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Issue #[[item.issue__number]] published [[timeFormat(item.date)]]

157 items in SOCIETY

Those from households with an annual income of $1 million are 10 times more likely to become artists than those from families with a $100,000 income
Very interesting research. Contextualises the old working class dictum of people needing to get ‘a proper job’.
Issue #312 published 2 Oct 2022
So this fellow has found a way to track phone location data over time to figure out how workers in different countries take holidays. European countries conspicuously take August off, US equally conspicuously don’t at all. Fascinating research, twitter thread here, full video here
Issue #311 published 25 Sep 2022
With the welcome news last week that the EU has moved to ban products made from forced labour, it is worth having a look at why forced labour happens at all. Unsurprisingly, its usually labour exploitation for profit maximisation. Some sobering figures here with cameo portraits of prisoners earning a pittance for themselves, whilst the fruits of labour hit the free market. Have a read of the Prison Money Diaries.
Issue #310 published 18 Sep 2022
We’ve already hit the backlash against the concept of ‘quiet quitting’ with even the FT now proclaiming that it’s ok for workers to simply do their job and nothing more. I get the feeling that there may be more to the phenomenon though, it’s a kind of middle class fatalism brought about escalating cost of living crisis which perhaps the working class had always known about…..another topic for an Open Kitchen essay I suspect….
Issue #310 published 18 Sep 2022
Companion piece to the above report, this one from the Institute of Fiscal Studies uses data from the UK, and conclude along similar lines - long covid might be permanently removing people from the workforce, at least for the jobs they once did. Some ideas on what to do, mainly stem from reallocating to other work with different physical / mental demands. Accessible, important read.
Issue #305 published 14 Aug 2022
Even as tech lay offs dominate the headlines, we simultaneously have a persistent candidate shortage in many areas of the economy, and long term illness maybe a more significant factor than we realise. US data, but I suspect the distribution of long covid to be more prevalent in particular sectors of the economy, would follow the same pattern in other countries.
Issue #305 published 14 Aug 2022
Zuckerberg noticed that it was getting harder to get all the employees to attend a meeting as they were sometimes taking time out in a day for personal work…
A great deal of our love for remote is due to the rebalancing of work / life that it provides. My argument that this could be fairly described as ‘doing less work’ has been criticised in-community but surely this is just restating what ‘rebalancing’ is. Bosses don’t like it, especially live players like the CEO’s of Meta and Alphabet. HN with a conversation thread which discernibly splits along individual contributor vs manager lines. It’s a form of (middle) class war folks.
Issue #305 published 14 Aug 2022
If the social network era is indeed coming to end, we will do well to mine what value we can from them. Social Capital Atlas is one such effort - data mining 21 Billion connections to try and find correlations between friendship density, location and income distribution. The findings? The income level of your friends has an impact on your own level of income. PDF here, but the website is a superb interactive experience, worth diving into.
Issue #304 published 7 Aug 2022
Skip to the discussion if you want to get to the conclusions. Political bifurcation now seemingly discernible across state lines also, with not only a migration of talent to places more aligned to your politics but also a retrenchment of those politics by the leaders of your businesses, leading to perhaps the incredible outcome different types of company cultures, in different states in what is increasingly becoming, the disunited States of America.
Issue #303 published 31 Jul 2022
Even asking the question feels tense but we have to do it because as far as I can tell there is no guidance on how to do this. ‘Culture war’ is a conflict of values, and values are human artefacts do not have external reality from human culture. Should employers stay neutral then? Brainfooder Jim Stroud with context and argument to make the case.
Issue #302 published 24 Jul 2022
Highly paid people tend to see themselves as “normal” on the income scale – and “worse off” than their social circle.
Fascinating observation on the relative nature of wealth - it’s all about where you stand and who we hang around with. I suspect salary transparency / growth of compensation tech will go some way towards helping us better understand the (in)justice of our pay grade, but it might equally just increase our sense of entitlement.
Issue #301 published 17 Jul 2022
It is the same pattern throughout all the East Asian tigers….an economic miracle to get out of grinding poverty, but which required a massive society wide commitment to very hard work. Have a watch
Issue #300 published 10 Jul 2022
How do we consume the news? We have never had more news than today, and our relationship with it can be intense, emotional and probably unhealthy. Massive report from Reuters on where we are at in 2022, cross country analysis. One to download and refer to as we go.
Issue #300 published 10 Jul 2022
Unusually personal interview with Marc Andreesen, unquestionably one of the live players in the world today, in conversation with Tyler Cowen. They both speak 1.5 x faster than normal human beings so this was a fun, staccato ride.
Issue #299 published 3 Jul 2022
Slave labour alive and well in the US, though now rebranded as rehabilitation for the incarcerated. It’s a billion dollar business. Did you know that 2 out of every 3 prisoners were put to work in the production of often mandatory items (i.e license plates). Stunning piece of research into an unacceptable part of the US economy. And here is a list of everyday items made by US prisoners, which might surprise you.
Issue #297 published 19 Jun 2022
Report from ADP attempting to give global coverage on the topic of people’s attitude to work. Dataset is big enough (32,000+) but the cohorts are way too broad - Australia and Indonesia are vastly different countries yet are grouped together as “Asia-Pacific”. Needs to be minimum country-by-country analysis on this. Anyways, here it is anyway, you might get something from it.
Issue #297 published 19 Jun 2022
The problem we have with ‘good work’ is that a) what constitutes it is different for different people and b) plans to get there are too often predicated on an industrialised era idea of social justice. Some useful ideas in this CTA from World Economic Forum but could do with an update on those two points.
