Talent Circles

Friday, February 26, 2016

What Is Your State Doing To Support And Implement Workforce Innovation?

3 Questions & Answers For You To Consider
Now that the government has passed the Workforce Implementation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), it’s up to the individual states to determine how to embrace this legislature. While you know it’s important and realize it needs to be done, do you know where to start? What steps toward implementation do you need to take?

What is the purpose of WIOA?

Let’s start by looking at the motivation for this Act. Simply put, its goal is to help eligible workers find suitable employment, and help employers find well-trained, reliable employees.
According to Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN), "It's too hard to find a job. It's too hard to create a job. We have some differences of opinion on what to do about it, but I think we agree that matching job skills to a job is a solution to millions of Americans."
With that thought in mind, WIOA's vision is to provide state and local areas with an integrated, job-driven system that links diverse talent to our nation’s businesses. With a stronger alignment of the workforce, education, and economic development systems, states can better address the employment and skills needs of current employees, jobseekers, and employers.
America’s workers need to achieve a family-sustaining wage and America’s employers need skilled workers who help them compete on a global level. To that end, the Workforce Investment and Opportunity Act provides government grants to create programs that will increase employment.
This funding is available to states that provide a plan describing an overall strategy for workforce development and how the strategy will meet identified skill needs for workers, job seekers and employers. The needs of businesses and workers will drive these workforce solutions and local boards will be accountable to their communities. These boards will be responsible for enhancing communication and collaboration among employers, economic developers and service providers so they support economic growth and meet employer needs.
It will be important for the states and local boards to show that federal investments in employment and training programs are evidence-based and data-driven; and, that they are promoting employment for in-demand industries and occupations.

What does WIOA mean for states, employers and job seekers?

The WIOA is intended to help people get the education and training they need to secure long-term career placement. Its grants provide for job search and placement assistance as well as employment counseling, career planning and many support services.

It is also meant to improve services and employment outcomes for individuals with disabilities. Local boards need to encourage proven practices in accessibility and develop strategies for using technology to better meet the needs of people with barriers to employment.
A nationwide system of “One-Stop Centers” is another key component of the WIOA. They focus on continuous improvement and provide jobseekers and employers with excellent customer service, a wide variety of work-related training and access to in-demand industry sectors and occupations.
Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) said that, "The need to improve our workforce investment system has crystalized during the Great Recession... employers say they have open positions they cannot fill because they cannot find workers with the skills they need today.”
WIOA aims to help employers identify the skills their workers need and ensure workers are aided in acquiring those skills. This way employers can be matched with the skilled workers they need. Among the major goals of this act are helping businesses find skilled workers and ensuring their current workforces have access to education and training.

What do I need to do and where can I get help?

For starters, in each state, local workforce investment boards need to be appointed to: oversee strategies and services for employer engagement in workforce programs; support the needs of local employers; effectively coordinate economic development; and, implement things like workforce development, job training programs, and other business services.
There are many private sector innovative technology options who can help streamline your efforts to implement workforce innovation. For an overview of what you will need to know about WIOA before reaching out to one of them, you can also visit Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) Quick Start Action Planner. This is a self-paced tool to help leaders prepare to implement WIOA.
Need Answers? At TalentCircles, we have a multisided platform to coordinate and track all data related to workforce programs, job seekers’ skills, employer needs, in-demand industry sectors, and much more. For more information about how we can help you implement workforce innovation, don’t hesitate to contact us at sales@talentcircles.com or (415) 835-0202.
Oh, and remember, once you get the grant, be sure to implement your plans and meet the required goals before the grant expires!

Saturday, February 20, 2016

3 Steps to Staff Diversity Talent Pools

According to census data, by 2050 our country will no longer have an ethnic majority. So, businesses that understand the needs of diverse communities—as both workers and consumers—will be in a much better position to succeed as compared to those who lack that knowledge. But being adept at increasing those numbers in the most effective way isn’t always easy or straightforward. With some creative thinking and a little help from colleagues, neighbors and technology, however, you can be on your way to achieving diversity communities and talent pool nirvana.
Here are 3 Steps to Staff Your Diversity Talent Pools
  1. Focus on Diversity – With the growing need for diversity in the workplace, employers will be looking for both volume and variety from their recruiting services. Casting your net to recruit a wide variety of individuals, provides the opportunity to add many more people to your talent pool while offering employers the many benefits of a diverse workforce, such as: new attitudes and opinions, greater productivity and creativity, and broader language skills. Look to organizations that have a diversified membership or followers. Invite them specifically into your talent community, and engage with information or opportunities that will be of interest.

