This week, some CEOs suggest dropping degree requirements in hiring to help address inequality; plus, job growth in the U.S. slowed; Unilever launched a new program where employees can try out new jobs; HSBC launches a new pilot program for employee wellbeing; and Google backtracks on their return to the office. Read this week’s trends from the world of work.

#1. Some CEOs suggest dropping degree requirements in hiring – and it could help address inequality.


Millions of jobs require a four-year college degree, but some CEOs are suggesting that companies drop the degree requirement, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal. The CEO of Merck and the former CEO of IBM say that removing the conventional requirements for some jobs can help diversify talent pools and address inequalities in business and society.


“It’s really important for us to recognize that because people haven’t had an opportunity early in their lives, it doesn’t mean that they can’t make a real contribution to your company,” Kenneth Frazier, CEO of Merck & Co., said. Read more here.

Photo: Vasily Kolada via Unsplash

#2. Job growth in the U.S. slowed in April.


American job growth slowed in April, coming up short of optimistic forecasts for the labor market’s recovery, according to a report in the New York Times. Employers added 266,000 jobs in April, a number far below the gains registered in March. The unemployment rate, in turn, rose to 6.1 percent. “It turns out it’s easier to put an economy into a coma than wake it up,” Diane Swonk, chief economist for the accounting firm Grant Thornton, said of the report. Read more here.

Photo: Ben O’Bro via Unsplash

#3. Unilever’s new program allows employees to try out new jobs and gig working around the company.


Unilever has launched a new program that allows employees to try out different jobs and gig working around the company as part of their investment in employees. According to a report in Business Insider, the company is investing in full-time jobs for project-based work and more flexible part-time opportunities. Employees can use an internal program to look at different projects and programs across the organization. As a result, the company is rethinking the way they look at roles, structures, and departments. Read more here.

Photo: Headway via Unsplash

#4. HSBC launching a new pilot: Zoom-free Fridays.


Banking giant HSBC is launching a brand-new pilot to boost well-being among their employees: Zoom-free Fridays. The pilot program applies to their commercial banking unit, according to a report in BBC, which covers current accounts, loans, mortgages, and credit cards. The announcement comes just weeks after the company announced their plans to shrink their office space by 40%. "The trial will involve a number of people committing to not setting up Zoom meetings on a Friday afternoon to allow space for other work," said a spokesperson for the bank. Read more here.

Photo: Charles Deluvio via Unsplash

#5. Google backtracks on the return to the office.


Google is once again shifting the options for when, where, and how often employees return to the office. The tech giant announced that their workers can continue working remotely until September, and then employees can decide whether they will return to the office, work out of a different Google office, or work anywhere in the world – if their role allows it. Google CEO Sundar Pichai said he expects 60% of the company’s global workforce will return to the office a few days a week, and 20% will move to a different office, and the remaining 20% will work from home. Read more on CNN here.

Photo: Pawel Czerwinski via Unsplash

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