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U.S. employers will likely continue to face challenges recruiting talent and filling open positions, despite signs that job growth is starting to slow, as well as more ominous warnings about the long-term health of the economy.

That’s the upshot from the most recent second quarter employment data released from the Bureau of Labor Statistics as well as other organizations, experts, and analysts that track the job market.

While the Conference Board’s Employment Trends Index for May showed job growth moderating, the slowdown is modest enough that the labor market will continue to tighten over the next several months, according to Gad Levanon, Chief Economist, North America, at The Conference Board.

Levanon cited growing evidence that recruitment difficulties and time-to-fill open positions are reaching historic highs—factors that are giving employers headaches and stunting the pace of hiring and job growth. Remember, the current ratio of job seekers to open positions is roughly, or even slightly less than, 1:1, the lowest it has been in decades.

The main point for the short-term is that job-seekers will continue to enjoy a buyer’s market into the third quarter and likely the fourth quarter as the competition to land talent remains intense. They should enjoy that leverage while it lasts, which is to be determined.

Today, there are some warning clouds on the horizon, as second quarter job growth fell short of expectations.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the economy added just 75,000 jobs in May, well below the 175,000 to 180,000 that were anticipated by economists. The revisions from the previous two months also fell short as job totals from March and April were both revised down, subtracting 75,000 from previous reporting.

Despite the downward revisions, the unemployment rate held steady at its 49-year low of 3.6%.

Combine all of that mixed news with President Donald Trump’s trade policies, and the chances of the labor market weakening—and potentially even a recession happening—are ever-so-slowly increasing.

Vanguard’s chief economist raised the odds of recession within the next 12 to 18 months to 40%, up from 30% previously. Mark Zandi of Moody’s Analytics described the economy on “a razor’s edge,” noting that growth has slowed significantly from last year and “is close to stalling out.”

Meanwhile, Duke University’s CFO Global Business Outlook found nearly half of CFOs in the United States believe the nation’s economy will enter a recession in about a year. CFOs in other parts of the world predict an even higher probability of recession.

Still, while storm clouds may be on the distant horizon, the on-the-ground reality is that many employers continue to face challenges securing talent and getting jobs filled. And it would behoove companies to continue to expect that and work to combat it, especially around permanent, professional jobs.

The Institute for Supply Management recently released its non-manufacturing index—tracking industries including health care, finance and restaurants —that found strong and steady permanent growth in the service sector. The index rose to 56.9 in May from 55.5 in April. A number above 50 indicates expansion, while a number below 50 signals contraction.

Furthermore, professional “remote jobs are exploding” and now account for 3% of the total U.S. workforce. Hot areas for remote work include insurance, marketing and engineering. And in certain industries, including education, business services, finance and information, labor shortages remain.

With the future uncertain, it makes sense to extend generous offers in order to hire quality talent when you do find it, focus on keeping skills up to date, and prioritize internal professional development. This way, your company is overcoming the tight labor market today and ensuring as productive of a workforce as possible until—or, if—an economic slowdown occurs.

To get a more detailed picture of the current labor market, check out our article “Caveats of the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Monthly Employment Situation/Jobs Report.” It discusses wage growth, labor participation and much more.

The post The U.S. Quarterly Employment Forecast – Q3 2019 appeared first on Adecco Staffing, USA Blog.

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CEOs and executive team members have clear lines of ownership and, ultimately, a great deal of accountability for their companies and teams. However, ownership isn’t an idea reserved for management.  Having a strong sense of ownership and accountability are traits top employees demonstrate as well, and introducing autonomy in the workplace can help increase these traits.

Why is Autonomy At Work Important?

Simply put, autonomy at work refers to the amount of freedom employees have in their roles. Having the freedom to make decisions on how workloads should be balanced or how the common end goal of a project should be reached can improve job satisfaction levels. Autonomy can also lead to employees becoming fully committed to projects they are managing.   Being able to make decisions on how tasks should be carried out instead of simply executing them makes employees feel personally connected to the project as a whole. Encouraging your employees to take pride and ownership in their work is a crucial key to success for any business. 

What is Ownership at Work? 

Taking ownership at work means that instead of relying on others to take action, you take the initiative to achieve the desired results. Employees who take ownership show that they care about the outcome of a project and take accountability for their actions. Speaking up to offer a solution to a problem that arises in a project is a form of taking ownership. Instead of waiting for others to find the answer, you have taken on the active role of seeking out a solution. Developing a sense of ownership shows employers that they can trust you to be a dedicated member of the team.

