The conversations surrounding the future of corporate America all seem to gravitate around one main theme: change. The digital age has catapulted multiple industries into paths that require faster technology, adaptable employees, and an entire paradigm shift concerning valuable skillsets. Automation and rapid-fire industrialization eliminates careers left and right as a fresh wave of job opportunities crest on the horizon. What characteristics define the employee of tomorrow and the future beyond?
Soft skills over hard skills
Managers need to rework their hiring strategy to emphasize the importance of soft and spongy skills over hard skills. Experience on the job is not the trump card it used to be, and now the ability to acquire and execute job tasks moves to the forefront of an applicant’s image rather than how long they have already worked. For example, many managers value adaptability over experience with a certain software. Adaptable employees can learn a new software, integrate the procedure that managers prefer, and settle into the pre-existing rhythm of the department with little fuss. Also, experience could do more harm than good if a new hire refuses to learn how to do something they have done before differently.
Expansive work history
Gone is the resume where the experience portion also follows a vertical progression in one industry. Tomorrow’s employees are expected to work an average 14 jobs over their lifetime as reported by the Bureau for Labor Statistics, a majority of which could end up in multiple industries and fields. The stigma that upwards movement remains the only way to succeed in the corporate world seems to be dissolving as younger college graduates enter the workforce. Leaders from all industries also rely on their employee retention rates as a standard of success. Yet, an article by Lindsay Pollack made the case the retention no longer stands as a meaningful statistic or goal for most companies.
Strong social awareness
Corporate culture acquired a taste for social justice and charity long ago for the benefits of their communities and their image. The next step will be implementing social awareness down to the individual workers by prioritizing volunteer work and donations in employment benefits packages. 30% of some of the youngest individuals entering the workforce today have said they would take a 10-20% pay cut to work for a mission they care about or a company that supports causes in need.
Transparency over closed doors
Tomorrow’s employees are surrounded by technology that makes knowledge more accessible both in and out of the workplace. Openness with knowledge and communication channels will be expected, encouraged, and sometimes demanded by the needs of certain departments in your organization.
Business operation models of the future enforce this openness and direct link of communication as well, such as SCRUM tactics and Agile Methodology.
Common software updates
The technology that drives the open communication mentioned before will most likely change and update much more regularly than the employees that use them. The messaging forum within the office could switch to mobile phone apps and website chat windows, the procedures involving the open communication will evolve, and this in turn will force the communication itself to evolve between employees and superior officers. Tomorrow’s employees will either expect this or catch up when it inevitably happens within their team. Those with the individual skills that run on the commotion instead of stumble will rise above the others.
With innovation becoming a common occurrence, future employees will have to face a new standard of skills, experience, and expectations. While the titles and responsibilities evolve, the workers might stay the same. There will soon be five different generations operating within the office, the largest time span to be represented ever. Maneuvering your personnel to optimum proficiency might result in the creation of new jobs and the dissolution of others. Tomorrow’s employees face a new environment to excel within or fall behind.
Tammy Cohen, an industry pioneer and expert in identity and employment screening, founded InfoMart over 27 years ago. Deemed the “Queen of Screen,” she’s been a force behind industry-leading innovations. She was most recently the first-to-market with a fully compliant sanctions search, as well as a suite of identity services that modernizes talent onboarding. Tammy revolutionized the screening industry when she stepped into the field, developing the first client-facing application and a due diligence criminal search that has since become standard for all background screening companies. Cohen has received national awards and honors for her business and civic involvement, including Atlanta Business Chronicle’s Top 25 Women-Owned Firms in Atlanta, Enterprising Women Magazine’s Enterprising Women of the Year award, the YWCA of Northwest Georgia’s Kathryn Woods Racial Justice Award, and a commendation in the 152nd Congressional Record. To learn more about Tammy, visit www.tammycohen.com.
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