Introducing the “Talentsumer”
A generational shift in the workforce and changing conditions have produced workers with different values, desires, and expectations than their predecessors. Today’s Talentsumers came of age in a consumer-friendly atmosphere, in which they grew to expect and insist on responsiveness to their needs in the workplace to the same level of respect and attention. These job candidates, employees, contractors, and freelancers may have enjoyed more flexibility and open communication from their parents than earlier generations, and so they project these desires on the employer who might engage a majority of their time.
Because workers today face shorter tenures, less job stability, higher expectations, expenses, and potentially longer lives than those who came before them, they have a list of urgent demands. Talentsumers prefer to work for employers who meet their need to:
- Build skills and expand the types of work they can take on
- Work on projects with a start and end—not BAU
- Receive frequent feedback and coaching from inspiring leaders
- Get continuous training, development and visible paths toward promotion
- Enjoy a flexible hiring status and work hours
Respondents of a recent survey we conducted perceived four areas of the greatest concern to those looking to find work with one company versus another:
- Offering more developmental opportunities
- Providing ongoing feedback and coaching from managers
- Encouraging collaboration among employees
- Recognizing and rewarding high performance
As workers in other age groups have seen the benefits of these conditions, they, of course, want them too. So, gradually, the key people that employers pursue have become Talentsumers. We want ways to enrich our lives, and in return, we contribute to the task at hand, the overall culture, and the company’s success. Everyone wins!
Before you discount the value of accommodating workers’ new attitudes toward work, remember that we no longer have the luxury of an “employer’s market.” Even as far back as 2015, a survey of three hundred HR professionals by Human Capital Institute and Allegis Global Solutions showed that the candidate, not the employer, now holds the power in hiring negotiations.The majority of respondents reported having shifted their hiring strategies, such as increasing starting salaries, due to higher turnover for key roles and a longer time to fill a greater volume of open positions. The candidate is now well and truly in the driver’s seat, and we had better hand them the keys.
Let’s consider more deeply why these things may have grown in importance for up-and-coming generations. Consider the world they will inhabit. Barring a cataclysm, the human population will continue to grow, and competition for resources and the work that provides them will as well. Throw the effects of climate change into the mix, and they’ll see even more competition for organic resources. The rural-to-urban trend will probably leave fewer jobs in outlying areas and create more in cities, where dense populations will vie for them, yet employers still may not be able to fully staff up from local pools. Travel or remote work will increase. And since the employment scene will be volatile, job stability will degrade even further from the thirty-years-and-a-gold-watch standard than it already has.
That’s not enough? At the same time, according to the Human Mortality Database, people will be living longer lives. Half of all babies born from this point onward in developed nations are expected to live past one hundred years.Yet, we continue to pursue our working lives as our parents and grandparents have done—enjoying a single major career path to a certain age, say sixty-two or sixty-five, and then retiring on money previously saved and invested. How many people in current and future generations will be able to afford retirement barely halfway through their lives? How many will be forced to change jobs or careers many times and start over building skills, income, and future plans?
In answer, today’s Talentsumers want to be able to appeal to a variety of employers in more than one niche. So, they seek to associate with companies that provide continuing education, training, and support for the work they are doing— real opportunities to push themselves and develop new skills and interests. Given the future of sixty-plus years in the
Our job candidates and employees want the right to guide their working lives into new territory. They’re serious about it. If they’re with you now, they want the tools to perform a cost-benefit analysis of how their investment in you is paying off. If they’re considering joining your team, they’ll want information at their disposal to help them gauge the potential relationship, on their terms. Think about how you can answer the big questions that will help them plot the return on their investment, such as:
- How much and how fast can I learn?
- How challenging, rewarding, and exciting does the work remain?
- How much of my time is spent doing great and important work?
- How much personal success do I achieve—however I choose to define success?
- How easy is it for me to achieve what you ask?
- How easy is it to achieve what I want?
- How well, or poorly, do you use the assets I provide?
These are not necessarily “new” human desires. They are simply louder iterations of fundamental needs that are intrinsic to our nature. We hear plenty of business leaders lauding the work of Daniel Pink, a business writer and thinker who determined that autonomy, mastery, and purpose are all elements of fulfilment that motivate and engage workers and we want to think that our organizations provide opportunities in those areas. But how accessible are they? How easy is it for our employees to structure their workdays (autonomy), excel in their roles (mastery), and contribute to something larger than just quotas and deadlines (purpose)? In the midst of those pursuits, how easy do we make it for them to do their jobs really well and do their very best work?