  1. Understand and Mirror Local Demographics – You need to know your audience. Help provide employers with the type of workforce that resembles the communities they operate in, while also increasing your candidate pool. Reach out to local organizations and groups within the various areas you serve to learn about that community’s priorities, interests, needs and ideas. When feasible, get members who represent the community to provide content for your blog or help with engagement. Create an alliance network and be in the forefront of people’s minds when it comes to their willingness to refer candidates.

  1. Create Online Diversity Communities - Provide a virtual location for past, current and potential candidates and employers to discuss opportunities, goals and interests, as well as to ask questions and get information about career-related and other topics. When you create a comfortable, informative and interesting environment for people, they will continue to come back as well as share that experience with friends and colleagues. Creating a ‘Unique’ community for specific groups is an incredible way to grow your talent pool while also providing you with information about the current needs and mindsets of a wide variety of groups and individuals.

If you’d like more information on how to create a unique diversity circle, an online community or to expand and enhance your existing talent pool, don’t hesitate to call us at 415-835-0202 or email sales@talentcircles.com

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Career Services Shifts to Custom Connections and Online Communities

In the very early days of career services, the path from student to professional happened by way of a sort of sponsorship. Professors would groom and mentor promising students and they were pretty much guaranteed placement in a specific position upon graduation. As more people enrolled in college, that approach led to establishing placement centers that provided vocational guidance and more access to a variety of job opportunities. Eventually, these centers adapted a development model where students were first provided with counseling for self-discovery and planning before finally focusing on placement assistance.
With technology, however, change is happening faster than ever; quickly turning current best practices into old news. For example, it doesn’t seem long ago at all that the “networking model,” which combined web resources, coaching and career fairs, was being introduced as the newest approach to career services. But we’re now seeing that as just a starting point for a newer paradigm.
To stay relevant in the business of education and career services, you need to move beyond simply networking. Now we’re entering into a space where it’s all about making real connections, developing relationships and building communities.
It will be your responsibility to not only acquire and dispense comprehensive information at a whirlwind pace, but also coordinate the efforts of campus organizations/departments and external agencies/employers so everyone stays easily connected, working toward common goals.
Career services will be increasingly important – but educational institutions need to adapt quickly to the department’s expanding role. The most successful institutions and career centers will ensure:
  • Students take a more active role in the career development process, where they are actively learning and emphasizing self-reliance.
  • A stronger focus on a variety of activities that connect students with alumni and other potential employers.
  • The best current and emerging technologies are readily available to students and other stakeholders.
  • Meaningful connections and communities are created to engage students and alumni for a lifetime.
  • Additional resources, both human and financial, are allocated for more visibility and responsibility.
  • Career services becomes a presence that flows throughout the university and pulls key stakeholders together as a community.
  • Data is tracked and presented clearly to show alignment with goals and the value being brought to all the parties involved.

For more details on shifts in career services, here is a great post from Farouk Dey, PhD, Dean of Career Education & Associate VP @Stanford, offering more information, 10 Future Trends in College Career Services.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Embracing Technology: The True Connection Between Employers and Job Seekers

The sheer volume of information and technology available to us each day can be a bit overwhelming, to say the least. But when it comes to establishing a real connection between employers and job seekers, it’s also an incredible gift. Rather than being a cold interface to avoid true social interaction, technology is now providing us with more ways than ever to meet, learn about, and stay connected with each other all over the world.
As the forerunner of electronic communication, email used to be enough when it came to reaching out to the qualified candidates in your resume bank. Now, however, that’s just a small piece of a much larger engagement process. For recruiters, the key is to understand how a talent pool can be used to fill open positions then determine how to best connect with that talent.
Whether you’re a job seeker, a recruiter or an employer, make sure you’re incorporating these top methods of staying front and center in the talent pool instead of drowning in the endless sea of names and information.
  1. Chat booths – A virtual meet and greet where participants get to ask questions, share relevant information and get to know each other on a more personal level.
  2. Webinars – As the employer, these are a great opportunity to provide important information about what you have to offer and expound on your greatest assets. For job seekers, you can get tons of relevant information about whether an organization or company meets your requirements and shares your values.
  3. Live Video Interviews – These allow you to hire for aptitude as well as for attitude while keeping your costs down.  
  4. Skills Matching – If you want engaged employees, you need to hire candidates whose skills and attitudes fit your company's needs and culture.
  5. Virtual Communities – A place for both candidates and employers to provide live profiles, videos, messages, announcements and more. Here, candidates can access jobs that best match their profiles, meet up with like-minded individuals and attend events of interest. 
  6. Social Sharing – You know what they are: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Google+, StumbleUpon, Tumblr, Instagram, YouTube and Vine, just to name a few of the most popular. Now, make sure you use them! There is a nearly endless supply of advice out there on the most effective ways to do so.

Remember, connect often and in a variety of ways. The right technology can keep you informed and responsive – two major factors in a successful talent acquisition strategy.