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Is the Best Career Erratic or Predictable? Data from Freelance Platforms Offers Clues

John Boudreau

Professor, USC Marshall School of Business

If you were hiring an actor for a romantic comedy, would you prefer Hugh Grant, whose roles are consistently the leading love interest? Or Arnold Schwarzenegger, whose resume jumps from The Terminator to Kindergarten Cop to Governor of California? Or Tom Hanks, who has had a systematic progression from television to romantic comedies to more serious dramatic roles?

Hollywood may be an extreme example, but this is the kind of dilemma today's leaders are faced with. In the emerging work ecosystem, a life-long career and "perfect fit candidate" is a thing of the past. Today, people have a plethora of work options—full-time jobs, projects, freelance gigs, contract work or part-time employment—which often means they have erratic job histories.

This new world of work opens a pressing question for organizations: Is a modern candidate more attractive if they've held a single similar position, progressed through a closely-related sequence of positions, or moved with agility between very different positions? While the answer isn't certain, data from freelance platforms offers a few clues.

The New Career Path

When careers occur inside one or a few organizations, candidates tend to move systematically from entry-level positions to leading small teams to leading departments. But in today's world, careers are no longer constrained by such traditional employment rules.

Like Arnold Schwarzenegger, candidates can more easily jump between very different areas of focus, arguably demonstrating their ability to be agile, learn quickly and adapt. Freelance platforms enable thousands of people to find such diverse work experiences every day: For example, Upwork—a freelance platform—reports $1 billion in work done annually, with more than 2,700 skills available and four million clients.

But while freelancers may be pioneering a new career path with such platforms, are those who hire freelancers equally open to job erraticism?

Mapping Freelance Jobs

Social scientists are increasingly studying work through freelance platforms. Ming D. Leung, a professor at University of California-Berkeley's Haas School of Business looked at the question of career erraticism on freelance platform eLance (now merged into Upwork) in 2014, examining 268,000 bids for 20,000 jobs from 2,400 qualified bidders.

Pairs of jobs were deemed similar the more often they appeared together in a candidate's work history. The diagram below shows the job clusters Leung discovered. For example, the left-center represents the web and programming domain, where jobs are quite tightly clustered, while the bottom-right shows the legal domain which has less clustering.

Does Erratic Job Hopping Affect Success?

A candidate's past job sequence was used to calculate the average distance between the consecutive jobs they worked. For example, jumping from "3D graphics" to "tax planning" garners a high distance score compared to the low distance of jumping from "3D graphics" to "animation." The overall erraticism score was then calculated on a range between zero and 1.0, with an average of .41.

How did the erraticism score impact a candidate's chance at getting a job? Movement between similar jobs is better than staying with one job, but only up to an erraticism score of .18. Beyond that, more erraticism reduces the chance of winning the job.

However, some factors reduce the negative effect of erraticism. Erratic job hopping had less of an effect on simple jobs, freelancers with a longer job history on the site and freelancers who had prior contact with the employer.

The Freelance World as a Window on Work

The freelance world and the traditional world share similarities: Freelancer movement between similar jobs is still more attractive than erratic movement, and proven experience and a past relationship make erraticism more tolerable.

Will this change as employers of freelancers learn more about the patterns that lead to success? One thing seems certain: Freelance platforms will increasingly be a rich laboratory to observe the evolution of work, and leaders should pay close attention as we learn more.

