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

How AI helps with the hiring process

Artificial intelligence (AI) is not something that is on the horizon for HR; many recruiting programs already utilize it in order to get a competitive edge in a tight job market, argues Meghan Biro in this TalentCulture blog post. “There is no reason for any organization to shy away from AI’s capability — whether a big Silicon Valley firm or a small and lean startup,” she writes. “And leveling the playing field and reaching the same candidates as a larger organization, let alone a direct competitor, is just a matter of knowing how to use AI.” Biro highlights the five best practices of AI in the hiring journey: 1. Use AI to help find talent in specific locations by “geofencing.” 2. Make vital first connections with candidates using data collected via AI. 3. Tap virtual assistants to begin conversations with prospective candidates. 4. Use predictive analytics to make sure the candidates are the right fit. 5. Keep the hiring process moving with virtual auditions and video interviews. “AI enables hiring teams to make and maintain radically better connections with talent, garner a far better sense of fit over a whole spectrum of criteria and, frankly, be more human than we’ve been in a long time,” she writes.

Consider voluntary benefits to increase retention

According to a 2017 employee benefits study by MetLife, 72 percent of employees agree that the ability to customize benefits increases loyalty. “Now more than ever, employees want more from their employers when it comes to benefits. They want their companies to understand their unique needs, and meet them in different ways,” writes Will Giaconia in this ADP post. Voluntary benefits include anything from insurance products to lifestyle benefits and employee discounts. “Lifestyle benefits are key to engaging and retaining employees, particularly when trying to attract top talent,” he writes. “Employee discounts and other lifestyle perks are an equally effective method to engage employees and make a day-to-day impact on the quality of life of a workforce.” With the rise of the gig economy and tight labor markets, Giaconia believes having the right mix of benefits to offer employees is crucial to attracting and retaining top talent.

How to adapt to generation Z in the workforce

As generation Z (those born in 1995 and forward) gears to enter the workforce en masse, it’s important to understand what drives them, according to Michael Litt, a self-described millennial CEO. In this Forbes op-ed piece, Litt talks about what distinguishes generation Z from their millennial counterparts. “They are not just digital natives; they are mobile natives,” he writes, noting that generation Z hires prefer instant mobile platforms to email. Litt also underscores the younger generation’s proclivity for using video. “They have internalized the art of branding and self-presentation,” he writes. On the downside, Litt argues that while members of generation Z have serious ambitions, they may not be clear on what it takes to realize them. “With my younger hires, I often have to break down the process of advancement within the company — how to work their way up as part of a team and what’s a realistic measure of success,” he writes. “It’s just not possible to go from a new hire to an account executive in six months, no matter how dedicated they are.”

Building an agile learning culture

In this PeopleMatters article, Sharon Lobo discusses the importance of developing an agile learning culture for the workforce in the face of evolution and digital disruption. She recommends following these four key steps to creating the right learning culture: 1. Mapping learning programs to individual needs; 2. Creating a cloud-based research resource pool; 3. Appreciating, rewarding and incentivizing learning; 4. Encouraging peer learning and group activities. “Companies must concentrate on a people-driven business model to build an agile learning culture and leverage its advantages. Not only does it make human resources in the organization more efficient; it also gives them a sense of belongingness as they feel valued in a thriving ecosystem,” Lobo writes.

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