November 16, 2018

The Roundup: Skills gaps in U.S. cities, productivity hacks from CEOs, and bringing parents to work

In this week's Roundup, the cities with the biggest skills gaps in the U.S., and how CEOs make the most of their limited time. Plus, why companies are inviting their employees' parents to work.

Danielle Ng-See-Quan

Dani is the Managing Editor, Content Marketing at Ceridian.

What are the skills gaps in major U.S. cities?

The latest LinkedIn Workforce report highlights skills gaps in major U.S. cities. The monthly report looks at overall trends related to hiring, skills gaps, and migration, and then dives into localized trends in 20 of the largest metropolitan areas in the U.S.

San Francisco has the nation’s largest skills gap, followed by New York and Los Angeles. These three cities also see the greatest shortages across all skills, according to the report.

The skills driving these shortages? In all three cities, the following skills were listed as in shortage: oral communication, business management, leadership, data science, social media, and digital literacy.

It’s not news that skills gaps create challenges for employers to match talent with skills they need. These findings highlight that it makes good business sense for employers to continue prioritizing learning and development to upskill their talent internally.

How CEOs make the most out of their days

A CEO’s time is at a premium – in fact, a recent Harvard Business Review study found that CEOs work an average of 62.5 hours and attend 37 meetings per week.  Fast Company provides nine tips on how successful CEOs stay consistently productive – here are some highlights:

  • Have one meeting-free day during the week: This provides a big block of time to do focused work. Asana CEO Dustin Moskovitz says that the gist of this, based on Paul Graham’s article “Maker’s Schedule, Manager’s Schedule,” is that meetings create disruptions in people’s flow, which is detrimental to productivity.
  • Do email better: Fast Company suggests two email-related tips. The first is to include a deadline in every email, which Birchbox co-founder Katie Beauchamp says makes prioritization faster. The second is to send fewer emails, something LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner says generates less inbox activity that takes people away from getting actual work done. For more email tips, check out our recent post on avoiding email fatigue.
  • Make strategic lists: Instead of simply making a list of tasks, group similar tasks together, which is what Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky does. With each group of similar tasks, try to determine an action that solves all of them, so that you end up with just a few “big tasks” instead of a laundry list of 20.

Why companies are getting employees to bring their parents to work

While some companies recently participated in Take Our Kids to Work Day, other companies  hosted their employees’ parents. LinkedIn launched the day widely in 2013 as “Bring In Your Parents Day,” and more than 150 companies invited more than 20,000 parents around the world into their offices on the day last year. Google had also rolled out its own “Take Your Parents To Work Day,” which it holds every other year.

The impetus in launching the program was to bridge the gap for parents who don’t exactly know what their kids do – a challenge that is more prevalent with new and emerging fields, the boom of digital content and social media, and creative job titles employers use today (read: social media guru and Chief Happiness Officer).

In fact, the year LinkedIn launched BIYP Day, its global survey data had found that 35% of parents said they don’t completely know what their child did for a living, but 59% wanted to know more.

Companies of all sizes that hold a BIYP day are doing it because it’s more about creating an opportunity for parents to see their kids in action, and experiencing the mutual benefits. For organizations interested in attracting and retaining top talent, they understand that the Millennial generation is one that is very connected to their parents, so winning them over is important.

Instead of a disconnect when talking about work, parents feel more qualified to talk about their kids’ professional lives, and say they can provide better advice with more context. Some parents also take practices they observe back to their own offices. One dad brought some of what he saw at the LinkedIn office back to his practice – like “easing up on the dress code and allowing group meditation.”

The day also provides validation for parents who have worked hard, or moved, or both, to create better lives for their families – and for their kids to say thank you.

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