Employees who exhibit a strong level of ownership also understand where their biggest return on investment lies — does measurable traction occur for the company when they devote time to digital marketing, or does the real return happen when they focus on relationship building in person? Whatever the tactic may be, it’s important to understand your wisest time investments and how to leverage them for the benefit of your team and company.

5 Ways for Employees to be Accountable and Take Ownership at Work Look for advice

One of the best ways to own your role is to develop buy-in from respected members of the team. This can be done by finding a mentor within your company. Look for someone who can teach best practices on soft skills (things like meeting etiquette and office politics) in addition to key technical skills. Finding the right mentor in your office allows you to develop a strong relationship with someone who can serve as your advocate and helps you continuously develop while at the company.

Envision the future.

Map your own career trajectory by figuring where you’d like to see yourself down the road. If you have a clear idea of where you’d like to get, it’s easier to fill in the needed steps to get there. Be sure to identify the ways that your current role will position you in the future. Build proficiencies in your role that will affirm your current value and establish momentum around your next steps.

Seek learning opportunities.

If your current role is at a junior level or doesn’t involve management-level work, begin preparing yourself for next steps in your career by assessing learning “gaps.” If you don’t have management experience, for example, it will be important to find a way to learn from a more senior employee at your office or find a course that will help you address any skill gaps that could prevent you from moving up in the company.

Develop checkpoints with your manager.

By setting a consistent pace with your manager around your key goals and deliverables, both sides are kept accountable. Finding a way to incorporate your goals into a regular meeting with your manager allows you to build rapport with your superiors. In addition, you establish a professional reputation and tie your work to your professional checkpoints.

Check in with yourself regularly.

If you want to be known as a team player who is invested in the success of the company, it helps to regularly ask yourself, “What more can I do to have the biggest impact?” Asking this question should generate a clear picture of areas for improvement as well as successful tactics in your role.

Don’t have a job you’re passionate about owning? That’s okay, we can help you find your next opportunity.

The post How to Have More Autonomy at Work appeared first on Adecco Staffing, USA Blog.

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Working in a healthcare position can be stressful: You may be working long hours on little sleep while caring for patients with critical needs and high emotions, as well as balancing the needs of several patients and families, while collaborating with an entire medical team.

But rather than succumbing to crippling stress levels, the most effective healthcare professionals find ways to thrive under pressure. One of the easiest ways to alleviate the stress of a workday in the hospital is to establish habits of effective time management. When you manage your time well, you no longer feel like your schedule is spiraling out of control and there’s no way to catch up: Instead, you have a plan for your day and strategies for managing the unexpected needs that arise.

Here are five tips to developing effective time management habits while working in the hospital.

1. Arrive early. 

The work of a hospital staff never stops. So even though your shift likely begins and ends at certain times, you’re always starting in the middle of what’s already going on before you arrive. That means before every shift, it’s a good idea to arrive early (at least 20 minutes) and take time to review what’s happening so you can be prepared and organize your time effectively. By getting there early and checking in with co-workers, reading reports and otherwise preparing for your shift, you’ll be much more likely to accomplish necessary tasks on schedule.

2. Make a plan. 

After arriving early, take time to write down a to-do list for the day. A written list will help you stay on track for managing all your duties or patients, and will keep you organized.

Because many healthcare professionals must balance a wide variety of tasks during a typical work day, it can be helpful to “cluster” similar tasks and do them at the same time, says Megen Duffy, a nurse, blogger and contributing editor for the American Journal of Nursing. For nurses, for instance, that may mean getting patients on the same schedule to be turned at the same time, or handling all patient urine samples at the same time so you can check off the task for all patients at once.

3. Prioritize tasks. 

Your work in a hospital will almost always be unpredictable. While there are certain tasks and jobs you can—and should—plan on every day, you also have to be prepared for the unexpected. And when an unexpected task comes along, you need to be able to quickly prioritize those tasks into your existing schedule.

To quickly determine how to prioritize arising needs, American Nurse Today recommends developing a habit of asking yourself a few questions. They include:

  • What are you going to do first? Why?
  • Which is more important? Why?
  • What could happen if you don’t do this now?
  • What is most important to the patient?

Your mental answers to these questions can help you determine how to prioritize the tasks you need to complete.

