Workplace Reformation Is Coming…

The reluctance of workers to return to the office has been well documented through multiple workplace reformation trends that the World Economic Forum has observed recently. Interestingly, these trends predate the COVID-pandemic and are now resurfacing as a result of the past three years that were characterized by widespread economic hardship. Identifying and understanding these trends in addition to implementing them within your organization will be key to future success efforts.  

The changes that have occurred in industry structures has prompted organizations to reconstruct their business models to maintain relevance and a competitive nature. Companies have taken multiple approaches to this trend, some like General Electric who split and others like Tata Group who have responded by merging. Alphabet, among many others, that have been able to do without job cuts have responded with a need for higher employee productivity rates. The pursuit of greater efficiency is the main motivator for these industry-wide restructurings, as companies are looking to create a more skilled workforce. Workplace culture reformation starts with recruiting employees that possess skills that contribute to the main crux of the company’s purpose, which is a mindset more HR departments are adopting. 

Companies are increasingly hiring for skills backed with experience and less for potential in order to meet the demand for short-term results. The shift has resulted in a decline in graduate program enrollment. Only 11% of business leaders would “strongly agree” that students are graduating from higher education with the necessary competencies for their future careers. Therefore, employers are looking less for a particular degree and rather opportunities that would have provided an opportunity for skill development. Four in five employers believe quality internships to be more valuable on a resume and are a better way to prepare graduates for success in their companies compared to higher educational endeavors. This may call for a reformation in the near future for both the education and recruiting industries.  

Although there is no denying the pandemic’s effect on the popularity of mobile talent, the ability for individuals to diversify their talent has become more accessible and sustainable. This has fueled the global war for skilled talent, as it has led to opportunities for workers to move across industries and even countries. With the increased normality of remote work and digital collaboration tools, individuals can work multiple roles which has created a competitive recruitment environment for both the candidate and recruiter. Individuals and organizations must evaluate their open positions with a mindset considerate of career mobility and the development of transferable skills.  

The fundamental rules of employment are being shifted by digital platform companies like Facebook, Spotify, and Lyft. The World Forum uses Uber as a prime example, as they have successfully created employment opportunities for roughly 5 million drivers across the globe without signing a single driver employment contract. This has changed the way the recruitment process is handled. Less of the responsibly lies with a traditional human resource department, and now with strategy talent recruitment firms who can conduct in-depth research on an individual to evaluate their potential to be the best fit. More companies are finding that utilizing a strategy talent firm to fill their position openings is an investment worthwhile because of the higher retention rate and better personality and skillset fit of the individual.  

Employability is no longer just about soft skills such as communication, collaboration, and critical thinking. No matter the industry, organizations are transforming into simplistic versions of technology companies and therefore are looking to build a workplace and labor force who are skilled in technological areas. Candidates that possess knowledge and experience working with AI, robotics, and digital software platforms are much more competitive because of the likely future integration.