Hiring Managers: Fasten Your Seat Belts!

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2017 is shaping up to be a year unlike any other. The changes that may affect the way you do your job are varied and significant.

And we’re not only talking politics here; there’s a sea change in the attitudes of the job candidates you’ll be meeting, and the variety and diversity of their expectations may pose significant new challenges for you unless you know what to expect.

Don’t worry, we’ll tell you.

New Administration

First let’s consider the changes that may directly impact your business, whether it’s a small, medium or Enterprise concern.

With a new and dramatically different administration may come new and highly different perspectives and legislation.

At least one new Supreme Court Justice is expected to be appointed in 2017, presaging legal decisions that affect not only your business but each and every one of your employees.

Changes in taxes and a potential shift in workplace regulations may affect the growth of your business.

The Department of Labor’s Overtime rules that were scheduled to go into effect December 1 were put on hold by federal courts in Texas; the nominee for labor secretary, Andrew Puzder, has said he opposes the regulations.

Proposed modifications or a repeal of the Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”) will affect 20 million Americans who are presently covered under the Act, and influence how your business may provide insurance for your employees.

And, proposed changes in immigration laws may also impact businesses not just along our southern border but from Silicon Valley to businesses large and small across the United States.

Aging Workforce

Even more directly affecting hiring managers are changes in employees’ views on jobs.

Obviously the (overtly gender specific typecast) premise that, while mom stayed home to raise the kids and keep the home tidy, bread-winner dad held his one job for 40 years is as dead as the rotary phone (phones used to have dials, honest). Even the more recent predictions and generalizations about millennials in the workplace are being found to be off base.

Yet, according to a survey* recently published in Vanity Fair, the younger workforce does long for some features perhaps they heard about from their parents or grandparents, or saw on Mad Men or Happy Days.

The reality is that the last decade’s young workforce is now in their 30s and saddled with mortgages and the expenses of raising a family.

What they wanted a few years ago has, by necessity, changed and the latest generation of employees – those 18–29 years of age – could be said to be more idealistic in what they want out of a job.

Needs and Wants

Let’s see what’s now important to the 20-somethings and the 30-somethings, how they differ and how they agree:

When asked which would be the most important thing to consider if looking for a new job, both the 20s and 30s groups placed the greatest emphasis on money (34% and 35%, respectively).

But, a whopping 40% of the 20-somethings said “opportunity,” while that notion was important to only 25% of the 30-somethings.

Yet, “Flexibility” got 18% of the younger group’s vote and 26% of the 30s group.

We’ve read how important it is for an employee to hear “job well done” but is it?

When asked “Which is the best way to keep an employee motivated?” 45% of the total group said that annual bonuses and regular pay raises were most appreciated. Only 17% responded that frequent praise from the boss was the best way to keep them around.

Corporate conduct is also very much on their minds, and they feel they know which industries are the least ethical. When asked “Which one of these industries engages in the greatest amount of unethical behavior, 37% chose media, 30% said drugs and pharmaceuticals, 19% stated banking, and 7% answered technology.

Having a poor rep for ethics may make attracting new employees in 2017 an even greater challenge.  Be prepared.

So what business practices do these employees pine for?

62% would love to see a guaranteed raise each year (was that on Mad Men?). 27% long for the days when a handshake was all you need to make a deal. 7% wished they could enjoy martini lunches (definitely Mad Men).

But they’re realistic too, and acknowledge that some of the benefits they take for granted certainly weren’t around when Dad and Pop-Pop were on the job.

When asked which job perk would be the hardest to explain to your grandfather, a third answered mental health days, nearly another third answered pods to nap in, and 15% said paternity leaves.

So what do you have to look forward to when interviewing new candidates in 2017? We’ll conclude by letting you ruminate upon a few answers to the final question, “What the worst thing about your current job?”

  • “I have to look at a screen.”
  • “The fact that I can’t come in anytime that I want.”
  • “Co-workers”
  • “Meeting strangers”
  • “Waking up in the morning”
  • “I have to work with teenagers all day. They have hormones.”

Strap yourself in, hiring managers. 2017 is gonna be a bumpy ride.

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*Based on a poll conducted by SSRS for CBS and published in Vanity Fair January 2017. The poll used a random sample 1,017 adults nationwide, who were interview by telephone September 28-October 2, 2016. Some low-percentage answer choices may have been omitted and some numbers have been rounded off.


Lewis Lustman

Lewis Lustman is a content marketer who enjoys developing materials that engage, inform, challenge, and hopefully entertain my audience. Lewis is a former journalist for Los Angeles Magazine and the Los Angeles Times, and has worked for a number of leading advertising, marketing, technology, and PR firms over the years. Interested in a topic that he hasn't yet tackled? Drop him a line in the comments section!

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