Photo: Shutterstock

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社員を夢中にさせるエクスペリエンスの創り方

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社員を夢中にさせるエクスペリエンスの創り方

従業員エクスペリエンス(仕事から得る経験・満足感)の創造―人財開発業界のリーダーからの答え 人財関連従事者にとって、いまだかつてない変化に富んだ時代がきました。たった10年の間に地域・業界・大きさ問わず、どの企業でも、どんな役職でも、「働く」の定義がドラマチックに変革しました。職場に対する社員の期待の変革は同時に課題も出てきており、人事部のリーダーにとっても素晴らしい機会であるといえます。 人財開発を任される者として、皆さんはこの目まぐるしい変化への対応の大変さを日々実感していることでしょう。社員が一人一人に合わせた仕事上のエクスペリエンスを得るようにアプローチし、一方で会社のニーズも満たし、人財開発プログラムに対するポジティブなインパクトも証明しなければならないのです。 そこでこちらのハンドブックの出番です。 社員のポジティブなエクスペリエンスを長期的な目線で創造する 人財開発のリーダーならば社員だけでなく、社員が職場で得るエクスペリエンスについてもその重要性をご存知でしょう。 そこで世界中の30人以上の人財開発のプロフェッショナルと業界のエキスパートから洞察を集めハンドブックにしました。 AMEX、アストラゼネカ、BJCヘルスケア、富士通、そしてVulcanなど、人財開発に特に力を入れていることで知られるいくつかの企業からの実践的な情報を紹介しています。そして、Bersin、Brandon Hall Group、Fistful of Talent、Fosway、HR Examiner、Lighthouse Research、RedThread Research、Towards Maturityなどの多才な研究者や作家から、社員のエクスペリエンスをマネジメントするための先進的なアイデアと新しいアプローチが得られます。 ここで少しエキスパートからの洞察をご紹介いたします。 個人に最適化された真のエンプロイージャーニー ここに挙げた例は、膨大な専門知識のほんの一部に過ぎません。 大勢の賢者が私たちや皆さんに知見を共有してくれています(資料はすべて日本語化されています) Josh Bersin – Bersin Academy Remember that "the customer experience is dependent on the employee experience." Every time we make employees' lives better, we better serve customers. Look at the common "moments that matter" at work first, and flatten these issues completely. Onboarding, job changes, relocation etc. Every company can look at these topics and map out better solutions. Dani Johnson – RedThread Research Personal talent experiences and the organization's processes that drive results should fall under one approach. Strong talent and development strategies overlap individuals natural desires to learn and develop, with the organization's needs. This happens in organizations where they understand and communicate the skills they need to succeed, and then motivate employees to develop them. Michael Rochelle – Brandon Hall Group Organizations spend their time developing a more flexible, agile and diverse workforce. The key to building this workforce is providing employees with opportunities to grow – personally and professionally. Meaningful work, an attentive manager, and rewards and recognition motivate employees, and smart organizations work diligently to provide this environment. Julie Winkle-Giulioni – DesignArounds While organizational processes are necessary, no one develops from annual mandated activities. Employees around the world report that their success boiled down to three factors: Trust – leaders whom they trusted to provide meaningful feedback and to have their backs. Belief – leaders who saw something in them they may not have seen in themselves. Ongoing conversation – leaders who prioritized accessibility, listening and dialogue. David Wilson – Fosway Group Seemingly every aspect of the employee lifecycle must now be a great experience. And in a talent deficient economy, it cannot be taken for granted. Employers are increasingly recognizing that the commitment they expect from employees has to be earned and nurtured. But remember, real experiences come from what people do and how they behave, not from a company's processes and systems. Jane Daly – Towards Maturity High-performing learning cultures are the most successful at creating heuristic experiences that build value. They continually upskill and network with key experts to enable self-determined experiences, not just self-directed, which just focuses on content rather than the experience of a learner consumer-centric ecosystem. Steve Simpson – Keystone Management Services Create an environment where people demonstrate a hunger and expectation for learning and growth – aimed at strengthening the aspirational culture. People won't be "punished" (through extra catch-up work) for attending professional development initiatives. Leaders and employees will show a real interest in hearing what others have learned. Tim Sackett – HRU Technical Resources If you suck at something, technology does a good job at amplifying that! So, before you can deliver a great employee experience using technology, your employee experience design should be great without it. Then the technology will help you deliver that experience more consistently and faster than ever. Ben Eubanks – Lighthouse Research and Advisory We can create more people-centric workplaces AND drive more value for the business. Engaged companies can outperform disengaged companies by 150 percent. We've seen this play out in our research again and again: companies with better revenue, engagement, and employee retention see talent differently, treat talent differently, and they don't apologize for it. Jason Lauritsen – Engagement & Culture Expert If you find that taking a people-centric approach to employee experience is in conflict with your organization's processes, then those processes are broken. Sure, you can try to mitigate the impact of those processes, but you should also address what processes are out of alignment with how people do their best work and fix it. このハンドブックを読み終えるころには今後の会社の発展に貢献し、そして社員にも喜ばれるような、面白くて個人に最適化されたエクスペリエンスの創造に関する新しいアイデアや戦略が身についていることでしょう。 社員を夢中にさせるエクスペリエンスの創り方のダウンロードはこちら

