The much touted Hiring Surge of 2021 has been tempered due to the ongoing uncertainty of the global pandemic and the unpredictability of our workplace practices as we once knew them.
However, while many professionals (rightfully) view this continuing upheaval as unsettling, others are identifying opportunities for meaningful change. As Andy Grove, the famed founder and former CEO of Intel stated in his landmark book Only the Paranoid Survive: How to Exploit the Crisis Points That Challenge Every Company: “Bad companies are destroyed by crisis, good companies survive them, great companies are improved by them.”
The Great Reshuffle
While employers may be rethinking how they want to work, employees are largely rethinking where they want to work.
The rise of remote work has revealed that the nation’s workplaces were ripe for re-evaluation. In March of this year, Boston Consulting Group found that 89 percent of workers expect to remain remote even after the current crisis ends.
The benefits of remote work have been repeatedly proven; remote workers regularly report better job satisfaction and higher engagement, which in turn leads to better productivity and retention rates.
The Anywhere Economy
The world’s move to hybrid or completely remote models opens up the talent pool for employers of all sizes, anywhere across the globe. This transformation, along with the slowly improving economy, has greatly amplified the number of opportunities and qualified candidates available to companies looking to hire.
A distributed workforce means employees can work from anywhere, removing the barriers of sourcing employees who live near a centralized office location. Long before COVID-19 entered our lives, globalization and advancements in workplace technologies had begun to drive a steady rise in remote workforce numbers; in fact Tech Republic reported the number of remote workers rose by 159% between 2005 and 2017 and has been growing exponentially ever since.
The bottom line: Given the right conditions, employers and employees alike can be successful from any location.
Building a More Inclusive Workplace
The option to work remotely is not just good for employees. For employers, it can be a major step toward creating more inclusive organizations. When removing “ability to travel daily to an office” as a qualification for employment, companies can cast a much wider, more equitable hiring net.
Not only can employers now more seamlessly open their figurative doors to the best talent from around the world, organizations can also make meaningful contributions to creating more equitable workplaces.
Caregivers: People who have family-care responsibilities (the majority of whom are women) benefit greatly by the adaptability of remote work. We’ve heard the grim statistics: Women were disproportionately affected by the pandemic, leaving the workforce in record numbers because of caregiving challenges. A flexible work-from-home arrangement can alleviate these hardships, bringing women permanently back into the workforce.
Individuals with disabilities or mobility issues: The more than six million individuals in the US labor force with physical or mental disabilities are also greatly aided in their careers when commuting isn’t a daily factor; what may be an easy trip across town for some can pose a significant challenge for others.
At a time when we’re re-evaluating our work and how, where and why we conduct it, these considerations offer a significant opportunity to create more equity. We should embrace it.
Why the Employee Experience Matters
This particular moment in history is an inflection point where companies and workers can renew their “social contracts,” putting an emphasis on shared values for greater employee engagement, productivity, and retention, as well as building more diverse staffs and inclusive organizations for employers.
In a time of global uncertainty, businesses are looking ahead and embracing solutions that will make their teams and companies more resilient and competitive. The pandemic has taken businesses much farther down the road of workplace transformation than they might have otherwise come.
As executive search experts and industry specialists, the 20/20 Foresight Executive Search team inherently understands the complexities of hiring for today’s transformative workforce. We have the global reach and influence to connect your organization with the top talent in your industry — no matter where in the world they may be located.