4. Take breaks. 

Even if you feel too busy to take a lunch or snack break, commit to doing so anyway. When you’re working in the hospital, you’re not just working physically; your brain is also working hard to make decisions and manage your patients, equipment and tasks. And both your brain and your body need a break. Research shows that even taking short breaks from a task can dramatically improve your ability to focus on that task for prolonged periods.

In addition to taking time for scheduled breaks, when your work gets emotional or overwhelming, take time to decompress between patients or tasks. That can be as simple as taking a few minutes for deep breathing or a moment to interact with colleagues before moving on to the next task.

5. Take care of yourself. 

Working in a high-stress environment like a hospital can be both stimulating and overwhelming. To succeed, you must manage your time well outside of work, just as you do during your shift. That means eating a healthy diet, drinking plenty of water, and getting plenty of sleep. Especially if you work overnight shifts, you’ll need to set aside at least seven to nine hours in each 24-hour period to sleep. Your body needs rest—and you must provide yourself time to get it.

Make time management a priority, and your work in a hospital setting can become less stressful and more fulfilling. As a result, you’ll be a better employee and provide better care for your patients.

Discover your next job assignment with Adecco Medical & Science here.

The post 5 Time Management Tips for Hospital Professionals appeared first on Adecco Staffing, USA Blog.

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Adecco Staffing by Holly Skinner - 2M ago

Well that was awkward…

That common catchphrase is usually good for a laugh, but it’s not so funny when muttered in the workplace.

Why are Soft Skills Important

The inability to effectively interact with others is one of the most obvious examples of the increasing lack of employee “soft skills” that are essential to landing – and keeping – a good job. In fact, according to a recent survey by PayScale of hiring managers and their thoughts on the graduating workforce, 60 percent think critical thinking/problem solving is the most commonly lacking soft skill, followed by communication at 46 percent.

This discrepancy of skills is often referred to as the skills gap. While technical capabilities and skills are critical to getting an interview and ultimately succeeding, in most roles, soft skills are the catalyst that can help you land the position – and keep you on the fast track to success.

Top Soft Skills for Employment

If you’re looking for a new job or promotion, here are some key soft skills to improve in the year ahead.

Communication

Communication is key, no matter what line of work you are in. As workplaces become more connected with an increased focus on collaboration and social  tools, being able to communicate effectively is more important than ever. Strong verbal skills partnered with active listening are vital. Learn to also be aware of non-verbal communication conveyed through body language and facial expressions.

Interpersonal skills

Teamwork is a big buzzword in the workplace as new tools and technology allow for enhanced collaboration. The ability to be a team player, build strong relationships, and effectively manage conflict can be as important to career success as technical skills or work experience. If you’re applying for jobs make sure your resume, cover letter and LinkedIn profile highlight your ability to work well with others.

Adaptability

The pace of change has never been faster in business – and employees who become adept at learning new skills and managing change are those who will get ahead. Don’t be surprised if your job and responsibilities continue to morph as challenges and priorities change. Instead of complaining that the role “isn’t what you signed up for,” embrace the change and showcase your ability to adapt to any situation. When it comes to a job interview, make sure you have several ready examples of how you successfully adapted to change while on the job.

Problem solving

For those who want to stand out from the pack, you need to show your ability to solve new challenges and come up with fresh solutions. A key accessory to problem solving is attention to detail, this skill can showcase your mastery of the task at hand. Employees who display a blend of reasoning, creativity, flexibility and a can-do attitude will set themselves apart during the interview – and on the job.

Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence can be hard to quantify, but it is a highly valued skill that relates to your social skills, social awareness and self-management abilities. You can highlight strong emotional intelligence at a job interview by providing examples of how you effectively handled conflict or emotional situations in the past.

Strong work ethic

Effective managers these days don’t have time for handholding or micromanaging an employee’s every move. Employers are looking for reliable self-starters who can do the job right the first time. Make sure to emphasize examples of your strong work ethic and willingness to take initiative. If a manager senses you are high maintenance, it’s a major red flag.

Employers often figure that they can train new employees when it comes to technical skills or company procedures. Yet, they don’t have the time, resources, or patience to get employees up to speed when it comes to essential soft skills. By taking the initiative to sharpen your soft skills, you will be setting yourself apart – and setting yourself up for success!

Finding new employment can be a stressful time, but using our resources can give you the confidence and know-how to put your best foot forward. Download our job seeker’s guide for even more tips and best practices!