Issue #296 published 12 Jun 2022
IBM fired all of its Russian employees last week. The geopolitical risk of a ‘remote anywhere’ policy - or even any multi-national policy - has been laid bare in the ongoing catastrophe that is Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. This is the official update post, a sobering read.
Issue #296 published 12 Jun 2022
News media is dominated by negativity bias and whilst we cannot pretend there are no bad things happening in the world, we also need to remember the many good things that are happening at the same time, and give some thought as to why these are under-reported, under observed and under discussed. Erik Torenberg with a much needed validation of humanity. Must read folks - get some balance as to where we are as a species.
Issue #294 published 29 May 2022
Carlota Perez is one of the foremost economic historians (and therefore an accidental workforce futurist…) writing these days and brainfooder Andrew Spence does an excellent job of summarising her key thesis - that breakthrough technologies predictably generate socio-economic change in a cyclical manner. Carlota is a must read, as is Andrew, read this and follow both.
Issue #291 published 8 May 2022
Massively counterintuitive findings, which are potentially triggering, but well worth investigating further. In summary: women who out-earn their husbands, change behaviour to do more (not less!) housework in order to re-affirm commitment to prescribed conjugal roles, challenged by this new earning disparity. Study here, and BBC Worklife again with an outstanding post on the same report. love to know your thoughts on this, maybe worth a brainfood live.
Issue #291 published 8 May 2022
Employment law is changing all over the US, and for the most part, the direction of travel is increasing worker protections. That most of the these laws are happening at state rather than federal level can make it confusing even for US brainfooders to navigate, hence why this website comes in super handy.
Issue #288 published 17 Apr 2022
Magnificent essay on the ‘history of burnout’. OP reviews the literature on the topic and summarises the key tomes which connect the emergence of the condition as an available diagnosis with socio-economic trends of the post-war economy. It’s a wonderful read for anyone interested in sociology, economic history and the mythology of work and identity.
Issue #288 published 17 Apr 2022
Perhaps the most useful use case for online gaming is social experimentation in a safe environment. Create the world, set some incentives and trade offs and let the users tell you what is going to be happen. Great story coming out of China, here
Issue #287 published 10 Apr 2022
Fascinating research on the migration of tech workers following the pandemic and shift to remote. Superstars cities are not in decline but growth rate has slowed, as tech workers look elsewhere to live and work from. They are not diffusing evenly through out US though but clustering again in better-quality-of-life cities. A pattern we can expect globally? Essential read
Issue #286 published 3 Apr 2022
This post is now one year old but I’ve only just come across it now and found it as fresh and relevant as if it were published yesterday. Particularly like the intriguing idea that the economy is becoming communal - perhaps it was ever thus, and the individual gratification era was always a poor substitute for human connection?
Issue #285 published 27 Mar 2022
The fundamental weirdness of organisation of US sports occasionally produces outcomes like this - players unionising in a country that has been conventionally anti-union, and consequently, player strikes where entire seasons might not take place due to pay disputes. It’s a fascinating microcosm - have a listen here. H/T to brainfooder Bas van de Haterd for the share
Issue #283 published 13 Mar 2022
Being ‘on-trend’ is probably more important than being good at what you do. It simply gives you a better chance of success, whilst reducing the chances of failure. Brainfooder Steph Smith with another one of her superb threads on the generation defining trends of today. Steph is a must follow on twitter btw.
Issue #283 published 13 Mar 2022
I have been trying to find a way to highlight the most promising initiatives that have been launched to help the people impacted by the war in Ukraine. Most of these are going to be attached to the pinned thread in the fb group. This one was included also, given that directly speaks to the brainfood audience. Can you hire someone who has been displaced by conflict? Post your job here and Imagine will match it to someone who needs it.
Issue #283 published 13 Mar 2022
Old globalisation - free movement of capital, restricted movement of labour.
New globalisation - free movement of labour, restricted movement of capital
Radical analysis as usual from Branko Milanovic who refuses the possibility of a conventional take but that is why is voice is so valuable in these days of churn. Have a read if you want to zoom out a little.
Issue #282 published 6 Mar 2022
The nature of globalisation over the past 3 decades has meant the internationalisation of the workforce for many organisations, something the shift to remote is meant to accelerate. Yet if the world does spiral into greater conflict, we’re going to have to handle the fallout at the company level. Does anyone know how to do this? Rhetorical question -because nobody does. Gergely again with the chat, this fellow is must follow btw
Issue #282 published 6 Mar 2022
The 4 Day week is starting to happen folks and intuitively to me, this seems like a great idea! Some people have thought deeper about it though, and raise some relevant concerns which might serve to cool down any over enthusiasm. Brainfooder Andrew Spence is one such, and he puts his argument down here in this thought provoking post.
Issue #280 published 20 Feb 2022
Great thread from Tony Wilson of Institute of Employment Studies, summarising latest report on Labour Market Statistics. Twitter threading makes these otherwise turgid reports far more accessible. Main points here are a) lots of people are not active in the visible labour market b) long term illness a significant factor in reducing LFP. Have a read here, and Tony is great follow on Twitter if you like this sort of stuff
Issue #280 published 20 Feb 2022
Sober reading, but essential for us to understand the choices we are confronted with as we renegotiate our relationship with work. Published first in Sept 2021, this post retains relevance as we continue to puzzle over the ‘missing millions’ from the labour force. Those who cannot easily find a way back, have to do something. This is what it might be.
Issue #280 published 20 Feb 2022
Really interesting report from Bain & Co, exploring the changing motivations of the workforce. Includes some fun worker archetypes, accessible demographic, regional and income analysis of those archetypes. It’s great brainfood. Download it here. H/T brainfooder Colin Donnery for the share.
