

John Windust:   
Well I think as the workforce is aging, there won’t be any choice. I mean you’ll die if you don’t make that investment, advancing … helping people advance their careers.

Hannah Jacques-Jones:     
They’ll just go to somebody else.

Jon Windust: 
Yes. All right, well look, thank you very much Con and thank you Hannah. It’s been an absolutely fascinating discussion.

Hannah Jacques-Jones:  
No problem, thank you.

Con Sotidis:      
Thanks for having us Jon.

Hannah Jacques-Jones:   
Yes, thank you.

Jon Windust:    
Thank you.

Is Holacracy a real management trend?

Part 4 of our data driven investigation into 2014’s real talent trends

Recap: We’re continuing our data driven look into the real talent trends of 2014

Today we have the last part of our data driven look into the real talent trends of 2014.

To recap, we’re investigating these trends using the public data that Indeed makes available about millions of job postings. Using the Indeed data, we can look at how frequently certain terms are occurring in millions of job ads, all the way back to 2005. It’s a powerful way to look at whether HR trends are really changing the way that companies are hiring.

Today, we’re using this data to look at Holacracy.

We heard a lot about Holacracy in 2014. But is it a real trend…or just a good news story?

There was a lot written about Holacracy in the business press over 2014. Many of these articles were focused on Zappos getting rid of all managers and moving to a Holacratic org structure.

Some of the high profile news pieces you might have seen included:

But is this a real trend? Because if you’re signing up to a Holacratic workplace without managers, you’d expect that the job advertisement should mention the fact.

Holacracy

The data is pretty clear here. To seven decimal places, we’re seeing zero job advertisements that feature any mention of Holacracy.

My advice: don’t throw out your org chart just yet! Management isn’t going anywhere for a long time.

As the chart below shows, traditional “management” continues to come up in a consistent 30% of all job posts. This has been relatively stable over the past ten years. What it means to be a manager will certainly change around the edges (through concepts like Agile Performance Management), but traditional management isn’t going anywhere fast.

Management

Interested in the real talent management trends of 2014? Don’t miss the other parts of this series….

If you loved these talent trend insights, there’s plenty more in this series:

  1. Millennials are changing the way we work (part 1)
  2. HR is about to be taken over by data/finance (part 2)
  3. Technology is reshaping the way we work (part 3)
  4. Holacracy is set to make managers obsolete (part 4)

And of course, I’d always love to continue the conversation and discuss this article on Twitter. Tweet @cognology with your take on this research and any other key trends you’d like us to look at.

Is technology reshaping the way we work?

Part 3 of our data driven investigation into 2014’s real talent trends

Recap: We’re continuing our data driven look into the real talent trends of 2014

Today we’re continuing our data driven look into the talent trends of 2014.

To recap on how we’re doing this, each week Indeed collects millions of job ads from sites across the web. And the team is kind enough to make all of this data publicly available and searchable. This means we can look at how frequently certain terms are occurring in millions of job ads, all the way back to 2005. It’s fascinating, and you should have a play with the tool at http://www.indeed.com/jobtrends.

Sitting in a workplace today, it’s easy to feel how technology is reshaping the way work gets done. So today we wanted to have a look at some of the big tech trends, to see if the impact on the workplace is as significant as the press and blogosphere makes out.

How is technology reshaping the way we work?

Again, there’s been a lot written on this topic recently. Here’s just a couple of pieces that you might have read over 2014:

Out of these, we’ve picked the four trends we were seeing again and again. In no particular order, we’re diving into:

  • Social media
  • Social (collaborative tech)
  • Cloud
  • Mobile

Social media

Clearly social media is no passing fad. It’s seen huge growth in hiring over the past ten years. But this is still less than 1% of all jobs, and at present these numbers are unlikely to represent much other than people hired into marketing roles. It will be interesting to see how “Social Media” in hiring evolves over the coming 5-10 years – will we see a stage where social media capability is a broader job requirement?

Social media

Social

Social (capturing collaborative tech) is potentially the bigger trend here, which continues to grow. It’s interesting how Social has seen a sustained pick up across 2014, whilst Social Media has plateaued.

Social

Cloud

Again, “Cloud” is a trend that’s seen major growth over the past five years. “Cloud” has come from nowhere to feature in nearly 1% of all job adverts across 2012 – 2014. The scale of growth shows the level of investment that businesses have made in getting the workforce cloud enabled.

HR Cloud

Mobile

Mobile is another big trend that’s really reshaping the way that we work. But similar to the “Cloud” it hasn’t been a growth area for 2014 (doing major growth at an earlier stage). If anything mobile is now starting to drop off as a hiring trend, as companies are reaching full capability.

Mobile

So, how is technology reshaping the workforce?

