Many interventionalists say reporting today falls short of its goals but argue physicians need to stay engaged in the process, lest others fill the void. Public reporting of PCI outcomes—and its unintended consequences—takes center stage in a collection of papers being published today in JAMA Cardiology. In one, based on a survey of interventional cardiologists in New York and Massachusetts, investigators conclude that current approaches to public reporting appear to foster risk-averse practice patterns, with early-career physicians expressing the greatest doubts. Fully 65.1% of the survey respondents said they’d avoided doing a PCI at least twice because of worries that a bad outcome would negatively impact their publicly reported data, researchers found. Another article details how, for now at least, the sharing of PCI outcomes is falling short of its goals, with experts offering ideas on how to improve. Rishi K. Wadhera, MD, MPhil (Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, MA), lead author of the latter paper, told TCTMD that despite this recordkeeping of PCI results being “part of a broader movement towards transparency in healthcare,” it remains a “polarizing issue” for many in the cardiovascular field. “There certainly are a lot of advocates who feel that transparency is important, it provides a strong incentive to providers to improve care quality, and [it] empowers patients,” Wadhera said. “But there are also critics who emphasize the methodologic challenges and the unintended consequences of reporting.” If the healthcare community exits from public reporting, that vacuum will quickly be filled by other entities who will publicly present physician performance data in ways that may or may not benefit patients. WILLIAM B. BORDEN “” At a time when public reporting initiatives are multiplying across medical specialties in the United States, Wadhera and colleagues Karen E. Joynt Maddox, MD (Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO), Robert W. Yeh, MD (Brigham and Women’s Hospital), and Deepak Bhatt, MD (Brigham and Women’s Hospital), sought to synthesize what’s known about this practice in PCI. “We have two decades of data and evidence on public reporting of PCI outcomes in particular,” Wadhera said. “And I think the three main objectives of public reporting are to improve care delivery and patient outcomes, to make sure that comparisons of provider and institutional care quality are fair and accurate, and to empower patients to make meaningful decisions about where they choose to receive care.” To date, he said, the evidence indicates these goals haven’t been accomplished. The Path Forward An accompanying editorial by William B. Borden, MD (George Washington University, Washington, DC), makes the case for continued public reporting. “Turning away from public reporting is not an option,” Borden says. “Despite the low public knowledge about PCI registries, the clear and strong societal trend is toward the public demanding more information and greater transparency. “Empowering individuals with knowledge is a good thing. That knowledge must be as accurate as possible and presented with proper context so that patients can make appropriate informed decisions, and physicians and hospitals can adapt care delivery to improve health outcomes and equity, rather than the converse,” he continues. “Inferences about physician and hospital performance can be made from a variety of increasingly available data sources. If the healthcare community exits from public reporting, that vacuum will quickly be filled by other entities who will publicly present physician performance data in ways that may or may not benefit patients.” Given that the enthusiasm for reporting does not appear to be waning, Wadhera et al describe several paths forward: disease-based rather than procedure-based reporting, more focus on processes and patient-centered outcomes, and potentially the creation of separate databases that aren’t open to public scrutiny, among others. If public reporting is to continue, “the most appealing solution is probably disease- or condition-based reporting,” Wadhera commented. It would facilitate transparency about how the entire healthcare team is delivering care,and not just interventionalists alone. RISHI K. WADHERA “” This method, which would compare outcomes among patients treated for acute MI, for example, or even separate out those with NSTEMI versus STEMI, “provides a more comprehensive and robust assessment of care quality, irrespective of whether a patient’s treated with medical therapy or a procedure,” Wadhera noted. Disease-based reporting would also help alleviate risk aversion among interventionalists as well as “provide more meaningful information to institutions about where they’re performing well and where they’re performing poorly in terms of specific conditions, so that they can develop more targeted interventions,” Wadhera continued. Additionally, by providing more balanced comparisons, he said, it would reduce the need for risk adjustment. “Probably most importantly, it