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These Are the 3 Biggest Trends in Workforce Innovation

Keeping up with the changing world requires constant innovation — and this includes hiring. Evolving technology, the shifting generational makeup of the workforce, and a candidate-centric market[...]

February 18, 2020

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A Look Ahead for 2016

Peeking Back, Looking Forward

At Zenith Talent, 2015 was busier than ever. We spent our year seeking out the new wrinkles in contingent workforce dynamics, focusing on emerging recruiting innovations, exploring the expanding intelligence of business technologies, and immersing ourselves in the power of the Human Talent Cloud, which is taking shape before us in this dynamic entrepreneurial economy. And all of these developments represent integral elements of our pioneering Crowdstaffing brand, which we officially launched this month.

We’re excited to announce the transition to Crowdstaffing, a vision we’ve nurtured for years. Yet realizing this goal isn’t the end of a journey — it marks the beginning of new adventures, new ideas, new ways of developing talent, and a fresh canvas on which to paint an evolving image of how each of us can participate in the creation of our ideal societies. We invite you follow us on this bold path, and I believe 2016 is the perfect time to embark. When I glimpse back at the dramatic changes and innovations that defined this year, it seems clearer to me that I’m really looking ahead toward a grander future whose foundations were laid in 2015.

The Year That Was Shows Us a Future That Will Be

Interconnectivity between people and countries flourished in 2015, bringing heightened awareness of diversity and adaptability to the forefront of business, while bolstering the need for cross-cultural competency and virtual collaboration. This trend can only grow. And it will be particularly critical as we approach a new decade, because we’ll be experiencing a historic demographic shift around the globe. Just as the workforce won’t be defined by a predominant race, gender, ethnicity or country, it also won’t be defined by one or two age brackets. Work will be undertaken in concert by a variety of talent across all points of the generational spectrum: Boomers, Gen X, Millennials and Generation Z. The reasons for this underscore two of the standout topics that will mark 2016: advances in technology and health.

In the United States alone, the aging population is becoming the biggest demographic. People 65 and older will soon make up a substantial share of U.S. society, and most will remain vibrant, active members of the economy. Medical advances in a number of areas have accelerated at unprecedented rates, allowing people to enjoy longer, healthier lives. Those breakthroughs include more efficient and permanent treatments for chronic diseases, less invasive surgeries, mobile care, pharmaceutical innovations and much more. For even older individuals, greater longevity is spurring a boom in home-based health care, senior living centers and other services that support aging members of society.

Of course, few of these developments could have been made possible without pioneering achievements in technology. It’s no wonder health and IT professions are projected to be the fastest growing fields over the next 20 years.

The future will see a truly global, unified and connected planet, enabled by the advances and social nature of technology. It’s not a cliché; the Internet really did change everything, in the same way the steam engine did. In both cases, these inventions gave rise to systems that connected disparate and isolated regions of the world, enabled commerce, created the need for new kinds of talent, and pushed the boundaries of work to greater levels of geographic and philosophical mobility.

The amazing thing about these disruptive technologies — and the digitally enabled socialization they foster — is that they’re creating a catalyst toward embracing the value of human experiences and community; relationships. Consider our own industry. Talent management is no longer a process; it’s transforming into employee experience — a series of ongoing, enterprise-wide relationships and interactions that begin at the first day of work and build with every conversation, project, task and assignment. Technologies are helping to make this possible, allowing for borderless societies and workplaces. Outside the office, they’re strengthening human experiences, evident in the rise of eco-communities, online education, clean energy, lifestyle technologies, more informed decisions through data, and beyond.

Business models are now truly multinational. They continue to evolve into super-structured enterprises where social technologies inspire new forms of production and value generation. Staffing firms and MSPs are also transforming, utilizing their recruitment and sourcing skills to curate the job marketplace, taking a more active role in developing talent relationships and mentoring teams — not just filling headcounts. The future workforce emphasizes a spirit of both solidarity and independence, where businesses will reach new heights of productivity with talent who share and drive the values of entrepreneurialism, scalability, agility and a pioneering attitude toward new frontiers of commerce.

The Future Begins in 2016

With all these concepts in mind, let’s take a look at the talent trends we’re likely to encounter in the new year.

  • Relationships will form the core of all recruiting, staffing and talent management efforts.
  • Given the demand for skilled workers, many of whom are passive candidates, socialized recruitment marketing and branding will be instrumental in courting this talent — again demonstrating the vital role that relationships and engagement will play.
  • As humans and computers grow more connected, it will be important to consider the implications of the data we rely on, and adopt ethical standards for use and privacy.
  • By 2020, 25 billion devices will be producing and delivering information on any subject imaginable. Yet making sense of all this data will be the challenge to overcome. Those companies that commit to analyzing and synthesizing their data (not just collecting it) will speed up, streamline and simplify the hiring process. They’ll also surpass their competitors in offering exemplary employment experiences, cultures and brands.
  • Advances in wearable technologies are creating “ambient user experiences,” where sensors and devices are becoming intelligent enough to organize our lives, help us better identify aspirations and requirements, keep us safer, and promote health and wellbeing.
  • We’re going to see more transparency in health tools, allowing for “comparison shopping” through greater access to the costs and care metrics of available health plans. Talent will become empowered by their employers to make more educated and personalized decisions about the care they receive and from whom.
  • As health shifts toward consumer-driven plans, we’ll also witness the growth of voluntary benefits at negotiated group rates, telemedicine and onsite medical clinics as more attractive and cost-effective options for organizations.
  • Financial wellness will begin to shape evolving benefits options in 2016 as more companies seek to engage workers through robust benefits over high salaries.
  • Digital technologies will lead recruitment efforts through social media, virtual job fairs, online staffing and crowd-based sourcing techniques. And success will come to those who use technology in a way that enhances the candidate experience, builds relevant relationships and fosters meaningful interactions.
  • Hiring managers, procurement teams and HR leaders are under mounting pressure to consolidate their labor costs and supplier pools while placing highly skilled talent that integrate well with client employment cultures. As a result, MSP and VMS solutions will continue their growth trends into 2016 and beyond, which naturally coincides with the complexities of the modern workforce: the ongoing introduction of new labor categories, an increasingly diverse and blended workforce, emerging regulations and compliance standards, and the need for people analytics to improve business intelligence.

Join Us in 2016

We are incredibly excited to see the dawn of the new year, along with the countless opportunities that await us — as professionals, as individuals, as colleagues and friends. I’ll be speaking at the February 2016 VMSA Live event in Florida, and I would love to meet with you for an engaging conversation about all these topics and more. The future of our industry and economy will be determined together, through open dialog and relationships. From everyone here at Zenith Talent and Crowdstaffing, we thank you for a wonderful 2015 and look forward to a mutually prosperous New Year!

Sunil Bagai
Sunil Bagai
Sunil is a Silicon Valley entrepreneur, thought leader and influencer who is transforming the way companies think about and acquire talent. Blending vision, technology and business skills honed in the most innovative corporate environments, he has launched a new model for recruitment called Crowdstaffing which is being tapped successfully top global brands. Sunil is passionate about building a company that provides value to the complete staffing ecosystem including clients, candidates and recruiters.
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