5 Workforce Trends That Are Impacting Your Business

9.23.2015, Written by Annie Wang


This article was originally published online by The Business Journals.


With seven months of 2015 gone, your organization likely has a good handle on its hiring needs caused by growth (or lack of growth!). There’s still plenty of time to maximize your workforce and get more work done than you ever thought imaginable. Just remember these five trends, which could impact your current and future hiring needs.


1. View employees as assets

To achieve the success you strive for each day, your business must invest in its workforce, including full-time, part-time and contingent employees. This means not just hiring the best and paying competitive salaries for full-time workers, but treating all employees — W2 and 1099 people as well — with the respect they deserve. A Gallup survey found only 13 percent of employees are engaged at work, which means most working adults don’t enjoy what they do — costing U.S. companies roughly $450 to $550 billion annually. Employee engagement improves morale and increases productivity, which strengthens the bottom line.


2. The skills gap among workers is getting bigger

A recent column in Fortune pointed out that in the U.S., nearly two-thirds of companies report having positions for which they cannot find qualified applicants. In June 2015, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported there were 4.7 million job openings, and more than half of employers say they can’t find skilled candidates. The solution? Organizations should partner with each other and with colleges and universities to help prepare students to graduate with useful skills that make them employable.


3. Baby boomers moving toward retirement

According to the Social Security Administration, by the end of 2015, nearly 33 percent of the U.S. workforce, including 48 percent of managers/supervisors, will be eligible to retire. It’s time to plan for this shift. How can you fill the skills gap? Maybe you’ll want to invite retirees back to the office as consultants. Maybe you’ll hire them part-time to train newcomers. And let’s not forget the importance of talent retention and career development for millennials who will be promoted as new front-line managers. Think about every option so the years of intellectual property these individuals have acquired don’t turn to vapor when they hand in their office ID badges.


4. Embrace telecommuting once and for all

According to Global Workplace Analytics’ most recent study, nearly 25 million people say they work one or more days per week from home. If your organization isn’t enabling employees to telecommute, you should ask why not.

Telecommuting improves employee job satisfaction and work life balance, reduces employee turnover and absences from work and increases employee productivity. Most importantly, telecommuting improves the bottom line. These are all great reasons to invite employees to work from home with frequency. What’s more, companies like IBM found that telecommuting means less physical space is needed to accommodate employees each day. The company implemented a hoteling model at its major facilities, which offer cubicles that teleworkers can reserve on the days when they do need to be in the office. The result? More cost savings.


5. Normal career pathing is anything but normal

The freelance economy surrounds us. In fact, today, nearly 30 million workers call themselves independent contractors, consultants and freelancers. These highly skilled and motivated individuals work from homes, coffee shops and at their clients’ workplaces — and they couldn’t be happier about it. Companies shouldn’t view engaging with independents as risky. Instead, engage with the contractors you know who have the skill sets you need. Freelancing is a legitimate career path and as your organization maximizes its use of the external workforce, find the best online tools to source and manage the projects you assign so your in-house staff doesn’t drown in paperwork.


This article was originally published online by The Business Journals and was written by Mynul Khan, founder and CEO of Field Nation.