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How to Lead in Today’s Changing Workforce

Listen to Jim Link, CHRO at Randstad, lead by moderator Shannon Pritchett speak about his work passions and insights around 1) Generational strategies, 2) Re-imagining today’s workforce structure, and 3) New leadership competencies for GenZ.

 

Bennett Sung

But for those that are not familiar with AllyO we are an AI powered HR communications platform that really drives efficiency and delight from recruiting automation to HR employee engagements and we’re working you know we’ve been very blessed to be recognized and trusted by many top brands in the industry today ranging from our investors like Gradient Google Bain Investment Randstad Innovation Fund we’ve been fortunate to be recognized by a number of awards including recently 2019 awesome new technology and top product of the Year by HR executive magazine and as you can see many of the top many great customers are entrusting AllyO  support they’re entering an HR management whether it’s FedEx or the Cheesecake Factory Avis Budget Group and such and of course Randstad so we look forward to engaging and certainly teaching you more about what we’re doing from an AI HR communications perspective 

As a special offer this is there is a handout also in your GoToWebinar panel for you to download but wanted to quickly chat about this we have parted throughout 2019 with an organization called future workplace many of you may be familiar but if you’re not it is an advisory group that has put on and has created a certification program for AI for HR on the course itself consists of 12 video use cases by HR leaders across the globe really is a social collaboration platform for you to engage with other participants in that particular quarterly course and really there is an ability for you to really define your next action plans of how you’re going to apply your knowledge gained to this training for into your current practices at your company and lastly you do receive a recertification credits toward to into really continued education and I really grow your profession as an HR professional 

So again welcome everybody today is a sixth episode of our HR leadership present webinars webcast series how to lead in today’s changing workforce and our again our special guests Jim link CHRO Randstad. You’ll get to know a lot of his background in his and the insights he’s garnered over his course of his career and certainly hit and the lessons that he would love to translate and transfer over to you and hopefully and that’s being guided through our moderator managing director of CareerXroads at Shannon Pritchett but before we get started with the interview itself we wanted to engage you all in a poll and really kind of begin to get a better sense from you on what area of recruiting would you like to see the most improvement in in 2020 so let’s go ahead and take your votes in we love to see what the results ends up being. Ok we’ve got around 60% of the vote in so let’s go ahead and and reflect upon the results here and share that with everyone so as a reflection of everybody’s participation in the poll retention is ranked very at the top of everybody’s list for most improvements next – time to hire and then chatted experience and analytics very interesting results we’ve been doing this for the past five webcasts since June of this year and retention has definitely remained very strong everybody’s top list I’d love to kind of just hand it you know get any reflections on these results from Shannon and Jim. Shannon anything that you see interesting from what your what the attendees have voiced  their top priority for 2020 

Shannon Pritchett 

Well I thought that no one selected cost for hire is a very good sign especially that we keep talking about you know possible you know recessions and stuff like that it seems like you know we’re okay with spending a little bit of money which is a great thing I was secretly trying to vote analytics I always think those can be an area of improvement but a lot of Hope in you know optimism when I see retention that is wonderful and at CareerXroads we just did a benchmark study on internal mobility and so I’ve actually been looking into different ways that you know HR and TA leaders can help drive internal mobility to increase retention so it was nice to see that you know I’m not the only one out there that’s passionate about that particular topic

Bennett Sung

Yeah Jim how about yourself what do you what do you reflect on we see these results from the attendees

Jim Link

Well the first thing that popped in my mind whenever I saw this was that the candidate experience you know what you have initially at the very get go as you become familiar with a company or an organization in my mind has a direct relation and probably a statistically significant one to retention because if you’re more likely to have a great experience in your talent attraction process your experience and onboarding and in your first few days weeks and months in a job it has to improve retention so that correlation would be interesting to me like like Shannon was describing we here at Randstad spent a lot of time talking with our clients and customers about how to effectively retain the folks that they do hire and I’m not surprised to see it at the top of the list I hear in my company we spend a lot of time thinking about this and obviously want to have as much retention as we possibly can absolutely

Bennett Sung 

Well excellent so let’s go ahead and get started so love to handover today, introduce everyone formally to Shannon Pritchard managing director of CareerXroads. She’ll talk a little bit about what she’s her passion and her the movements and things she’s been working on there and I didn’t start the conversation um an interview with Jim. Shannon, it’s all yours.

