Playing by New Rules

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With the Baby Boomers retiring and new graduates more at home with a cell phone than a desktop computer, things in the workplace are going to change and change fast. Recruiters are going to have to change their way of thinking about what skills, knowledge and attitudes make the best employees. 

Things that were basic, like coming to work on time, keeping personal calls to a minimum and not using the company Internet and PCs for personal use are going the way of desktop computers and fax machines.  The new breed of worker doesn’t have time or feel the need for two hour meetings. They also don’t have the attention span to focus for that long. Growing up with MTV, 30-second sound bites and video games, they want information fast, customized and at the click of a mouse or text message. 

New workplace trends will demand change and adaptation from all levels in the organization. Recruiters should pay attention to workplace trends, like those featured in business publications like Forbes, in order to find the right individuals who can fit in and function in tomorrow’s workplace.

Move over for the Millennials. Just like the Boomers took over from the Veterans, the Millennials, are ready to move into the Boomer’s offices. More likely, they will tear down the cubicle walls and reorganize in large open spaces with meeting spaces large enough for comfortable seating, great WiFi and games to help relax and stimulate creative thinking. Recruiters should be looking for candidates who are flexible and don’t need the prestige or privacy of a dedicated office space. 

Many companies will follow Aetna’s lead, and allow more employees to work from home. This arrangement allows for the flexibility employees want, lower commute time, and will save the company money as well. Aetna estimates a savings of between 15 percent and 25 percent of real estate costs, or $80 million. Employees who work from home have to have a great work ethic and discipline to deliver the goods while working with little or no supervision. 

Companies will shift from employees to intrepreneurs and freelancers. The huge cost of salary and benefits drives up overhead. Companies can save money by hiring freelancers, who can contract per project instead of pulling in a regular salary and benefits. Freelancers often work for more than one client, which means there is negotiation on price. Intrepreneurs are employees who are encouraged to innovate and create within the company. Employees can develop new products or systems while the company retains the rights to the intellectual property, creating a win for both parties.

Companies who bring in freelancers and contractors have the perfect opportunity to “test-drive” their next employees. No need to pay a temp agency a high fee to hire a great temp. Employers can also save the high cost of a bad hire that leaves after a short period of time. Hiring from within will take on a new meaning as the workplace is filled with a mix of different types of workers. Without an employment contract or status as an employee, workers and employers can focus more on the work instead of how well people get along. 

New trends pose different workplace challenges and a different type of employee. It will take time and effort to understand the new requirements and time to change old recruiting habits to match the new needs. 


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