5 Macroeconomic Trends in the Coming Decade: How Will the Workforce be Impacted?

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Workplace TrendsThe success or failure of every organization depends entirely upon the people that make up that organization. The technology a company has, its products, its innovative processes – all of them are meaningless unless the company also recruits dedicated talent that is able to effectively leverage those resources towards attaining a competitive advantage within a market.

For this reason, human resources (HR) might well be viewed as the cornerstone of an organization’s strategic operations; as the department that is responsible for finding and recruiting talent, the ultimate success of the organization is dependent upon HR to a large extent. However, in order for HR to effectively do its job, an organization must have the proper view of the contemporary workforce, and understand what needs to be done to attract and retain the most devoted talent that will carry the company into the future.

The following are five major macroeconomic trends that are going to play out within the workforce  within the next decade; by being aware of these trends and shifting one’s talent recruitment strategies to work in coordination with them, an organization stands a better chance of taking on the talent it requires to succeed.

Say Goodbye to the Eight Hour Workday

One of the most critical changes in the contemporary workforce is the view that young workers have regarding how work is to be done. The eight hour workday is quickly becoming a thing of the past, as more and more young workers are growing up with access to telecommuting and e-commuting technologies. By working to be flexible with regards to how work is done, an organization can appeal to the most creative and original talent out there.

Benefits are More Important than Ever

Recent economic trends are dire; on this, most everyone agrees. Unfortunately, if these trends continue, the future may well see something like the total dissolution of the middle class. When this happens, it will change how workers retire completely. Unable to save money via private means, workers are now much more dependent upon resources like 401k’s and benefits, and the most competitive talent out there will hold out for the organizations that demonstrate a real desire to see them taken care of.

People Run a Company, Not Jobs

The current generation of workers is one that has fully embraced the values of diversity and humanism. As such, HR must come to realize that talent recruitment in the future will be centered on people rather than positions. Recruitment professionals will be called upon to identify candidates that have the right kind of personality and attitude to fit within the company’s culture, factors that are at least as important, if not more important, than specific abilities and competencies. It goes without saying that by focusing on making people happy, an organization can foster greater loyalty and commitment without undermining the company’s strategic goals.

A New View of Leadership

Young workers tend to have a different view of leadership than previous generations. They may well resent top-down authority structures and hierarchical management styles, preferring instead to be granted a degree of autonomy (as well as accountability, of course) to do their job in the way they want to, as long as that way is in keeping with the organization’s culture and mission. As such, transformational leadership qualities will be of the utmost importance for those in managerial or executive positions.

Let’s Get Real…

Today’s workers may well be socially active, but they’re not quite the idealists that their parents were. They’ve seen the collapse of the economy; they know how easy it is to get laid off. Therefore, they’re skeptical about promises of what an organization can offer them “in the future”. The most talented individuals will demand a higher starting salary in exchange for promises of future raises and promotions, and if a company is unwilling to offer it, they’ll be inclined to seek it out elsewhere.

By Marie Larsen