Shannon Pritchett

Fabulous, thank you so much Bennett.  Hello everyone I’m Shannon Pritchett I work for careerXroads we are a talent acquisition and talent management community which has been around for a couple decades now primarily we bring together both Human Resources leaders and TA leaders in a community like setting to help solve your problems we help answer questions like what keeps you up at night we help tackle various different technology decisions that you might make and most importantly we help connect you to other leaders that have a similar background and passion that you do that really want to help you solve problems so that’s what I do with CareerXroads I’m over benchmarking community and analytics and I was absolutely thrilled to get the call that I’ll be speaking with  Jim Link. When I first met Jim I felt like we were two kindred spirits, two southerners. I’ll let Jim talk about himself but I’m from Tennessee and always nice to talk about some to talk with someone else from the South that shares a lot of the same passions as I do and so Jim I could talk about you for a while but it probably comes better from your mouth would you like to start with the introduction?

Jim Link

Well sure so thank you my name is Jim link I take care of Human Resources in North America for Randstad. Randstad is the largest human capital company in the world and we manage our company by region or we probably best to think of it as hemispheres or continents and so I have responsibility for our largest grouping of businesses in the world which is based here in North America and specifically I sit and reside in Atlanta, Georgia. So as Shannon indicated I am a child of the south I was born and raised in Western Kentucky on a working family farm. We grew livestock or grew for crops but also raised livestock particularly cattle and we were originally tobacco farmers from that part of the world. That working family enterprise is still in existence and my family still runs it today and I’m very proud and pleased to have grown up that way. I very early my life learned the value of hard work and the fact that just because you planted a seed did not always mean it would sprout and I think those lessons have served with me well throughout the course of my my life and my career and it also helps keep me very very well grounded because the work that I do today is very very different than how I spent the first 20 years of my life.

Shannon Pritchett

Fascinating Jim I love that quote you just said absolutely. I want to continue with some personal questions because you just have such a fascinating background to me and we got to know each other you mentioned that you had a very competitive background and actually you attended college on a Speech and Debatescholarship and just curious you know how did you get involved with Speech and Debate? And are you still using any of those skills today?

Jim Link 

The answer to your last question is absolutely I appear on the speaking circuit for organizations like SHRM quite quite regularly and believe that part of my role in mind responsibility is to share the thought leadership that we have here in my own company but also what I’ve obtained over the years through the various places where I’ve worked to the benefit of others so we do that in public speaking environments and on webcasts and webinars and podcasts a very similar to what we’re doing here today. But to answer your first question when I was in high school I was involved in lots of tasks and activities and both fun and laborious and what I found throughout that is that the people who succeeded the most were those people who were able to communicate the ideas that they had or even the ideas of others but communicate them in a succinct and clear way to take a complex idea and to simplify it and be able to share it with particular groups even with the masses and that has stuck with me for a long time. Now we did that in a very structured way through high schools debate teams and in speech circuits and speak turn speaking tournaments and I found that those things not only gave me self-confidence but they enabled me to learn a few things were enabled me to share what I knew with others and that gave me a sense of confidence and capability that I could go out and do things in the world. And I carried that with me onto the university stage where I was fortunate enough to be able to participate in scholarship programming and roamed around the country doing speech and debate competitions for my undergraduate University. It’s funny I still today can remember some of the speeches I prepared some of the impromptu things that went really really well and some of those that went really really poorly and of course there are lessons learned from both of those and again that’s something that you carry with you but it gives you the idea that that said in the right way and communicated with the right passion you can get your point across to any audience on just about any topic 

Shannon Pritchett

Fascinating I would like to hear if you have a brief second to share one of those fond memories that you have from your days of traveling around and all the different speeches you prepared at different colleges and universities does anyone stand out in particular?

