GLOBILITY® - May 31, 2016 

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Japanese Shares Boosted by Hopes of Tax Hike Delay
Japanese shares rose 1.39 percent in 30 May trading, amid reports that a two-percent sales tax hike planned for Q2 in 2017 may be delayed. According to media reports, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe wants to postpone the increase – from its current 8 percent to 10 – until 2019. Originally scheduled to take place next April, the increase is part of a plan to help balance the national budget. Fears of deflation, however, have put pressure on Mr. Abe to delay the increase, and an official announcement could come as early as this week at the end of the country’s current parliamentary session. Banking and technology stocks, including Panasonic, Sony and Sharp, were all in positive territory at the close of trading on Monday, while in Hong Kong the benchmark Hang Seng index closed 0.3 percent higher at 20,629.39 points, and China’s Shanghai Composite closed flat at 2,822.45. See additional details and other global market information.
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Higher Demand for Malaysian Talents with Regional Experience
With companies looking to rein in and control costs by relocating procurement operations to countries like Malaysia, senior level procurement and supply chain candidates with regional expertise will be in greater demand, according to a Hays Quarterly Report. Employers are seeking candidates with an understanding of the local market and surrounding countries like Singapore and Indonesia. “Multinational companies are undergoing further restructuring to streamline their operations and increase efficiency by adopting a leaner model,” said Tom Osbourne, Regional Director of Hays in Malaysia. “These companies seek professionals with cross-sector experience to help fine-tune their supply chain businesses. Candidates with a strong track record in process improvement will be highly valued,” observed Osbourne, who also noted "it will be challenging to secure such highly-skilled candidates due to the increasing competition and talent pool shortage.” Read on for which industry sectors are likely to see the greatest demand.

 

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German Unemployment Rate Falls to Record Low
In the lowest level since reunification in 1990, Germany's unemployment rate fell to an unadjusted 6 percent low in May, down from 6.3 percent in April.  The jobless rate across the eurozone fell to 10.2 percent in April. The eurozone jobless rate was down from 11 percent in April last year and the lowest figure for the 19 countries using the euro since August 2011, according to Eurostat. Across the 28 countries in the European Union, unemployment fell to 8.7 percent in April, down from 8.8 percent in March and 9.6 percent in the same month last year. The news continues to be mixed, however, as seven countries still have double-digit unemployment, with Italy at 11.7 percent, Spain at 20.1 percent and Greece at 24.4 percent. Continue to full article for additional data.

 

U.S. Consumer Spending Surges; Inflation Creeping Up
The U.S. Commerce Department reported that April’s consumer spending levels saw the largest gain since August 2009, beating economists’ expectations. The increase, combined with a steadily rising inflation rate, indicate a level of economic growth acceleration that could persuade the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates again as early as next month. Consumer spending, which accounts for more than two-thirds of U.S. economic activity, grew by 1.0 percent, largely attributed to the purchase of automobiles, as well as a range of other goods and services. The strong consumer spending report is accompanied by data on goods exports, industrial production, housing starts and home sales that suggest the economy is regaining momentum after growing at a lackluster 0.8 percent annualized rate in the first quarter. Personal income increased 0.4 percent last month after rising by the same margin in March. Wages and salaries rose 0.5 percent after advancing 0.4 percent in March. Read on for additional details.

 

Property Lot Shortage at Record Low in U.S., Says NAHB
Real estate building lot availability in the United States hit a record low this month, according to new data from the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). Sixty-four percent of respondents in the latest NAHB-Wells Fargo Housing Market Index reported that the supply of lots in their markets was "low" or "very low"—up from 62 percent last year, and the highest number since NAHB began collecting this data in 1997. The shortage comes at a time when new homes are being started at a rate of fewer than 1.2 million a year. In 2005, when total housing starts were over 2 million, the share of builders reporting a shortage of lots was 53 percent. "We have monitored lot availability for the last two decades, and it is clear that the scarcity of building lots is growing," said NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz, adding that the shortage will have negative impacts on housing affordability in many markets.  Read more information about what’s driving the shortage, and which regions are witnessing the biggest dearth.

