Normalization of global salary standards. With remote work and job opportunities opening up to workers around the globe, over a long period of time, we will see salary standards either shift from state-specific standards to either remote-standards or global standards.
When it comes to designing the future of work, one size fits none. Discovering success isn’t about a hybrid model or offering remote work options. Individuals and organizations are looking for more freedom. The freedom to choose the work model that makes the most sense. The freedom to choose their own values. And the freedom to pursue what matters most. We reached out to successful leaders and thought leaders across all industries to glean their insights and predictions about how to create a future that works.
As a part of our interview series called “How Employers and Employees are Reworking Work Together,” we had the pleasure to interview Bill Ravenscroft.
Bill Ravenscroft, President of Advantis Global, a government cybersecurity, IT, and creative staffing agency. He has 20 years of experience in the human capital services industry, leading sales and operations for national and global F500 multi-national firms.
Thank you for making time to visit with us about the topic of our time. Our readers would like to get to know you a bit better. Can you please tell us about one or two life experiences that most shaped who you are today.
Thank you for the opportunity to collaborate and discuss an important topic. My early life was constantly impacted by my father’s need to be his own boss. He was a serial entrepreneur with a 9th grade education and a lot of misplaced ambition. His grit and determination to be successful, despite the collective failures at maintaining the companies he started over a 40-year span of time, shaped my own leadership style in ways I never fully appreciated until much later in life. Ultimately, my father had business success later in his life and it came at a time when nearly everyone else would have given up, reinforcing that it is always the right time to try and to never give up.
Let’s zoom out. What do you predict will be the same about work, the workforce and the workplace 10–15 years from now? What do you predict will be different?
Label me a dreamer but not much will be the same. In the past 15 years just think of all the changes from Amazon, Apple, Google, Netflix, Uber, Tesla, SpaceX, WeWork, Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, etc. So much has already changed and will continue to change but that’s business as usual. Now fast forward to 2037 where the next generation of entrepreneurs and innovators will have been hard at work on blockchain, AI, machine learning, robotics, and automation enhancements that will disrupt every industry, the workplace, and the workforce.
The torch will have passed. The boomers will have completely exited the workforce (to include government) and gen-x will be preparing to exit as well; thereby removing most of what I think of as workforce traditionalists — along with the notion of how and where work should be performed. Does this mean we won’t have offices? Of course not, but their size and purpose will likely evolve to be more experience in nature vs. work-focused. For example, curating experiences for the workforce — culinary, team building, and training are topics I routinely discuss with other executives. Personally, I lead an entirely remote first company that is going to continue to build upon what we’ve developed over the past 2 years — not rewind.
Secondly, productivity improvements along with the reduced size of the U.S. workforce could bring about the 4-day workweek for “office” workers. Productivity per employee in the U.S. is at an all-time high and only improving. That said, the workforce is shrinking which will require employers to rethink their competitive incentive packages to attract workers. Either way, you see it already in professional settings with accounting, doctors, dentists, and attorneys to both attract talent as well as prevent burnout.
Thirdly, the world just spent two years living out the globalization of work — proving that marketplace platforms, work from anywhere, and remote productivity are not buzz words but the dawn of something new. You cannot unsee what we’ve recently been exposed to around the world. I fully expect South America and Africa to become major players in the globalization of remote workforce labor, especially IT talent, where the world will need to fill millions of jobs that will be created over the next 15 years.
Finally, will we finally see the need for higher education requirements in the workforce be replaced by skill training? The cost of higher education and workforce shortages will likely have come to a head. Something will need to give.
What advice would you offer to employers who want to future-proof their organizations?
Stop fighting the remote workforce change and lean-in. Embrace upskilling, reskilling, and boomerang employees. The war for talent is no longer coming, it is here. Companies will thrive when they are known as an employer who thrives on providing experiences beyond the day to day, can provide new skills, employees have a voice, and purpose is more than simply earning a paycheck.
What do you predict will be the biggest gaps between what employers are willing to offer and what employees expect as we move forward? And what strategies would you offer about how to reconcile those gaps?
The four-day work week. Shift based workforces have been using this tool for years. The concept seems to be a difficult reach for the office-based companies that want to hold onto the legacy Monday-Friday schedule. Employers have the tools to understand true employee productivity and if 40 hours is the gold standard, employees will easily hit that in 4 days if you offer them the chance to take back the balance they need to stave off burn out.
We simultaneously joined a global experiment together last year called “Working From Home.” How will this experience influence the future of work?