The other shift in younger-generation employees is a natural extension of the work/life balance debate. Now that the majority of people are always connected and, therefore, always with work on their minds, they rightly feel the separation of work and life is bogus. This is what lies beneath the movement toward creating more holistic and satisfying company cultures. Yes, great culture helps businesses financially, and this trickles up or down to employees. But workers now understand that they contribute their personal as well as professional gifts to employment. The equation demands that they then receive a measure of their personal satisfaction from the arrangement.
Much of appealing to the Talentsumer mentality is connected with cultural improvement. So is the endeavour of optimizing our workforces and work processes. We should be looking to revolutionize all of this now, so that we don’t fall behind the steady march of technology and changing demographics and values. A vast break with the past is here, whether we like it or not.
Bruce Morton, Workforce Design and Talent Acquisition Expert and author of Redesigning the Way Work Works, available on Amazon
Why CMOs Should Care About Customer IAM
By Darshana Gunawardana, Associate Director/Architect at WSO2
The surge to move online in 2020, in turn, has driven demand for high-performance, cost-effective customer identity access management solutions. And as we kick off 2021, customer identity and access management (CIAM) have become essential for any business to really understand their customers which is why CMOs should actively engage with and care about their CIAM system. I say this because within the various stages of a customer’s buying journey, such as awareness, consideration, purchase and service, more often than not a CIAM is running in the background ensuring the right solution enhances their digital experience by providing significantly better onboarding, personalisation, omnichannel experiences, and privacy controls and building that all-important trust with the customer.
So, let’s take a look at how CIAM works and the benefits it provides in the various stages of the customer journey:
The awareness stage is the very first step where a customer interacts with a company’s brand. This is where customers get to know about the product or the service offered by the business, which may lead them to access the company website or content on other platforms such as social media.
At this stage, customer interactions typically occur at an anonymous level. Therefore, the involvement of a CIAM solution will be minimal as no identifying information is available. However, it’s important to make use of products such as web analytics to preserve customer interest, which can be beneficial at a later stage.
At the consideration stage, customers will have more focused needs and they will show more engagement by downloading datasheets, following product demos/trials, etc. Typically, one or two customer attributes are captured in the CIAM at this level. Depending on the prominence of the attributes, this would be the starting point of representing the customer as a light user account in the CIAM system. These accounts do not have any credentials associated with them since customers have not gone through an onboarding process.
At this level, the CIAM’s inbound and outbound provisioning capabilities play a key role. For example, a prospective customer downloads a catalogue from a product website by providing their email; then, the website would create a light account in the CIAM system using a standard provisioning protocol like SCIM. Next, the CIAM solution will (outbound) provision that user account to different marketing tools – for example, Hubspot, and CRM tools like Salesforce, or web analytics such as Mixpanel.
Likewise, the organisation might correlate the light account with web analytics. This helps to obtain more insights about users, such as geolocation and what type of content they looked at during the awareness stage. These details can be used to provide more relevant, personalised information in the future.
The purchase stage is the level that receives the most amount of attention from most organisations. Depending on laws and regulations, it will be crucial to have verified user details. However, it’s important to ensure that the customer registration and onboarding process is simple and user-friendly.
Minimising the mandatory information fields requested from a customer helps significantly. This can be done by auto-filling information that is already associated with the light account. Another way to do this is by using progressive profiling so that the customer has to provide additional details only when they access a specific service that requires these details.
Having to maintain many accounts and credentials is a major pain point from a customer’s perspective. The ability to bring your own ID (BYOID) to help simplify the registration process is important. This will also help to reduce self-service or call centre interactions in later stages as it will lessen the need of having to recover an account owing to misplaced or forgotten credential details.
Moreover, having direct integrations with identity verification services like Evident ID in the CIAM solution reduces the overhead of providing various documents or having to go through a manual process to verify customer information, such as proof of citizenship, insurance validity, and so on.
The service stage is also a key stage for many consumer businesses. The user experience at this level determines whether existing customers become champions or detractors for the brand.
From a CIAM standpoint, users should have seamless access to any product or service they consume. If there are multiple services involved, basic things like the ability to consume both services with the same account and having single sign-on among multiple applications have become must-have capabilities. Strong authentication with additional factors is also a need when accessing sensitive applications. In addition, adaptive authentication also plays a key role to balance convenience over security. Having mechanisms like account locking, and risk-based authentication gives more assurance to protect customers’ accounts from malicious parties.