コーヒーブレイク: ハイブリッドワークプレイスに必要なもの

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コーヒーブレイク: ハイブリッドワークプレイスに必要なもの

パンデミックによって仕事が急速に、そして明らかに変化する中、常に盛り上がる議論の1つは、オフィスへの復帰に焦点を当てたものです。オフィスへの復帰を行うのか、行うとしたらどのように行うのか? 多くの従業員は自宅で仕事をするという贅沢をしたことが ありませんが、自宅で仕事ができる人たち(例えば、あなたのチームは、仕事に焦点を当てた企業ブログを執筆・編集していたとしましょう)、オフィス復帰は熱い論争を呼んでいます。 例えば、Airbnb社は最近、社員にオフィスに戻らなくていいと言っています。また、ゴールドマン・サックス社のように、週5日復帰しているところもあります。しかし、フルタイムでオフィスに戻ることを義務付けた組織の中には、優秀な人材の多くがすぐに退職したり、その後すぐに辞めてしまったりするところもあります。また、そのような組織では、本当に嫌な思いをすることもありました。このことからわかるのは、すべての組織が、その決定が影響を与える人々と話した上で、人々の決定を下しているわけではない、ということです。 ハイブリッド・ワークは、家賃を払う組織とリモート・ワークの自由を享受する従業員が合意できる妥協点であるように思われる そして、すべての兆候からハイブリッドワークが定着することは明らかで、リモートワークの成功は企業の仕事の進め方や仕事の場所を再認識させたのです。そして、リモートワークの成功は企業における仕事の進め方や場所 を再構築しています。多くの人にとって、週に何日でもオフィスに 戻ってくるということは、2年近く自分の家の中で仕事をしてきた後、大きな変化として感じられるでしょう。この1年で、多くの社員が一人で仕事をすることに慣れたことでしょう。では、どのようにすれば従業員を満足させ、組織の目標に一致させることができるでしょうか。 仕事をみんなにフィットするスタイルにする オフィスでの時間とオフィス外での時間の適切な組み合わせを見つけることは、多くの従業員や組織が現在正しい状態にするために取り組んでいる、厄介な状況です。組織と社員にとって最適な働き方をするためには、プランが必要です。柔軟性を提供し、リソースをアップスキルし、オフィスで働くことの利点と必要性を伝える計画です。 2021年ワークトレンド・インデックスによると、70%以上の労働者が柔軟なリモートワークのオプションの継続を望んでおり、65%以上がチームメイトと直接会う時間をより多く切望しています。その結果、66%のビジネスリーダーがハイブリッドワーク環境に対応できるよう、オフィススペースの再設計を準備しています。 新しいワークスタイルに必要なものは以下の通りです 戦略的な組織計画 - コーナーストーンのサクセッションプランニングとワークフォースプランニングのソリューションにより、組織目標に社員を合わせることができます。 すべての従業員に対する学習のパーソナライズ - AI主導の学習推奨により、正社員、契約社員、ギグワーカーのスキルを向上させます。 必要不可欠な最新コンテンツとリソース - プロフェッショナルスキル、リーダーシップ、マネジメント、リモートワークの必需品など、常に新鮮なコンテンツとサブスクリプションで、変化し続ける市場における従業員のニーズに対応 継続的な従業員開発 - 開発計画、目標設定、継続的なフィードバックなどにより、リモートおよびオフィス内の従業員の専門的な成長を促進することができます。 このブログは企業のブログであり、どのように機能するかはご存じでしょうから、コーナーストーン製品で成功するハイブリッドワークプレイスを構築するために、これらすべてのことを行っていることは、おそらくご想像のとおりです。 しかし、コーナーストーンの利点以外に、あなたの組織でどのようなハイブリッドバランスが最適かを考えるとき、社員とのコミュニケーションをオープンで正直なものに保つことを忘れないでください。社員は、すべての仕事をする人たちですから、あなたが彼らの意見を考慮することに感謝するはずです。もしあなたが彼らと一緒に働かないのであれば、彼らは他の場所で働くでしょう。

