Why Toptal Believes the ‘Talent Economy’ Is the Future of Work | Fortune

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“The gig economy is temporary work that’s low-skilled labor [whereas the talent economy] is about long-term work and high-skilled labor,” says Taso  Du Val.

So, how can companies distinguish top talent in a sea of remote workers? Of the thousands of applications Toptal receives each month from individuals wanting to be listed on its platform; typically fewer than 3% are accepted based on a screening process that evaluates a candidate’s language competency, technical knowledge, and test projects.

Source: Why Toptal Believes the ‘Talent Economy’ Is the Future of Work | Fortune

U.S. surfboard makers not so stoked about China tariffs | Reuters

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President Donald Trump’s decision to slap 10% tariffs on imported surfboards convinced surf executive Sue Bowers to move factory jobs out of China – but not back to the United States, which was one goal of Trump’s tariffs.

Strict environmental rules and steep labor costs have sent scores of Southern California surfboard manufacturers to China. Now, the tariffs have Bowers and other executives searching for factories in places such as Thailand and Vietnam.

Source: U.S. surfboard makers not so stoked about China tariffs – Reuters

‘Don’t leave: you’re all hired,’ government boss tells tech interns | FCW


Coding it Forward, which I have blogged about before, this summer fielded its third cohort of “civic digital fellows” in the federal government. From only 14 fellows the first year, the program was up to 54 this year, at six agencies.

This effort, started by college undergraduates at Harvard and other schools, has been very carefully designed to give students a good experience.

A central feature is that interns must be given meaningful work assignments that allow them to support the mission of the agency where they are working – none of the presentations that traditionally marked student IT internships in Washington.

Source: ‘Don’t leave: you’re all hired,’ government boss tells tech interns — FCW

Ideas for Pennsylvania Innovation: Examining efforts by competitor states and national leaders

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How this is playing out in Pennsylvania—and what other states are doing to jumpstart innovation—bears a close look now as the nation seeks to accelerate its recently slow productivity growth.

Historically, Pennsylvania has been an innovation leader, and today it retains a stable of effective, scalable innovation assets. This includes a robust university system that generates significant R&D, as well as a set of capable technology-based economic development programs that operate across the state.

However, in recent years, Pennsylvania’s innovation economy has gone flat, and the state has scaled back public investment in its most significant innovation resources.

Source: Ideas for Pennsylvania Innovation: Examining efforts by competitor states and national leaders

Google’s jobs search draws antitrust complaints from rivals | Reuters


Google’s fast-growing tool for searching job listings has been a boon for employers and job boards starving for candidates, but several rival job-finding services contend anti-competitive behavior has fueled its rise and cost them users and profits.

Source: Exclusive: Google’s jobs search draws antitrust complaints from rivals – Reuters

Book Review: The Age of Intent by P.V. Kannan | Fortune

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Businesses ready to forge ahead might bear in mind three insights from restaurant chain TGI Fridays’ experience. Aiming to appeal to millennials, who are less inclined to linger in casual-dining eateries than their parents were, the company developed an A.I.-assisted system, starring social-media-friendly chatbots, that doubled its off-premises orders in a single year, to about $150 million annually.

Fridays did this by, first, starting with a relatively small part of its business—people looking to save time by ordering in advance—and working out any bugs before expanding the system.

Source: Book Review: The Age of Intent by P.V. Kannan | Fortune

How Smaller Cities Are Luring High-Tech Talent | WIRED

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In April, the Congressional Joint Economic Committee found that highly educated adults in their thirties were fleeing rural and postindustrial states to major tech centers like San Francisco, New York, Seattle, and Boston.

The report, based on 40 years of Census data, said states in the southeast, New England, and the Rust Belt were losing the most talent to these “winner-take-all” cities. Vermont was one of the hardest-hit states.

Researchers at the Brookings Institution say this brain drain fuels “entrenched poverty, deaths of despair, and deepening small-town resentment” of coastal elites.

“Overconcentration in the largest metro areas and this evacuation everywhere else is a serious problem,” says Mark Muro, a senior fellow at Brookings. But the widening economic gap between the so-called “superstar cities” and the rest of the country is a relatively new phenomenon.

Source: How Smaller Cities Are Luring High-Tech Talent | WIRED

Now We Know the Real Reason for Agency Relocations | Government Executive


.. when Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney spoke at a political event in South Carolina on Aug. 2, he took the disdain and disrespect for our nation’s civil servants to a whole new level.

Mulvaney has now clearly stated, as administration policy, that relocating federal employees from one city to another is intended to disrupt their lives to the point that they quit their jobs.

The loss of skilled, experienced federal employees is not an unfortunate side effect of agency reorganizations: it is the whole point, according to Mulvaney.

Source: Viewpoint: Now We Know the Real Reason for Agency Relocations – Government Executive

Work Ruined Email | Nextgov


It wasn’t always like this. In the past, managers might have used computers to create or review reports or ledgers. But the job itself remained elsewhere—on the phone with clients or prospects, in meetings with teammates or executives, and so on.

Email changed all that.

The inbox became a to-do list, and everything started to flow through it. The ting of a new email elicits panic because it signals the arrival of a new toil: a new assignment from a boss, a request from a colleague, a policy notice from human resources, an announcement from management, a networking request from a stranger. You didn’t ask for any of these, but now you have to deal with them—even if just to press delete.

Email overload has become a backwards point of pride. “I get several hundred emails a day,” I heard someone say at a recent corporate event. “At least.” It’s a lamentation, but also a boast.

Source: Work Ruined Email – Nextgov

The Simple Gear You Need to Survive the Open Office | GQ


If you work from a desk in an open office (if you’re lucky enough to have your own desk), then your concentration and productivity are probably under constant attack by a host of distractions.

There’s the coworker who takes long and loud phone calls. There’s the coworker who unleashes the potency of microwaved leftovers every day at lunch. There’s the coworker who cracks their knuckles frequently and loudly. Okay, so maybe all of those things describe me. What can I say? Kimchi is delicious! Cracking your knuckles is a satisfying habit I can’t shake!

As a self-reported obstacle to other’s productivity, I’ve compiled a list of gear that helps people navigate the distractions and actually get work done, with the help of some suggestions from fellow GQ staffers.

Source: The Simple Gear You Need to Survive the Open Office | GQ