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Is the New World of Work all talk and no trousers?

Is the New World of Work all talk and no trousers?

As an organisation that prides itself on embracing change and helping organisations to innovate in a world of disruption and uncertainty, we spend a lot of time talking about the New World of Work and the opportunities that come along with it.

In a nutshell, the New World of Work can (arguably) be defined by a series of challenges facing modern organisations:

Business model disruption – the impact digital technology is having on business transformation and change.
Managing a multi-generational workforce – today’s workforce is made up of five different generations, all with contrasting attitudes and expectations regarding work.
Talent retention – holding onto key talent has become just as significant as attracting fresh talent, particularly when it comes to younger workers
Culture – creating an agile and collaborative organisational culture is crucial for talent retention and engagement, with a defined internal and external purpose at the heart
Brexit – organisations will face a number of challenges in the next few years as a result of Brexit, although no one can accurately identify what these challenges will be
Flatter structures - the dissolution of traditional structures, teams and functions to create flatter, more collaborative work environments
Diversity – including diversity and inclusion initiatives into core company-wide objectives is key to creating a more inclusive and encouraging work environment that fully engages team members from all backgrounds
The Gig Economy & freelance working – the number of workers choosing freelance or contract roles is growing rapidly, transforming the traditional team structure

While these challenges present a number of very real threats to organisations, they also present some exciting opportunities to innovate and grow.

Embracing change in an era of disruption

In a recent thought-leadership piece, Bersin by Deloitte’s Principal and Founder, Josh Bersin, outlined a similar set of challenges taking place across the learning and development market.

Up until recently, the corporate training market has managed courses in a traditional academic style - employees sign up for a course and follow it through to completion. But as Bersin pointed out: “We just don’t live this way anymore.” 

With an unparalleled amount of learning resources at our fingertips, from videos and reports through to online tutorials, employees have become accustomed to teaching themselves new skills online.

Instead of fighting against the times, there are a number of new platforms offering learning solutions in a similar style to Netflix or Amazon Video, where viewers can search by categories or genres, and watch content with functions like “most popular” or “recommended for you.”

By creating a user-friendly interface that fits in with the current behaviour and expectations of modern workers, the learning and development sector can add real value to employees.

And the same goes for the workplace in general - as professionals, our attitudes towards the workplace have changed dramatically from a decade ago. We want to work for organisations that embrace change – from flatter structures and flexible working, through to fast-paced growth opportunities and collaborative, inclusive work cultures.

Recruiting for the New World of Work

As an industry, there is a huge opportunity to innovate and add value to the recruitment process in a way that supports and overcomes the aforementioned organisational challenges.

In-house teams and outsourced solutions have the ability to bring about highly-effective and desirable results, but there is still a heavy reliance within certain sectors on traditional recruitment models, which subsequently results in a lack of partnerships between customer and supplier, low engagement in the process and commoditised pricing models.

To provide an example, I recently met with an organisation in the middle of a large-scale transformation process that will have a significant impact on their overall business model and their entire workforce. After assessing their circumstances, I suggested our full value-added service alongside our assessment tools such as PULSE and PULSE MINDSET™, a highly effective tool for talent selection, assessment and development, whilst simultaneously assessing their leadership model and structure to ensure strategies were aligned. This approach would have enabled them to look at new ways of talent attraction and retention that would have equipped them with a much more engaged and dedicated team in the long run. 

Unfortunately, the time, commitment, investment and change of thinking was deemed too great of a challenge by the organisation. Instead, they would have preferred a quick fix solution – which wasn’t something we could wholeheartedly sign up to, so we didn’t. 

This just goes to show that many organisations view the set of new world challenges ahead with a survival-mode mindset rather than as an opportunity to innovate – making even the smallest of steps a high hurdle. 

The challenges we face will either make us or destroy us as organisations, regardless of our industry or area of expertise. 

As an organisational leader, it is my responsibility to consider all the challenges of the New World of Work, but I am also deeply committed to supporting our customers with forward-thinking, relevant services. 

So, maybe it is time we all look at recruitment in a slightly different way?

If you are equally as committed to finding innovative and effective ways to maximise your talent solutions strategies and want to find out more, read our New World of Work executive briefing, or ask for a copy of our capability offering to see what support we may be able to provide you.

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