5 Workplace Predictions from 2016 That Actually Came True

Every year, numerous blogs predict what might happen in the new year – in terms of hiring, employee retention and workplace dynamics.  However, here at Snelling, we figured we would take a different tact and talk about 5 workplace predictions from 2016 that actually came true.  In addition, we will provide some advice on what you can do to take advantage of these.

The mainstream acceptance and recruitment of boomerang employees.

A boomerang employee is someone who leaves a company only to return later – whether that be years or decades. The decisions to return are many. Mothers / fathers returning to the workforce, better compensation, realizing that the grass is truly not greener on the other side, etc.

Most companies had policies against hiring boomerang employees, but now over ¾ of companies say they are more accepting of the practice.  The benefit to employers is that “boomerangers” already know the company culture, are productive much quicker, and bring a new, fresh perspective with them.

Therefore, when (not “if”) key talent leaves your company, do not cut ties. Keep in touch. Create a LinkedIn group or a Facebook group so you and your former employees can stay connected.

The leadership gap is shifting away from Boomers and towards Gen X

Baby boomers are retiring in record numbers – about 10,000 every single day. Gen X workers are moving into the executive suite and over a quarter of Millennials are backfilling the managerial ranks. Succession planning is now mandatory for all companies as they look for qualified candidates to fill a high number of leadership roles. Gen Xers are not expected to surpass Boomers in numbers until 2028, and, even though the size of the millennial generation edged past Boomers in 2016, they are still young and most are not quite ready to run a Fortune 500 company.

Therefore, many companies are looking to hire back some boomers as consultants, temporary and/or part-time workers or advisors / mentors to current executives as well as new or upcoming leaders. And boomers seem to be responding. A recent Gallup poll shows that the percentage of boomers working part time moved up from about 10% among those in their 50s, to 15% among boomers who are 68.

Workplace flexibility is now officially a HUGE focal point.

Never mind the studies. Just look at Megyn Kelley and the contract she negotiated with NBC. It was not focused on money – although there was a lot of money involved – but on work / life balance.  Ms. Kelley turned down millions of dollars from Fox News to go to work for NBC because of a work schedule that will allow her to see her kids in the morning before school and have dinner with her husband and children.

But the need for flexibility does not just apply to well-known reporters. Studies have found that today’s workers are worn out. Our workweek has inched up to 47 hours a week, and with technology, there is a huge expectation that workers need to be reachable after work hours.

It has hit a breaking point, as Ms. Kelley showed us. Now, employees are more than willing to switch employers IF they are able to have flexibility. Technology works both ways. Besides 24×7 access, it enables telecommuting, flex cubes (or “hoteling”) and / or the ability to work where and when it is needed.

Unique Benefits Emerge as a Competitive Advantage

In many industries and for many professions, the tide has switched. Talent is hard to find, and is forcing many companies to devise innovative benefit packages….packages that go way beyond pool tables, gelato bars and on-site dry cleaners.

Again, salary is important – people have to live – but time is proving to be a limited resource for many people. In addition, the cost of college / graduate school has skyrocketed in the last decade and (for many jobs) it is a must-have requirement. Therefore, many companies are devising benefits that appeal to as wide of an audience as possible, including unlimited PTO, student loan repayment programs, expanded parental leave, as well as expanded medical benefits to cover a wide variety of domestic unions and care-giving situations.

HR Will Look to Improve the Candidate Experience

Organizations have to make it easy for candidates to apply for open positions. Thanks to online search engines, 2 hour delivery services, video streaming services, etc., today’s candidates are used to applying online (many times on mobile devices) and receiving instant feedback. If we can get groceries delivered to us in 2 hours, why should be not receive feedback on our job application as quickly as possible?

Therefore, companies that fail to keep in touch with candidates, only offer exasperatingly tedious application processes, and make applicants endure a lengthy hiring process will turn candidates away in droves.

Every single touch point (or lack of a touch point) with the candidate – either online, via text / email / phone, or in-person – reflects on the company and its culture. This goes for how you extend an offer and how you reject a particular candidate. High-value talent pays attention, and they are not averse to letting their peers know about their experiences via online sites like Glassdoor.com. If you do not update, the quality of candidates knocking on your door will decrease.

So if you are feeling that you might be a wee bit behind the “8 ball” this upcoming year, Snelling is here to help.  We have been matching candidates with companies for over 60 years; we know what trends have staying power and what will give you the biggest bang for your buck. So if you are looking to fill key positions in 2017, contact us today.  Let’s get started.