Globally, it seems to be an expected fact that, on average, our generation will be the first to earn less than our parents did
. Many attribute this to the repeated financial meltdowns and skyrocketing inflation, driven by the higher cost of energy. While these are all obvious contributing factors, it is my belief that a fundamental change in the way we view our careers has played a significant role in our decreased earning.
Increasingly, people are valuing intangibles benefits of a job over the bottom-line salary. 2013 will be the year where recruitment and talent retention are governed by the environment and not simply the pay check.
- Working for a cause
Attracting the best talent in 2013 will not depend solely on the depth of your wallet. An employee in 2013 will want to know there is an end game to what they are doing, a sense of purpose. Even if the goal is never-ending, eg making the world a better place, synergy between a prospective employees' internal belief and your company's bigger vision will be the swing vote in deciding where to ultimately work.
People are more aware then ever of becoming a cog in a machine with no direction. Keeping everyone focused on a target and celebrating the small wins as you move ever closer builds a culture that will attract the best in your industry.
- Always learning, forever growing
Industries are continually changing. A failure to invest in one's own knowledge and skills is a failure to future-proof your career. With the economy on a continual rollercoaster individuals realise the importance of continually adding to their skill set and, in turn, their CV.
Offering a structure to facilitate personal growth and learning will keep your best employees inspired while ensuring your business is able to command an innovative and thought-leading position in your industry.
The idea that "you only live once" has gained in popularity and 2013 will be the year where the concept of YOLO governs our employment decision. Factors such as flexible time, increased leave and better maternity benefits will appeal to a generation who doesn't want to waste away their life working.
In 2013, expect candidates to enquire about the work/life balance, long before they query expected salary.
- Peer-to-peer recruitment
The opinion of the crowd is the deciding vote in nearly all our major decision. Expect this mind-set to govern recruitment in 2013.
As more factors are brought into play, the challenge to find the best employee-employer fit increases in complexity. 2013 will be the year of social recruitment. Build your network; as recruitment gets crowdsourced, those who have access to the strongest community will attract the best talent.
- The culture continuum
Expect to agonise over candidates who fit the culture perfectly, but don't have the skills on paper. You may even reject one or two candidates who are perfect on paper but who you wouldn't ever want to sit with at lunch.
In 2013, every candidate will be measured on the culture continuum, where the decision on whether to employ them or not is one based upon a careful balancing act - which tries to find the optimal mix of skills and personality.
Oh, and don't be surprised when you follow your gut and hire the person, even though he or she still has a lot to learn.
- The viral CV
I'm ready to see my fair share of job applications going viral in 2013. While common practice overseas, the elaborate campaign to get hired at a specific company is yet to really be widespread in South Africa. As candidates begin to factor in all the above-mentioned considerations, they will identify a handful of companies that meet their criteria and will then work hard to land their dream job.
A more holistic view on where we work has been in constant development. I believe the movement to viewing our life in a more complete manner has meant, as a generation, we are willing to work for less, provided we feel more fulfilled by what we are doing. Financial turmoil aside, I believe this is a significant contributing factor to why we will earn less than our parents did. Previous generations were far more focused on the salary then the experience of working.
A mentality of working to live, rather than living to work, will be the single biggest force in recruitment for 2013.