How Companies are Preparing for the Future of Work

Everyone is seeking new ways to stay ahead of the changing workforce. But with major shifts in technology, demographics, and hiring trends, it’s becoming harder than ever. Here are some new ways to attract, hire and retain workers.

Employees in today’s job market have choices. And that means organizations have to do more to attract, recruit and retain their top talent.

Though salaries remained practically stagnant in most of 2017, earnings will go up in 2018 and benefits will continue to help companies differentiate their compensation packages.

Health benefits are among some of the most popular with workers, and some organizations are thinking beyond insurance to include gym memberships, health coaches, and even in-office snacks and meals.

But competitive benefits don’t necessarily require big budgets to be competitive. Flexible schedules remain incredibly popular with employees of all generations and can provide a big return at a low cost. Leaders do, however, need to ensure their staff has the right tools and procedures in place to make remote work productive and efficient.

Continuous Learning

There doesn’t seem to be an industry that hasn’t been affected in some way by the influx of technology and automation. In order to meet the continuing demand for a more tech-savvy workforce, leaders need to invest in training and learning opportunities for employees at all levels.

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Once seen as just a requirement for skill development, continuous learning also is becoming an expectation for workers who are constantly looking for new challenges and opportunities for growth. Employees who don’t feel they are developing new skills are likely to seek those challenges elsewhere.

Filling Talent Gaps

As organizations find it harder to hire workers for specialized roles, many are taking new approaches to filling gaps in talent. Companies across the world are growing their investment in contingent workers and that trend will continue in the years to come.

In fact, some studies report freelance workers may make up 50 percent of the workforce by the end of 2018. The flexibility of a contingent workforce allows organizations to add the specialized talents they need for a specific project or timeframe.

As a result of low unemployment rates and fewer job applicants, organizations also are actively recruiting populations of workers that were once overlooked. In some companies, a criminal record is no longer an immediate disqualification for employment and others are reducing or even eliminating drug-testing requirements.

Hiring Differently

The days of placing a hiring ad and waiting for resumes to pour in are behind us—at least for the foreseeable future. Hiring managers now know they have to always be on the lookout for talent, even when they aren’t hiring for a specific position.

When they are trying to fill an opening, we’re seeing more organizations craft job descriptions that might attract a wider slate of candidates. Rather than including a long list of requirements that might scare away potentially strong recruits, hiring managers are opting for more succinct job summaries that focus on the goals and opportunities of the position. This allows organizations to hire more for potential than simply on past experience and, in turn, this brings more diverse thinking and skill sets to the company.

We’re also seeing more organizations incorporate assessments into the hiring process to ensure a good cultural fit. The right assessments also can help add more diversity to a team by eliminating potential biases in the early stages of the recruiting and hiring processes.

In short, change is constant in any organization, and today’s leaders have to work harder than ever to stay ahead. By focusing on attracting, recruiting, and retaining the best talent, they will find themselves prepared for the workplace for the future.

Andrew W. Mitchell, Managing Editor

Contributed by Tom Gilman, managing partner & CEO of Gilman Partners, a leading executive search firm serving clients throughout the Midwest. Gilman Partners serves as talent advisors helping organizations maximize their business performance by identifying, developing and retaining current and future leaders.

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