Issue #280 published 20 Feb 2022
UK data from the Institute of Fiscal Studies, this 1 hour presentation is a very decent overview of how jobs, wealth and economic prospects are distributed throughout the UK, with some obvious implications for candidate sourcing / talent attraction.
Issue #278 published 6 Feb 2022
Is the Great Resignation a trial balloon for a much bigger problem…..actually running out of people? It’s an iron law of socio-economics that with economic development comes population decline - and it is inevitable that this becomes a recruiting problem. With democratic societies polarised by the caustic immigration debate, bringing in foreign workers is no longer the politically viable path it has been. I have no idea what to do about this (hiring the retired like Japan, keep pushing back the idea of retiring altogether like the UK?) but, as OP says, we do have to start talking about it.
Issue #278 published 6 Feb 2022
Fascinating conversation with Edward Glaeser, an expert on urban economics and co-author of the book Survival of the City. An optimistic take on the resilience of the city, and why great cities will rebound back from Covid-19. Great listen folks.
Issue #277 published 30 Jan 2022
Pretty much the definitive report for the mobile landscape in 2022. Expertly designed, each page (there’s 73) is self contained with high enough information density to have stand alone value. Obviously not recruiting specific but if you care about how people - especially Gen Z - are connecting and talking with each other, this is an essential read.
Issue #277 published 30 Jan 2022
WEF with their annual Global Risk Report. It’s all relevant to us, but especially for entrepreneurs who need to think strategically as well as operationally. Its 100 pager, but scannable and some obvious parts which directly apply to us (i.e chapter on migration). Download it, bookmark it.
Issue #276 published 23 Jan 2022
Can social policy influence the availability of local talent? And if so, how significant is this effect? The politicisation of the abortion debate in the US produces further potential challenges in an already short candidate market. Fascinating story to follow.
Issue #276 published 23 Jan 2022
Interesting take from the ever interesting brainfooder Jan Tegze, who attempts to get into the mind of the LinkedIn fakers and ask….why? Reasonable explainer here, as well as some how-to tips to avoid being scammed on everyone’s favourite social network.
Issue #276 published 23 Jan 2022
Fascinating and disturbing story on the persistent economic value of slave labour. Turns out the not only is it legal to use prison labour in the US but there are also workarounds to move those goods across state lines. Beautiful website, telling a terrible story. Kind of a must read folks.
Issue #275 published 16 Jan 2022
Pt II follow up to one of the viral posts of 2021, Why Restaurants Are So F*cked, Restauranteur Joelle Parenteau documents the challenges pandemic has brought to the food industry in the style of a latter day Anthony Bourdain. On labour cost, supply chain, perishable stock and underpaid jobs which no one wants to do anymore, it’s a scintillating read.
Issue #274 published 9 Jan 2022
Great conversation between two of the best commentators in our business. It’s Matt Alder talking with Lars Schmidt from Amplify Talent about the lessons from 2021 and the potential of 2022. Tune in folks, have a listen.
Issue #273 published 2 Jan 2022
Fascinating exploration in the phenomenon of ‘lying flat’ - a euphemism for getting off the career track and re-orientating your life on other things aside from work. Personal stories from USA, Germany and China on the phenomenon, brainfood for us on how important a trend this may be for recruiting, retention and job design.
Issue #273 published 2 Jan 2022
This collection of big ideas is something we need to do for brainfood next year. Love the expansiveness of the topics covered ranging from 4 day week being the killer EB differentiator to the empowerment of pro athletes against their governing bodies. Some really great stuff here - another must read
Issue #273 published 2 Jan 2022
If you wanted a one webpage to tell you a little bit about how the world works, you could do worse than check out this list of data visualisations from Visual Capitalist. Some job stuff in there too, but really, every one of the 21 is either directly or indirectly relevant to the work we do. Have a look here
Issue #273 published 2 Jan 2022
2022 will be the year of the worker? The Economist thinks so, as organisations will continue to struggle to hire next year despite the rise of the remote working and access to the global talent pool. Excellent wide ranging future focused podcast.
H/T to brainfooder Bas van de Haterd for the share
Issue #271 published 19 Dec 2021
That anyone can roll out 400 episodes on a podcast is a really remarkable achievement. From Ep1 one of the best podcasts in our space, this special edition is a must listen of the future forces impacting our industry. It’s Matt Alder with Ep400 of Recruiting Future - have a listen.
Issue #271 published 19 Dec 2021
Looks at 5 dimensions: worker confidence and job security, workplace conditions, pay and performance, worker mobility and gender and family. 15,000+ respondents, accessible 40 pager. Have a read here
Issue #271 published 19 Dec 2021
The world (or rather, the ‘Google using’ world), searched ‘How to Start A Business’ more than ‘How to Get A Job’ in 2021, a search trend which correlates with record breaking new business formation in both the US and UK this year. Every one one of these new solopreneurs is one less (likely skilled, experienced) candidate in the market.
Issue #271 published 19 Dec 2021
This is 200+ pages so I don’t expect anyone to read through this in one go, but if you care about macro trends which ultimately manifest at operational level as labour shortages, pay inequity, diversity and inclusion, remote work and the rest, you need to download this report.
Issue #270 published 12 Dec 2021
We’re going to see a lot of these posts in the coming days and this collection from LinkedIn is one of the most relevant to us. Will the 4 day week become a hiring competitive advantage? Surely will for the experienced hires. Have a read here.
Issue #270 published 12 Dec 2021
Liking this report from Peakon because it collects the data in a consistent way, presents it in a compelling way, before translating it into recommendations which we, can take-away.
Issue #269 published 5 Dec 2021
Social mobility - or lack thereof - might in the end be the single most important factor that produces unequal outcomes. What can employers do about this? Worthy research by Totaljobs on the UK market, followed with a decent how-to checklist at the end.
