Welcome to the inaugural edition of the “Friday Five,” where we bring you a curated selection of the week’s most impactful HR and tech stories. This week, we delve into Oracle’s new HCM solution, President Biden’s initiative to boost tech innovation in underserved areas, the expansion of an AI-driven recruitment startup, the shift towards skills-based hiring and the corporate response to the Israel-Gaza conflict. Dive in to stay updated on the pulse of the industry.
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Oracle has launched “Oracle HCM Now,” a new Human Capital Management (HCM) solution tailored for midsize enterprises with up to 15,000 employees. This offering promises a structured implementation over six months in three phases, all at a fixed cost. Yvette Cameron, the SVP of global HCM product strategy at Oracle, highlighted that many midsize firms, often formed through acquisitions, use a mix of solutions to manage their workforce, sometimes even spreadsheets. “HCM Now” aims to provide these organizations with an integrated solution typically reserved for larger corporations.
The product’s initial release will cater to all industries in North America, with plans for expansion to Europe and other regions. A significant advantage of this integrated system is addressing the “fragmentation frustration” experienced by employees. Research from HR tech firm Personio revealed that 37% of employees feel burdened by the plethora of digital tools available, emphasizing the need for unified platforms.
The move by Oracle to introduce a streamlined HCM solution for midsize enterprises is both timely and strategic. Digital transformation is paramount and businesses—irrespective of their size—need robust and integrated tech solutions to manage their workforce efficiently. The “fragmentation frustration” highlighted is a real challenge, and by offering a unified platform, Oracle is not only addressing a pain point but also positioning itself as a frontrunner in the HCM space. It will be interesting to see how competitors respond and how the market evolves in the coming months.
President Joe Biden’s administration has designated 31 communities across the U.S. as Innovation and Technology Hubs. These hubs aim to bolster regional economic growth, foster innovation and enhance American competitiveness. Spanning a diverse range of sectors, including semiconductors, clean energy, AI and quantum computing, these hubs are spread across 32 states and Puerto Rico. U.S. Secretary of Commerce, Gina Raimondo, emphasized that the Tech Hub program would catalyze technological advancements and generate job opportunities across the nation.
The initiative seeks to expand technological industry centers beyond traditional tech hotspots like Silicon Valley and Seattle. Remarkably, nearly three-quarters of the chosen Tech Hubs are located in “small and rural areas” and “historically underserved communities.” To support these hubs, the Department of Commerce has announced that each can apply for funding ranging from $40 million to $70 million, amounting to a total of nearly $500 million.
The Biden administration’s move to establish these Tech Hubs is a strategic endeavor to decentralize tech innovation and ensure that the benefits of technological advancements are widespread. By focusing on rural and historically underserved communities, the initiative not only promises economic growth but also aims to bridge the technological divide. As the world grapples with rapid technological changes, such inclusive strategies are crucial for ensuring that no community is left behind in the race for innovation.
Workruit, an AI-driven career and recruitment platform, has unveiled its expansion strategy for the U.S. job market. Already active in over 150 countries, Workruit is set to leverage the vast opportunities presented by the American employment sector. The company’s decision is influenced by the substantial demand for its core offerings, especially the Resume Builder and Recruitment Platform. The U.S. market’s pricing structures are approximately ten times higher than those in India, presenting a lucrative opportunity for Workruit.
The startup’s global expansion blueprint includes connecting with over 5 million job seekers, engaging with more than 5,000 enterprises and forging partnerships with over 2,000 colleges and universities by the end of the upcoming year. Manikanth Challa, Workruit’s CEO and founder, highlighted the projected growth of the online recruitment market in the U.S., which is expected to surge by $3.17 billion from 2022 to 2026. Workruit’s AI-centric products position it favorably to capture a significant share of this growth.
Workruit’s ambitious move into the U.S. job market underscores the global potential of AI-powered recruitment solutions. The company’s impressive growth rate and partnerships with major corporations like Amazon, BYJUs and HDFC Bank showcase its capability and promise. As the U.S. job market continues to evolve, startups like Workruit that bring innovative solutions to the table are poised to redefine the recruitment landscape.
ZipRecruiter’s first Annual Employer Survey highlights a significant shift towards skills-based hiring, with many U.S. employers valuing competencies over traditional academic credentials. Factors such as post-pandemic declines in college enrollments, concerns about college affordability and the rise of alternative online learning platforms have contributed to this trend. In the past year, 45% of employers have removed degree prerequisites for some roles, and 72% now prioritize skills over certificates.
Employers are also actively investing in workforce development, offering initiatives like student loan repayment, tuition assistance and employee training programs. These investments are perceived as beneficial for recruitment and retention, with ZipRecruiter’s data showing a decrease in job postings requiring bachelor’s degrees and an increase in those offering training and tuition assistance.
The shift towards skills-based hiring signifies a transformative moment in the recruitment landscape. As employers recognize the value of skills and competencies over traditional degrees, it paves the way for a more inclusive and diverse workforce. This approach not only addresses the immediate skills gap but also empowers individuals who might have been sidelined due to the lack of formal qualifications. As the job market continues to evolve, it’s crucial for companies to adapt and prioritize the real-world skills and capabilities that drive innovation and growth.
Amid the escalating tensions between Israel and Gaza, U.S. employees are pressuring their companies to take a stance on the conflict. A list titled “Anti-Israel employees” has been circulating, which includes names of individuals who made “potentially terror supporting” posts on social media. This list has caused alarm among employees, especially those who expressed support for Palestinians. Companies like Google and Amazon have been at the forefront, with employees urging management to address the Palestinian casualties following Israel’s actions in Gaza.
The U.S. corporate world, which has close ties to Israel, finds itself in a challenging position. While many top executives have shown support for Israel, there’s a growing call from employees for a balanced perspective. The issue is further complicated by the fact that major tech companies, including Amazon, Meta and Google, have significant operations in Israel. Employees, especially from younger generations, expect their employers to take clear political stances. However, some employees have faced backlash, discipline or even job loss for their online posts criticizing Israel.
The Israel-Gaza conflict underscores the intricate relationship between global politics and the corporate world. As companies navigate this sensitive issue, they must tread carefully to ensure they uphold values of inclusivity and freedom of expression. The challenge lies in balancing business interests with the evolving expectations of a diverse workforce. While it’s essential for companies to stand against any form of extremism, they should also foster an environment where employees feel safe to voice their concerns without fear of retribution.