would facilitate transparency about how the entire healthcare team is delivering care, and not just interventionalists alone,” Wadhera stressed. Currently, he said, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services reports 30-day mortality rates for acute MI at a hospital level, though not at a provider level or stratified by clinical presentation. Risk Aversion Abounds The survey results appearing in JAMA Cardiology, meanwhile, add greater depth to data previously reported at the American Heart Association 2017 Scientific Sessions. Lead investigator Daniel M. Blumenthal, MD (Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, MA), said it seems that “for better or for worse, people are not all that surprised by the findings” of widespread risk aversion. “Nobody is against policies which improve outcomes,” he added. “Everybody’s 110% in favor of public policies” that as a whole lead to more benefit than harm for patients, Blumenthal observed. But “the interventional cardiology community I think is far from certain that that is the case for public reporting. We’re all arguing our absolute best to try to deliver the best possible care to our patients in the environments where we’re practicing,” whether that’s in a state with public reporting or not. For the study, he and his colleagues approached 456 interventional cardiologists in the states of Massachusetts and New York, which mandate public reporting of PCI outcomes, via an online survey. In all, 32.7% responded, though the response rate in Massachusetts was nearly double what it was in New York. Unlike prior surveys that were focused only on New York, the current effort valuably shows that the unintended consequences of public reporting are not limited to a single state, Blumenthal noted to TCTMD. There are some differences in policies between the two states, he said. New York, for example, doesn’t mandate reporting the outcomes of patients in cardiogenic shock, while Massachusetts allows cardiologists to retrospectively apply for very sick patients to be exempt from public reporting. Yet the survey revealed no significant differences based on where interventionalists were practicing. For better or for worse, people are not all that surprised by the findings . DANIEL M. BLUMENTHAL “” Beyond acknowledging their own risk aversion, the survey respondents also said they felt peer pressure: 59% reported sometimes or often being urged by colleagues to avoid performing PCI in a patient at high risk of death. Nearly all (94.7%) thought that other interventionalists in their state sometimes or often avoid PCIs for this reason. Approximately half (51.7%) were concerned “some or a lot that their superiors would not support them for performing an indicated PCI in a critically ill patient who later died of a PCI-related complication,” Blumenthal et al note. It’s important to keep in mind, though, that interventionalists’ perceptions of their peers may not match reality, he cautioned to TCTMD. The researchers also found that 81.2% of respondents said they knew some or a lot about risk-adjustment methods used in public reporting, while 73.8% had little or no trust in the ability of these methods to work. On multivariable adjustment, less-experienced operators were more likely to feel pressured to avoid an indicated PCI and to think other cardiologists were avoiding PCIs, and they were less likely to have faith in risk adjustment. “This study by Blumenthal and colleagues really bolsters the case that risk aversion is a reality of public reporting,” Wadhera said. The differences based on experience level could be due to “younger interventional cardiologists [feeling] like they have more at stake, because they’re less established,” he suggested. “Older, more established interventional cardiologists may not feel the same way.” Blumenthal hesitated to speculate why age mattered, but said it does “highlight the need for some additional efforts to understand which subsets of interventional cardiologists feel more pressured to perhaps be more risk averse in the face of public reporting. “Ultimately if we want to try to mitigate or ameliorate some of the unintended consequences, we need to really start to dig down into those details,” he concluded. Note: Ajay J. Kirtane, MD, and Roxana Mehran, MD, who co-authored the study led by Blumenthal, are faculty members of the Cardiovascular Research Foundation, the publisher of TCTMD.   By Caitlin E. Cox
