Workplace trends in 2001

The year 2000 was one of high-flying action – Y2K issues came to head, the unstoppable growth of the dot-coms finally hit brick wall, Generation-X made itself known to boardrooms around the world, and CEO turnover reached record highs as those at the top stepped through the “revolving door”. So what does that leave for 2001, the Year of the Snake?
“As we enter the new year, we are poised on the edge of significant changes in the workplace,” says Karen Russell, managing director of DBM New Zealand. “We’ve been paying lip-service to trends like cultural fit, breaking the age-discrimination barriers, and knowledge management for the past few years, but 2001 will see things starting to happen.
Some of the most prominent trends noted by executives who participated in the poll included:
? Age discrimination alive and well: It’s always been touchy subject, something that no person with hiring responsibilities would ever address, but as our population ages relentlessly, companies are having to face over 50 interviewees more and more often. While some employers remain reluctant to hire mature workers (a survey of 243 human resource and recruitment agencies found older workers one of the most likely candidate groups to face discrimination) individuals over 50 are combating such objections by touting their solid work experience and expertise by proposing creative contractual and consulting arrangements with potential employers. Such arrangements give employers peace of mind that the older workers are willing to share in the risk of hiring someone who may not adapt easily to new environment or who may not remain with an organisation for worthwhile period of time.
? The brain-drain continues as local companies fail to match overseas salaries: Recruiting and retaining executives is becoming key global issue, and not only for local New Zealand companies. Companies worldwide are competing for talented individuals to fill positions, particularly in IT. Many recruiters from US firms are snapping up the best university IT graduates on campus, providing starting salaries of up to US$7000 per month. To stem the brain-drain, local companies that are unable to compete on salary are looking for innovative solutions but, to date, are yet to produce effective retention strategies.
? Agency or network – communication the key to successful job-search: Communication with recruitment agencies, particularly for job-seekers who are not in paid employment, is common job-search challenge. To face this challenge, job-seekers need to learn how to effectively communicate their key skills and attributes, not only in their resumes, but also in face-to-face interviews. By practising interview skills and responding to questions prior to any interview, individuals improve their chances of making favourable impression. It is also important that job-seekers not rely solely on recruitment agencies as job-search strategy, and balance their job-search with plenty of networking – DBM’s statistics show that 56 percent of job-seekers found their new jobs through networking, compared to 19 percent through recruitment agencies and search firms. Job-seekers who cultivate their skills will find success in both agency and networking job search strategies.
? Culture an increasing concern: It’s job-seeker’s market, and as individuals pursue new positions in 2001, they will increasingly be in position to demand employers meet their needs. The typical employee will be looking for employers who are committed to fostering dynamic and challenging environment, one in which opportunities to hone new skills abound and in which flexible work schedules and telecommuting are possible. Cultural fit is critical factor and DBM executives noted cases of individuals volunteering to work without pay for their first few days at new job to ensure the culture and fit was right.
? In the know: Knowledge is power in 2001. The chat about knowledge workers has become reality. Individuals’ skills determine their employability, and 2001 will see growth in life-long learning, in particular, online learning, such as technology based training. It is essential that knowledge workers maintain up-to-the-minute skills, and the convenience of online learning – anywhere, anytime – is presenting an increasingly viable option for training.

Visited 12 times, 1 visit(s) today

A focus on culture

Rabobank’s 520-plus New Zealand employees work from 27 locations – places like Ashburton, Pukekohe and Feilding and from a purpose-built head office in Hamilton. Its employees are proud of the

Read More »
Close Search Window