Issue #267 published 21 Nov 2021
We have already seen ‘job boards for the unvaccinated’, so one wonders what other innovations might emerge from US President Biden’s mandate for employees to be vaccinated? Summary of the rules & implications for our US readers here
Issue #265 published 7 Nov 2021
‘Recruiters’ but we were not listed (do we not get married? are we not people?), so the best thing I could was search for ‘human resource manager’ who turned out to mainly marry other human resource managers….. fun tool.
Issue #264 published 31 Oct 2021
University education has long been presented as the stepping stone for upward social mobility, but is that the case for all universities / colleges and for all degrees? In-depth, accessible, sobering research on the market value of the US college degree.
Issue #263 published 24 Oct 2021
Working for oneself or another individual or a household is associated with lower wellbeing than working for a private company, a cooperative or a public sector/government organisation.
As the workers in the more privileged parts of the globe, set up shop as solopreneurs, freelancers and creators, those who are less privileged, have different needs from work. Full report here, summary here.
Issue #261 published 10 Oct 2021
Can you believe it is the 9th anniversary of Data Never Sleeps, the classic infographic by DOMO on the size of the user generated internet based on the amount of data being produced / consumed by us users. You’ll probably use this in a slide deck somewhere.
Issue #261 published 10 Oct 2021
‘free to use a mix of emotional heuristics and rational optimisation’…..one of many quotable moments in this fantastic interview with legendary ad man, Rory Sutherland. Must listen - every minute is worth it.
Issue #259 published 26 Sep 2021
They’d work with the client, picking the brains of the older, retired employees who originally wrote the systems — but have occasionally had an old-timer die in the middle of the process….
COBOL programmers dying - through old age - is a real problem in a society which has come to rely on this ever decreasing pool of talent. Fascinating story on one of the most crucial hiring challenges in tech recruitment today.
Issue #258 published 19 Sep 2021
The ‘candidate shortage’ disproportionately impacts industries which have long exploited immigrant labour. The UK Gov ‘solution’ of using prison labour simply transfers the exploitation from one vulnerable group to another. What role do we - as recruiters - play in this system? Long, important read. Especially if you also enjoy eating chicken.
Issue #257 published 12 Sep 2021
Some interesting insights presented here on how US citizens are using the Internet, during the pandemic era. Check out the demographic breakdown on those most likely to use video. Essential considerations if we are to be successful in engineering any kind of ‘whole of society’ recovery.
Issue #256 published 5 Sep 2021
Just 18 months since Jack Ma was lauding the work (very) hard culture of Chinese tech, it’s been banned. No matter what waivers have been agreed with employees, overtime must now be paid for any work over 44 hours per week. Some huge policy shifts in the world’s second largest economy this past month - state interventionism is back, and in a big way. Rui Ma twitter feed is a great English language friendly source if you want to track this yourself.
Issue #255 published 29 Aug 2021
With Brexit induced labour shortages in logistics, food processing, agriculture, retail and other industries, it looks like UK Gov is going to try and fill the shortfall with prison labour, which will presumably also puts a future trade deal with Australia under threat. Whilst we do need to reconnect the formerly incarcerated with economic opportunity, how to do this ethically, and stay compliant with other countries trade policies? A topic for Brainfood Live I think
Issue #255 published 29 Aug 2021
More data aggregation, this time from our buddies Indeed, whose Hiring Lab blog is fast becoming a must read resource. This post tracks the direction employers are going on the employee choice vs employee right to safe workplace we discussed last week. It’s becoming increasingly, ‘no jab, no job’.
Issue #254 published 22 Aug 2021
Interesting research from Gallup; headline figures are that 50% of the US employees are thinking about a new job; more interestingly is what it takes to move them - 20% compensation uplift if they like their manager, and next to nothing if they don’t. Managers, are key. Full report, but digestible enough.
Issue #253 published 16 Aug 2021
Once-a-decade release of US census data shows a changing and diversifying population. Relevant for DEIB initiatives, as well as for talent mapping in order to reach diversity targets. H/T for brainfooder Martyn Redstone for the share in the fb group
Issue #253 published 16 Aug 2021
Some occupations disproportionately open up more future opportunities than others. So it would seem to make sense to create more of these ‘gateway occupations’ to enable greater social mobility for the millions of workers most vulnerable to workforce automation. Important research from McKinsey&Co
Issue #250 published 25 Jul 2021
The State of the Octoverse explores a year of change with new deep dives into developer productivity, security, and how we build communities on GitHub
Data up to end of 2020, on how developers are building in open source. Beautifully done, and fascinating trends, especially on productivity. H/T brainfooder Denys Dinkevych for the share
Issue #249 published 18 Jul 2021
Simple, easy-to-use tool; input your location, select your county, and output the sort of money you need to be making to above the poverty line. Useful for anyone doing Comp & Bens work, and fascinating for anybody interested in thinking about where future talent might relocate to. NB US data only
Issue #245 published 20 Jun 2021
Systems will always be gamed, but privation creates motivation to do so. Another post which can be read as the impact of perverse incentives. Respect is surely due to the couple serially marrying & divorcing each other in order to secure government mandated ‘honeymoon leave’ and of course, the legendary Mr Zhang Salmon Dreams 🤣
Issue #243 published 6 Jun 2021
Heather McGowan is a brilliant essayist on the future of work. Her series here with Forbes is consistently a must read, with this latest episode weaving together multiple publications to tell the story of profound change. There is no doubt we are at an inflection point; there is some doubt though, which way it is going to go.