4 Ways to Expand Your Social Media Recruiting Strategy

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4 Ways to Expand Your Social Media Recruiting Strategy

Social media is ubiquitous, and companies are using it in many different and innovative ways for enhancing their sales, marketing and customer services. So why is it then that many HR departments still fail to see social media as more than a job board? Outside of the office, the same HR people happily engage with friends on Facebook, share news and ideas on Twitter, look at pictures on Instagram and send snaps on Snapchat. But when they put their work hat on they seemingly forget why they use social in the way they (and hundreds of millions of other users) do every day, and resort back to just posting jobs (in a boring way) on social media! Of course there is nothing wrong with job posting, and it's often an effective approach to reaching an audience, but not all of the time. According to LinkedIn, only 12 percent of the working population are actively seeking new employment. So, if all you do is post jobs on your LinkedIn, Twitter or Facebook page, you are consciously ignoring the other 88 percent of the working population who might be interested in hearing more about your company in general. Creating and sharing interesting content about your company such as employee stories or volunteer days help bring your employer brand to life. It might even trigger people to reach out to you and find out more about your job opportunities. In truth, mixing up your social media feeds with a variety of content will provide more depth and candidate engagement. Here are four ways to expand your social media strategy and engage with new potential candidates. 1) Candidate Sourcing With people using an average of more than five social networks, sourcing talent via social media makes absolute sense. Branch out from just using LinkedIn and look to sites like Twitter, Facebook and Google+ to search for and engage with prospective talent. Try search tools like Followerwonk to search Twitter bios for keywords and job titles, a clever Chrome browser extension called Intelligence Search that easily searches Facebook and using the search bar at the top of Google+. They will help you identify new talent. If you are looking to build social media pipelines then try Hello Talent. It is a great free tool that allows you to build talent pipelines from many different social networks by using a browser extension. 2) Competitor Monitoring Social media is a fantastic source of information and data. By using tools like Hootsuite and Tweetdeck, you can monitor the social media activity of your competitors. Both of these tools allow you to set up search columns, where you can enter things like keywords, hashtags, Twitter names and track when any of these are mentioned on sites such as Twitter. You can use the interact or use the insights accordingly. 3) Resources for Candidates Consider your Facebook page (or Twitter channel) as a real-time customer services channel for you to engage and communicate with both new and existing candidates in the recruitment process. Provide links to your social media pages to candidates at all stages in the process and encourage them to visit the pages and ask questions about any part of the process. You can also share useful information about working for the company, including locations, employees and other relevant news. 4) Live Recruitment Events Not everyone can attend the many recruitment events happening every month. But by using social media like Twitter, Facebook Live, Instagram and Snapchat, you can easily provide live commentary for these events you attend or host. Real-time video via Facebook Live and interaction via Twitter chats are superb examples of ways to regularly engage with a live audience of potential candidates. With social media firmly established in our working lives, I question how much more evidence HR departments will need to fully embrace this "new" form of candidate engagement. Photo: Twenty20

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