Commentary

Commentary

HR Policy Foundation Recognizes the Most Provocative Talent Articles of 2014

by Jaime S. Fall
Vice President, Workforce and Talent Sustainability
HR Policy Foundation

As the year draws to a close, HR Policy Foundation would like to recognize the following reporters who, over the course of 2014, wrote the most provocative talent-related articles of the year.  At HR Policy Foundation, we are dedicated to getting the people of America educated, qualified and hired through the development of research, services and resources that better inform students, jobseekers, workers, educators and policy makers about the skills needed by large employers in today's rapidly changing workplaces.  These insightful articles provided the best analysis and deepest understanding of many of the issues and trends shaping recruiting, hiring and employment in 2014 and beyond.  Please join us in congratulating these reporters and thanking them for their work illuminating these important matters. 

Amy Sullivan, National Journal: If You Thought Your Time in High School Could Have Been Better, You're Not Alone
On April 24, the National Journal published this article by Amy Sullivan (@sullivanamy) on the results of their latest College Board/National Journal Next America Poll.  What it shows is that while many people look back on their high school days with fondness, a large majority of Americans think that more technical and job skills training and more interaction with guidance counselors would have improved their education.  This short article is critical because it so strongly reinforces the importance these two elements which are missing from many of our high schools.  Today's students and their parents should turn these regrets of past graduates into a roadmap for success and demand more technical and job skills training and more and better guidance counseling services at their school.

Phyllis Korkki, The New York Times: The Ripple Effects Of Rising Student Debt
On May 24, the New York Times published an article by Phyllis Korkki (@phylliskorkki) looking at the impact student debt has on individuals as well as the entire economy.   The findings are deeply concerning and should motivate educators and policy makers to redouble their efforts to make college more affordable.

The Economist: Workers Of The World, Login
On August 16, the Economist (@TheEconomist) published this in-depth look at LinkedIn that gives readers a better understanding of how the professional network is changing recruiting and the company's plans for the future. This is a must read for those in the job market who want to better understand how it works.

Brigid Schulte, The Washington Post:Millennials Want To Be Job-Hopping Generation. But Economy Won’t Let Them.
On September 4, The Washington Post published an article by Brigid Schulte (@BrigidSchulte) that looked at a group of Millennials who say they want to change jobs every year or two at the most.  The article provides a great look into the minds of young workers who do not think about their job as a long term commitment.  The article should leave some Millennials wondering if this is really the best approach, and should raise significant concerns for employers whose internal HR systems for interviewing, hiring, promoting and compensating are based on a dated model where workers join an employer and stay for their career.

Catherine Rampell, The Washington Post: The College Degree Has Become The New High School Degree
On September 9, the Washington Post published this opinion piece by Catherine Rampell (@CRampell) discussing a Burning Glass report that points to "degree inflation" that is making the college degree, not the high school diploma the minimum credential for entry level jobs. It raises important questions about why employers now ask for college degrees when high school diplomas used to suffice. 

Jim Tankersley, The Washington Post: America’s Top Execs Seem Ready To Give Up On U.S. Workers
On September 11, the Washington Post published this article by Jim Tankersley (@jimtankersley) explaining that although executives of American companies are feeling better about our nation's competitiveness, they are down on American education and workers' skill sets and would prefer investing in technology rather than hire new employees. The implications of this article are alarming for those of us who want to see America's workers and businesses thriving.  

Martha C. White, NBC News: Highly Educated, Unemployed And Tumbling Down The Ladder
On October 12, NBC News ran a story by Martha C. White (@NBCNews) as part of their "In Plain Sight" series that looked at the impact of the economic downturn on a group of highly educated individuals and the devastating impact it has had on their lives.  It examines how difficult it is for some older workers who have had successful careers to get back into the workforce when they are laid off and highlights the importance of keeping one's job searching skills up to date as much as keeping one's skills current.

Paul Davidson, USA Today: More High Schools Teach Manufacturing Skills
On November 12, USA Today published an article by Paul Davidson (@Pdavidsonusat) illustrating the effectiveness of school-based training programs that help graduates prepare for great careers while they learn. This article is important because it gives specific examples of programs that work which will hopefully make more schools realize there is more they can and should be doing to help those who may not attend a four-year university.    

Barbara Booth, CNBC: Is Hiring A College Planner Worth it?
On November 15, the USA Today published an article by CNBC's Barbara Booth (@CNBC) on the rise of
Independent Education Counselors who help high school students navigate the maze of applying to elite schools sometimes to the tune of $100,000 - $200,000.  If anyone ever needed further proof the college admissions system is broken, this article should do it.

Binyamin Appelbaum, The New York Times: The Vanishing Male Worker: How America Fell Behind
On December 11, the New York Times published this article by Binyamin Appelbaum (@BCAppelbaum) as part of its Nonemployed series of articles which examined the decline of work in the United States and its consequences, for individuals and society. Although the U.S. had one of the highest employment rates as recently as 2000, it has fallen significantly since then.  This article points out critical societal and economic realities that have led some men to believe that low-wage work will not improve their lives, in part because society has made it easier for them to live without working.