Jim Link

Well, I tend to remember the ones or that we we were winners the year before I went through undergraduate school that University Murray State University in Western Kentucky happened to have a national championship debating team and that was part of the draw for me because I knew that there was an excellent coach there I knew that there was excellent opportunity and so we built and believe it continues to this day a relatively strong speech and debate program there of which I was just fortunate enough to be one of the members but to answer your question, Shannon, the thing that I remember most is I volunteered while I was in university to work with seventh and eighth graders to teach them the fundamentals of debate and I had kids from all backgrounds all economic conditions and what I was so impressed with is when these kids started in the program it was like a seven or eight week program that I ran on a volunteer basis in a local middle school and where these kids started and where they ended in their confidence in their capability their ability to string together ideas to communicate a story or a purpose or a value that’s what really sticks with me is what what what I was able to share with others in a way that helped them at least at that point in their life realized that they were someone that they had capability despite what anyone might have told them and that their long-term desires could be reached if they were able to effectively communicate in that way that’s what I realized fast that’s great hopefully they didn’t come home and start debating with their parents right away but these are skills for the stage there’s one there’s one little man in the back of my head right now who I bet it’d still argue with somebody

Shannon Pritchett

That’s great Jim speaking of you know college a lot of people you know don’t go to school and want a career in human resources though I have met a couple same with talent and acquisition you know there’s really not many degrees for recruiting so how did you know what was your career path and how did you get involved with HR?

Jim Link

Well in undergraduate school I majored in public relations and minored in psychology and marketing and I knew I wanted to fit eventually somewhere into the business world but the big differentiator for me other than Speech and Debate and that type of competitiveness on the national level the thing that really made a difference for me was what was then called a cooperative education program, we might call it an internship today, I think those that term co-op is still out there at that point in time you work fo a semester and a summer and then went back to school and then probably returned to that place of employment or another place a geographical place that same employer to gain more skill that company for me happened to be General Electric and when I when I walked in the door as a 21 year old intern I had really two chores. The first chore was to write the company newsletter every week I did that I was it was not a computer I did it on it was a thing called a typewriter and I did that and was able to write effectively and to share stories and to take pictures and to communicate with people in a way that they found desirable I also answered first step’ union grievances and as a result of those two things the ability to write and communicate and share that with others and then help resolve issues in this case in a right setting I almost fell in the human resources those two things just went together at least at that point in my career early very easily I was fortunate enough after university to gain a job with a General Electric and I worked in several different locations always in human resources or oddly enough acquisitions and mergers those were kind of the two places where I spent my time in GE I left GE after several years and went to work for the Pillsbury company the Pillsbury company at that point in time was owned by a British company called Grand Metropolitan which later became Diageo and today Diageo is a very large distiller or seller of liquor and at that point time they were in the food and drinks business they spun off the food and drinks business to do business to General Mills and that Pillsbury label as we know it today is still part of the General Mills family of companies after about seven years they’re in again in progressing up into human resources roles I ended up as a director of human resources for the research and development division of General Mills actually at the time a Pillsbury so I was hiring people like food toxicologists and chemical engineers and food scientists and flour scientists and buy flour I mean that’s you know the stuff that you sprinkle you know into your gravy to make your gravy thicker that kind of flour and there’s only one University in the entire country at that point in time that had a degree in flower science that would be known as in Kansas State which makes sense when you think about it and so I got very very good very very early at understanding the desire and capability of bringing technically oriented people into corporate America and helping them be successful and that talent acquisition work was really that some of the hardest work that I’ve ever done because it was so specific and real and had very demanding qualifications in order to even step in the door to be interviewed so I got it taste very very early on of how that work and have a deep appreciation for talent acquisition now and I explain a little bit more about them now here a little later after General Mills I became the head of Human Resources in North America for Porsche cars so I went from as a consumer packaged goods industry to automotive and I spent a little over eight years as a head of human resources in North America for Porsche including during the Great Recession when it was very very difficult to sell anything let alone a $90,000 sports car and then I found my way through an outside recruiting firm to a company called Randstad as the managing director of human resources for our US-based business at the time and that has grown now into a much larger job through three acquisitions and much work in the what we call the Randstad centers of excellence in employee relations and internal talent acquisition and compensation and benefits to really serve as a very lucky job I have to serve as Chief Human Resources Officer of this fine company in which I’m employed today.