The post 6 Soft Skills to Improve appeared first on Adecco Staffing, USA Blog.

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Choosing to become a military spouse sets you on a path of many obstacles, but along this path comes many joys.  It demands professional sacrifices, the disruption of routine cross-country or international moves, and persevering through deployments and family separations.  However it’s also a life of adventure, deep friendships, and the pride of serving a larger cause.  It’s about learning to be a good neighbor and offering a helping hand to friends in a seemingly constant state of transition.  Spouses enjoy seeing their active duty service member succeed, even though this very often requires sacrifices affecting their own career goals.

Typically, when unemployment is low—today less than 4%—it’s considered a “job seeker’s market.”  However, for military spouses, unemployment is always high, and even today it hovers at a whopping 25%.

Military spouses face many barriers when entering the workforce, and an unpredictabile lifestyle tops that list.  An expectation of frequent moves leaves hiring mangers timid to hire them, even though the average tenure for any employee 25-34 years old is 3.2 years—about the duration of a standard military tour.  So this is a bias that should be put aside.  Despite being better educated than their nonmilitary counterparts, half of the military spouses who do work report being overqualified for their current job.  Further, 27% of all working spouses are paid less than non-military spouses in the same job, the majority of whom are female.

Between pay gap issues and fewer opportunities, female military spouses experience the same kind of employment biases that women around the country face, but worse.  

Here’s what we are doing to make a difference.

For the past 17 years, Adecco has built the Adecco Military Alliance program. What started as a military spouse hiring initiative in 2002 has grown into a recruitment program designed to employ military families around the country and overseas.

We proudly recruit and hire military spouses because we know from experience they make excellent employees.  Rather than seeing their unpredictable lifestyle as a liability, we understand it is a strength.  Anyone who can manage change and uncertainty at home carries this adaptability to the workplace.  We recognize that military spouses have a strong work ethic and an equally strong network.  They are educated, diverse, and adaptable.  We are lucky to have so many growing at Adecco.

We believe in making the world of work, work for everyone.  Some of our military spouses benefit from remote job opportunities.  

For Military Spouse Appreciation Day 2019, Adecco Group is partnering with Dress for Success and SRI to host our first “suit and salute” event.  On Friday, May 10th we will welcome military spouses from the DC metro area at one of our offices. They will be professionally outfitted by Dress for Success and professionally career coached by Adecco Group business partner Lee Hecht Harrison.

Join us as we continue to increase job opportunities for military spouses and acknowledge them for their service!  If you know a military spouse, please thank them for all they do. Happy military spouse appreciation day! #HireaMilitarySpouse

The post Military Spouses Left Behind Amid Historic Low Unemployment Rate appeared first on Adecco Staffing, USA Blog.

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As spring blooms across the country, the employment forecast for the second quarter of 2019 looks to be partly cloudy after a long stretch of ample sunshine.

While the unemployment rate remains historically low, economists are raising some concerns based on recent data.

Those worries stem from job growth nearly grinding to a halt in February, with just 20,000 jobs added to non-farm payrolls during the month. It’s important to keep in mind that report came on the heels of a strong January when 311,000 jobs were added.

Meanwhile newly released March numbers for the private sector found payrolls rising 129,000, far short of the expected 173,000 anticipated, according to Moody’s Analytics.

“The job market is weakening, with employment gains slowing significantly across most industries and company sizes,” says Moody’s Mark Zandi, who attributed much of the uncertainty among employers to the ongoing trade dispute between the U.S. and China.

Of course, everything in context. Overall the outlook for the job market in the second quarter remains positive with economists projecting a continuation of the “natural rate” of unemployment, which occurs during a healthy economy and largely accounts for workers who are temporary jobless as they seek better positions.

The Fed raised its estimate of the unemployment rate at the end of 2019 only slightly to 3.7 percent from 3.5 percent. It projects the unemployment rate to tick up to 3.8 percent by the end of 2020, again, just slightly higher than its December forecast of 3.6 percent.

The upshot: It’s remains a buyers market for most job seekers. While clearly there is a cooling off from 2018 when employers added a robust average of 223,000 jobs a month, unemployment is still expected to remain low in the second quarter and beyond.

Many analysts expect average monthly gains to average about 160,000 this year. Considering worker shortages remain across several industries and sectors, job seekers with the skills and experience sought by employers should continue to be in high demand.

