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

The aging of the wealth management workforce

The average age of a financial advisor is 50, and only five percent of advisors are younger than 30, according to EY. “The aging of the financial advisor workforce comes at a time when demand for their advice is accelerating. The oldest baby boomers have started transferring wealth to their children,” writes Kim Moore in an Oregon Business article. “Many of these younger people don’t want to work with older advisors. They want an advisor who looks like them.” To diversify its wealth advisory division, Wells Fargo introduced a two-year training program, pairing new associates with senior financial advisor mentors. Other wealth-management firms, such as Portland-based The Partners Group, dropped the variable-compensation model in favor of a salary-based model to attract younger recruits. The transfer of wealth from the baby-boomer generation to the younger generations is expected to accelerate in the next decade. “Having a team of advisors who can engender confidence in both young and old will be essential,” says Steve Holwerda, managing director at investment advisory firm Ferguson Wellman Capital Management. “Everybody wants somebody they can relate to.”

Personalized training is key to attracting millennials

From ringtones to news feeds, music selections and coffee orders, millennials have grown up with personalized services, and now expect that in the workplace, too. “There is a demand from this highly mobile millennial workforce for learning that reflects what everything else in their life looks like…which is a personalized experience,” Jeremy Auger, an advisor to Canada’s Future Skills Council, told TechRepublic. “In learning and skills development, what we are seeing from millennials is this: the number one reason why they go to or stay at a particular job is the opportunity it presents for growth and development.” Auger believes companies need to invest in digital training tools that keep pace with the ever-changing technical world, especially video technology. “Let’s say you hire a sales rep and you need to get them ready to do a sales pitch. You can easily record it and share it with peers, managers and sales enablement coaches and they can watch and at different points in time they can give feedback,” he says. “Traditionally that would have to be done in a face to face setting. This lets it be asynchronous and facilitates broader peer feedback and can be done on a global scale.”

How to keep employees engaged at work

Autonomy, collaboration, and mindfulness activities are just a few of the ways to keep employees engaged at work, according to a new study published in the European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology. “We found that employees who were encouraged to proactively craft their own jobs, such as by taking on a challenging new work project, learning a new skill, or brainstorming with a colleague to problem solve, were more likely to stay engaged at work,” said lead author Caroline Knight, from the Future of Work Institute at Curtin University. The research also found that health activities such as mindfulness, stress management, exercise or relaxation programs help employee engagement. Knight advises leaders to encourage and endorse these activities. “In addition, work engagement research suggests that employers and managers who are able to provide social support feedback, and development opportunities for their employees, and help them manage their workload, time pressure, and emotional demands, are more likely to see positive outcomes,” she said.

The future workforce poses challenges for AI in recruiting

While many companies are tapping artificial intelligence (AI) to improve recruiting processes and avoid bias, those efforts are likely to get more challenging as a growing number of applicants identify as more than one ethnicity or as neither gender, claims Monica Melton. “Although 21 percent of computer science degree earners are Black or Latinx, they make up just 10 percent of technical employees in the tech workforce, according to a 2018 study from the Kapor Center,” she wrote in this Forbes piece. The younger generations are also less likely to fit into gender binaries. “Fifty percent of those who identify as gen Z living on the coasts thought about their gender and identify somewhere on a nonbinary spectrum of gender. As much as we want to drive for something simple like gender, for the next set of workers, gender is decreasingly meaningful,” says Nicole Sanchez, founder of Vaya Consulting. Sanchez believes the AI systems are only as good as the data they are based on. “As much as we want to nail down data, because we’re about data-driven solutions, our data’s wrong. Some of the work that we have to do has to be shepherded in by humans,” she said.

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