Shannon Pritchett 

Fascinating background I learned a lot there first I didn’t know flour science was a particular thing so that’s interesting I told you this Jim I went to the University Wisconsin so big agricultural school and I took a lot of food science courses and originally I thought there would be easy aids I didn’t know there was so much chemistry involved and so I can only imagine that flour science just like food science is not an easy subject like many people think

Jim Link

Yeah these people could tell you you know if precipitation occurred you know an inch of rain or less on a field somewhere in Kansas how Pillsbury’s cake mix formula needed to change right often yes they’re incredibly gifted minded people who could take something we take for granted and use it to formulate a new cake mix it’s just incredible how that works

Shannon Pritchett

That is fascinating you something else that stuck out that what you said is you know you just mentioned a lot about how you got involved with a intern programs and last time we spoke you talked about internships and you seem to have a great bit of passion in them you know would you say that’s still a passion of yours today.

Jim Link

Yeah it is. I’m very keen on helping particularly young people understand and adapt into the workplace today so I’ve written a lot on this topic I’ve spoken often on this topic that takes its form in generational studies that we do here at Randstad and we openly share on our website if you are interested in going and grabbing those they’re free to you what what we find is that young people in particular today who come into the workforce have a very different set of expectations than generations before them a lot of that appears to be driven by their digital native behaviors you know Millennials started the technology transformation in this country and the Gen Z-ers as they’re known Generation Z they are all the way there they really not know life without access instantaneous access to information and knowledge and capability at the touch of their fingertips and we are woefully unprepared as society and as organizations today what that means is the way the work looks how work gets done where it gets done and with what degree of effectiveness it gets done so we spend a little bit of time both my company and I focus very very much on helping employers prepare for the expectations of these individuals and then they have how they can maximize their talents and capabilities because they have many of them to the benefit of the company so yeah great and so the way you do that obviously is through any type of learning experience you can get and that includes things like internships and part-time assignments and other types of work just to familiarize folks with the world of work

Shannon Pritchett

Yeah wonderful  and you know what are some of your other passions

Jim Link

Well I’m a very big believer in equity and when you when you think about equity to me equity is at the end of a continuum that starts with ideas of diversity moves to ideas of inclusion which leads in my mind to equality and equality once recognized in an organization should lead naturally in the way I think of it to equity and so I spend a lot of time in the space of trying to ensure that we have an inclusive work environment of a place where that you can bring your entire self to work on a daily basis where you can be valued for who you are and what you are as well as what you bring into the company and how you perform and if we are doing a great job at that here at Randstad and if we’re encouraging our clients and customers to do the same then we’re creating a culture of equality and that’s really what I’m after and I find that a lot of my actions in the back of my mind are driven by that foundational belief that if we as society and we as companies in that society do a good job in that space we’re doing our entire world of benefit and I’m driven by that purpose I try to demonstrate that every day in my work life I certainly try to demonstrate it in my home life and when people see me out doing presentations on these topics and sharing my beliefs about these things and how we get there I think they can see the passion and energy behind it as well 

Shannon Pritchett

Elaborate a little bit on that because you know I think that’s a very important topic especially in you know today’s world especially not just what we consider or have been considering as a diverse candidate but also looking at you know the world of neuro diversity as well how have you driven some of these you know changes and equity in your current role with Randstad.

