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While it is unknown what the workforce and workplace will look like half a century from now, there are a number of trends which are likely to be adopted and grow in popularity in 2016.

This is according to Kay Vittee, CEO of Kelly and Quest who notes that the increasing uptake of these trends enable businesses and the staffing and recruitment industry to develop and implement new strategies to remain competitive and attract and retain top talent in an ever evolving market.

The recently released report by Kelly and Quest, A Report on Recruitment and Workforce Trends in 2016, highlights that current recruitment and workforce trends have the biggest impact on the most valuable resource of any business, its employees.

Vittee says, “Flexibility, collaboration, diversity and employee well-being have consistency come through in our research and experience as major factors responsible for attracting and retaining top employees.”

“This is largely due to younger generations entering the workforce and the increase in ‘always-on’ connectivity. Generation Z, for instance, are looking for an employer brand and culture which they perceive to be the most innovative and which offers them opportunities for growth.”

“While the trend of creating collaborative working spaces - intended to inspire employees and foster a culture of cooperation and innovation - is expected to continue into 2016, employers are taking it a step further by shifting to progressive workplaces.”

“In 2016, more organisations are likely to pay greater attention to their employees’ well-being and make their workplaces ‘progressive’, blurring the lines between home and work,” she adds.
The progressive workplace resembles an enhanced community and includes the benefits of access to both work and personal life related services and spaces, many of which were previously only available to staff outside of the workplace.

Vittee says, “Progressive workplaces often include gyms, coffee shops, lounges and even health and beauty spas for employee use.”

The number of millennials – or Generation Y’s – in leadership roles is also on the rise according to the report.

In a recent study, global accounting firm, Ernst & Young Global Limited (EY) found that 62% of millennial full-time employees worldwide fill positions in which they manage the work of others.

Vittee says, “Millennials will start having children in the next few years. With this said, we expect more employees will either select a new employer or stay with their current employer based largely on their flexibility programmes.”

Another consideration, she adds, is the widening skills gap, a concern in South Africa which has resulted from a mismatch of graduate skills and market demands.
Vittee says, “Businesses should be aware of the changing environment and adapt their workforce planning and development strategies to ensure alignment with future skill requirements.”

“Likewise, matriculates, graduates and candidates need to demonstrate foresight in navigating a rapidly shifting landscape of organisational forms and skill requirements,” she adds.

Another significant trend addressed in the report is that of technology. From digitalised hiring models utilised for long-distance first interviews, to the increasing use of big data and automating the recruitment process, Vittee notes that technology continues to evolve not only the workplace but specialised industries such as that of staffing and recruitment.

“Social media is a big player in this regard. We can definitely expect to see an increase in social media recruitment strategies by businesses and a further uptake of this platform by job-seekers. We will also witness an increase in social media updates and blog posts by companies which has become a significant platform for engagement,” concludes Vittee.