US job growth slowed sharply in March, as employers added 103,000 positions over the month. The figure was lower than expected, and left the unemployment rate unchanged at 4.1%. Analysts said the cold weather may have contributed to the slowdown, which was anticipated to some degree after February's blockbuster gains. The low unemployment rate may also be making it hard to find workers, they said. Mark Hamrick, senior economic analyst for interest rate tracking website, said that the March report from the US Labor Department, looked at in isolation, was "on the disappointing side". "Broader context is appropriate, however," he added. "The job market is widely regarded to be close to full employment. So, hiring gains should be slowing at this point in the expansion." Wage growth picks up The US economy has been adding jobs consistently since 2010, one of the longest expansions on record. The growth has pushed the unemployment rate to its lowest level since 2000. Over the last three months, employers have created an average of 202,000 jobs, the Labor Department said. The number of jobs increased by 326,000 in February, 13,000 more than previously reported. Job openings remain plentiful, but hiring has lagged. World Jobs as example. Sophia Koropeckyj of Moody's Analytics said firms will have to offer a combination of better wages and more flexible practices, conditions and training if they want to continue to bring on workers. The average hourly wage for private sector workers was $26.82 in March, up 2.7% from a year ago. That was a slight acceleration from the previous month, but still below the rate of increase when the unemployment rate was last at this level. Manufacturing and health care firms drove the job gains last month, while most industries saw little change. The construction sector shed jobs. The labour force participation rate - the share of the population working or looking for work - slipped to 62.9%. It remains well below the pre-recession rate, a trend expected to persist given the aging of the US population. The jobs report did little to alter consensus opinion that the labour market remains solid and the Federal Reserve will stick to its plan to raise interest rates gradually. In a speech in Chicago on Friday, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell appeared to confirm that view, saying he expects inflation to pick up in coming months. If "the economy continues broadly on its current path, further gradual increases in the federal funds rate will best promote" employment and stable inflation, he said. Mr Powell noted that wage growth has been modest, but told the audience: "The labour market has been strong, and my colleagues and I ... expect it to remain strong." Wall Street shares, which tend to benefit from the lower borrowing costs that accompany lower interest rates, tumbled during and after Mr Powell's remarks. They also started the day lower after US President Donald Trump threatened additional tariffs on Chinese-made goods. Analysts said the trade tension could disrupt some of the growth in the months ahead, as uncertainty weighs on business activity. Manufacturers and farmers are particularly vulnerable. By: BBC
A year ago, Facebook FB -0.35% made it possible for businesses to create job postings and for job seekers to apply for those openings directly on the social network in the U.S. and Canada. On Wednesday, Facebook announced it is expanding this tool to more than 40 countries. Businesses and people on the social network can use the feature for free, which is geared toward helping local businesses find candidates nearby. Since debuting the tool last year, Facebook has added features that allow businesses to create job posts, manage applications and schedule interviews, entirely on mobile. Job seekers can set up job alerts for the types of roles that interest them. The international expansion, which is rolling out on desktop and on mobile, could help Facebook compete more seriously with other recruitment and jobs platforms such as Microsoft MSFT +4.28%-owned LinkedIn LNKD +0%, Glassdoor and Facebook's tools are geared toward small businesses, which employ about half of U.S. workers and represent about an important market for Facebook's advertising business. The ubiquity of the 2.2-billion person social network could help give social media a more formal part of job application processes. Already, about one in four people in the U.S. have said they have searched for or found a job using Facebook, according to an online poll of 5,000 adults conducted by Morning Consult. Facebook is betting that by offering a free and simple process, it can gain traction despite competition from more established jobs sites. Facebook's VP of ads and business platform Andrew Bosworth said last year that company decided to build the tools after noticing that businesses were already posting about job openings on their Pages Facebook’s vice president of local Alex Himel said Facebook has been focused on trying to make the tool as easy and fast to use as possible. Job seekers’ work history and other information in their Facebook profiles, for example, will automatically populate applications they create on the social network (job seekers can edit their applications; however, any public information on the user's profile will be available to the employer). After applicants apply, Facebook will automatically connect the business Page with the job seeker via a Messenger conversation to enable applications to communicate directly with the company and confirm their information was received. "Businesses are already looking people online, and we want to give people the tools to control how they show up," said Himel, adding