Jim Link

Yeah well we’ve done a lot of things and this is certainly a journey it’s not a llight on light switch which you can turn on and off it’s a it begins with good intentions and then once you have the right intention and the right leadership support behind it then it goes to measuring and holding people accountable to ensure that they are thinking about inclusion in the right ways and a lot of times that’s as simple is just asking the questions and making people aware but it’s also learning and development it’s structured training programs to set new expectations it’s building executive diversity councils participating in diversity exercises looking at your own internal population and deciding where you have weaknesses when it comes to diversity of any type and then holding yourselves accountable to getting that fix so leaders I think look at this as an exercise and and it’s not an exercise it is a change in mindset and it’s a change in cultural expectation there are a few companies out there that figured this out there are others who are on the journey somewhere most early in the journey and there are others who haven’t because they haven’t yet recognized the need to capture all of that different type of diversity in their current workforces I mean it was only just this year for example that all of the fortune 500 companies in the United States finally had a female on their board of directors that’s many years too late so you know it’s those types of things one at a time wherever you start to make a difference you can do that through mentoring you can do that through education through sponsorship through you know finding someone who has a passion about this building employee experience groups or business experience groups in your core corporations or organizations and just familiarizing yourself with with what some of the things that you do every day could have an impact upon others I have a trusted group of people in my circle I call them my trusted inner circle I label them I tell them that their my trusted inner circle who i can ask those questions that that might in some companies or organizations people would be fearful to ask but they understand that i asked those questions with the best intention and that the purpose of that is to ensure that I’m not unintentionally in my own biases or putting someone out on a limb or causing some type of consternation and that I’m indeed ensuring that my actions reflect my ideals and when we get that mindset right in in our companies organizations and societies today we will go a long way in my mind toward advancing our entire civilization 

Shannon Pritchett

I think that is so important and I’m thrilled to hear that you have a trusted circle I have one as well I think it’s really important you know not only to run ideas thoughts and opinions but also you know to have people that can hold you both accountable also for those actions and so that’s really good that you’ve established that currently I want to continue on and on a similar topic I wanted to go with a question from the audience it was a question about Millennials you know and and basically they want to know is how should managers deal with young team members you know both you know especially when you have two different schools of thoughts which could be you know a different diversity and opinion mind you right so you know two different generations two different opinions two different schools of thoughts what is the best way to manage those individuals?

Jim Link 

Yeah we do a lot of research in this space it really boils down to just a couple of things which may sound rudimentary in the description but in their execution are quite difficult and and the first one of those is the way that these folks tend to communicate and by these folks I mean people probably under the age of 32 or 30 what happens is that we found somewhat to our surprise in a round of research in 2016 and then confirmed again in 2018 that when it comes to routine matters that can be routine matters at home routine math the workplace or what-have-you these folks in the age bracket I describe most wish to prefer with you digitally that means through some through some type of methodology other than face-to-face but surprisingly what we found is that when this topic or topics are deemed to be important to either you or to the younger person in the workforce the preferred method of communicating with them is still face to face that really stunned us when we found that in our last last surveying and research it when I began to think about it I actually see this in my entire in my household I am raising four of these Gen Z-ers they range in age from 21 to 15 and I found that it was better for me whenever I wanted them to join me at the dinner table or to come and see me or to present it do something that I communicate with them through text messaging or some other type of device what I found later is that when it’s really important it really matters to them they still walk downstairs or upstairs to see me and this is so that’s the first big realization we came to is that communication with these individuals matters and it matters the form and the methodology in which you employ it so for routine what we settled on is that if it’s routine it’s okay to communicate in a digital format but if iit’s really important they tell us and we already know the more senior group that the best way to do that is face-to-face to get the message across so that was that’s observation number one that a lot of people think we’re wrong about but as getting proven again and again in our in our research I think the second thing that we found that was particularly interested is about the idea of feedback and what feedback means and alike and if you’re still using the old annual performance review and you’re writing out what you want someone to do and then evaluating them on once a year you need to stop it because that idea for the younger generation of people was dead and buried before they were even born the the way it works with these folks is we think it tend to think of feedback as an event they tend to think of it as a norm so we tend to gather about and to worry about whenever we have to provide constructive feedback to someone you know we plan it we we think about it we’re it’s usually more comfortable for us to provide positive feedback and much more difficult to provide constructive feedback for younger folks in our who are entering our workplaces today or already in it in some cases feedback is part of a normal process and they’ve been getting feedback ever since they posted their first picture on Instagram right or on reddit or name your latest technological application that is that feedback is instantaneous and real-time to them and companies and organizations are still adapting to how to do that for example here at Randstad we move to a much more frequent surveying process from which we can generate feedback to provide to individuals we encourage mentoring reverse mentoring feedback circles all of those types of things to ensure that feedback occurs on a much more real-time part of the norm structure than than event and organizations have trouble adapting to that because they think that it requires work but the type of feedback I’m thinking about is gracing someone’s door in their office or their queue you know communicating with someone in the hallway walking the factory floor whatever it is that’s the type of real-time right now instantaneous feedback that these individuals are looking for they’re not looking for you know a structured sit-down with you whether you end up with a number and a merit-based pay increase that’s just not who they are so those two things we learn very quickly I think the biggest surprise for me out of our recent survey related to these individuals and it’s related to another question that has come in about benefits in 2016 and then confirmed again in 2018 much to my surprise we found that of all the benefits that we listed that were available for employers to provide to millennials and generations the employees the one that was most valued was flexible work arrangements so flex time or there are lots of words for it but it basically means a structure that’s other than a defined beginning time every day and a defined ending time every day so work flexibility for the first time became more important than health care or learning and development or promotional opportunities or anything else that has historically been on those lists and that was confirmed to get in our findings from 2018 now it in the last few years that we were doing this that that had been inching up on the survey list rising higher in the ranks but it quite honestly stunned me whenever it popped up there as quickly as it did in 2016 and it has stayed there as the most important benefit that you can provide to them that’s what’s huge and it’s potentially cheap 

