Diversity & Inclusion. Now more than ever, employees want an employer that cares about diversity and inclusion. Jobvite’s report found that 44% of recruiters said candidates have turned down an interview or job offer due to a lack of diversity. Companies that invest in DEI will win the best talent in today’s candidate-driven market.

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 Jobvite’s President, Peter Clare.

Thank you for making time to chat with us about this topic. Our readers would like to get to know you a bit better. Please tell us about one or two life experiences that most shaped who you are today.

I worked in Japan at a hotel for several years to pay for college. While in Japan working at this hotel, when one department finished all their work, they would go to whichever department was furthest away from completing their work and helped. It was a wonderful lesson to learn. Nobody is done until everyone is done. That is how I became an excellent dishwasher, even though I was working as an entertainer. More importantly, that was where I learned the importance of teamwork and building connections with your colleagues. It’s a lesson I’ll never forget.

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?

I’ve always believed that the best teams are the ones pushing themselves to reach and surpass their goals. While the workforce will look different over the next decade, there will be clear trends that will continue to play a pivotal role in shaping the future of work.

First, the hybrid workplace will continue to dominate labor market trends as companies strive to provide more flexible work structures and remain competitive in the marketplace. Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) will also continue to play an essential role as companies worldwide continue to take action and establish a successful workforce where all people can belong and thrive.

Finally, typical office perks like free lunches, ping pong tables, and happy hours will be replaced with a more significant focus on personal and professional development opportunities. The former perks are harder to offer in an increasingly hybrid workplace, so employees will be more focused on working for companies that invest heavily in their growth and development. Employers that can offer internal mobility options and career paths will have the best chance to retain and grow top talent.

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

Recruiters are confronting a dramatic shift from one year prior when the world was facing job losses, layoffs, and staffing reductions. Today, the country is seeing a return to early 2020 employment numbers, with the economic recovery allowing many companies to increase staffing levels rapidly. However, priorities and expectations in the workplace have shifted, and workers are making it clear that they expect more than the status quo. Their fundamental relationship with employers and work has changed.

As a result, companies are experiencing a new kind of worker revolution where candidates and employees feel empowered to choose a job where they feel valued, have a sense of belonging, and have a place that has a strong culture. In Jobvite’s 2021 Job Seeker Nation report, 86% of job seekers said that company culture was somewhat or very important when they are looking at new jobs. Business leaders must lead with strong values-based company cultures that will attract employees. Organizations also must be agile to adapt to the changing dynamics in the workforce and the diverse needs of employees.

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 suggest about how to reconcile those gaps?

Companies are competing for top talent, and those that do not adapt to this ever-evolving workforce will continue to have trouble attracting suitable candidates. According to Jobvite’s 2021 Recruiter Nation Report, organizations are reimagining recruiting processes to hire top talent more effectively. Many are automating more recruiting processes, outsourcing more jobs to freelancers (35%), and making more internal hires (40%) to meet hiring needs better.

Workers also have the upper hand regarding salaries, leading to significant wage increases. Per the latest Recruiter Nation Report, 73% of surveyed recruiters report at least a moderate increase in negotiating for higher salaries among candidates and current employees — up more than 20% since 2020. For those companies that cannot budget for drastic wage increases, think about other forms of compensation. This may include a signing bonus, more paid time off, equity, a bonus when hitting specific targets, an accelerated promotion timeline, or a more flexible work schedule.

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

The pandemic showed many companies that employees can be productive while working remotely. Candidates and current employees alike want flexibility, which is being brought into the job search process and is a factor in retention.

While most companies plan to offer a hybrid workplace, a lack of remote work options could also hurt companies hiring rapidly or facing staffing shortages. Most recruiters have seen candidates turn down an interview or job offer in the past year due to a lack of flexibility and remote work options in the workplace. Furthermore, 57% of recruiters believe the lack of work from home policies makes it harder to attract potential candidates.

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?

Workers want to be part of a welcoming work environment where they feel like they belong. This year’s report reaffirms that companies must prioritize DEI initiatives to succeed. Nearly half of recruiters say that job seekers are inquiring about D&I initiatives more than they did in the previous year — up 16 percentage points from 2020.

Due to unconscious bias, recruiters must acknowledge and work to mitigate the challenges diverse candidates face in the job-seeking process. This can manifest itself in how a job description is written, how a job opening is marketed, what schools an organization recruits candidates from, how a candidate is interviewed, and much more.

