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Imagining workplace 2020 and beyond

Imagine a world where instead of applying for a job you just profiled your merits and contributions and let companies invite you to work for them. Imagine that retention is dead. Instead, companies rely on cloud staffing and crowdsourcing, and the new (automated) recruitment model is ‘find me someone who will be a success for a particular challenge.’ And once the ‘hiring’ is done, imagine a workplace of flair, flexibility and freedom, where rewards are based on results and impact. 

Here’re some statistics to help you imagine:

  • By 2017 over 2.5 billion people will use social networks (almost a third of the world’s population by then)
  • By 2020 over 40% of the workforce will be contingent (self-employed)
  • By 2025 Generation Y (Millennials) will make up roughly 75% of the world’s workforce


Trusteed-employee alliance 

Talent has a multiplier effect that transcends job specs. Companies are already proactively seeking out candidates via social media, matching skills and profiles to goals and client needs. In addition, using platforms that appeal to Millennials (e.g. mobile-optimized sites and apps), they are creating talent communities to engage potential hires, provide training, insider knowledge and job alerts. 

Talent exchange companies such as, and Freelancer maintain virtual staffs that compete for work. Going beyond this, it is only a matter of time before crowdsourcing firms like CrowdFlower and Mechanical Turk become household and boardroom terms. These are services where you farm out big and small tasks by putting out a request and stating how much you are willing to pay. You’d be amazed at what comes back! On the other hand, PRsona have automated the talent acquisition process and provide online staffing for onsite work. 

What if your firm had a trusted-employee alliance that would allow bringing people in and out of the organization on mutually convenient terms? Shifting the focus from performance management to managing and developing potential, the company may choose to bring in the specialism or strategic generalists who are constantly making things happen.


Flair, flexibility and freedom 

Netflix, the world's largest online film and TV rental service, is renowned for its extraordinary culture and massive success.  Some of their key principles are: 

  • Increase talent density faster than the company grows
  • Responsible people thrive on freedom and are worthy of freedom
  • Flexibility is more important than efficiency in the long term 

Instead of a culture of process adherence, Netflix pride themselves on having created a culture of creativity and self-discipline, responsibility and freedom. Your digitally- and social networking-savvy, mobile, contingent or virtualized workforce, used to ‘personalized’, ‘easily-accessible’ and ‘instant’, will expect nothing less.


Changing loyalty 

The future of workplace depends not only on how companies will hire and work with their employees, but also on how talent will judge who they want to work with. Nearly 60% of Millennials, for example, choose companies with values that align to theirs. They are looking for purpose. They care about who they work with, how they are developed and how much of a voice they have - they really care about whether they can challenge authority. Companies need to find ways to respond to these new demands that will ultimately drive employee loyalty.


Share your visions of workplace 2020 and beyond.






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