Issue #242 published 30 May 2021
A story of perverse incentives, where legislation aimed at protecting workers, encourages employer behaviour which produces the opposite outcome. Google likely uses Modis in order to get around a law which obliges them to convert long term contractors to perm - an old story in recruitment. As ever, HN has the most nuanced supporting conversation thread
Issue #237 published 23 Apr 2021
Interesting sentiment analysis from PwC, who surveyed 32,517 members of the general public, with respondents including workers, business owners, contract workers, students, unemployed people looking for work, and those on furlough or who were temporarily laid off.
What were their - our - hopes and fears? Accessible and important report - get it here
Issue #236 published 18 Apr 2021
A big test for Amazon and the revival of the union movement in the US has an outcome - workers at the Bessemer site vote 71% against joining the  Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union. This post tells the story from two workers of that 71%. HN as ever, has the best thread for deeper conversation on the topic.
Issue #235 published 11 Apr 2021
Remember the line….👇 from the 9 trends post earlier?
Employers will shift from managing the employee experience to managing the life experience of their employees?
The thread is picked up in this outstanding essay on challenges which come from the collapse of the barrier between the professional and the personal - and the long overdue reckoning that society needs to make with the economy.
Issue #233 published 28 Mar 2021
Balanced and well-referenced post by brainfooder Jim Stroud on the rising phenomenon of employee activism. At root, most of us would welcome increased rights for workers, but there is always misalignment between what is best for the worker, vs what is best for the employer. As HR / TA, we most often find ourselves squarely in the middle. No solutions here, but plenty of background reading - have at it, here
Issue #233 published 28 Mar 2021
Barriers against job mobility for immigrant labour is one of the main reasons why immigrant labour wages are low - they have zero leverage to negotiate better terms. Big news in the Arab world as Saudi Arabia loosens the restrictions of the kalafa system, which some have criticised as a form of modern indentured service. H/T to brainfooder Bas van de Haterd for the share
Issue #232 published 21 Mar 2021
Remote jobs are more common on major cities? An incongruity which makes sense when you consider that most jobs that could be performed remotely - generally the white collar, knowledge based ones - were mainly located in metropolitan centres. Must read research accessibly reported by brainfooder Pawel Adrjan, Head of EMEA Research at Indeed.
Issue #228 published 21 Feb 2021
Massive report from the International Labour Organisation - one all of us should download. VisualCapitalist have crunched the data into a cool animated visualisation for those who want a more accessible high level view. H/T to brainfooder Ivan Harrison for the share.
Issue #228 published 21 Feb 2021
It’s smart policy to take an interest in longitudinal trends. Big Ideas by ARK Invest is as good as place to start as any - an accessible report on some of the big trends which have transformatory potential in industry. H/T brainfooder Pedro Oliveira for the share
Issue #226 published 7 Feb 2021
Sorry to close the brainfood segment with this terrible incident but it got me thinking about the additional risks that come from being the bearer of bad news. Does our role - perceived or otherwise - as gate keepers to the benefits of the employment create additional risks for us in pandemic era? And if so, what do we do about it? Maybe a topic of the first Brainfood Clubhouse chat (as soon as it appears for the ‘droiders)
Issue #225 published 31 Jan 2021
Can you guess some of these? Surprisingly, ‘You’re on mute" wasn’t in there. But then this is a serious look on some of the most used phrases we heard in 2020 and a study on how cliche can have historical value, describing as they do, a ubiquity of experience with which we have become all too familiar
Issue #220 published 27 Dec 2020
The World Economic Forum has consistently produced brainfoodable content this year, mainly through the assiduous use of visual storytelling techniques. Here’s their visual recap of 2020.
Issue #220 published 27 Dec 2020
In times of uncertainty, people seek understanding and meaning. This year, the world searched “why” more than ever…..
Google - and the questions we ask of it - is a better chronicler of our times than any human storyteller. Check out the video here and the search trends itself here. H/T to brainfooder Chad Sowash for the share in the fb group
Issue #220 published 27 Dec 2020
Superb interactive storytelling from McKinsey &Co, providing a single page scroller for those who want to timeline the year, but also modular posts, downloadable data sets and reports. If there is one ‘what happened in 2020’ post to read, this is it.
Issue #220 published 27 Dec 2020
Fabulous collection from one of the must follow narrative builders today; Visual Capitalist tells the story of 2020 in 2020 charts, starting with the Australia wildfires through the global vaccine development effort - and our national attitudes to taking them. Well worth a read
Issue #220 published 27 Dec 2020
If 2020 has anything to teach us, one of the lessons would be that none of us can divorce the work we do from the context of wider society. This amazing portrait tells the murky story of politics, FDI, the often false promise of ’re-shoring’ and the amazingly idiosyncratic corporate culture that emerged from it.
Issue #220 published 27 Dec 2020
Fascinating research on the impact on immigration / emigration in one of the world’s most iconic cities - New York. Most interesting is who is leaving (150K pa) and who is coming in (<90K pa). 12 months ago we were talking about the megacity being the future of societal organisation - the reversal of this trend may be the most important impact Covid-19 will have.
Issue #219 published 20 Dec 2020
Time Use
SOCIETY
Fantastic dashboard from Our World In Data, a data visualisation site which aggregates public research data and presents it into interactive web experience. Slice and dice the data as you want in this post on how we use our time - especially pertinent now that the barrier between work vs play has been co-mingled by Covid.