In particular, the strongest growth is occurring in the leisure and hospitality space, as well as in the education, health services and the construction industries, according the the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

While the days of nothing but sunny job forecasts may be waning, there is still reason for considerable optimism for those looking for work, or to advance their careers.

To get a more detailed picture of the current labor market, check out our article “Caveats of the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Monthly Employment Situation/Jobs Report.” It discusses wage growth, labor participation and much more.

The post The U.S. Quarterly Employment Forecast – Q2 2019 appeared first on Adecco Staffing, USA Blog.

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Jobs, at long last, appear to be back. The U.S. economy added 304,000 jobs in January according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

This is very good news for sure. Yet, good news that comes with a unique challenge. As the demand for workers grows, filling the talent pool becomes increasingly difficult.

In this blog, you can expect to takeaway:

  • What industries are growing
  • The hiring challenges
  • How to hire the best employees
What Industries Are Growing?

The talent pool challenge is amplified even more in industries and locations where demand for talent is high. A recent Entrepreneur magazine article highlighted the rapid growth in software development and sales and marketing jobs while the energy industry boom continues to drive job growth as well.

Meanwhile, an Adecco infographic helps illustrate which industries are seeing the most growth. Those sectors include manufacturing, medical and science, and IT. In the manufacturing space alone, Adecco places almost 100,000 job seekers annually, many of them in manufacturing hubs in New York, Michigan and Texas.

Hiring Challenges

For employers, the challenge of filling open positions can be increased by three factors.

– Competing for top talent in places with a high level of local competition in that industry
.

– Meeting the hiring needs for specific industries in sparsely populated areas

– Filling jobs during industry-wide, nationwide talent shortages.

So what are the most effective ways to consistently fill positions in an increasingly heated war for talent? Among the recommendations offered by Adecco:

How To Hire The Best Employees

The “perfect” candidate is difficult to find, particularly in a tight job market. Decide the must-have skills and attributes for the position and then focus on hiring people who have the potential to learn and grow. Also, make sure your posted job descriptions don’t exclude qualified candidates by being too specific. Some job seekers may not possess the exact requirements outlined in your job description, but they may have equivalent skills or training that make them an ideal fit.

Create a plan to maximize hires

Develop strategies that not only attract employees, but keeps them happy as well. Create clear internal career paths, invest in employee training and continuously find ways to show employees that you value them.

Work with an established recruiter

Recruiters can provide a distinct advantage when it comes to quickly filling positions with quality candidates. By having a pool of qualified candidates and industry knowledge, recruiters can screen highly qualified candidates and present them for interviews in a short timeframe.

Key Takeaways: A Summary

Most experts say the job market will continue “humming along” for the foreseeable future. Make sure you make the most of the good economic times by developing an actionable plan for attracting and keeping the best talent to ensure your organization grows and thrives.

The post Jobs Shortage: Filling The Talent Pool appeared first on Adecco Staffing, USA Blog.

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According to a blog published by 7Geese last year, only about 33% of the U.S. workforce is engaged in their work. This number is quite alarming — more than half of the population is not engaged with their work, and thus not reaching their full potential.

In some case this translates into fewer sales than expected, a lack of motivation, or hours of productivity gone to waste. Whatever the case may be, incentive programs have seen some great success in the last few years and have helped improve employee motivation and initiative, as well as increase the financial returns. In the workplace, this is often know as “gamification“. Gamification helps boost employee motivation by creating friendly competition among employees who are all striving to reach a main end goal. We’ll show you how and why introducing gamification into your workplace culture is important for employee performance.

What Is Gamification?

According to Badgeville, a leader in this space, gamification can be defined as “the concept of applying game mechanics and game design techniques to engage and motivate people to achieve their goals.” Basically, it means applying gaming elements to non-gaming applications.The idea behind gamification mechanisms is to leverage people’s natural behaviors such as:

  • Competition
  • Achievement
  • Engagement
  • Influence
  • Collaboration

Gamification often takes the form of games, or incentives, that help motivate employees and creates a company culture that is goal-driven and that rewards performance and fosters creativity and collaboration.

Gamification and Employee Motivation?

Some companies may decide to introduce a program that rewards and motivates employees who achieve certain goals. Some causes of lowered motivation in the workplace are:

  • Lack of progress
  • Poor communication
  • Lack of performance reviews
  • Boredom

Businesses that provide training sessions may choose to make learning more fun by applying a few game concepts and engage their employees in the process. Marketers and sales representatives have been using many game concepts (thus the name “gamification“) such as badges, awards, and reward points to increase engagement with their products, content or events. The workplace is no different, and employees usually respond well to the challenge.

