We’re living in unique times and we don’t really know what the future holds for our businesses, do we? What is clear is that things have fundamentally changed for the short, and medium term and we need to figure out a way to adapt.
So here are my thoughts (from 28 years of recruiting for the technology sector) on some shifts that will be with us and that need to be addressed by every one of the technology firms out there, no matter how large or small and no matter the niche that they live in.
- Remote work is here to stay. The trend is inexorable and demands careful consideration and adjustments around hiring, retention, performance etc.
- Hiring people who are remote-enabled, and who thrive in that environment, needs to be addressed. Some people work better than others in this distanced world. Some managers manage better. We need to consider assessments and interviewing processes to uncover those skills.
- Diversity is clearly a sore point within the industry. It misses out on new insights and perspectives, to our common detriment. With the move to remote working, your pool of diverse candidates suddenly becomes significantly larger and is an opportunity to consider.
- Workplace physical design will fundamentally change. The days of cutting costs by placing as many people as you can into as small a space as possible is no longer. People will not stand for it, and for good reason. Air flow and distancing will be with us for the foreseeable future and need to be addressed.
- Internal career coaches will become more prevalent. Historically they focused only on leadership. They will become excellent supporters of teams and individual workers and will provide a real boost to people’s productivity.
- Effective delegation of work is critical in a remote working environment. Your managers need to become better at this. Some may be more capable than others.
- The cost of living for tech workers who work remotely will need to be considered when dealing with salaries. Those in higher cost areas may get higher salaries, and vice versa.
- A focus on outcomes versus bytes of work produced will become more important, as micro-managing and measuring employee inputs is not nearly as effective when at a distance. This requires working through the details and moving people towards ‘forward metrics’.
Change is in the air. Seeing around the corner at how to best adapt is our universal challenge.