Cloud, mobile and social media have all been huge growth trends in reshaping the workplace. But as this hiring data makes clear, they haven’t been the tech trends of 2014. All three terms have plateaued or fallen away slightly over the course of the year.

What does this mean? As these charts make clear, these technologies have seen explosive growth over the past five years. And there’s still significant hiring happening – especially when you compare the current numbers to 10 years ago. But explosive and ongoing growth in the field may have slowed. So it’s possible that businesses are bedding down current efforts and making sure they have the right strategies in place to go forward (now that they’re through initial deployment).

The only place we’ve really seen ongoing growth over 2014 is social technology. As I wrote about here, there’s really good reasons to invest and integrate social and collaborative tech. It’s great to see that businesses are starting to recognise this return and invest appropriately.

Interested in the real talent management trends of 2014? Don’t miss the other parts of this series…

If you loved these talent insights, there’s plenty more in this series:

  1. Millennials are changing the way we work (part 1)
  2. HR is about to be taken over by data/finance (part 2)
  3. Technology is reshaping the way we work (part 3)
  4. Holacracy is set to make managers obsolete (part 4, coming tomorrow!)

If you’ve got interesting thoughts about what this article means for the future of work, I’d love to continue the conversation on Twitter. Tweet and follow @cognology.

Is HR about to be taken over by the CFO?

Part 2 of our data driven investigation into the talent trends of 2014

Recap: We’re using job hiring data to understand the real talent trends of 2014

Today we’re continuing our data driven look into the current state of talent.

As a quick refresher, we’re using the publicly searchable data from Indeed as a basis for this investigation. Because Indeed aggregate millions of job posts from across the web, it’s a great source for understanding what’s really happening in the workforce.

Today we’re going to shift the lens back in, and look directly at what’s really changing in HR.

Is HR is about to be taken over by data/finance?

If you’re a regular reader of the business press, I’m sure you’ve read plenty of articles suggesting that HR is about to be made obsolete. No one seems to agree on who’s about to take over the function, but data analysts and the CFO get mentioned regularly.

Here’s some of the typical press/blog articles you might have read over the past year:

Today we’re using hiring data to see if this takeover is really playing out. Are companies really recruiting super analysts to take over HR? We’re going to find out by having a look at some of the following terms across job adverts:

  • HR & Data
  • HR & Big Data
  • HR & Analytics
  • HR & Finance

But before we jump into that level of detail, let’s set the scene with a general look at the recruiting landscape for HR, analytics, data and finance.

Data

I find it interesting that “Data” has been falling away over the past three years in job adverts. This is about the same timeframe the business press started making proclamations like “data is the new oil”

Data

Big Data

And maybe some of this falloff in “Data” can be explained just through buzzword substitution. Hiring for “Big Data” seems to have picked up in late 2011/early 2012, at the time that “Data” started to drop away.

Big Data

Analytics

At the same time “Analytics” shows on-going growth over the past 10 years, although an interesting downtrend over 2014.

Analytics

Finance

Hiring for “Finance” has shown a constant and sustained downtrend over the past 10 years. I find it quite incredible that “HR” seems to be a better economic barometer than finance (compare the following two charts).

Finance

HR

Based on this chart alone, it’s amazing how correlated HR jobs are with the general economy.

HR

HR & Data

Adding “HR” and “Data” gives us an interesting picture on the data revolution in the HR profession. It’s clear that there is real growth here that doesn’t exist in the profession as a whole. But the press are 5 years too late in recognising this as a trend. Over 2013 and 2014 we’ve seen “HR” and “Data” fall in relative frequency.

HR Data

HR & Big Data

You can see that “HR”and “Big Data” is very spikey (given the very low data volumes). However it’s clear that there was a pickup at the same time as “Big Data” in general. This seems to be a case of the business media really pushing a term to the forefront of the hiring agenda.

HR Big Data

HR & Analytics

“HR” & “Analytics” has seen sustained growth over the ten-year period (but remember that this is coming off a low base. This is definitely a term to watch.

HR Analytics

HR & Finance

This is an interesting graph with some spikes on serious volume – I’m sure there are some interesting factors driving the spikes (I’d love you to jump into the comments if you have thoughts about what they represent).

HR Finance

So, is HR about to be taken over?

Whilst there’s some evidence of growth in “HR” & “Analytics” and “HR” & “Big Data”, these trends are small scale and relatively early in their lifecycle.

Relative to HR as a profession (c.3% of all job advertisements) these trends are small scale – with about 1 in 50 HR job advertisements currently featuring “Analytics” and about 1 in 150 HR job adverts featuring “Big Data”. So it’s fair to say we’re not at the stage of a massive takeover just yet. But there are clearly things happening over the medium term – which makes this an interesting trend to watch.