Examples of Gamification In The Workplace

This massive list of gamification case studies further proves the effectiveness off a defined and well-designed incentive program that employs gaming theory and techniques at its core.

Many successful enterprise companies have used gamification to improve workplace morale:

  • Microsoft – Communicate Hope. Created to encourage increased user feedback during the testing phase of a product. Leaderboard engagement is tied back to a chosen charity.
  • SalesForce – Nitro. Users can see a new menu item labeled Nitro that provides key elements in gamification: points, badges, levels, leader boards, and real-time feedback mechanisms.
How To Gamify Your Employee Recognition Program

Gamifying an employee recognition program can yield incredible results, but it is crucial to understand the goals you’re trying to achieve with such a program. Is it to increase productivity? Celebrate each other’s achievements? Improve communication? Some gamification examples include:

  • Awarding your best sales representatives with badges
  • Using a point system to motivate low performing employees
  • Quizzing to test and reward knowledge of vital job function information
Key Takeaways

To put it simply, you need to be engaging your employees whenever possible. Low motivation levels in employees can be boosted with the right tools. When creating your gamification program, remember to identify the key natural behavioral areas such as achievement, influence, and competition. Keeping these in mind will have you on the right path to reshaping your workplace culture!

The post Use Gamification for Employee Recognition appeared first on Adecco Staffing, USA Blog.

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“What do you want to do when you grow up?”

We all remember answering that familiar question in our youth. (Some of us even answer it as adults!) Yet coming up with a viable answer is getting tougher for the up-and-coming generation of workers, and even workers interested in making career changes. After all, it’s hard to predict your dream job if doesn’t have a name yet, which is increasingly the case.

Consider this: The World Economic Forum (WEF) predicts that 65% of children born today will pursue careers that currently do not even exist. Further, the WEF predicts that 35% of the skills required for jobs today will change by 2030—just 11 years away. Scary, right? But also full of opportunity, albeit unknown opportunity.

This leaves many of us faced with the prospect of preparing for non-existent jobs that will depend largely on yet-to-be-determined skills. When we consider this, the future of work can seem uncertain. However, this fast-paced change is not an entirely new phenomenon. In fact, jobs have always come and gone or morphed over time. For example, when was the last time you saw a help-wanted ad for a switchboard operator or an ice cutter? There was even a time when everything was done on pen and paper; in other words, desktops, laptops and cell phones didn’t exist.

What is changing more quickly is that new jobs requiring emerging skills are fast becoming the rule, as opposed to the exception. The reality is that, whatever your age, occupation or aspirations, the stable, well-worn career paths are starting to vanish. To succeed in the future will require a proactive approach to honing certain skills that will have lasting value in the evolving job market.

Regardless if you are a job seeker, a happy employee or a business partner of Adecco, here are three things you can start doing today, to prepare for the unknown jobs of tomorrow.

1) Get better at teamwork.

There will be fewer solo acts in the future of work. While the trend toward remote workers will likely increase, technology’s growing ability to connect us in real-time, combined with demands of the marketplace, will make strong collaboration a key skill. The shift is already well underway. A Harvard Business Review study found that in 2016, the time managers and employees spent on collaborative work had jumped by more than 50% in the past 20 years. To set yourself apart, look for opportunities—both in the workplace and out—to team up with others to get a better result.

2) Develop certain soft skills.

To go along with more collaboration is the need to develop soft skills such as communication and emotional intelligence. Failure to communicate is already a pressing problem at organizations. A survey of 400 companies with more than 100,000 employees each cited an average loss of $62.4 million annually for each company because of poor communication to and between employees. Improving your communication skills is an ongoing process. Focusing on being a better listener and taking public speaking classes to get more comfortable presenting to an audience are sure to help. Mental Floss recently offered 11 tips for advancing communication skills.

3) Become a critical thinker.

Technology is changing so fast that the focus is shifting from learning broad-based technical skills to having the capacity to quickly master a technology in ways that help you work more efficiently or strategically. The emphasis here is on developing your critical thinking so you can find fresh ways to solve problems and quickly adapt to new challenges. Success Magazine had some great advice on how you can strengthen critical thinking by focusing more on self-reflection, becoming an active listener and developing foresight about what may lie ahead.

