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The Scoop: Recruitment Trends & Industry Insights | May 2022

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Here is your May guide to the latest trends impacting the world of work. Every month, we provide perspective on the biggest news affecting the industry and explain what to expect as new trends continue to emerge.

WILL UNILEVER’S AND EY’S TALENT EXCHANGE PROGRAM BE A CRITICAL COMPONENT IN THE FUTURE OF WORK?

The talent supply and demand challenges employers currently face do not appear to be easing any time soon. Employers are having to find creative ways to expand their reach and broaden their talent pools to ensure future business success.

Unilever’s Talent Exchange program in South Africa, now in its tenth cycle, is a great example of such innovation in the future of work. Recently partnering with EY, the goal of the program is to provide exposure and learning to each other’s business that they wouldn’t normally have access to. Colleagues from each business get to pitch to be selected for the program and if successful, swap employers for the duration. They get to share their knowledge and experience gained in a different business in exchange for knowledge they can take back to their own employer, while at the same time providing unique and diverse career development opportunities to employees without the need to change jobs and/or employers.

The benefits of the Talent Exchange program are multi-faceted:

  • Drives an open talent economy by building a boundaryless organization.
  • A cost-effective way to learn, share and gain knowledge, skills and experiences with other organizations.
  • Enhances the development of people by acquiring skills and bringing diverse thinking that would not normally have been gained.
  • An innovative and unique career development offering that can strengthen each organizations’ employer brand.
  • Unlocks mutual business benefits through shared learnings gained by employees working in different sectors that can improve and open potential new business opportunities.

Gaining new and diverse experiences is a key career development ambition for much of today’s talent. A similar approach to Unilever’s and EY’s Talent Exchange could be a way for employers to not only attract critical talent, but more importantly retain them.

This insight was obtained in an interview between Unilever South Africa and Radancy.

DOES THE FUTURE OF WORK INCLUDE JOB STRUCTURES AS WE KNOW THEM TODAY?

Not according to future of work and organizational effectiveness experts, Ravin Jesuthasan and John Boudreau, who are proponents of “a new work operating system built on deconstructed work and organizational agility.” 

In a recent MIT Sloan Management Review webinar; ‘Imagining Work Without Jobs’, Jesuthasan and Boudreau discuss how “this new system must enable leaders and workers to increasingly – and continually – deconstruct jobs into more granular units such as tasks, and that it must identify and deploy workers based on their skills and capabilities, not their job descriptions.”

Jesuthasan and Boudreau also share their seven elements of the new work operating system, underpinned by four core design principles; focusing on the work itself (rather than job descriptions), an optimal combination of humans and automation, the importance of considering the full array of employment types and allowing talent to ‘flow to work.’

Jesuthasan’s and Boudreau’s seven elements of the new ‘work without jobs’ operating system

As the majority of talent acquisition teams may continue to find it difficult to fill many of their vacancies, deconstructing jobs into projects and tasks, as outlined by Jesuthasan and Boudreau, could be the mid- to long-term answer. Not a change that can be performed overnight, but is very much something that could help with the skill and talent supply shortages we see now and will continue to see in the future.

Further reading from Jesuthasan and Boudreau / MIT Sloan Management Review:

Released in March 2022, Microsoft’s annual work trends index analyzed in-depth research from 31,000 people in 31 countries, together with trillions of productivity data points from Microsoft 365 and labor trends data on LinkedIn.

The key findings were that:

  1. Employees have a new “worth it” equation – people are now more likely to prioritize health and well-being than work.
  2. Managers feel torn between leadership and employee expectations, especially when it comes to in-office vs hybrid working arrangements.
  3. Leaders need to make the office worth the commute and design workplaces with enough flexibility to support every employee.
  4. Flexible work doesn’t have to mean “always on.” The working day has lengthened with increasing ‘after hours’ work, but for some the working day might ebb and flow.
  5. Rebuilding social capital looks different in a hybrid world. 43% of leaders say relationship-building is the greatest challenge in remote and hybrid work.

Lobbying leadership and changing organizational culture can take time, but some quick wins for talent acquisition teams are to ensure the employer’s position on the above (whether current state or planned near-future-state) is communicated at all candidate touchpoints, such as the careers website and social channels, to ensure well-informed prospective candidates.

Learn more by downloading Microsoft’s 2022 Work Trend Index Report

EMPLOYEES ARE READY TO USE THE METAVERSE AT WORK. BUT ARE EMPLOYERS READY?

Virtual reality and the metaverse are filled with the promise and excitement of revolutionizing remote working, employee collaboration, productivity and learning experiences that together could completely redefine work as we know it. But are employees and employers ready?

Lenovo, who plan to invest over $15 billion in the metaverse in the next five years, together with YouGov, conducted research earlier this year that revealed “close to half of employees are willing to embrace a metaverse workplace.” However, the survey of 7,500 working adults from the US, UK, Brazil, Singapore, China and Japan, also found that 43% do not think their employers have the knowledge or expertise to enable them to work in the ‘metaverse of the future.’

The metaverse provides an exciting opportunity for enhancing the employee experience and is filled with endless possibilities for talent acquisition teams to revolutionize employer branding and the candidate experience. However, it is still very much in its infancy when it comes to employer/employee usage, and considerations must be made to critical success factors such as democratization of access, data privacy and accessibility, let alone how the metaverse will actually be harnessed by employers.

Source: Lenovo, ‘Enterprise Metaverse: Employees Are Ready, Can Organizations Deliver?’

If you would like to discuss any of the above content with Radancy’s Labs team, please feel free to connect directly with Nathan Perrott on LinkedIn or contact Radancy via our website.

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