Working smarter

Recruiting for the future

Today's managers need very different skills than the business leaders of the past.

The rapidly changing marketplace, increased global competition, and leaner organisational structures require radically different skills and attitudes

We’re facing a new future in terms of demographics at work. Soon, we’ll have five generations in the workplace at once, all with vast differences in work behaviour, aspirations and needs. And people today are living and working longer.

This impacts our hiring practices, talent development, and learning methods. It also affects the way individuals and teams connect, communicate and collaborate across the organisation, with customers, partners, stakeholders and in B2B relationships. This, in turn, results in the need to reshape teams, work groups, organisational units, processes, and business models.

There are increasing demands for organisations to be flexible, efficient, and rapidly adaptive in terms of the products and services you are offering. And you are more than likely dealing with increasingly well-connected and technology-versed customers. 

Flexible working environments and lifestyle balance are now key differentiators to attract high-calibre staff during the employee search.

What’s in store for the future of recruitment?

The single most important driver of management success is the diversity of skills an executive can bring to the job.  

Trends in recruitment suggest the most sought-after management staff will be those who can balance a wider range of interests, under greater internal and external scrutiny. They’ll still be required to achieve good returns for shareholders, but their results will also be assessed on how well they have met a wider range of shareholder needs. 

Some suggest the age of the generalist manager is coming to an end and there will be a return to leadership by those with deep knowledge of their industry.  

Your business will undoubtedly need some specialisation in terms of having people with both a deep knowledge of technology and complex products and subjects, balanced with a broader perspective and knowledge of the industry or sector.

In the age of automation, new skills and approaches will be required that integrate technical and generic competence with the ability to think laterally and solve problems creatively.

What to look for when hiring executives and managers

No matter what size your business, or the sector or industry you operate in, your executives and managers will need to:

  • hone their leadership skills so they become strong and persuasive communicators

  • balance a wider range of interests, both work and personal, under greater internal and external scrutiny

  • achieve good returns for a wider range of shareholder needs

  • know their specific area(s) of expertise well

  • be more team-focused

  • be innovative and flexible, bringing new skills and approaches to work through the ability to think laterally and tackle new challenges in the industry

  • form networks within and outside the business, mastering the skills of creative collaboration

  • respond to frequently changing priorities, and assume personal responsibility for setting their own direction

  • stay abreast of technology

  • undertake learning in response to changing organisational needs, creating their own learning opportunities to harness their individual creativity and talents

  • consider themselves as stakeholders in the business and pursue opportunities to add value.

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