The Great Recession brought many changes to workforce management, but it was really just a wake-up call for what was going to happen in the future. What’s next? It’s hard to say, but I can give you a few good reasons why you must rethink your workforce strategies right now.
As we move into the future, we know that factors such as more temporaries in the workforce, pending health care reform and other legislation, and multiple generations in the workforce will continue to change the way we source and retain talent.
So why is it crucial to reassess your workforce strategies right now? Here are four good reasons why now is the time to act:
- Social media recruiting and beyond. While you might be working on a social media recruiting strategy, or might even have one in place, the bigger issue is that there’s more to come. The way we work, live, and interact is changing quickly with technology. I don’t know what the next big thing is, but your approach to social media now will have a big impact on your ability to capitalize on whatever happens in the future.
- The virtual, migratory, and transient workforce. While the recession has forced many people to relocate for work, there have always been workers that follow the job, or jobs, that can be done from a virtual location. With more technology and younger workers, it’s not a stretch to think that many will prefer to work virtually, or simply not want to be tied down to one company or one industry. Making your company attractive to all kinds of workers is going to be a key competitive differentiator in the future. All those old movies that showed the workforce of the future sitting in rows and rows of cubicles under bad fluorescent lighting were wrong.
- New skills vs. old skills. What manufacturing and other industries are discovering is that they not only need workers with new skills because of changes in technology, but they also need to find and keep those with legacy skills as older workers retire. Oh, and what happened to all the other people in the middle? They’re already working 60 hours a week to keep the lights on. You’re going to need them too. So, your workforce strategy can’t be all social media and technology-based, or focused on one type of worker.
- Managing the workforce of tomorrow. Lastly, I hate to be the one to break it to you, but it’s probably going to get more complex in the future. Technology, a global marketplace, new generations of workers, and other forces will add to your job, not take it away (regardless of what people selling technology might say). But the strategies you put in place now and your approach to workforce management and change can have a great impact on what happens next and how you adapt to it.
It’s funny. I always thought I would be driving a flying car by now. On the other hand, when I was younger, I never thought I would carry my phone and my entire record collection in my pocket. It just goes to show that the future is really hard to predict. You just have to do your best to roll (or fly) with it.
Matt Rivera has more than 20 years of experience in the staffing and workforce management industry. He has worked in virtually every aspect of the contingent labor process, from recruiting to sales, and most recently, in corporate marketing for Yoh. As director of customer solutions for Yoh, Matt helps develop innovative workforce solutions to help clients achieve maximum return and efficiencies from their use of flexible labor. Matt holds a degree in Journalism/Public Relations, and lives in the Pennsylvania suburbs with his wife and two children. Read More of Matt's comments at http://blog.yoh.com .
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The 77 million people that make up the US small business workforce would rank as the 17th most populous country in the world, just ahead of Iran;
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