that Facebook "does not allow" discrimination of any kind against candidates. Businesses, meanwhile, can create job postings from their Page that include details such as job type, salary information and location. Businesses can pay to boost posts to reach a targeted set of potential candidates through news feed, similarly to buying a typical Facebook advertisement. Job posts will also appear on a business’ Page, in the Jobs dashboard and in Facebook's buy-and-sell tab, Marketplace. Once employers have connected with applicants, they can schedule interviews and set up automated reminders directly through Messenger. The online food shop Edible Arrangements, for example, used the tool to fill seven open positions in three weeks, receiving 97 applications after spending about $20 to boost the job opening on Facebook. An indoor trampoline park in Illinois called Sky Zone received 200 applications within one week of posting 11 positions. By: Kathleen Chaykowski  
Americans are always on the hunt for the next great job opportunity, but it can be difficult to find out how much competition you'll face for that plum post. So now, LinkedIn (LNKD) is providing some insight into the jobs that create the most buzz, posting its 10 most-viewed jobs last year. Surprisingly, they're not all top-paying positions. Indeed, two intern-level spots garnerer outsized attention. Even if the jobs don't share pay levels in common, they do all have one commonality: strong brands. Workers seek out jobs at well-known brands because of the identity boost from aligning with a company that has a positive image. It's also increasingly important to American workers that their employers take a stand on political issues, including community and social issues, which some top brands are increasingly doing. Employment site Glassdoor found that three-quarters of millennials would quit their jobs if their employer violated their core beliefs, while a majority of employees of all ages want their employer to have a clear mission and values. Working for a top brand may provide inner satisfaction, and some research indicates employees may not be averse to taking a paycheck hit to do it. Executives are willing to take a pay cut of 12 percent to work at in-demand brands, researchers at the London Business School and Texas A&M University found, according to Fast Company. "Just as a strong brand can attract customers who are willing to pay higher prices, they also attract employees who will agree to lower levels of pay," researcher Nader Tavassoli told Fast Company. LinkedIn said tens of thousands of would-be hires looked at each of the U.S.-based jobs listed below, although it didn't disclose details. The most-viewed jobs on LinkedIn Communications manager - Tesla Summer intern - Royal Caribbean Cruises Entry-level engineer - Illumina Associate producer - The Ellen Degeneres Show Corporate intern - Michael Kors Corporate sales account manager - Southwest Airlines Temp project coordinator - BBC Worldwide Business strategy manager - Philadelphia 76ers Entry-level asset manager- Neuberger Berman Project coordinator - HBO   By: CBS Interactive Inc.. All Rights Reserved.  
As we start 2018 no doubt many people will be thinking about setting their goals for 2018. Some of you will set modest goals, some will stretch goals and some of you will even set big bold goals that will look to catapult your businesses in the coming year. Personally I have always been a fan of big bold goals, yes they're challenging but they are also exciting and inspiring. I always thought I understood what big bold goals were and how to set them, and also how to achieve them. But I was wrong! Over the Holiday Season I had the chance to see a very inspiring movie called L'Ascension (The Climb) which challenged just about everything I have thought of when it comes to setting big bold goals, and what is truly possible. L'Ascension tells the true story of Nadir Dendoune, a French Algerian who had never set foot on a mountain before he decided to set the goal of climbing Mount Everest. Yes, that's right Mount Everest. The world's tallest mountain, it's over 29,000 feet high, at the summit it can experience 200 mph winds, and temperatures of -31F. Now you might be thinking, yes that is a bold goal but with plenty of preparation, training and acclimatization it could be achievable, And yes I guess you're right as over 4000 people have climbed Everest since Sir Edmund Hilary and Sherpa Tenzing first climbed it back in 1953. But that's not the approach that Nadir took. With no expertise or experience Nadir set off for Nepal. He faked his resume claiming that he had climbed Mont Blanc and Kilimanjaro and that he was in fact an experienced mountaineer in order to get accepted. However, in reality he had zero experience or expertise and had never been on a mountain before, and certainly not one as treacherous as Mount Everest. Yet armed with just Passion, Commitment and Perseverance four months later he reached the summit of Everest. When it came to setting bold goals, I had always thought that