Here are the top news stories in talent and organization from this week.

The future of HR Tech

While an abundance of highly specialized HR tools and solutions is rapidly emerging, HR Tech needs to focus more on people, relationships and experiences, according to Delisa Alexander, Red Hat’s EVP & CPO. “At its core, HR is not about systems or processes. It’s about people,” she writes in this post for CIO Review. Alexander points to how the tech giants such as Amazon and Facebook have figured out not only ways to offer a personalized experience at scale, using predictive analytics to unlock the value of their data, but also in a way that many of us enjoy. “HR software has been slow to deliver on these emerging consumer expectations,” she says, adding that most HR systems are clunky and hard to use. “We need integrated HR systems that help us manage our relationships with prospective candidates, current and former associates,” Alexander writes and challenges HR vendors: “There’s so much opportunity for established vendors to step up and be thought leaders… we need the support, experience, and partnership that larger vendors can offer.”

How to disrupt the insurance talent conundrum

A giant wave of retirement is on the horizon for the U.S. workforce, and the insurance industry will face a talent gap of 400,000 vacancies by 2020. How can the insurance industry attract the highly skilled young talent? Joe Tocco, in a Risk & Insurance blog post, argues that insurers need to learn from the experience of being disrupted by insurtechs and follow their example. “We need to disrupt the perception of our industry,” he writes. Tocco recounts the story of an insurer who upon being asked by his children what he did for a living told them he was a superhero. “Think about it. If we think more highly of our industry and our role in it, we can change how our industry is perceived,” he says. “We don’t need superhero capes. We do need to find ways to share our superhero stories widely — especially to the next generation — to let them know that a career in the insurance and risk management industry can be a worthwhile one that even borders on exciting.”

Google’s AI job service enters beta, speaks 100 languages

Last week, Google’s Cloud Job Discovery service, which uses artificial intelligence to help customers connect job vacancies with candidates, entered its private beta phase, reports Blair Hanley Frank of VentureBeat. Launched in 2016 and formerly known as Cloud Jobs API, the system ‘can take a plain language query and help translate that to the specific jargon employers use to describe their positions, something that can be hard for potential employees to navigate,’ Frank writes. Cloud Job Discovery now is also fluent in 100 languages. “While the service is still primarily aimed at customers in the U.S., some of Google’s existing clients need support for multiple languages. In the future, the company plans to expand the Cloud Job Discovery service internationally, so investing in language support now makes sense going forward,” Frank notes.

Four key elements of senior leadership development

Harvard Business Publishing Corporate Learning just wrapped up a five-part blog series taking an in-depth look at what the editors called “Best-in-Class Senior Leadership Development.” According to the authors, the four key components of a successful senior leadership development are: 1. Learning that’s relevant to the business (start with a needs assessment and tie to strategy), 2. Innovative design and delivery models (blended delivery models can provide stronger opportunities for interaction among learners), 3. Executives who are deeply engaged (when executives go “all in,” participants do as well, becoming more engaged and involved themselves.), 4. The ability to measure the impact of learning the business (make business impact projects part of the learning).

Closing the global skills gap

The growing global skills gap has been making headlines for quite some time, but this piece from TheOneBrief details four unique approaches to solving the problem from across the globe. Singapore is noted for emphasizing education, and leading world in literacy, numeracy and problem solving. Switzerland gets a nod for nurturing innovation by offering seed funding through government incentives to banks that lend to entrepreneurs. The Philippines earns a mention for changing work culture to retain talent—i.e. banks offering social clubs, rooftop gyms and flexible work hours to attract young talent. Last but not the least, Egypt is applauded for getting its very young population (60 percent under 30) ready for work through initiatives with the private sector to better train the next generation.

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