Issue #218 published 13 Dec 2020
Superbly detailed analysis of the geographic distribution of Covid-19 relief funds, comparing the differing impact of policies in the US, UK and France. The research points to exacerbation of pre-existing inequities in some of the programs. Relevant to us as we project forward and forecast which sectors (and which locations) are in best/worse position in the post pandemic economy
Issue #217 published 6 Dec 2020
What happens when the digitally native really go native - and return the village? As we see an unprecedented reversal of decades of urban agglomeration, this fascinating post describes the impact of what may occur when the metropolitan elites go back home. H/T Bas van de Haterd in the fb group
Issue #214 published 16 Nov 2020
Perverse incentives galore in this fascinating long read on Foxconn’s mega factory in Wisconsin, trumpeted at the time as a major win for the re-shoring of US manufacturing jobs . Everything is here: hiring to hit quota’s, workers with no actual work, international culture clash, and what happens to a company without direction or plan. As ever, more cool discussion on this story on HN
Issue #211 published 26 Oct 2020
Fascinating study on Japan’s Lost Generation - now middle aged adults, irregularly employed, living with ageing parents. A phenomenon exclusive to Japan, or a window into a future we might all share? Must read
Issue #209 published 11 Oct 2020
Our World In Data is a website we should all be bookmarking, especially as they continue to iterate on the UX. This web page is a series of interactive charts on the rate of technological progress over the past 100 years. Amazing, optimistic, useful and fun - have a blast here
Issue #207 published 27 Sep 2020
This post is about real estate but it’s also about UX - specifically the UX that property companies need to provide to now reluctant office workers who might be doubting the value of an office. It’s wonderfully well written, with deep insight on the central point that Covid-19 forces product businesses to become service businesses. Have a read.H/T brainfooder Alex Brock for the share
Issue #206 published 20 Sep 2020
This shot from the staff of the arcade is such a beautiful example of what the gaming and nerd community can be like. The arcade will be missed by all who stepped inside; it leaves behind a great legacy of good times and nerd culture that will surely be missed. But, when the world is ready to start rebuilding, who knows what could end up filling that spot.
And….I cried a little bit, at this story, and at that picture.
Issue #204 published 6 Sep 2020
Thought provoking twitter thread from the OP of the original WSJ article (full article linked in the thread) on the division between those who could choose to stay remote, and those who never had the choice. Have a read here
Issue #203 published 30 Aug 2020
This is a great complement to the above piece on AI and Jobs; whereas the first talked about the skills needed, this post goes further to speculate what jobs might actually be done. Do you see yourself being a ‘genetic diversity officer’? Optimistic (and contingent) on the persistent of the company as the primary way of organising work though. We all need to read more Ronald Coase
Issue #202 published 23 Aug 2020
The thing missing from the animated sequence of this superb post from the BBC are the mobile robot sanitisers, which are already seeing in operation in places in East Asia. At some point though, people are going to ask ‘what is the point’ and flip the switch to full remote. Huge change coming, including the reversal of urban agglomeration. H/T to brainfooder Adam Gordon for the share in the fb group
Issue #200 published 9 Aug 2020
Examining how the hardest hit of our industry sectors is a decent way of building a forecast in the shape of businesses that will emerge in the post Covid economy. Fascinating, accessible long read for the New Yorker - on how the restaurant trade is disaggregating into specific components, which each may become different businesses in a new supply chain.
Issue #196 published 12 Jul 2020
Fascinating, bottom up innovation from the SV tech community, creating a secondary market for job referrals to the most popular tech employers. Ends justify the means, or an ethical unwinding of the very idea of recommending someone for a job? Brainfood for sure, so have a read here. H/T to brainfooder Missy Lafferty for the share in the fb group
Issue #195 published 5 Jul 2020
Confounding post in which every line that seemed right (“nothing actually happens there - unless you are a recruiter or in enterprise sales)” was followed by a line which seemed wrong (“I’m fairly certain LinkedIn has never helped me in my job search”)
Got to respect this fellow for #deletinglinkedin - and a brainfood reminder to us, that Big Blue not the entirety of the world.
Issue #193 published 21 Jun 2020
Important ruling (Swiss brainfooders pls update where you are with this) from Switzerland’s top court: employers are required to contribute to employees’ rent if they work from home. Being a little stunned by unexpected second order effects of Covid-19 will be only thing that is predictable these days. Fascinating changes in the relationship between individual, company and the state. Have a read here
Issue #190 published 31 May 2020
This post is about doner kebabs, the price of food and our accountability as consumers for the potential death of the industry. Make no mistake - restaurants as a category may not survive this economic downturn. We have to reset and revalue. Great and necessary read
Issue #186 published 3 May 2020
Socioeconomic sorting at the metropolitan level is making America more polarised, a pattern repeated throughout the Western world. The ‘left behind’ are striking back, by voting in populists who promise change. Political economy are no longer in synch. We’re in trouble folks - anyone any ideas?
Issue #79 published 23 Apr 2020
Nice interactive tool from OECD on the average annual hours worked - defined as the total number of hours actually worked per year divided by the average number of people in employment per year.
Issue #159 published 23 Apr 2020
The World Happiness Report is a landmark survey of the state of global happiness that ranks 156 countries by how happy their citizens perceive themselves to be. Massive but an accessible and fascinating read.
Issue #129 published 23 Apr 2020
Will tech workers become revivalists for the labour union? I think there’s every chance they could. Check this latest example from the games industry - a decentralised, horizontally organised community of workers, set up defend members rights. 
Issue #76 published 23 Apr 2020
Fast
SOCIETY
At times when government action can seem painfully slow - especially in the production and distribution of test kits and PPE, it is useful to be reminded that government can also do really fast. An inspiring list of what can be done when we get our act together. Any time around now would be great
Issue #180 published 23 Apr 2020
We are finding out the hard way who really does the important work in society. Sadly, it correlates to work which has greatest risk in exposure to Coronavirus. Its humbling stuff
Issue #180 published 23 Apr 2020
Technocratic management - no matter how brilliant - cannot unwind structural inequalities. Amazing essay in defence of the much maligned managerial middle class, and of the enormous, self serving cultural power of the big management consultancies. Must read
Issue #175 published 23 Apr 2020
Wealth inequality continues to it’s polarising trend worldwide. You need money to make money. We need to try and bend this iron law of history, because unfair resource competition can only lead to one end. Accessible, interactive report.