Passion, Commitment and Perseverance were needed, but so was some experience or expertise. But looking at it now it's clear that this is just another limitation that we put on ourselves. Another barrier that we build between what we believe is possible and what is actually possible. Now I am not suggesting that you set a goal of climbing Mount Everest, but I do think that maybe we can be a little bit more adventurous, a little more aggressive when it comes to setting your goals for 2018. Nadir's achievement has not just raised the bar on what's possible, it's removed it altogether. I know that my goals for 2018 will now be significantly bigger and bolder than I was planning and that I will try and remove any limitation I put on myself. But what about you, what goals will you set for 2018 for you and your business now that possible has been redefined? By Gordon Tredgold Founder and CEO, Leadership Principles  
Ever heard of Warren Buffet, the man who made most of his fortune by heavily investing in the insurance industry? Of course, you have. His net worth is said to be somewhere in the area of $100 billion. Understanding the business model of insurance companies, Mr. Buffet took a gamble and came out one of the richest men in history. You see, insurance companies are in the business of making money, not spending it. One of the most common ways insurance companies ensure that their profits soar is to collect monthly premiums from their members (our patients), then deny as many claims as possible by referring to the literature in a patient’s contract, specifically the exclusions, limitations, or frequency provisions. Exercising their right to deny payment of claims based on this literature ultimately results in decreased payouts and increased profits for the insurance company. Now that you have a better understanding of the insurance company business model, you need to think like an insurance company. Be sure to dot your i’s and cross your t’s before you send out any dental claims for processing. Here are three most of the most common ways insurance companies deny dental claims, and some ways in which you can avoid them. Lack of information from the provider At least 50% of dental claims for basic and major services will be placed on pending status and sent back to the dental office, which requires you to send additional information in order for the claim to be considered for payment. Most of the time the claim is sent back due to a lack of information. Be sure to send a recent full-mouth series or periodontal charting from the last six months for claims requiring this information, such as periodontal, endodontic, orthodontic, and other basic and major services. In some cases, the insurance company will delay payment by requesting a detailed narrative with a written explanation of necessity. Always be swift and timely with any requests from the dental insurance company to facilitate claims processing. Untimely filing Dental claims should be submitted upon completion of the services provided. Failing to submit the claim on time is an easy excuse for the insurance company to deny the claim. Most PPO plans require that the claim to be submitted within one year from the date of service. There are also some local union plans that have even shorter time filing periods, such as 90 days. If the claim remains unpaid past these deadlines, you will be at the mercy of the untimely filing rule and can expect to have the claim denied, should you resubmit. You may be able to request an appeal, but most often this request will also be rejected. Limitations, exclusions, frequencies All dental plans are not created equal. Most dental plans are based on what a patient’s employer has agreed on with the dental plan provider. Limitations such as annual or lifetime maximums ensure control over how much is paid out on a dental policy. Frequencies help keep insurance company costs down by ensuring patients can be covered only for certain procedures a few times a year or every few years. Excluding or down coding certain procedures occurs all too often and helps to minimize insurance payout. Don’t expect reimbursement for a dental implant when a patient could have had a three-unit bridge instead. Most of the time companies will down code a more expensive procedure to a less costly procedure and provide an alternate benefit, which results in lower reimbursement. The list for reasons of non-covered procedures, due to limitations, exclusions, and frequencies, can go on and on because these usually vary from plan to plan. This is why it is vital to find out what is covered and not covered prior to performing any procedures. You can do this by obtaining a breakdown of benefits, and if necessary, submitting a predetermination for more costly procedures. So you see, insurance companies are in the business of making sure their quarterly earnings soar and they make record profits. They tend to make decisions based on what’s in their own pockets, not based on what’s best for our patients’ health and well-being. Be prepared, and think like an insurance company! By Kyle Summerford Editorial Director
