Here are the top news stories in talent & organization from this week. 

Senior bankers turn to online fintech studies

In mid-October, the Said Business School at Oxford University, in partnership with South African startup GetSmarter, launched its new online fintech course. CNBC reported this week that it has already drawn 1,000 students from 71 countries. “Here’s where the numbers get interesting,” Seamus Conwell wrote.About three-quarters of participants are currently working in financial services, with half having more than 15 years’ experience in the industry. Over half the students are company leaders, with many listing job titles such as managing director. And a large proportion are employed by the world’s biggest banks, including Bank of America, Barclays, CitiBank, Deutsche Bank, HSBC, Standard Chartered and UBS.” Peter Tufano, dean at the school, told CNBC: “Fintech is an exciting, fast-moving and important phenomenon. By collaborating with partners from around the world, practitioners in all the major financial sectors, and GetSmarter, we are able to offer something that is up-to-date and useful to not just our program participants, but the world.”

The business case for a social media brand 

“Social media can be a powerful tool if used properly… It’s not hyperbole to say your business can soar through strategic use,” writes Jessica Lang in this WilsonHCG blog post. But platforms such as Facebook and Glassdoor also provide microphones for consumers and employees to vent about negative experiences, she warns. When building the 2018 business case for greater investment in social media, Lang suggests keeping four considerations in mind: Consistency, creativity, demographics, and strategy. Among her key tips for 2018: “Take advantage of opportunities to increase viewership with additions like Facebook Live and Instagram Stories. Attention spans are shrinking; meet Gen Z where they’re most often at with brief snippets of content to gain significantly higher traction.” Who knows, maybe we’ll have to move our weekly news update to Instagram, too!

How to properly reflect internal culture when hiring

Speaking of branding, one HR leader emphasizes the importance of matching the external image companies present to recruits with the internal reality. In this HR Magazine article, Beckett Frith reports on the remarks of Charu Malhotra, Italian-based Ferrero’s global talent leader, who spoke at the HR Tech World conference in Amsterdam: “You might emphasize the ping pong tables and pizza on Fridays, but that can lead to people feeling disengaged when they join. But when you reflect the internal experience [in your employer branding] that’s when it becomes authentic. The correct recipe for an employer brand always starts inside.” Malhotra advised HR leaders of large companies to tailor employer branding to the various regions they operate in globally. “Nutella tastes the same everywhere, so can our employer brand be the same?” she asked. “It makes our board happy if it is, as there is consistency and control, but it doesn’t work. If you try to reach everybody then you end up reaching nobody.”

Agile workforce becoming a priority in 2018

“Is agile workforce the largest labor revolution in decades or the latest hype?” ponders Jeff Wald in this Forbes op-ed. He offers some interesting stats to ‘wade through the noise.’ The first prediction is one of ours from the 2017 Technology Vision Report: “In 10 years, a Fortune 200 company will have no employees outside the C-suite.” Wald highlights several other interesting statistics, such as: In 2020, 40 percent of field service work will be done by contractors; a majority of business leaders (83 percent) believe contractors are more productive; more than one-third of the U.S. workforce already choose to work independently; and millennials now outnumber baby boomers. These statistics and others make the case for why businesses need to prepare for ‘an utterly unpredictable future of work,’ Wald writes.

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