A New Decade of Hiring & Culture: Trends to Expect in 2020-2030
The business world loves the New Year – and at Pronexia we can’t help but love it, too. New goals, dreams, new plans, vision, new strategies – the New Year brings a renewed sense of energy and excitement for all that’s coming around the corner. Even more exciting? 2020 is the kickoff a new decade – a 10-year clean slate.
Go ahead: get pumped to get ahead in 2020 (we certainly are).
Before you call your “Vision for 2020” January meeting, check out some of the major changes, shifts, and trends that are coming up in the 2020-2030 decade.
1. Work-Life Integration
Alright, you’ve heard this term rattling around in business magazines for the last year or two. Our personal and professional are lives have been merging – and the next 10 years will see a measurable increase in work-life integration. We know the “punch-in, punch-out” days are long gone; we’ve entered the era of “always working” – and with that come challenges. A 2017 poll saw Canadians “less happy” about their work-life balance, down 10% to 68% overall happiness about their schedule than when the same poll was done in 2008.
Some companies have fully embraced work-life integration, expecting employees to essentially be available, well, always. With “always availability,” however, many companies have also given slack to the physical presence of employees in an office. Trends show that more tech tools and apps will come forward to ease communication, productivity, and collaboration from afar – but with it, less fixed schedules and higher off-hours expectations.
The opposite trend continues to grow equally. An article about a Microsoft office in Japan which implemented a 4-day work week and saw dramatic shifts in productivity went viral earlier this year, and a new Canadian law was recently proposed to stop employees from working on the weekends entirely. Some companies have found creative ways to ensure work-life balance: at Adobe, for example, every employee is entitled to a sabbatical every 5 years.
How will your companies continue to adapt policies and daily operations to the pros and cons of work-life integration?
In the decade to come, creativity is predicted to be the number one in-demand skill for all companies across all industries. Creativity is no longer relegated to the arts and humanities; in fact, 82% of companies believe there is a deep connection between creativity and business results. Earlier this year, Harvard Business Review announced that “the future of human work is imagination, creativity and strategy.”
Companies are realizing the importance of fostering a culture of creativity – bigtime. Some companies, including Apple, Dell, and Google, have been actively pursuing candidates who come with a background in the creative arts (fine arts, philosophy, literature, etc.) instead of traditional science or engineering backgrounds. 10% of Fortune 100 companies have announced that their #1 priority for the decade to come is design. Some companies are even investing in “creative gyms” to develop creativity in employees.
With an increase in automation and overall competition around innovation, the decade to come expects to see a huge increase in creativity as a key hiring criteria for companies.
3. Global Tech Immigration
Okay, we already know that if you’re in the technology business, you’re in the hiring business, too. The #1 challenge tech companies face is finding talent – and it’s not a recent development. The news for 2020-2030? Companies are already planning new ways of accessing those genius tech candidates – and it’s being backed by governments across the world.
Today, every company is (in some way) a tech company. Canada has over 165,000 tech jobs that will go unfilled in 2020 – and the number is set to climb hugely. Companies will be embracing a global, innovative immigration strategy to import talent from abroad. It used to take up to a year to receive a work visa for international workers. The Canadian government launched a new program which allows companies to give an international tech candidate a work visa in less than 2 weeks. The country is also increasing immigration levels (310,000 to 350,000 new immigrants welcomed per year) to specifically address the tech talent shortage. One non-profit organization in Vancouver offers free flights to software engineers to come to Canada solely for interviews.
The battle for tech talent has been fierce – but it’s only heating up. Forget your traditional recruitment strategies; 2020-2030 will see a large increase in creative, international recruitment when it comes to tech talent. Hiring overseas and relocating employees to Canada is set to become a new standard practice.
4. Entrepreneurial Employees
In case you hadn’t heard, calling your team “entrepreneurial” is out. What’s in? Real entrepreneurship – within the walls of companies.
Here’s some context. A recent study confirmed that anywhere from 20% to 30% of the workforce in Canada is currently made up of non-traditional employees like freelancers, consultants, and independent small business owner-operators. Predictions expect this number to increase: Intuit Canada believes this number will increase to over 45% in the next several years. That means nearly half of the workforce in Canada will drop traditional employee-employer relationships and embrace some form of entrepreneurship.
Accordingly, the things which used to attract talented employees (security, stability, paid vacation, benefits, pension plans, etc.) may become much less relevant; flexibility, freedom, and opportunity to pursue entrepreneurial endeavors may drive employees’ choices.
The real definition of “entrepreneurial” in employees is increasing – fast. Got a strategy in place for encouraging rather than killing entrepreneurial spirit in your company?
5. Learning – Continuously
Old way: Canadians spend 4-6 years in university, enter the workforce and after the age of 25, no other classes, courses, trainings or learning occurs almost ever again.
New way: Canadians attend university, enter the workforce and spend the rest of their working lives engaged in on-again off-again learning, taking various types of courses, receiving training, and attending workshops – all at the encouragement of their employer.
The market is (literally) changing faster than it ever has in history: jobs for new fields are being created daily which did not exist earlier this decade. The government realizes the issue – and is investing over $225 million in 2019 alone to address the skills-gap in the market so that employees can receive continuous learning.
Companies realize it, too. Today, companies understand that a true competitive advantage is a team which continues to increase its skill-base. Lifelong learning opportunities at work or through work are becoming a norm.
It’s great news for employees who want to keep improving their skills and growing their pool of potential career opportunities. For companies, internal learning will be more than just a culture initiative or a “nice to have”; it will be a key competitive advantage for retention, growth, and innovation. Does your company have education and training strategies in place?
Creativity, career-long learning, entrepreneurial spirit: it all sounds positive for our companies, and we can’t wait for it all. Is the culture at your organization ready for what’s in store for 2020 and beyond?
Stefano Faustini is Pronexia’s Talent Strategist & Marketing Lead. He has an MA in English & Creative Writing, and has written articles for the Financial Post, the Montreal Gazette, and others. Connect with him here!