 

Does Your Employer Brand Make the Cut for Today's Job Seekers?
A new report from ManpowerGroup Solutions finds that more than half (56 percent) of job seekers across the globe say an employer's brand/reputation is more important today than it was five years ago. The sentiment is even stronger in China (72 percent) and Mexico (62 percent). A new paper, “Brand Detectives: The New Generation of Global Candidates," highlights three ways companies can improve their hiring processes to better attract and retain today's top talent. They include identifying current employees as leaders who can help market the company to potential recruits and recognize high potential candidates, the use of recruitment agencies to help convey and reinforce an organization’s brand, and maximizing the company’s unique selling points as early in the process as possible. The paper also contains ten tips about what companies can do to make good use of current employees to help ensure they are successful brand ambassadors. “HR professionals who use current employees to serve as ambassadors for the company—both in real life and on social networking sites—tap into the most credible and influential source of information for potential new hires,” notes Kate Donovan, Senior Vice President of ManpowerGroup Solutions and Global RPO President, adding that “those who choose not to utilize these important resources risk being left behind.” Millennials are the most brand-driven candidates, ranking it in their top three motivators, along with compensation and job responsibilities. Social media is the number one way candidates find information about a company in China; in Mexico, 43 percent of job seekers use social media for brand research. See additional details and obtain the link to download the paper. 

 

This Leader's Global Assignment In Her 20s Catapulted Her Into Roles Usually Reserved For Men
Felicity Menzies, founder of Singapore-based diversity and inclusion consultancy Culture Plus Consulting, credits successfully negotiating an international assignment early in her career as a crucial stepping stone to her future success. In her early twenties, Menzies moved abroad from her hometown of Adelaide, Australia with her first corporate employer, a large accountancy firm. “Eager to explore the world,” she approached her manager for a trainee position in London.  At the time, London’s banking sector was booming and she was soon lured to a role at global investment bank now known as UBS. That journey – and the global competency and problem-solving skills she gained along the way – ultimately led her to become the former head of Westpac Private Bank in Singapore. While the Australian bank currently boasts close to 50 percent of women in executive positions, back when Menzies was in her role, she was one of less than 20 percent of women to hold that honor. Citing the increasing importance of global experience as a prerequisite for promotion to leadership positions, Menzies also acknowledges that gender gaps remain – and guides companies on how to overcome them.  Read on for more information about the benefits of global assignments, and a multi-strategy approach to breaking down the “glass border.”

 

Life in the Fast Lane
It may seem that professional racecar drivers and business executives have little in common, but Dr. Aki Hintsa might argue otherwise. A surgeon who was chief medical officer for the McLaren Formula 1 racing team for 11 years, with several world champions as his clients, he now runs a business that currently earns 80 percent of its revenue from working with management teams and individual bosses. What started with a CEO friend’s complaints about burnout developed into Hintsa Performance, currently employing 30 staff and operating under the philosophy that success and peak performance derives from holistic wellbeing, for professional athletes and business executives alike. What are common ailments? Topping the list are lack of sleep and constant global travel, and the negative impacts that they can have on both an individual’s and a company’s (or team’s) performance. A growing body of evidence suggests that insufficient quantity and quality of sleep cripples individuals and organizations. Life on the road can mean unhealthy eating choices, and makes sleep harder to manage by cutting down resting time and confusing the body clock. Long periods of time in pressurized airline cabins can be dehydrating and detrimental to circulation. Dr. Hintsa has a number of remedies to help offset the negative effects, and businesses are taking notice, too: Google has established a trend for providing workers with sleep pods, nap rooms and healthy snacks. The Boston Consulting Group has experimented with a “time off” policy in which employees spend an evening every week without e-mail or their smartphone to catch up on sleep. Some airlines and hotels are using “smart lighting” to help customers adjust to new time zones. What can we learn from all of this? People are looking for ways to better manage the speed of business and recharge their batteries, and everyone could do with the occasional pit stop.  Read on for additional specific global travel tips. 

 

Minimize the Distance Between Remote Employees and the Company
From lower overhead costs to fewer distractions and the potential for greater productivity, there are numerous documented benefits associated with maintaining a remote workforce.  But the onboarding process can be a challenging one. A recent Chief Learning Officer®/CLO Media feature explores the unique needs of assimilating remote workers into the business and the culture of an organization, citing the expertise of Tricia Sciortino, president of eaHelp. The 400-employee organization is entirely virtual; all of its corporate employees and assistants work from home. Sciortino offers five specific strategies to help employers onboard remote workers, including virtually welcoming new remote employees, creating a detailed training schedule, making the best use of technology, including videoconferencing tools, and employing regular follow-ups. See the full article for more information and recommendations to successfully integrate – and retain – remote workers.