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42% of Organizations Struggling with Sourcing Quality Tech Talent Globally

Lack of budget came a close second for nearly a quarter of the respondents (24 per cent), said the survey titled 'Tech Hiring & Technology Adoption Trends 2019'

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Organizations, Tech, Talent
The survey by talent assessment company Mercer|Mettl found that more than 32 per cent of organizations lacked sufficient knowledge about the tools for conducting effective assessment methodologies across all the stages of the hiring process. Pixabay

Nearly 42 per cent of organizations globally are struggling with sourcing quality tech talent globally, while 20 per cent cited the time taken to close a tech position as the primary challenge, a survey said on Monday.

The survey by talent assessment company Mercer|Mettl found that more than 32 per cent of organizations lacked sufficient knowledge about the tools for conducting effective assessment methodologies across all the stages of the hiring process.

Lack of budget came a close second for nearly a quarter of the respondents (24 per cent), said the survey titled ‘Tech Hiring & Technology Adoption Trends 2019’.

“As everybody is onboarding the automation bandwagon, companies are finding it increasingly difficult to recruit and retain quality tech talent. This is mostly on account of inadequate knowledge regarding tech-driven best practices and widening demand-supply gap,” said Siddhartha Gupta, CEO, Mercer|Mettl.

Organizations, Tech, Talent
Nearly 42 per cent of organizations globally are struggling with sourcing quality tech talent globally, while 20 per cent cited the time taken to close a tech position as the primary challenge, a survey said on Monday. Pixabay

Moreover, 12 per cent of companies did not have a competency framework in place and nearly one-fifth (21 per cent) depended on face-to-face interviews to screen candidates.

Except for the 18 per cent of companies that leveraged smart AI-based technologies to filter resumes, the rest relied on lengthy ways for pre-screening the applications.

This not only caused the lead time to stretch unnecessarily but also lowered the success rate of the entire hiring process.

While evaluating candidates, proficiency in the required tech skills comprised the top criterion for 20 per cent of the organizations.

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On the other hand, 18 per cent of them tested the candidates with the view of up-skilling them as and when necessary. In this case, cognitive ability and learning agility formed the basis for evaluation.

Mercer|Mettl is currently partnering with over 2,000 global companies, 31 sector skill councils and more than 15 educational institutes across over 80 countries.

Mettl was acquired by Mercer in 2018, a global consulting leader in advancing health, wealth, and career. (IANS)

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Tech Tools Can Lead Fight Against Modern Slavery: UN Expert

Technology will be key in beating slavery as a fragmenting workplace leaves many more at risk

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Technology, Slavery, UN
Deidre Pujols, wife of L A. Angels' star Albert Pujols and creator of Strike Out Slavery, got involved after learning about modern-day slavery. Pujols was honored before a baseball game with the host N.Y. Mets, June 8, 2019. Pixabay

From tracing ill-gotten gains back to their source to spotting illegal factories, technology will be key in beating slavery as a fragmenting workplace leaves many more at risk, the United Nations leading expert on slavery said on Tuesday.

With an increase in automation and temporary contracts, billions go without rights like holiday pay or a minimum wage, but the technology which has enabled many of these changes can also be used to beat workplace abuses, said Urmila Bhoola.

“It (technology) definitely presents both a threat and an opportunity,” the U.N. special rapporteur on contemporary forms of slavery told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

“But the opportunities for using tech as a tool to identify people who are in modern slavery and to assist them are far greater and they outweigh the threat.”

Two billion people — more than 60% of the world’s workers — are in informal employment, where they are not covered by formal arrangements, such as a contract, or do not have protections like sick pay, International Labour Organization data shows.

Those in informal work are known to be at a higher risk of slavery, said Bhoola, as she prepares to present a report on current and emerging forms of slavery to the U.N. next month.

tech, tools, slavery, UN
But the opportunities for using tech as a tool to identify people who are in modern slavery and to assist them are far greater and they outweigh the threat. Pixabay

The number of informal workers is set to swell in coming years, as low-skilled workers are pushed out of more stable employment by automation and others move towards short-term jobs offered through digital platforms, she said.

“If we look at the informal economy and the anticipated increase in informal work and more precariousness and vulnerability, then we are very far from decent work and human rights in the workplace,” she said.

But even as technology enables some unscrupulous employers to abuse labor rights, it is also helping to identify slave-owners and offer help to those at risk, the South African lawyer said in a phone interview from Johannesburg.

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She cited innovative tools ranging from a project using satellite images to look out for illegal factories to secure blockchain databases that trace fashion back to the source, and simple apps giving advice and contacts to vulnerable workers.

“Those tools can play a critical role,” she said. “Protecting people is about providing access to information — where to go for help, where to go if you have a grievance.

“If you are enslaved in domestic work, for instance, and you get one opportunity to use someone’s phone, what are you able to do with that phone to get help?”

Technology is not a quick fix, said Bhoola, who raised concerns that the majority of anti-slavery technology is still being developed and deployed in the West, not in the developing world where the prevalence of abuse is highest.

She called for action to ensure that slavery victims were consulted about new tools, saying those who had experienced abuse were best placed to advise on what help others in the same situation might need.

Governments must also step in to prosecute abuses and ensure that businesses face the prospect of “remedy and reparation” if they are found to have committed or enabled abuses, she said.

However, with many police forces facing stretched budgets and slave-owners hiding from view, technology can help show them where to look, said Bhoola.

She cited a U.N. report suggesting that some $150 billion in profits is generated each year as a result of modern slavery.

“If you are actually able to find where that money is emanating from, where it’s going and how it is being used … then you really have a very strong basis for addressing what is essentially a hidden crime,” she said. (VOA)