This leads to another vital requirement: self-service. Customers should be able to update and review their privacy preferences, such as the use of different emails for different activities, change associated profile information, and update contact information. At the same time, a user should be able to adjust their security profile by configuring recovery mechanisms and register trusted devices for login. With the advancement of privacy regulations across the world, modern businesses must also give users data portability and the ability to deregister.
Additionally, during the service stage, a business might also go through changes, e.g., mergers and acquisitions of other brands, and these activities should not drastically impact the customer experience. The right CIAM solution can facilitate these moves in an incremental manner.
CIAM can even help initiatives such as loyalty programs, which aim to increase customer engagement. Loyal customers might opt for early access to new products and give more accurate feedback, which can be utilised in A/B testing for product or service changes.
As a CIAM solution is well connected with every system involving the customer, it enables organisations to generate enhanced and actionable behavioural data that can be used to predict and determine possible interests. Even during unprecedented times, this information helps to make better-informed decisions.
Enhancing the customer experience is at the heart of digital transformation. Today’s increasingly sophisticated customers view digital interactions as the primary mechanism to interact with products and services and, consequently, expect deeper online relationships delivered simply, securely, and seamlessly. CIAM plays a vital role in connecting applications and APIs to customers and provides all the capabilities needed to deliver a customer experience that is second to none.
Volkswagen faces EU fine for missing 2020 emissions targets
BERLIN (Reuters) – Volkswagen faces a fine of more than 100 million euros ($121 million) for missing EU targets on carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from its 2020 passenger car fleet, the world’s largest carmaker said on Thursday.
It cut average CO2 emissions in the fleet in the European Union by around 20% to 99.8 g/km, but that was around 0.5 g/km above its target, Volkswagen said.
That implied EU fines amounting to a “very low triple-digit million amount”, a spokesman said.
European policymakers have clamped down on exhaust emissions, forcing carmakers to spur development of low-emission technology or face a penalty of 95 euros per gram of excess CO2 they emit.
“We narrowly missed the fleet target for 2020, thwarted by the COVID-19 pandemic,” CEO Herbert Diess said in a statement, adding he hoped to meet the target this year as the company’s main brands bring out new electric models.
Volkswagen is reducing the combustion-engined cars it offers and retooling more factories to build electric vehicles in an effort to keep up with electric carmaker Tesla.
It has said the EU’s more stringent emissions targets will force it to boost the proportion of hybrid and electric vehicles in its European car sales to 60% by 2030, up from a previous target of 40%.
Volkswagen admitted in 2015 to cheating emissions tests on diesel engines, a scandal which has cost it more than 30 billion euros ($33 billion) in regulatory fines and vehicle refits, mostly in the United States.
($1 = 0.8237 euros)
(Reporting by Jan Schwartz, writing by Emma Thomasson; editing by Jason Neely)
Oil dips after unexpected rise in U.S. crude stocks
By Ahmad Ghaddar
LONDON (Reuters) – Oil slipped on Thursday after industry data showed a surprise increase in U.S. crude inventories that revived pandemic-related demand concerns, but United States stimulus hopes limited the price downturn.
Brent crude futures fell 47 cents, or 0.8%, to $55.61 a barrel by 1030 GMT.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures fell 43 cents, or 0.8%, to $52.88 a barrel, following two days of gains on expectations of massive COVID-19 relief spending under new U.S. President Joe Biden.
U.S. crude oil inventories rose 2.6 million barrels in the week to Jan. 15, according to data from industry group the American Petroleum Institute, compared with analysts’ forecasts in a Reuters poll for a 1.2 million barrel fall. [API/S]
Official Energy Information Administration (EIA) inventory data is due on Friday.
“If delayed EIA numbers tomorrow show a similar crude oil build, it would be the first build seen since early December,” analysts at bank ING said.
Rising COVID-19 cases in China, the world’s largest crude oil importer, also weighed on prices.
Beijing plans to impose strict COVID testing requirements during the Lunar New Year holiday season, when tens of millions of people are expected to travel, as it battles the worst wave of new infections since March 2020.
The commercial hub of Shanghai reported its first locally transmitted cases in two months on Thursday.
Elsewhere, new U.S. President Joe Biden’s administration has committed to curb carbon emissions and among his first actions as president, Biden announced America’s return to the Paris climate accord and revoked a permit for the Keystone XL oil pipeline project from Canada.
The administration is also committed to ending new oil and gas leasing on federal lands.
The administration will also seek to lengthen and strengthen the nuclear constraints on Iran through diplomacy and will be raising the issue in early talks with foreign counterparts and allies, according to the White House.
(Additional reporting by Sonali Paul in Melbourne and Koustav Samanta in Singapore. Editing by Jane Merriman)
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