5 links hr examiner april 22 2014 john sumser

This week’s balance is three pieces about the way we look at the future and two about our resistance.

This week’s balance is three pieces about the way we look at the future and two about our resistance.

The human response to new ideas seems to be negative at first followed by a slow process of adaptation. The method made sense in jungles where we were relatively defenseless. It makes less sense today, particularly given the pace of technical change.

Our future, in the very near term, involves dramatic changes in both demographics and technology. This is true whether you are reading this in Hong Kong or Kansas City. The US, perpetually driven by waves of demographic change is headed into a brown future. At the same time, the population is aging. Is this the foundation of a class war?

The way that technology gets introduced to the world has shifted. It used to be that the oligarchs got technology first, then the rest of us. Today, we are the source of new technology in our large organizations.

The world isn’t operating by the old rule set (and neither is HR). These links give you a sense of the tectonic shifts underfoot.

  • US Views on Technology and the Future
    From Pew. This is the research paper that lays out the findings of the study about Americans and how they view the future. It’s the best 20 pages you can read to understand change and resistance to it. Hopefully, Pew will continue to look at the underlying issues over time. In a nutshell, people believe that the future will have a host of new technological facets. Less than a majority think this is a good idea.
  • The Next America
    More from Pew. Our population is becoming majority non-white at the same time a record share is going gray. Each of these shifts would by itself be the defining demographic story of its era. The fact that both are unfolding simultaneously has generated big generation gaps that will put stress on our politics, families, pocketbooks, entitlement programs and social cohesion.
  • The Backlash Against Big Data Continues
    “There is a lot of hype about “big data,” and much of it is ridiculous. Ignore the hype. Learn to be a data skeptic. That doesn’t mean becoming skeptical about the value of data; it means asking the hard questions that anyone claiming to be a data scientist should ask. Think carefully about the questions you’re asking, the data you have to work with, and the results that you’re getting. And learn that data is about enabling intelligent discussions, not about turning a crank and having the right answer pop out.”
  • #ioth The Internet of Things and Humans
    “Is Uber an #IoT application? Most people would say it is not; it’s just a pair of smartphone apps connecting a passenger and driver. But imagine for a moment the consumer end of the Uber app as it is today, and on the other end, a self-driving car. You would immediately see that as #IoT. Using this thought experiment, one way to think of the present Uber is as an example of what Eric Ries calls “concierge minimum viable product” — that is, a product where you emulate some of the functions with humans before you build them in software.”
  • The Disconnect in Connecting the Workplace
    Brian Solis on the fundamental nature of current technical change. Resistance is futile.

Bonus Link

  • The Results of the Annual Job Board Survey Are In.(Registration required)
    – Niche sites continue to dominate the survey responses in all regions
    – 82% of job sites provide searchable resume/profile databases
    – 50% of respondents have site traffic of 50,000 unique visits/mo or higher
    – Almost 60% of job sites are using both PPC and organic traffic from aggregators to drive additional traffic
    – The quality of candidates and number of hires saw sharp increases in importance re: client retention versus 2013
    – Less than 40% of respondents surveyed their candidates at least once a year
    – Over 40% of respondents are getting 15% or more of their site traffic from mobile devices

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