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

Banks lure millennials with volunteer opportunities

Tired of losing the new talent war to Silicon Valley, some banks are pushing community service opportunities to attract millennials. Citibank offers employees a variety of “experiential volunteering” options, ranging from a five-week sabbatical to do microfinance work in Africa to spending a gap year with a non-profit organization of their choice, according to an article in “Banks have offered their employees community service opportunities for decades, but in the last few years banks like Citi have been taking a closer look at how they can help attract and retain talent — particularly among a generation of young people who care about social impact and are often generalized as job hoppers,” writes Tanaya Macheel, and highlights the bank’s recent initiative with CariClub, a platform connecting young talent with non-profit organizations seeking board members. At Wells Fargo, similar efforts are underway to provide support to employees interested in pursuing board service. Melissa Buchanan, Wells Fargo’s global volunteerism manager, told Macheel it would be a “huge miss” if it didn’t market its volunteer initiatives as a selling point to new recruits.

IMF chief says closing gender gap is key to reducing inequality

Closing the gender gap in every aspect of economy is the most efficient way to reduce inequalities, the International Monetary Fund’s Christine Lagarde said last week during the IMF’s annual meeting with the World Bank in Washington. “The most efficient way to reduce the inequalities would be to actually close the gender gap between men and women, and that is a no-brainer,” Lagarde said, according to Business Standard. “Whether it is access to the labor market, whether it is access to finance, whether it is the gender gap in terms of compensation, that would achieve a lot in order to reduce inequalities.” The IMF chief said the solution applied to all countries irrespective of their economic situation. “I would suggest that focusing on the women in all economies in the world would significantly reduce inequalities,” Lagarde said.

Agile working improves productivity, and might end ‘the office’

“Businesses can see significant gains in recruitment and retention, as well as productivity,” writes Hannah Jordan in this post for HR Magazine. Jordan quotes the results of research by BPS World: Sixty-seven percent of agile businesses reported increase in productivity, 84 percent reported it was much easier to hire skilled staff, and 10 percent said “the office” may become an outdated concept. BPS World’s Simon Conington told HR Magazine that agile working should not just be seen as an employee perk. “We found that agile working benefits employers in some unexpected ways. However, skills shortages are affecting the ability of employers to operate, and these will be made worse by Brexit,” Conington said.

New startup aims to reinvent tech training

Last week, Apple cofounder Steve Wozniak announced the launch of Woz U, a startup aimed at training people at a “digital institute” for high-paying technology jobs. “Woz U was launched in an effort to give people relevant skills as a kind of insurance policy. As tech becomes even more of a dominant presence in the US economy, America’s tech sector will need more people to fill new roles,” writes Chris Weller, in an article for Business Insider. Initially Woz U will offer online classes on basics of computer support and software development, while offering career advice and support. “Over the coming years, Woz U will set up 30 brick-and-mortar locations around the US to expand its digital institute into the physical world. The company said it will announce the specific locations within the next couple months. The accelerator school will be based out of Arizona,” Weller reports.

Nine tips for choosing the right HR tech

The right HR technology not only can help companies recruit and hire the best talent but also keep the existing workforce engaged and productive, argues Paul Burrin in this TalentCulture blog post. He gives nine tips for finding the right HR tech: 1. Have a clear business case and define success, 2. Nail the logistics early, 3. Go with cloud, 4. Do research on products, 5. Plan for your entire workforce, 6. Bring the A-game, 7. Align the technology to HR strategy, 8. Map the legal requirements, 9. Reflect your brand to attract the best. “Ultimately, it’s about what your people will love to use,” Burrin writes. “There isn’t one single answer to fix the productivity problem, but we know that if companies engage their people better by creating great employee experiences, more people will love going to work.”

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