Friday, December 28, 2012

The Future Of Employment: Auditions And Contractors - 12.28.2012

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The job-hunting process is either a "who you know" proposition [if you're well-networked], or a cold "fill in the computer fields, and forget about your cover letter or personalization" process done by computer where reams of submissions are vetted by Human Resources or other departments to simply and algorithmically find what appears to be the "best fit". The personal interface factor has been removed and replaced with a unidimensional matching game. This trend will doubtless continue. In times of great economic uncertainty, people are hesitant to make any commitments. Internal Human Resources personnel will wind up with elimination power, and the actual prospective employees will even have less of a chance to find out (because of the absence of the multiphased interview process) if the fit is truly right.

The result of this process is that companies are totally unfamiliar with the individuals whose services they are buying, and that this blind selection dies not afford the employee any insight as to how the new employee will 1) perform his or her responsibilities in a real-time, company-world environment, 2) be assimilated into the company's particular individual culture.

Add to the foregoing the expense of making a hire (benefits, pension, and other accommodations which are becoming increasingly expensive), and the potentially high cost of termination -- especially in terms of regulatory investigations or legal proceedings and their associated costs.

The solution is increasingly becoming short term contracting of prospective employees who've passed the imbecilic automaton CV submission vetting, and seeing them in action before either contracting with them for a longer term, or actually hiring them as employees. And the trend is that companies are increasingly cutting key employee staff down to a skeletal core, and adding modular talent, as needed, by longer-term contract. This is the way in which many project managers and IT professionals work now.

This tendency is described briefly in some news which I excerpted from a Linked In newsletter several weeks ago.

Try Before You Buy: Why Smart People And Smart Companies Are Ditching the Interview - Once is a coincidence, twice is a trend? Increasingly I'm hearing about talented folks and sought after start ups ditching the interview process as final arbiter of employment and instead...
Trending within the following companies:
The Walt Disney Company

My feelings and the feelings of many of the readers of The Global Futurist Blog is that the trend, which will continue from the beginning of the new year onward, will be marked by these characteristics:

1) Companies will "optioning" employees or contractors and their careers, and being very, very non-committal;

2) Individuals are increasingly going to cloak themselves in a "Me, Inc." attitude, and be ready for sudden travel or change;

3) Contractors and employees will be spending a greater portion of their time on seeking the next engagement or backup contracting plans than actually focusing on the engagement or job at hand - This will cause a decline in the quality of the work...perhaps a sort of self-fulfilling prophesy;

4) Loyalty and commitment will continue to disintegrate between workers and companies, except in the case of start-ups, smaller businesses or developmental-stage enterprises -- many of these will undoubtedly be capitalized through a combination of sweat equity and crowdfunding;

5) The automated job application process (i.e., filling in the fields on an inflexible form on your computer or device screen), combined with the elimination of the personal interview process and conventional cover letters and follow-through where person-to-person factors and chemistry count so very much, will lead to a greater percentage of detrimental trial-and-error Human choices -- especially in the case of the larger companies.

In sum, this process will fail just as the educational system in the US has failed -- The best online computer employment application field fillers (either incredible conformists or persons practiced at "gaming the system" by saying what the HR department wants to hear. People will become poorer as loyal employees and become better at "taking the test" (the online job app).

Any out-of-the-box thinkers and multifaceted or persons with wonderfully diverse but unconventional career histories or educational credentials (pieces of paper) will have to either become entrepreneurs or work with entrepreneurial-founded enterprises. The best, brightest and most creative, across all age groups will be working for the SMEs and start-ups, while the "yes men" or politically correct (ahem) and indecisive followers-on will be filling the cubicles of the largest companies.

The future, especially during this next five-year cycle which commenced with the Winter Solstice (just passed) will cause a shift in the talent that remains in the industrialized nations, from corporate establishment to creative and less-structured. In the short-run, it spells tremendous unemployment --- but in the longer-run it spells a resurgence of creativity, innovation and value-added jobs creation

Thank you, as always for reading me.

Douglas E. Castle for The Global Futurist Blog, The Internationalist Page Blog, The Business And Project Planning And Management Blog and The Mad Marketing Tactics Blog.

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