Quick Hits - July 5, 2023 - American Society of Employers - ASE Staff

Quick Hits - July 5, 2023

EEO-1 reporting delayed again: Looks like it will now be sometime in the Fall.  Due to the Agency completing a “mandatory, three-year renewal of the EEO-1 Component 1 data collection by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB),” the opening has been further delayed.  Last year the reporting period began in April with a deadline of May 17, 2022.  A final opening date as well as the opening of the filing support Message Center will be posted to the EEO-1 Component Data Collection landing page once available.  We will keep monitoring developments in this area and will update as more information becomes available.

Can’t find the unicorn? Blame labor hoarding and sellers’ market: U.S. companies who are wary about their economic prospects are battening down the hatches.  Recent job market data shows more and more businesses have taken to “labor hoarding” and maintaining headcounts even as demand softens.  Hiring has scaled back and so have layoffs (to an extent), as firms try to ride out any impending storm with what they have. Headcounts have become increasingly stable at U.S. businesses, according to the Conference Board’s survey of chief executive officers as well as a separate survey released by the Business Roundtable.  Both reports, which tracked CEO sentiment during the second quarter, showed that executives’ hiring plans diminished, net workforce reduction expectations nudged slightly higher, and those who expected little to no change in headcount became the largest camp.  And if you really need the role filled, expect your expectations to be dashed. It is still a seller’s market.  Source:  CNN 6/8/23

On the other hand, the trend may be reversing:  In a new survey report from Lee Hecht Harrison (LHH), more than three-fourths (77%) of participating HR leaders said their organizations are currently undertaking or considering layoffs. Additionally, 56% of the surveyed workers said their team, unit, or division had been downsized via layoffs in the last 12 months, the report points out.  In fact, according to John Morgan, president of LHH’s career mobility and learning and development businesses, the current wave of layoffs and downsizing is unique over at least the past two decades.  “The major difference is not in the overall number of companies considering a downsizing,” he said, “but rather that many more companies in this cycle are doing it for the first time ever.”  The top five drivers of layoffs, all about equal in prevalence, were identified as over-hiring in recent years, cost-cutting imperatives, restructuring or reorganization, poor business performance, and merger/acquisition causing duplication.  Source:  CFO 6/9/23

Educational benefits are attraction tools:  The 2023 Global Workplace Skills Study from Emeritus, a leader in professional education, reveals that 74% of respondents would choose a job at an organization that invested in their education over one that did not. Tech-driven skill gaps are a concern, with 53% of respondents worried they’ll be replaced by technology if they don’t continue developing skills. Half of them believe they don’t have the necessary skills for career advancement, and 61% said they prioritize job stability when considering new roles — underscoring the need for employers to provide clear growth paths. 30% of respondents said they are likely to leave their job in the next year, and 52% plan to transition to a job in a new field. For employers concerned about productivity and retention, it’s worth noting that 82% of respondents report higher engagement when learning new things. Pandemic-related remote learning fundamentally shifted learner expectations. Between May 2020 and January 2023, interest in fully online learning programs rose by 8.5%, and interest in hybrid learning programs increased by 17%. Flexibility, access, and up-to-date courses are contributing to interest in learning online (which may not be the most effective training).  Source:  ALM Benefits Pro 6/15/23

Need to write a company policy, use AI:  Missing or poorly written business policies can cause problems for companies and confusion for employees. Policies must be precise and clear to avoid ambiguity and to be understood by readers such as employees. They should also align with an organization’s typical communication style. Policies may also need to use specific vocabulary if external standards are being followed in areas like quality management for products and services offered.  One organization used ChatGPT to create a DE&I policy.  The results were workable as there were many DE&I policies published online.  AI may eventually be used for writing more HR policies and handbooks. Assuming the dataset it searches has depth, HR just has to review for context and language, making a more productive HR employee.  Source:  The Conversation

Interestingly enough, men are more likely to embrace AI:  Amid curiosity, controversy, and concerns surrounding recent advancements in artificial intelligence, a new survey from FlexJobs found that more than half of men (54%) are using AI in either or both their personal and professional lives, while roughly one-third of women (35%) are currently using AI. Conducted between May 3 and May 21, 2023, FlexJobs’ survey polled over 5,600 U.S.-based men and women about their experiences with artificial intelligence and tools like ChatGPT to better understand their perspectives on how AI is impacting their careers and the larger work landscape. Men are using AI tools like ChatGPT on their job application materials, including resume and cover letter writing, more than women are using AI tools. 60% of men say they either already have or are considering using AI for job applications, but only 46% of women say the same.  Source:  CCH 6/21/23

Is the U.S. experiencing a Hikikomori?  In Japan, an estimated 1.5 million people — many of them young men — now live in complete isolation.  The problem has grown so severe that the Japanese have a term for it: Hikikomori, one who literally withdraws from society.  In the U.S. there appears to be a similar issue impacting young working age men from joining the workforce. During a recent interview with Chris Williamson, a British podcaster based in Austin, Texas, the political economist, Nicholas Eberstadt, discussed the fact that 7 million men of prime working age are currently without employment and not seeking jobs.  Many of these men, said Eberstadt, spend inordinate amounts of time indoors, totally withdrawn from society.  Work carried out by academics at Kyushu University in Japan has found that a low testosterone level is one of the common metabolic signatures of hikikomori in young social recluses — which is important to note because testosterone levels among young American men are plummeting and have been for years.   The drop now reportedly affects 1 in 4 men in the US. It’s commonly assumed that testosterone fuels anti-social behavior. But this belief is not supported by science: There is no strong evidence to suggest that men with higher levels of testosterone are overly aggressive or violent.  So how do we get these males back into the workforce?  That’s still to be worked out.  Source:  New York Post 6/5/23

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