The Federal Bureau of Investigation's deputy director, whom US President Donald Trump repeatedly accused of political bias, has resigned. Andrew McCabe was pressured to quit by FBI Director Christopher Wray in advance of an inspector general report examining the agency, reports CBS News. Mr McCabe was reportedly due to retire on 18 March. His exit from the top law enforcement agency comes a week after a report that Mr Trump wanted him out. An internal communication authored by Mr Wray shows Mr McCabe's early departure was the result of a forthcoming FBI inspector general report that concluded the agency must perform at the highest standards, according to CBS News. Earlier on Monday, the New York Times reported that Mr Wray had expressed an interest in moving Mr McCabe to another job, which would have been a demotion, ahead of the inspector general report. It is unclear when the report will be released. White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told Monday's daily press briefing: "This decision was not made by the White House." "The president wasn't part of this decision making process," she added. Why is this significant? Mr McCabe briefly became acting FBI director last May after Mr Trump fired its previous chief, James Comey. Mr Comey had been overseeing the bureau's investigation into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. Mr Trump eventually nominated Christopher Wray as the new FBI director, and he was confirmed by the Senate in August. Mr Wray recently threatened to resign after being pressured by Attorney General Jeff Sessions to fire Mr McCabe, Washington DC news outlet Axios reported last week. Mr McCabe, 49, who was already expected to step down in early 2018 upon becoming eligible for his pension, instead chose to step down now and is on leave ahead of his official retirement date, CBS News reports. Later Mr Comey tweeted his support for his former deputy. Special Agent Andrew McCabe stood tall over the last 8 months, when small people were trying to tear down an institution we all depend on. He served with distinction for two decades. I wish Andy well. I also wish continued strength for the rest of the FBI. America needs you. By: BBC
While statistics of a low unemployment rate and growing economy flood the news, you may be wondering what the best jobs are for 2018. Knowing the job market and its trends provides job seekers with vital information such as a job’s education requirements or the median salary and job satisfaction for a particular industry. U.S. News recently unveiled its U.S. News & World Report Best Jobs of 2018 and here are the top 10 jobs followed by the biggest takeaways: U.S. News Top 10 Jobs of 2018 Software Developer Dentist Physician Assistant Nurse Practitioner Orthodontist Statistician Pediatrician Obstetrician and Gynecologist (tie) Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon (tie) Physician (tie) How U.S. News Comes Up With Its Rankings U.S. News uses an extensive process to rank jobs. While careers are subjective, some career qualities are pretty universal. Some prefer teaching while others prefer the pressures associated with performing surgery. However, the qualities that are pretty universal are that people generally prefer higher salaries and opportunities for promotion. To quantify its data, U.S. News first draws data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics on the jobs with the largest projected hiring demand. U.S. News then scores the jobs based on seven measures: 10-year growth volume; 10-year growth percentage; median salary; employment rate; future job prospects; stress level; and work-life balance. For each measure, jobs receive a score between 0 and 10. Strong Employment Numbers Overall employment is expected to grow 0.7% annually between 2016 and 2026 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In comparison, the 10 years prior only saw a labor growth rate of 0.5% annually, mainly due to the depressed hiring from the Great Recession. The careers expected to add the most jobs by 2026 are food preparation and serving workers, registered nurses, personal care aids, home health aides, and software developers. The overall unemployment rate dropped nearly half a percentage point over the course of 2017, reaching 4.1% as of November.   By: Richard Gano
