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

Personalization is key to training a multi-generational workforce

The workforce in the U.S. now spans five generations from ‘the greatest generation’ to generation Z, with millennials predicted to make up a majority of workers by 2020. While most small and midsize businesses prioritize training for millennials, Brian Westfall argues that a “one-size-fits-all” approach alienates a portion of the workforce and will fail to meet desired training outcomes. “The best solution to the challenge of multi-generational workforce training isn’t prioritization, but personalization,” he writes. “Organizations need to deliver personalized learning experiences to every single worker to engage them fully in the material and achieve positive results.” Westfall provides four steps to implementing a truly flexible training program for the multi-generational workforce. 1. Segment your training audience using hard data, not gut feel, to avoid generational stereotypes. 2. Flesh out training content with needed topics and formats to expand the offerings available to employees. 3. Establish learning paths and administer pre-training proficiency tests to align the right program to the right teams. 4. Leverage a learning management system (LMS) to analyze, adjust and automate.

Why introverts can make great leaders

While a recent Harvard Business Review poll revealed that 65 percent of executives view introversion as a barrier to being a great leader, executive leadership coach Leo Aspden believes introverts have the potential to be first-class leaders with the right coaching. He highlights some of the many leadership qualities introverts possess, such as listening skills, working in solitude, and making calculated decisions. “The ability to make the right decisions is a key skill that all leaders must possess. Introverts are known for their strategic thinking and clever preparation; they don’t make rash decisions,” Aspden writes. Introverts are also great at being the balancing act to the extroverts in their teams. “While having a team of excitable extroverts keeps the office mood high, introverts can balance this by creating a peaceful, calming atmosphere where colleagues feel safe and accepted to be creative and share their ideas,” he writes.

How to improve the candidate experience

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the number of job openings in the U.S. exceeds the number of jobseekers for the first time, standing at a record 6.7 million vacancies. “As a result, recruiters are now focusing on the candidate experience more than ever before,” writes Gaby Lanaro in this WilsonHCG blog post. Here are seven tips to improve your candidate experience: 1. Ask for feedback to find out if your company’s process lacks something which the competition provides. 2. Communicate with candidates to let them know where they stand in the process and what comes next. 3. Don’t underestimate the value of the information you provide on your career website. 4. Make the most of technology and social media to make candidates feel involved and valued. 5. Evaluate your applicant tracking system to make sure it is efficient and easy to use. 6. Stay connected with the candidate throughout the process, from the interview to the first day on the job. 7. Remember that happy employees do a great job at persuading potential candidates. “If you want to be ahead of the competition, you have to adjust your strategies, keep up with the market, and bring back the fun element, all while inspiring human connection,” Lanaro writes.

Using AI to refine employee performance

“Using artificial intelligence (AI) to enhance the customer journey is the concept that’s gotten the most of the media coverage thus far. However, one of the most important things to remember about business is that a stellar customer experience starts on the inside,” writes Manish Dudharejia in this Entrepreneur article. He believes AI tools can be game-changers for both predicting and improving employee performance. During the hiring process AI can be used to screen candidates for key traits. In order to improve employee performance with AI, Dudharejia recommends tracking performance metrics to identify top performers and weak spots. “These detailed insights can then be used to create a gold standard that employees need to be held to,” he writes. “This might relate to time management, email habits, approaches to multi-tasking and other factors. Furthermore, these clear standards of achievement can essentially eliminate bias in the workplace.”

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