Interested in the real talent management trends of 2014? Don’t miss the other parts of this series…

If you loved these talent trend insights, there’s plenty more in this series:

  1. Millennials are changing the way we work (part 1)
  2. HR is about to be taken over by data/finance (part 2)
  3. Technology is reshaping the way we work (part 3, coming tomorrow)
  4. Holacracy is set to make managers obsolete (part 4, coming Friday)

And of course, I’d always love to continue the discussion on Twitter. Tweet @cognology with your take on this investigation and any other key trends you’d like us to look at.

Are Millennials really changing the way we work?

Part 1 of our data driven investigation into the talent trends of 2014

Introducing a four part investigation into 2014’s key talent trends, thanks to our friends at Indeed

We’ve spent the past few weeks searching for a data driven way to investigate the top HR and talent trends of 2014. The real question that I wanted to ask here was: “are these real trends affecting business, or just a big media/blogger beat-up”?

Luckily, we found Indeed’s awesome job trends tool. If you’re not familiar with Indeed, it’s one of the world’s biggest job post aggregators. Indeed collects millions of job ads from sites across the web. This approach has quickly seen them become a recruiting powerhouse.

Each week, the team at Indeed make data from millions of job ads publically available and searchable. So we can look at how frequently key words (or phrases) are occurring in job ads, going back ten years.

It’s an incredibly powerful way to look at whether these HR trends are really changing the way that companies are hiring.

What do millions of job posts tell us about the real talent trends?

We picked out four trends that we’ve seen come up time and time again in the business press over 2014. These four trends are:

  1. Millennials are changing the way we work (part 1, today)
  2. HR is about to be taken over by data/finance (part 2, coming tomorrow)
  3. Technology is reshaping the way we work (part 3, coming this Thursday)
  4. Holacracy is set to make managers obsolete (part 4, coming this Friday)

We wanted to understand if these are real trends shaping the way companies are hiring, or if they just make great stories in the press. We’re going to dive into one of these topics per day over the next four days. So make sure you check back frequently!

Without further ado, let’s jump into Millennials and find out if they’re really reshaping the workplace…

Are Millennials really changing the way we work?

There has been a lot written about Millennials in the workplace over the past year. Here’s a couple of the more influential pieces that you might have seen

I’m going to highlight some of key attributes of a “Millennial friendly workplace” that just keep coming up throughout these articles:

  • Flexibility
  • Feedback
  • Collaboration
  • Friendly
  • Work from home

To see if workplaces are really becoming more Millennial friendly, let’s have a look at these five terms in job advertisements:

Flexible

We know that Millennials want more flexibility and better work life integration. And this chart provides pretty strong evidence that workplaces are heading in this direction. Over the past 10 years, you can see the frequency that “flexibility” comes up in job adverts has nearly doubled. This is the most frequent of the Millennial related terms, appearing in nearly 15% of all job posts.

Flexible

Feedback

Feedback has shown similar growth, albeit from a lower base. It’s interesting that the term has plateaued in job advertising since mid 2012.

Feedback

Collaboration

Collaborative and friendly workplaces are commonly cited characteristics of a Millennial workplace. There’s an interesting relationship here between the “collaborative” and “friendly” workplace. Collaboration showed very strong growth over the period of 2005 to late 2011. It has plateaued since and fell significantly in 2014.

Collaboration

Friendly

In an interesting takeaway for your recruiting efforts, it seems that the “collaborative” workplace is out, and the “friendly” workplace is in. This was probably one of the bigger surprises in cutting the data. Over the past ten years there’s a real trend towards more friendly workplaces. I certainly didn’t expect to see such growth over the past 2-3 years.

Friendly

Work from home

We’ve saved the most interesting for last! Because in identifying the real Millennial trends of 2014, “Work From Home” is the big growth story. Since early 2014, the term has shown accelerating growth with no end in sight (have a close look at the explosive growth from mid 2014).

Work from home

Millennials really are reshaping the workplace

The data does show that out that these Millennial demands really are reshaping the workplace. More and more workplaces are offering what Millennials are ‘demanding.’

But there’s also a deeper trend here. It does appear that we’re moving to “Phase 2” of the Millennial friendly workplace.

  • Phase 1 includes the trends of “Feedback”, “Flexibility” and “Collaboration”. These were trends that showed strong growth through to early 2012, and have now plateaued.
  • Phase 2 includes the trends of “Friendly” workplaces, and “Work from home”. These two trends in particular have shown significant acceleration over the past three years – whilst some of these earlier trends have stagnated.

Where to next? I’d love to hear your thoughts on what else is could be included in phase two of the Millennial friendly workplace trend.