So what do you want to do when you grow up? In the brave new world of jobs, the familiar answers of the past will largely fade away. The right answer might well become “I’ll know when I get there,” with the focus on growing skills that will always apply to every opportunity.

The post Your next job might not exist yet, but here are three ways to prepare for it. appeared first on Adecco Staffing, USA Blog.

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Addressing the skills gap in the labor market is a complex challenge that requires buy-in from several parties, including educational institutions such as high schools, universities and trade schools, job seekers themselves, and employers and businesses as well. Placing the burden of responsibility on educators alone isn’t a sustainable solution, though it is true that these institutions require reform and adjustment, especially earlier on in the educational system. To see positive change more rapidly, businesses would be wise to undertake some of the responsibility in closing the skills gap.

Here are a few things that employers like you can start implementing to get job seekers up to speed in the short-term and contribute to closing the skills gap in the long-term.

Incorporate training and transparency into your hiring process

Many large companies like Best Buy, CVS Health and Walmart lead the way in training and development. Incorporating deep training programs into their hiring processes allows for a more diverse set of employees with varying backgrounds, yet they all possess a common understanding of the way the company works and how to best contribute. It also means that companies have a much broader pool of talent to work with; when the skills can be taught in an efficient manner, candidates need only be coachable, intelligent and talented as team players—soft skills that can be found within any academic or even socioeconomic background. Indeed, establishing a training program from scratch can be expensive, and many companies don’t have the resources to do so in the short-term. For those companies, a good alternative is to work with a staffing agency or workforce solutions partner that provides additional training assistance to make hiring and onboarding easier, and ideally, leads to a more productive workforce.

Incorporate training in your hiring process.

Another solution to meet job candidates halfway is to provide as much transparency as possible in job descriptions. Usually, job descriptions are much more likely to find a “match” if they list out skills alongside equivalent training or other experiences that would also suffice. Many times, traditional job descriptions are vague and can rule out candidates who are actually qualified but possess an alternative skill that is equivalent to the posted requirements. When a certain job demands a highly specific skill set that can be attained over time, clarify the exact training or background needed and be open minded to candidates who accomplish this education through alternative mediums, such as online courses or other localized training programs. Again, this an excellent way to expand your talent pool in a labor market where the right talent is difficult to find.

Establish a culture of learning from within your company

Within organizations, employers should constantly strive to invest in their employees’ learning and progression of skills to see a higher return on investment (and a more engaged, motivated team). It’s up to you to empower management levels to close skill gaps for their own employees, not just for future candidates. Simply making an internal move often demands a new set of skills and a time frame for learning and adjustment. Set your employees up for success internally by ensuring that any horizontal or promotional opportunities come with a clear list of skill set requirements and the opportunity to obtain this type of training internally. In some cases, perhaps you could even set up a formal mentor-mentee relationship, in which a seasoned employee passes their expertise and knowledge to a green employee. Think of this as both a short- and long-term play. You and your employee realize an easier transition when they change roles, and it builds mutual loyalty which could lead to increased retention.

Consider the potential of your temp talent.

It’s easy to view your contingent workforce as a stopgap—a group of workers there to help with high volume and seasonal demand. You appreciate the flexibility they provide, but do you consider the long-term, permanent value they could provide? Whether your average temporary worker is on assignment for four weeks or four months, and in a warehouse or an office, it would behoove you to pay close attention to their attendance, ability to learn, productivity impact and work ethic. Because when you identify people who excel across the board, you’ve basically identified a permanent job candidate. Even if you lack temp-to-perm opportunities now, you can add these individuals to your candidate database and perhaps connect with them in the future. And when you give temp workers, most of whom are seeking to exit the endless temporary job rotation, perm opportunities, they gain a newfound sense of motivation—motivation that urges them to enhance skills and make names for themselves. This way, you’re increasing the talent of your own workforce and contributing to closing skills gaps in America’s workforce.

Ultimately, businesses are one part of the solution when it comes to closing the skills gap. To benefit your business, and the workforce in general, you should consistently seek out new ways to clarify the hiring process, empower employees, and accommodate future employees through transparency and training opportunities. It’s easier said than done, and must obviously be accomplished within your means, but the payoff is undeniable.

For more articles on managing your workforce, closing the skills gap, and a plethora of other relevant topics, visit our resource center.

This is an updated version of an original article written by Claire Topalian of Cove Group.

The post How Businesses Can Help Close the Skills Gap appeared first on Adecco Staffing, USA Blog.

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