Issue #100 published 23 Apr 2020
This is a very cool website. Bravo UNESCO for building this Hans Rosling style interactive on country spend on research and development. Great way to connect data with UX and an excellent example of how to create an online resource that is a pleasure to use. Might also be useful, in some way, to us here.
Issue #100 published 23 Apr 2020
Are recruiters more right wing than HRBPs? Someone’s researched the correlation between the jobs we choose and the ideologies we feel comfortable with. Super interesting reading here on the relationship between professional and political identities - dive in if you like to get out of your comfort zone.
Issue #100 published 23 Apr 2020
There was plenty of talk late last year about ’ghosting’ in recruitment, so this fun post by SmartRecruiters is timely. 4 terms that have entered the lexicon of recruitment that we should know. Take a look here
Issue #118 published 23 Apr 2020
Astonishing essay from Meredith L. Patterson on tribal formation on the Internet. At root, this is a defence of the ‘real hackers’ vs the cultural appropriation of hacker culture by the cool kids. It’s also an appeal for the radical acceptance of divergent values - a challenging idea we need to get to grips with. If you’re running some kind of community or event, then this read is for you.
Issue #132 published 23 Apr 2020
‘Attention is the currency of today’s distraction economy 'someone said. This extraordinary essay on digital pollution gives us both the 'where we are now’ and suggestions on 'where we need to go next’. As recruiters, we’re in the front line of this problem and we could all do well to read this
Issue #120 published 23 Apr 2020
With 450 million users, Reddit is the 7th most visited website on the planet and the place where stories break days before it hits Facebook / Twitter, and weeks before broadcast media. What do Redditors talk about? What are the most popular topics, communities? This is one Year in Review that is worth exploring.
Issue #166 published 23 Apr 2020
Great visual storytelling from one of the best sites to do it. This interactive graphic shows the poverty rate of every state, and the changes of that rate, over time. It’s a pattern repeated all over the world. Question is: what can do about it?
Issue #114 published 23 Apr 2020
Nice piece of research from As You Sow, using the power of data to shame organisations who overpay their CEO’s. Contrast with the news this week on Dan Price, who famously equalised his employees pay to $70,000 regardless of job role. H/T to brainfooder Colin McNicol for the share in the fb group.
Issue #177 published 23 Apr 2020
Essential reading for anyone interested in political / economic polarity. UK specific, but the trends are global: major metropolitan centres gaining, lesser regional towns losing. And no one quite knows what to do about it. 
Issue #69 published 23 Apr 2020
“Women account for almost all the growth in the rich-world employment rate since 2007”
Remarkable line from this robust defence of capitalism from The Economist. As recruiters, the ‘talent shortage’ is lived experience for us, and yet if this thesis is true, how do we explain the angst that is driving populism in our politics? Can’t just be Murdoch can it?
Issue #137 published 23 Apr 2020
It’s been fashionable of late to challenge the practice of over generalising the generational difference. Yet the amongst the many fascinating conversations I had last week in Paris, the one I shared with Francois Gauthier stuck most in my mind - that the latest generation of recruiters who are entering the workforce now prefer to use touchscreen rather than keyboard. The implications for work - and the work we do - might be profound.
Issue #123 published 23 Apr 2020
A new study, drawing on 1.5 million images of cultural spaces in London and New York, finds that cultural capital is a key contributor to urban economic growth. It’s a bit technical but it’s fascinating. Full report here
Issue #89 published 23 Apr 2020
The role of the employer are a purveyor of trust is a significant trend outlined in this fascinating report by Edelman. As trust in government and media decline, we may find that our companies begin having an important role to play in. The implications for us in HR / TA are obvious as they are ominous
Issue #150 published 23 Apr 2020
As good an overview of Kubernetes that I’ve read, especially in how it contextualises it in the history of IT infrastructure. Not recruitment related at all really, but kind of a must read if you’re involved in building a business with any kind of tech in it.
Issue #152 published 23 Apr 2020
Analysis by Deloitte of the UK public sector, with some forecasting as to the post Brexit, big government future under the Conservative government. Great looking interactive report, and for UK readers at least, an important read.
Issue #167 published 23 Apr 2020
Fascinating insight on the work we demand others do; Casey Newton creates the narrative of Facebook being the monster again but what else can we can expect when we want platforms to not show us bad things on the Internet? (Answer: it requires other humans to watch it and remove it for us)
Issue #125 published 23 Apr 2020
Turning crisis into an opportunity is something actually something we have no choice, as medical advances, higher living standards and declining birthrate combine to create a demographic crisis so long as we reject the older worker. Necessary report from HBR
Issue #110 published 23 Apr 2020
Where you live, is perhaps the most important single factor in what you turn out to be. Free movement of people is the socio-political struggle of our times. This amazing resource from Opportunity Atlas can help get us to a point where we can have a sensible conversation of what to do about it. Explore it here.
Issue #110 published 23 Apr 2020
Super essay from Heather McGowan on how Covid-19 forces us to deal with questions long deferred - inequality and climate change. The examples of corporate and community collaboration offer hope for a fairer and more resilient future. Have a read
Issue #184 published 23 Apr 2020
We’ve got time for scenario planning these days so this document by Deloitte is an excellent guidance on how to shape the thinking. Four possible scenarios outlined, in an accessible 27 pager. Must read for any business owner.