Shannon Pritchett

Couldn’t agree more as somebody who is flexible and also who you know I really like what you said around the whole performance reviews. I might be classified as a millennial I’m not sure I’m in my mid-30s, though I tell people I’m in my 20s I’m just be honest.But for me you know you’re right the greatest thing that you know the owner of our company My partner and I have established is our one-on-one calls I love the time where I can sit down and learn from him and really prepare for the week and it was my favorite thing with the last owner of the company I worked  for when I was at ERE media you know and it’s I think when you get into the traditional ways that you know one manager who might have one or two decades more experience than the employee they’re managing I think it is important for them to get out of their comfort zone and break some of those traditional habits and you know and kind of you know mold them differently which brings me to my next question another audience question but where does emotional intelligence play into leadership competencies for understanding these differences and you kind of elaborated it a little bit but I was hoping you could more define it.

Jim Link

yeah absolutely first of all as a diagnostic tool you know the capability to determine the amount of emotional intelligence in someone is hugely significant study after study has shown that the most effective leaders who have staying power right you can get you can get into a large leadership role and not have a lot of EI but the people who are in large leadership roles and have huge amounts of EI tend to create the most the best results have the most followership develop everything that’s developed people behind them prepare themselves for their own exit so that others can be ready around them and just have better long-term results we think of emotional intelligence as being one of the leadership competencies of the future there that will be required in order to lead this newer generation of employees good healthy dose of it we also think that those leadership competencies have things in them that are new things like the idea the ability to be innovative or as we like to think of it have a high degree of entrepreneurship that is the ability to innovate within your company or your job or your role or what have you we also think that leaders have to have this new thing which were calling decompression and the idea here is because everyone is looking down at their screen it’s your role as a leader in the future to lift those folks up to help them come to the surface following the decompression analogy to observe what’s really important to look at the horizon and to see where you’re going because today no one is doing that and the expectation that a leader does that is new so we need to teach leaders how to do that and in some ways that’s part of an emotionally intelligent leader is knowing what their employee needs being able to put themselves into that employees shoes and then give them that guidance and coaching and leadership that they need in order to be a more effective and productive individual so emotional intelligence plays an overarching important role in all aspects of leadership and is going to become even more particularly important in the future as we see more and more folks come into the workforce who are very very technically adept because they’ve been exposed to this capability their entire lives but may need developed in some of the softer Sciences like conflict resolution negotiation leading others managing prioritizing those types of things some of the softer skills that that appear to be not as present in a newer crop of employees coming into the workplace as has been present in the past 