Diversity is regarded as “the biggest game-changer” for hiring processes in 2018, a new report conducted by LinkedIn Talent Solutions has revealed.   LinkedIn surveyed close to 9,000 talent acquisition professionals from 39 different countries, asking them about the current state of hiring and the key recruitment trends to watch out for in the coming year. There were four main rubrics that emerged as the most pressing issues in the minds of hiring specialists worldwide: diversity, data, artificial intelligence (AI) and new interviewing tools. Diversity was cited as a top priority, with 78pc of those surveyed indicating that it was a ‘very/extremely important’ trend. More than half (53pc) of the companies interviewed said that they have made inroads to tackle it head-on, and have mostly or completed adopted policies to address the issue. While the topic of diversity has attracted much attention of late, it wasn’t so long ago that there was a genuine dearth of reliable data on the demographic breakdown of some of the largest and most influential companies worldwide. Talent on tap “Pretty much universally, this topic seems to be critical for most organisations,” said Brendan Browne, the vice-president of global talent acquisition at LinkedIn, on the topic of diversity. Browne analysed the result on the latest episode of his talk show Talent on Tap. The survey also established the perceived benefits to promoting diversity in workplaces. Of those interviewed, 78pc stated that they wanted to focus on diversity to improve company culture, while 48pc said they wanted to do it so that their workforce would better represent their customer base.   More than 60pc of professionals cited the desire to improve company performance as a motivating factor for recruiting a more diverse workforce. Diversity has been proven time and time again to be beneficial not only ethically, but also to a company’s bottom line. This was most recently reiterated in a McKinsey & Company analysis of how representation positively affected profits in almost 1,000 companies across 12 countries, a follow-up of the firm’s 2015 Why Diversity Matters study. The analysis concluded that companies in the top quartile for ethnic diversity at an executive level are 33pc more likely to have above-average profitability than companies in the bottom quartile. Where companies are focusing their efforts LinkedIn also quizzed respondents about where companies are focusing their diversity efforts. Gender came in at first place, which the research paper partially attributes to the fact that gender is “easy to track” and therefore is often “low-hanging fruit” for companies. It also pointed out that the “undisputed proof of women’s value in the workplace and grim representation of females at big-name companies” also go a long way to keeping gender at the forefront of the company consciousness. Organisations are also focusing on racial and ethnic diversity, which came second in the overall table, translating into almost half (49pc). Earlier this month, the Pew Research Center published its latest findings on experiences of discrimination and lack of representation in the US workforce, placing particular emphasis on gender and racial inequities, and how lack of representation impacts the experiences of women and minorities. It was observed that in male-dominated work environments, women were more likely to report experiencing discrimination in various forms. The study also indicated that racial representation in STEM industries is currently lagging behind national averages. Browne was quick to mention how important it is that hiring managers “really understand their own unconscious biases that they bring to the assessment process” when attempting to recruit a more diverse range of candidates. He referred to steps taken by Airbnb to eliminate bias from the interview process as an example of self-aware and proactive action in a bid to achieve better representation in the workplace. Other trends Recruitment professionals seem keen to overhaul the interview process as a whole. While many still practise and attest to the effectiveness of the traditional interview format, 63pc of respondents stated that classic hiring methods such as this are not effective at screening for soft skills – skills that are experiencing a particular flush in demand in the wake of advancements in AI technology. New methods for sizing up candidates such as soft skills assessments, ‘job auditions’ and electing to meet in more casual settings have all emerged as viable alternatives to the traditional interview format. AI for smarter recruitment Most professionals (76pc) acknowledge that AI will be at least somewhat significant to how recruiters work in the coming years. AI has the potential to reduce costs and labour by automating repetitive tasks and streamlining the search process, narrowing down candidates in ways the recruiters themselves may not have considered. AI isn’t going to replace talent acquisition specialists any time soon, but will likely merely complement their work. AI was rated as most helpful at sourcing, screening, scheduling and even nurturing candidates. Yet ultimately, the more ‘human’ aspects of human resources, such as forging relationships and gauging interpersonal skills, will not be overtaken by AI any time soon. Finally, data – which has almost become cliché now, due to how frequently it is cited when contemplating the future of work – was highlighted as vital to the recruitment process going forward. It has the potential, according to respondents, to help gauge skill gaps and increase retention. Making more data-driven decisions could very well elevate the recruiter role as a whole, and could be helpful to all HR professionals regardless of experience. By Eva Short