While more organizations are focused on building a diverse workforce, 20% of organizations still have no DEI goals, leading to challenges in attracting talent. Overall, it’s up to leaders at organizations to drive that change, leading by example and ensuring the employees they hire reflect the community around them.

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

Recruiters are finding it incredibly hard to find and retain top talent. Jobvite’s report found that 59% of recruiters say their organizations have experienced increased turnover since the onset of the pandemic. The lack of qualified/skilled candidates is also the number one challenge recruiters face.

Fortunately, organizations are working hard to reimagine recruiting processes to hire top talent more effectively and adapt to current labor market trends. Nearly 80% of recruiters’ priorities have shifted, and 40% said recruiting budgets have increased. This is a positive sign that organizations are thinking about the future of work rather than remaining stagnant to overcome current industry challenges.

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?

The rise of hybrid workspaces and new digital tools allows workers to work whenever and wherever while blurring the lines between work and home. This means workers will want to be part of companies that proactively prioritize work-life balance. Employee well-being will also dominate the workplace, especially as companies continue to work through labor shortages.

As some employees tend to take less time off when it’s flexible, companies need to take a thoughtful approach to achieve the intended effect. Some ideas may be providing time off reports to leaders to ensure employees are taking time off or implementing company-wide “mental health days.” Overall, companies need to go the extra mile to ensure employees live a more balanced life.

While many companies are not yet back to working in-person, many use video tools to bring teams together. While in-person is always the first choice, when’s it’s not possible, video interviews are the second best option. Instead of just phone interviews, video interviews and screening can help build strong relationships and improve mental health. This is why we have continued to invest and enhance our video interviewing capabilities.

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?

The labor shortage has provided leverage that workers have not experienced in years. While extremely positive for workers, this fight for talent is expected to last well in 2022 and beyond.

The pressure is on organizations to respond to these challenges by being strategic and embracing initiatives that align with candidates’ values and priorities. The organizations that will be successful are brave enough to make significant changes in the workplace. Those who fail to adapt to the ever-evolving workforce will face more difficulty attracting high-quality talent.

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

  • Hybrid work models. Workers have adjusted to the remote or hybrid work style, and they won’t be giving it up any time soon. With the desire for more flexibility, we’ll only continue to see more companies lean toward a more hybrid workplace to stay competitive. This essentially allows workers to choose their designed workplace model rather than having the organization choose it for them. As a result, more employers will also implement technology that helps connect all employees within the hybrid economy for seamless collaboration.
  • Diversity & Inclusion. Now more than ever, employees want an employer that cares about diversity and inclusion. Jobvite’s report found that 44% of recruiters said candidates have turned down an interview or job offer due to a lack of diversity. Companies that invest in DEI will win the best talent in today’s candidate-driven market.
  • Employee wellbeing. These past couple of years have transformed our relationship with work, resulting in an all-time high in resignations. Today, individuals want to work for companies that prioritize their wellbeing more than ever before. This includes mental health and stress reduction benefits, so companies need to offer these top benefits to help attract and retain workers.
  • Investments in technology. Nearly 78% of recruiters reported that their priorities shifted over the last year, leading to drastic investments in new technology to help Talent Acquisition teams hire top talent faster. We assume more companies will implement new technology to deal with the labor shortage and ensure new hybrid workforces work more efficiently and effectively.
  • Staffing agility. The Great Resignation has disrupted the labor market, so more companies will get agile and look at alternative ways to overcome future potential waves of resignations.
  • As previously mentioned, this may include outsourcing more jobs to freelancers and contractors and upskilling internal hires. We’ll also see many companies deconstruct tasks and determine which ones can be digitized, freeing up employees’ time for what matters most.

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?

“Not finance. Not strategy. Not technology. It is teamwork that remains the ultimate competitive advantage, both because it is so powerful and so rare.”

– Patrick Lencioni, The Five Dysfunctions of a Team.

This quote didn’t surprise me. Anyone who has been on a high-performing team knows it. However, it’s a stark reminder that while we can chase funding, new products, or new strategies, none of it will be as valuable as chasing a high-functioning team — both for our companies and in quality of life.

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 the US, with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch, and why? He, she, or they might see this if we tag them.

I am a huge fan of Professor Scott Galloway and have been lucky enough to have a conversation with him via a private event on zoom. It was just enough to know that he would be a fascinating person to have private breakfast or lunch with.

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?

The best way to connect is via LinkedIn. I look forward to connecting.

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