Shannon Pritchett

Absolutely. We spoke a lot of on the generational differences, curious to hear your thoughts, also, on the differences that we’re starting to face as we transition into a more automated workforce especially with a lot of the skillsets. You talked about involved communication and personal interaction you know yet we’re entering a world of artificial intelligence and we’re here you know thanks AllyO you know one of the driving forces that we see in this change you know how do you think HR TA leaders you know what’s your advice and how can they prepare for some of these changes as we enter 2020

Jim Link

Yeah well the first thing in particularly for talent acquisition because once you move away from just the original data analytics that you would pull out our HRIS systems and those types of things you know the next big frontier and has been for the last few years has been in the recruiting of the assessment of and the identification of great candidates to go into your own company or into somewhere else that in my mind is ripe for and we’re already seeing it and through companies like AllyO you’re seeing a disruption happening there and it’s happening at a very very rapid pace it never fails that whatever I’m presenting on this topic there’s some talent acquisition leader sitting out there in the audience who you know tentatively raises their hands and says you know should I be fearful of what might lie ahead as it relates to artificial intelligence and technology? And my job and my answer to them always is absolutely not. The opposite is true you should be grasping that technology because at the end of the day what that technology is doing threads through a chatbot or whether it’s through some other type of diagnostic capability it is actually making your job easier it is making you more productive more effective more efficient and better able to to to get to the right person to fill the position that you’re recruiting for on that particular day. Yeah so what I think of recruiters in particular talent acquisition specialists have this unique capability because if I were them I would be using every technological tool at my at my disposal and then my strategic differentiator would be the human touch because let’s face it a machine today is still not going to recruit someone into any of our roles in the company it doesn’t happen that way the machine suggests through a particular algorithm who might be qualified but it’s still that human factor today and I believe will be this way for many years to come that is the ultimate arbiter the ultimate decision-maker for selection criteria important for whom is actually selected into a job so I like to think of the recruiters job as tech enabled with a human touch and and we can never lose the human touch while we should be constantly grasping for than for the best technological applications that help us source the best people out there that are available to us and AI itself as a tool is just that enabler it’s another tool in our toolbox that we need to deploy to effectively reach an outcome

Shannon Pritchett

I couldn’t agree more you might appreciate this I love the one liners that you keep throwing out during this chat one of my favorite things to remind recruiters and leaders is well if you act like a robot then you’re gonna be replaced by one because we can’t leave that human touch and that’s a kindness but it is promising to know and I know Randstad have always been a leader on this that we are finding more efficient and faster ways to bring on talent there’s always going to be that human behind it. So very well said Jim I am I’m a huge fan of that work you know where it’s I think of it as machine human collaboration because that’s that’s where we’re actually going it’s human capability enabled by machine couldn’t agree more you know it besides AI you know what other changes do you see happening in 2020?