Interested in the real talent management trends of 2014? Don’t miss the other parts of this series….

If you loved these talent insights, there’s plenty more in this series:

  1. Millennials are changing the way we work (part 1, today)
  2. HR is about to be taken over by data/finance (part 2, coming tomorrow)
  3. Technology is reshaping the way we work (part 3, coming Thursday)
  4. Holacracy is set to make managers obsolete (part 4, coming Friday)

I’d always love to continue the conversation and discuss this article on Twitter. Tweet @cognology with your view on this research and any other key trends you’d like to see investigated.

Guest blogging opportunity – Thought leaders in HR, talent and performance

If you’re a HR blogger and would like to reach a large Australian audience interested in talent and performance management, then this is your guest blogging opportunity.

Guest blogging opportunity

The Cognology blog is a great opportunity to reach a large Australian audience of HR and talent professionals. Every month we reach c.10,000 unique monthly viewers, so it’s a great platform to increase your profile in the space.

We’d love to see interesting and edgy submissions that touch on all areas relevant to talent and performance management. You definitely don’t need to be a published or recognised author. Your experience and passion in the space is enough!

Interested? Send a short pitch describing what you’d like to write about to tom.wade@cognology.com.au. We’ll get back to you within 72 hours letting you know if it’s a good fit. That easy!

The top five Australian and New Zealand blogs on HR and talent management

There’s a lot of great HR and talent management blogs

A Google search for “best HR blogs” or “best talent management blogs” will get you thousands of great resources. But frustratingly most of the top results tend to be very US focused.

So I wanted to take some time to shine a light on some of my favourite local thinkers in the space. Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve put together my list of the top five Australian and New Zealand blogs in and around talent management.

Blogposts

To do this, I’ve focused on blogs that are regularly updated, contained innovative and engaging advice and have a regular local focus.

So without further ado, here are my top Australian and New Zealand bloggers in HR and talent management. In no particular order:

1. Daniel Lock

Daniel Lock is an expert in change management and productivity. I love his weekly posts on the latest news in change management, HR and technology. Every week Daniel collects a series of great links to big news on how technology is changing business.

Daniel’s recent pieces on developing change and overcoming complacency were also great. He does an excellent job at addressing the eternal paradox of needing change to get ahead but being comfortable in our current surroundings.

Dan is quite active on social media, you can find him on just about every platform. I’m sure he’d love you to touch base.

http://daniellock.com/blog/ @DanielLock

2. LearnKotch

Con Sotidis is an expert in organisational learning and development. Con started his blog earlier this year, armed only with his (many) years of experience in the public sector and a passion for L&D.

Not all Con’s posts are strictly L&D based (although MOOCs do pop up a fair bit). He recently posted a fascinating article on where L&D should sit in relation to human resources. I agree with Con that L&D (as well as HR) should sit as close to the business as possible.

Get to Con’s blog, and learn a thing or two about learning!

http://learnkotch.wordpress.com/ @LearnKotch

3. Greg Savage

Greg Savage is your go-to man for all things recruitment. Greg’s a real veteran in the blog space, having shared his insights with the world for many years now.

He recently wrote a fascinating piece on the way we should look at recruitment and talent acquisition. Greg makes a great argument that we should look at potential candidates more like consumers. As a result, it’s critical to know their intention as well as grabbing their attention.

Give Greg’s blog a read to understand more about recruiting for the future of work.

http://gregsavage.com.au/ @greg_savage

4. HR Man NZ

Richard Westney is another HR expert from across the Tasman with a regularly updated blog full of great HR insights.

You’ll find everything on Westney’s blog from “the tyranny of turnover” to “CEO’s prefer blondes”. HR Man NZ is a blog full of insight into how to stay progressive and avoid getting bogged down in unnecessary process.

http://hrmannz.wordpress.com/2014/08/27/a-question-of-balance/ @HRManNZ

5. Break the frame

Break the frame is a great blog on leadership, career advice and life from Alli Polin. Alli lives smack bang in the middle of Australia in Alice Springs. She’s a consultant with the corporate experience to back it up, using her knowledge as an executive to coach other likeminded individuals.

Alli gives regular advice on how to give leaders feedback (Spoiler alert: the answer is honesty) or how to use journals as a more productive use of your reflective process. Alli’s expert advice is just as applicable in the red centre as it is in any part of the world.

Her recent blog on “how to work with someone you hate” was a great piece on managing conflict… Because I’m sure you’ve had to work with someone you can’t stand (just like everyone else).

http://breaktheframe.com/blog/ @AlliPolin

Who have I missed?

I’d love your thoughts on other people who deserve to be in this list of Australia and New Zealand’s best bloggers on HR and talent management…