Candidate Shortage — How long will the shortage of candidates go on for? Candidates are in such high demand that they are significantly driving up salaries.

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 Justin Solomon.

Justin Solomon is the Co-founder and COO of Bear Claw, the ultimate Talent Engagement System born out of the necessity to focus on finding and placing passive candidate talent. Bear Claw takes traditional applicant tracking and merges it with passive candidate headhunting. Justin has many years of experience in the Human Resources, Recruiting fields, and SaaS fields. His knowledge and expertise in this industry have led the way to the successful creation of Bear Claw.

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.

I grew up working on a private golf course as a caddy since I was 12. Being in that environment gave me a strong foundation of work ethic and etiquette that I still value today. The people skills learned from being in the customer service industry really sets you up for entrepreneurial success.

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?

Hard work, commitment, and performance will still be valued. What will change are the tools, the workplace, and how the performance is measured. Advances in remote work and automation technology will continue to change the workplace as we know it. Employees will continue to want more and more flexibility of their hours and location. They’ll also expect to be measured by their overall value as opposed to traditional KPI’s.

What advice would you offer to employers who want to future-proof their organizations?

Give employees the tools and flexibility to work remotely, emphasize diversity, and value employees by what they bring to the organization rather than just standard metrics. Employees need to know that their needs are being heard and that they are valued members of a team.

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 biggest gaps will be salary, remote flexibility, and diversity. For the salary and remote flexibility, employers should take a long-term approach. If your employees have the flexibility and compensation that they believe to be fair, they are more likely to stay with that employee for the long haul. Companies should be continuously striving to attain diversity and inclusion amongst their teams.

We simultaneously joined a global experiment together last year called “Working From Home.” How will this experience influence the future of work?

Working from home is becoming the new norm. Although it may not be permanent for a lot of companies, it has shattered the idea that employees must commute to and from an office every day to be productive. Employers have realized that if their employees have the tools to work form anywhere and now don’t have to worry about their commute, they will be in a better head space and more productive.

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?

Employers will have to put a bigger emphasis on the physical and mental well-being of their employees. Employees want to be treated as people first and workers second, not the other way around.

What is your greatest source of optimism about the future of work?

The ever-growing state of technology and the emphasis we are now putting on diversity. Both are truly evolving in a really positive way that is changing the future of work drastically.

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?

It starts with the flexibility and vacation time along with giving employees a reasonable workload. Employers should also have resources and plans in place to help support employees’ personal needs. This is of the upmost importance, especially today, when working remotely and flexible hours have become the norm.

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?

Employers will need to pay closer attention to the value and wellbeing of their employees. Companies that treat their employees as humans first and promote diversity and inclusion will have a better chance of evolving. HR departments should be focusing much more on employee relationships than recruiting, which is why implementing an ATS tracking system, like Bear Claw, is so important.

Let’s get more specific. What are your “Top 5 Trends To Track In the Future of Work?”

  • The Great Resignation — How long will this be a thing? Since the pandemic began, people have really been putting a lot of thought into how they want to spend their time. If they aren’t feeling fulfilled and valued, they will leave, and The Great Resignation will continue on.
  • Permanent Remote Positions — Will these types of positions continue to be on the rise even when it’s safe to return to a physical office? Several companies we work with went from offering hybrid-remote positions to permanent remote positions.
  • Candidate Shortage — How long will the shortage of candidates go on for? Candidates are in such high demand that they are significantly driving up salaries.
  • Automation — Specifically in hiring, what is the potential of Automation tools?
  • Employee Well Being — Will employers continue to take steps in the right direction to ensure the physical and mental well-being of their employees? It will likely be necessary that they do, in order to retain 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?

“You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take” — Wayne Gretzky. When I hear this quote, it reminds me to not be afraid of failure. You won’t make every shot, but you must attempt them.

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.

Mark Cuban so I can pick his brain about the steps our company can take to be successful.

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?

They can reach me at my email: [email protected]

Thank you for sharing your insights and predictions. We appreciate the gift of your time and wish you continued success and good health.