Jim Link

Yeah there are several. And these probably some of them are already we’re seeing these changes but I think they’re going to get highlighted in 2020 and beyond the one that really is the result of all the things that we’ve talked have talked about where rather it’s been driven by the preferences of younger workers or a tight labor market like we’re certainly in today or what have you there’s going to be more of a focus on a category which I call work design and work architecture and that really means the content and quality of what we ask an individual to do and to how to get that job accomplished and then how we hold them accountable for those results there’s going to be significant thinking and work produced out out in that category I think in 2020 and beyond and it’s driven just quite honestly by by younger workers they don’t want to come in and and sit in a cube all day and enter data you know they want an interactive role that has an outcome where that they’re impacting their bottom line and the better way that we can make that connection visible to them the better off they’re going to be so I think HR leaders in particular corporate strategists and others have to think about work design and work architecture as kind of category one or the future. Category two I’ve already talked a little bit about we will continue to see an evolution of diversity and inclusion equality and equity out there that people are going to start talking more about that continuum and try and build themselves up to a better place on that continuum it’s a matter of business survival to do so in today’s competitive labor market so I think that will continue to be a scene as well.  My third one is I think we’re going to continue to see a switch between transactional work and strategic work and that’s particularly true in Human Resources we’re going to continue to put that more transactional activity it will be impacted and improved by the use of analytics and by automation robotics of and artificial intelligence and the real work of Human Resources will continue to evolve more toward the strategic side. The fourth category is we just talked about as well I call it tech and touch in collaboration whether you’re working in the talent acquisition space or an employee relations call center or you’re a benefits analyst those things are going to play more and more of a role in that collaborative approach to producing a better result. And the last one I just mentioned very briefly but based on what I’m seeing and hearing from our clients and customers there’s going to be much more of a hiring focus in 2020 and beyond that has a higher degree of soft skill competencies and requirements that will need to be demonstrated and we’re just seeing that a lot of people come into the workforce today with it with enough technical capability and maybe not enough software capability so I think we’ll be focusing more of our hiring efforts on ensuring that a good job candidate has both of those skills at least enough to come into the door and then be trained up from there so those are kind of my five yeah those are kind of my five areas they’re probably more but those are the ones while I’m thinking about building strategic plans for 2020 and beyond 

Shannon Pritchett

it’s kind of been an overarching theme throughout this discussion you know the importance of communication you know being a little bit more high touch being a little bit more personal you know I would definitely think those are the consistent themes and believe it or not we’ve been talking for a while now although I feel like I can keep talking to you all day because you are fascinating Jim and I know this question and you know what I’m about to ask and we’ve been saving this for last and this is the traditional way that AllyO likes to wrap up everything and I’m sure they’ll have some questions in addition to what about to ask but all right you’re get to go to dinner with three people they could be still alive they could be deceased you know who are you inviting to dinner and perhaps why?

Jim Link

These are in no particular order the first one would be Gloria Steinem and why would I invite her to dinner I would really want to understand her her early beginnings I would like to understand that the the idea you know the you know she to me she represents the voice of an entire generation of people represented you know in in the in how she presented herself and what she stands for in our society to this day so I  would just want to pick her brain about the origins of of her movement and how she came to be a figurehead for that movement in our society. That’s number one. The second one would be from a time much earlier than that I would love to sit down and talk and enjoy a meal with a historical figure named WEB Du Bois mister or excuse me Dr. Du Bois actually was the first African American to obtain a PHD from Harvard and he was one of the the early civil rights personalities out there when the early civil rights leaders you know seventy to eighty years before our more modern civil rights leaders so I would I would love to to understand how that brain work and to pick his brain about how he performs his his ideas how he wrote his books and what inspired him to leave the north and come and teach in the in a racially segregated south in a time whenever it was dangerous to actually do so that took a lot of bravery and I would like to honor that bravery and understand it more deeply. And then the last one is this one might have appeared on your list before but I’m a big reader I read a lot and I read mostly fiction believe it or not because I think it makes my mind works that are in the work day I would just love to have dinner with Stephen King oh cool yeah that that guy I there’s got to be something going on in that head that produces those stories I don’t know if I would leave there frightened or if I would leave there amazed or amused but in any case you know you would leave there with something different after that dinner discussion and so he would be my final get Stephen King so those three are Gloria Steinem WEB Du Bois and Stephen King.

Shannon Pritchett

Fascinating I would love to attend that dinner as well. Jim thank you so much I think it’s been a fabulous conversation and I think it’s only right for me now to turn it over to Bennett but I really have enjoyed what you’ve had to say today thank you

Bennett Sung

Thank you so much Jim and Shannon again very very vibrant great conversation great advice Jim appreciated in them I know the audience well there are number of questions that did come through we are not going to let those questions go unanswered we will certainly reach out to Jim via email to get those answered for you so we will do that but I appreciate everyone joining in today and hopefully enjoyed the December edition of HR leadership webcast and look forward to again hosting another HR leadership in January in 2020 thank you so much have a great holiday appreciate it!

 

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