Issue #184 published 23 Apr 2020
Superb interactive from our buddies at Visual Capitalist, tracking immigration flows into the United States. Who came to America, when and why? Striking animation of a story which is sadly all too topical these days. Check it out here.
Issue #86 published 23 Apr 2020
..“memory of remarkable ability, if that is the source of one’s self-worth, might, for some, provide an invidious contrast to a later, less remarkable life….”
Astonishing read from The Atlantic. I’m thinking gig economy + network value + artisanal economy might ameliorate some of the effects described here. Long read, must read for all of us here - important on a personal and professional level.
Issue #142 published 23 Apr 2020
Superb essay on the long term, multi-dimensional impact of disruptive technology, particularly how innovation can change the value of skills in the labour market. Precise analogies readily available in todays world of accelerating technological change. Great brainfood.
Issue #130 published 23 Apr 2020
300 of the largest metropolitan areas account for nearly half all global economic output. Yet as wealth and people migrate to the big cities, political power does not follow. We’re seeing the manifestations of this throughout the democratic world. We need to read this one folks. 
Issue #92 published 23 Apr 2020
Stunning interactive from Lucify, on a subject which is causing political crisis throughout Europe. Based on data from the United Nations, the pattern is clear: war generates forced emigration from conflict zones. 
Issue #92 published 23 Apr 2020
Superb long read on a challenging topic from New York Times. The stories we tall about human migration are reverberating in our politics and we need to pay attention. Not an easy one folks but we need to read this one. 
Issue #90 published 23 Apr 2020
Work has become political folks, as Hayden Fields explains in this excellent essay on the rise of ethical positioning taken by self organising employees. A new form of collective action is appearing, and it’s lead by tech workers. 
Issue #91 published 23 Apr 2020
GDPR teaches regulatory divergences can have profound impact on our experience of the Internet. A fractured web is the likely unintended outcome says brainfooder Jacob Sten Madsen. (UPDATE: Copyright Directive has been rejected by EU parliament)
Issue #91 published 23 Apr 2020
As we live longer, but not necessarily better, we’re going to increasingly need greater help in living a life. Healthcare practitioners of all stripes in great shape throughout the US. Other jobs….not doing so great. 
Issue #82 published 23 Apr 2020
I didn’t realise that the government shutdown in the US wasn’t metaphorical; services do stop being delivered, federal workers told not to report, salaries not paid. It’s crazy dysfunction in the No1 country on planet earth
Issue #67 published 23 Apr 2020
In our uncomfortable but perhaps overdue conversations on immigration, one factor is often hidden in plain sight - immigrants - by definition - are prepared to move to the work. This is superb essay provides insight on why native workers can’t - or don’t - always do so. Take some time folks and read it - we’ve got to get this debate going. 
Issue #88 published 23 Apr 2020
Accessible slide deck on the most significant ‘deep tech’ trends in 2019. Learn about IOT, 3D printing, voice, AR/VR, personal analytics - niche recruiting topics now but mainstays for our business in the near future. Download here
Issue #161 published 23 Apr 2020
Ethical positioning by tech workers is a under reported yet increasingly common phenomena of our times. As much as big tech has become a lightning rod for our social ills, we may find that they will become our saviours after all - mainly through the actions of their workers, like these folks from DoorDash. Have a read of this open letter here.
Issue #126 published 23 Apr 2020
doteveryone
SOCIETY
The self directed politicisation, mobilisation and organisation of the tech workers has been a growing phenomena over the past few years. doteveryone is a UK project which aims to collect information about this powerful demographic and gain insight on what tech workers expect from their employers. Exec summary here but the full report is readable and available here.
Issue #139 published 23 Apr 2020
A glimpse of the suburban grotesque, featuring Russian mobsters, Fox News rage addicts, a caged man in a sex dungeon, and Dick Cheney
Kind of says it all. Incredible essay from Lauren Hough, recounting the time when she was working as cable tech, and encountering the citizens and denizens of urban America. It’s a long read, but it’s worth it
Issue #117 published 23 Apr 2020
Some revealing big data on societal change; we’re looking less at mobile apps as we travel far less, and are diving deeper into digital networking because we’re looking for that connection. How much of this will persist? Not all I would say but certainly some. H/T brainfooder James Ellis for the share
Issue #183 published 23 Apr 2020
Fascinating table of the impact of Corona virus to the E-commerce market. In hindsight, actually not surprising that bread makers are ranking top of the list, as part of what looks like a wholesale re-evaluation of what is really important to us in life. Must read
Issue #183 published 23 Apr 2020
World 2.0
SOCIETY
“There are decades where nothing happens, and weeks where decades happen”
We find out in this post that a simple two column table is the best way to understand the world Before and After Covid. Have a read
Issue #183 published 23 Apr 2020
The politics of nationalism have a direct impact in our work in talent acquisition and HR. This superb website provides interactive tree-maps on the economic contribution provided of ‘New American’ entrepreneurs. Fascinating and important. Take a look here
Issue #146 published 23 Apr 2020
This is the time of year when listicles really do come into their own. This effort by Fortune is one of the best I’ve read, entirely because of the quality of the people they’ve got on to commentate. From Mariana Mazzucato to Nir Eyal to Melinda Gates, these are some optimistic forecasts for 2020, and a great overview of key trends to look out for.
Issue #168 published 23 Apr 2020
Fascinating pattern matching on political leanings vs work occupations. Intuitively, it makes sense to think that different occupations might attract people with different perspectives on the world. This rather cool website illustrates the point with the occupations of US Democratic vs Republican politicians. Wonder who the split might look amongst us brainfooders. Perhaps time for another survey?
Issue #173 published 23 Apr 2020