Employers were forced to adopt something they avoided entirely for years. While the experience was not so smooth, employers and employees alike have shown that working from anywhere will be the new “working from home.” That said, we need to do a better job of providing the right equipment to maintain the work from home environment. Desks, chairs, and monitors are currency to the right experience. Next, we need to crack the code of the virtual office space. An experience where colleagues can work in a virtual way but feel the energy of their coworkers. The most common feedback I hear from the extroverts is that they miss seeing and working with their coworkers — we must solve for this in a remote first way. I suspect this could come from a company that does not even exist today or a re-imagined experience in the metaverse. We live in exciting times.
We’ve all read the headlines about how the pandemic reshaped the workforce. What societal changes do you foresee as necessary to support a future of work that works for everyone?
With businesses moving from in-office to remote or hybrid work, it has opened many more opportunities to find skilled workers across the globe, in many different time zones. At Advantis Global, we have staff working across the United States and even in Germany. Many teams start and end work at a different time. Finding a balance between being mindful of different time zones while still having designated overlapping collaborative hours is key to supporting a future of work for everyone.
What is your greatest source of optimism about the future of work?
The human spirit and entrepreneurship. Two things that go hand in hand and keep us innovating and evolving.
Our collective mental health and wellbeing are now considered collateral as we consider the future of work. What innovative strategies do you see employers offering to help improve and optimize their employee’s mental health and wellbeing?
Hitting on some of the topics I’ve mentioned before, such as shorter work weeks, coupled with mental well-being days, virtual yoga, wellness sprints, and pulse surveys — although not terribly innovative in totality — could be deemed essential components to marry up with well-being tools that create an environment where your workforce thrives.
It seems like there’s a new headline every day. ‘The Great Resignation’. ‘The Great Reconfiguration’. And now the ‘Great Reevaluation’. What are the most important messages leaders need to hear from these headlines? How do company cultures need to evolve?
Your employees are the most important resource in your company and other companies are coming for them. When they decide to leave, they can usually find 2–3 options to pick from before deciding where to go. Being in the business of recruiting for other companies, I hear from my frontlines every week about how dissatisfied our candidates are with their current employers. Pay imbalance, remote work vs. in office, or supervisor engagement.
- Management needs to be hyper focused on employee engagement.
- Paying your new hires more than existing workforce will only perpetuate the issue for your company.
- Do not discount the value of the “work from anywhere” policy. You won’t win that battle in the long term.
Let’s get more specific. What are your “Top 5 Trends To Track In the Future of Work?”
- An increase in demand for contract jobs. Workers are now looking for more flexibility and opportunities to grow their skillset. They’re hungry for more knowledge and ways to grow their portfolio. As a result, we’re finding a lot of our candidates at Advantis Global are staying in contact to always have another new, fun, and exciting project lined up.
- Normalization of global salary standards. With remote work and job opportunities opening up to workers around the globe, over a long period of time, we will see salary standards either shift from state-specific standards to either remote-standards or global standards.
- Increase in competitive advantages for skilled workers. Skilled workers aren’t easy to find and every company wants to hire the best. Especially in the tech industry, workers always have recruiters in their inboxes trying to get in contact or offer a new opportunity. We’ll see an increase in offerings from companies to skilled workers to try and retain them or have them sign on as an employee.
- Increase in salary standards. As demands for certain skilled jobs increase, so will salary standards to stay competitive. For example, the median for tech salaries increased 6.9% in just one year from 2020–2021.
- The importance of employee empowerment. Now more than ever, job seekers and employees are now looking for specific needs when considering new positions. Some key components they look for are: diversity, workplace flexibility, compensation, fulfillment, acknowledgement. As of recent times, they’re realizing how valuable they are to a team and are wanting more control of their work. As a business, it’s important to hear what they have to say, what they want, and see what accommodations can be made to retain skilled talent.
I keep quotes on my desk and on scraps of paper to stay inspired. What’s your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? And how has this quote shaped your perspective?
“The best way to predict your future is to create it” — Abraham Lincoln
I like to emphasize to my peers and myself that it’s important to take control of your own future. If you want something, you have to plan and execute. The longer you wait, the more time is wasted on a future you don’t want. Take action now. The future is bright.
We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US, with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch, and why? He, she, or they might just see this if we tag them.
Elon Musk. Working with him or his team on these topics could be a gamechanger for the future of work.
Our readers often like to continue the conversation with our featured interviewees. How can they best connect with you and stay current on what you’re discovering?
Connect with us at www.advantisglobal.com. We’re always sharing staffing insights and working on connecting skilled IT workers to jobs that support their career goals.
Thank you for sharing your insights and predictions. We appreciate the gift of your time and wish you continued success and good health.