The fast pace of modern life requires a high degree of flexibility, courage and emotional intelligence from employers and employees alike. The result is a constant need to adapt to new market conditions, the development of new forms of collaboration and last but not least, the fusing of human intelligence with artificial intelligence. In short, we find ourselves in perpetual beta.
What opportunities and challenges does this present to employers and employees? What will the working world of the future look like? How do we want to work in the future and who will decide?
We want to explore these issues in more detail taking our inspiration from the motto of the exhibition Zukunft Personal Europe 2018: “work:olution – succeed in permanent beta”. With this in mind, we are calling all bloggers to take part in the blog carnival: “How to succeed in permanent beta?” #permanentbeta.
If you work for a single company for a long time, especially a large company, you’re probably familiar with the common workplace rituals that have developed which mark the beginning and the end of the employee life cycle. The welcome cards, the little speech when someone starts, the little mementos people buy for you when you start. Then there are the leaving parties, the speech on how great an asset someone has been and how sorry everyone is to see them leave, and the post-work trip to a local pub with a few of the people the person leaving became close to. Perhaps you’ve shed a few tears yourself or had others shed tears on your behalf after moving on from a company you grew attached to.
As negative as the actual experience of leaving a job can feel, losing people is an absolutely necessary part of the work ecosystem. People come and people go. It’s in the very nature of most forms of social human activity. Whether it’s a circle of friends, a royal lineage, a scientific project, a private company, or a public service, fresh blood is regularly introduced and others move to something new. It’s a vital part of how social structures adapt themselves to a changing world or try to influence the changes that occur around them. Without this exchange of people stagnation and weakness sets in.
Are employers caring for the mental wellbeing of their employees? If not, perhaps it’s time to reconsider well-being programmes and extending them from yoga classes and smoothie bars. Latest reports from the UK and Germany show, that the majority of sickness absence in organisations are motivated by psychological or mental health issues, rather than physical sickness. A 2017 study in Germany by the AOK, the federation of social security secretariats, has shown that out of 12.5 million employees that took a sick-leave following a life-event, 79% had to take time off work due to mental health and emotional problems. In the UK a staggering 70 million work days are lost each year due to mental health problems, costing employers approximately £2.4 billion per year.
Recruitment, one of the principle functions of HR, has become such a sophisticated and involved process that it is now handled mostly by specialist people who know the questions to ask and the qualifications that matter to the role. Whole businesses have proliferated, worth millions, which do nothing more than offer specialist recruitment services. The reason it is such a weighty topic is obvious – having the right people work for you will make the difference between success and failure.
There have been numerous articles written on recruiting in HR publications across Europe, and even more on the internet. Besides from some notable exceptions, few have impressed me. An overreliance on buzzwords and corporate phrasing (“Reach out and pick a dynamic candidate who’s core competency gives them an attitude of thinking outside the box, enabling them to synergise rapidly with your business ecosystem!”) might be good for grabbing the reader’s attention, but such articles do nothing to advance the readers actual knowledge of the topic. One of the problems is that a lot of these articles are simply stealthy advertisements with email addresses or clickbacks to recruitment agencies, so exist to sell the process as opposed to inform about it.
As someone has done a fair bit of recruiting, let me try to inform, or at least illustrate the enormous amount of variables involved that make recruitment such a massive task.