Evolution of work


In an increasingly competitive working environment the fight to secure and retain top talent is intensifying. Employers that want to keep ahead of the game will need to have a clear employment strategy that takes into consideration not only the skills required for specific roles, but also what they as employers have to offer potential new recruits.
Employees are looking for benefits that will help them build their careers and personal development and often this takes precedence over a pay cheque. They are also looking for work environments that accommodate their own personal working styles. All things considered there is almost as much pressure on employers to perform as there is on employees. So how can employers go about creating an employment model that works in a rapidly changing and competitive work environment?
Balance, flexibility and agility
It’s a tall order to create a working environment that fits what every employee is looking for, but a good starting point is to aim to have flexibility and diversity. Understand your staffing needs and find the balance between permanent, contract and hybrid staff. Industry trends reflect that many organizations are downsizing on permanent positions in favour of temporary or contract staff. Employees that have shifted to contract work are finding it to their benefit as it provides them with opportunities to work on a wider variety of projects, and with careful planning, can be more lucrative. Even with permanent employees, a company that offers diversity and opportunities to learn new skills is far more attractive to potential employees.
Companies need to accept the reality that at most, the majority of employees will stay 2-3 years. This needs to be factored into the employment model with a specific focus on succession planning. Ironically, when companies make employees feel that they are free to leave at any time, it seems to generate greater loyalty. Perhaps it’s because it shows a level of respect to the employees that their value is not taken for granted. An employee that is treated well, even after they’ve left will continue to be a brand ambassador for the business. This can attract top talent and valuable skills, either through contacts they have in the industry or in the future where they may return to the company with new skills they have acquired.
Flexibility is key to providing a productive working environment. Work from home options, flexi hours or a diverse office environment that can accommodate different working styles is certainly more attractive to potential employees. With so much information available online and via social media, potential employees often research companies when they apply for jobs to establish what the working environment is like and what the people that already work there have to say about it. Companies wanting to communicate to potential recruits can communicate through platforms such as LinkedIn, Hunted.com or Glassdoor that are industry and recruitment specific.
Values and Value
Even the conversations during interviews are changing. Before the focus for the employer would be on skills and salary requirements and it was up to the potential employee to sell themselves. Now interview conversations go about personal development, career growth prospects, incentives, working environment, flexibility, or decision making empowerment. The focus is on finding a good fit. Candidates are far more aware of what they want and value personally and they are being selective about employers. There is a sense that work is not just about earning a salary but rather part of a greater purpose adding value to lives, industries and businesses.  People like to feel that they are contributing to something of value through their efforts.
Companies engaging in an employment model should incorporate strategies to communicate their values to the marketplace, what the company stands for and what’s important to them. From an employee perspective businesses that encourage creativity and innovation or who are at the forefront of implementing new technologies, are very attractive. Sharing values generates a corporate culture that people want to be part of. Think of organizations such as Apple or Virgin, and how innovation and industry disruption is so much a part of the culture. Its companies like these that tend to attract top talent. With a diversity of opportunities on offer people are less likely to feel the need to look for other opportunities which means that there’s a greater chance of retaining that top talent.
Finally, with technology driving many of the changes happening in the marketplace there are opportunities for employers to engage more with their employees and use technology to support them in their roles. There’s no doubt that in the future the workplace will continue to get smarter and more integrated with technology. It’ll require employers to be more agile, adapting to the marketplace to ensure they have a competitive employee offering.
To talk some more about sourcing professionals or employee engagement contact Mottram Search.