5 Trends to Keep in Mind When Hiring for the Future

healthy culture

The Great Resignation is upon us and the workforce is changing. How can you create a healthy culture that attracts the best staff?

Of all the changes you’re facing as a leader right now, how to hire for the future is emerging as a significant one.

The Great Resignation is indeed happening, meaning you probably have vacancies—or soon will.

So how do you find (and keep) a team that can do what you need them to do well?

As a result of the Great Resignation, employees will be asking for more. Jobs are not in short supply. Amazing staff are.

This puts the people you’re trying to hire in the driver’s seat. So, what should you expect as you look for amazing new employees?

As an employer, here are five future staffing trends to look for as you hire your next team members.

The trends focus on young leaders in particular, because millennials and Gen Z now comprise the entire workforce under age 40, and in the digital age their skill sets are more important than ever.

Most of these trends are counterintuitive, but will likely define the great workplaces and teams of the future.

1. Your Future Staff Expect You to Work for Them.

There was a day when employers could say to their team members, “Just be grateful you have a job.”

While that’s no longer the day we live in, too many bosses haven’t realized that the culture has changed.

In many ways, power has shifted from the employer to the employee.

Sure, that might sound strange, but hang on and try to get into their headspace for a minute.

First, any younger leader realizes they will likely not work for the same organization for 40 years and retire. Not only are the pension plans of the ’60s and ’70s long gone, but the workforce changes so quickly that most younger leaders expect to have multiple careers throughout their life, not just multiple jobs in different organizations.

What this means is that most young leaders have subconsciously realized they have to create a life plan that’s independent of any employer or organization.

This means that as a leader, manager or boss, you need to come alongside them and help them realize their objectives. It’s almost as though you work for them. 

That might seem counterintuitive or even offensive to older style leaders, but at the heart of it is servant leadership.

As Zig Ziglar said, “You will get all you want in life if you help enough other people get what they want.”

If you see your team’s personal objectives as competing with your objectives, you’ll lose them.

Here’s the bottom line with young leaders: If you help them win, you’ll both win. If you merely want them to help you win, you’ll lose.

2. Your Staff Will Show You Diminished Loyalty.

As hinted already, diminished loyalty is another reality every employer now faces.

Technology has made it easy to find new jobs, interview at new places, determine salary ranges, compare benefits and show every team member that they have quite a few options.

The more talented the team member, the more real that dynamic.

If it doesn’t work out with you, they have 100 other options at their fingertips, or they’ll start something themselves.

Young leaders realize they can start their own venture far easier than people could a decade or two ago.  It used to cost millions to launch a company. Now, depending on your industry, you can launch something on a Saturday morning for about the price of a phone.

Given the start-up culture we live in, more leaders are willing to try striking out on their own than ever.

The next three staffing trends, by the way, will help you increase loyalty.

3. Healthy Cultures Will Attract: Anemic or Toxic Cultures Will Send People Packing.

The necessity for healthier workplaces was voiced over a decade ago as millennials left college and stepped into the workplace.

Gen Z is now following suit and their tolerance for bad office culture seems to be even lower.

The way you treat people in the future may be just as important as what you pay them. No salary is big enough to compensate for making you feel miserable.

And a high salary is hardly enough to compensate for making you feel bored.

Bad culture fits into two categories—anemic and toxic.

An anemic culture is simply a boring one—the kind of organization in which everyone is going through the motions or simply following procedure.

The work continues but the passion is gone.

Millennials and Gen Z are looking for something significant to do with their lives and top-notch people to do it with.

Anemic cultures won’t cut it.

Neither will toxic cultures.

While sexual safety, dignity and integrity at work are a given, the toxic culture problem runs deeper than just sex.

Arrogant leadership, selfish manipulation, office politics, gossip and deceptive maneuvering have killed far more cultures and harmed more people than you can count.

A refusal to put up with anemic or toxic cultures actually isn’t a bad thing—it’s refreshing.

Your culture is quickly becoming the main way you attract and keep the best people.

Great cultures will keep great people. Toxic cultures will expel them.

4. Talent Density: Stunning Co-Workers Will Be a Huge Draw.

Let’s shift to some more positive trends.

As I reflect on the years I spent leading a church, and as I’ve been staffing my company for the future, I’m convinced that talent density will give any organization a huge advantage in the future.

“Talent density” is a concept Netflix uses to describe what happens when you hire the best talent you can get. (I explore the concept with No Rules Rules co-author Erin Meyer here.)

The idea behind talent density is simple: Hiring better employees is far more effective than hiring more employees. Many organizations tend to overhire because they have mediocre staff.

Netflix relies heavily on software engineers and imported the “rock star” principle into its hiring to improve talent density.

The rock star principle contains the surprising insight that one stunning, highly talented rock star software engineer will be 10 times more effective than an average or adequate software engineer. Netflix makes the claim that this is statistically verified.

If you think back across your work life, you probably worked with someone who needed three to five people to replace her when she left. That team member was a rock star.

Obviously, when you hire fewer people you can pay them better.

Which leads us to the second principle Netflix learned: Mediocre or adequate staff bring the whole team down.

Their solution is that adequate performance gets you a generous severance package. In other words, release the adequate team members because having fewer, more highly talented and passionate staff is far superior to having a larger but merely adequate team. (Again, more on that here with Erin Meyer.)

While that might be hard for a lot of organizations to stomach, in the future one way to retain top talent is to have stunning co-workers.

It’s hard to leave for a mediocre team when you’re paid well to be on a highly gifted team with top talent making a big impact.

5. Young Leaders Will Show Up Ready to Fuel Your Mission.

You know the stereotype: Millennials want to change the world and believe they can do it. Early indicators are that Gen Z might be even more wired that way.

What this means though is that your mission is more important than ever.

Leaders who want to preserve the institution, pad the bottom line, or simply grow the organization will always struggle to attract and keep young leaders.

For the church, this should be easy. If you’re truly mission-driven (you want to reach people or impact your community), your ethos has an instant appeal to younger adults. But you have to keep the mission central.

If you’re in business, profit won’t be nearly the motivator that cause is. If you don’t know what your cause is, figure it out.

Similarly, you might think of yourself as a great leader people want to work with (Actually, that’s usually a sign you’re not a great leader.), but I promise you young leaders aren’t that impressed with you.

The best way to attract and keep young leaders is to work with them to accomplish a greater purpose.

Leaders, if the mission isn’t bigger than you, you need a new mission.

If you have a great mission, elevate it, rally your team around it and move into the future together.

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This article originally appeared on CareyNieuwhof.com and is reposted here by permission.