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.

Please have a look at our newest blogs: The CrowdFunding Incubator Blog , The Crowd Funding RSS Feeds Blog, The CFI CrowdFunding Incubator Blog and The ICS - International Connection Services website.

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Thursday, December 20, 2012

Global Futurist Update - 2013 And Beyond

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The Global Futurist Blog has a great deal of territory to cover regarding what to anticipate in the coming year, the coming 5 years and the coming 25 years (futurescaping). Before I start citing trends, confluences of events, predictions and preparations, please take a moment and read through The Global Economy: Reasons And Remedies and bear in mind the notion of what happens to a society that is changed by technology, power shifts, concentrations of influence, archaic institutions and expectations and fails to adapt to the massive series of disruptive waves. Then, please come back.

Of course, this report would not be fully complete without my fellow Futurist Thomas Frey's insights into where we are and where we are going:

Coding is the new literacy of the 21st century
Could you be sitting on the app concept of the century, but you don’t know the programming basics to create it. Now, thanks to coding courses offered by companies such as DaVinci Coders and Codecademy, people are launching new businesses by taking coding matters into their own hands.
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Denser cities are smarter and more productive
One of the most important, and at times contentious topics in urban development is density.  Density plays an important role in economic growth. Density brings people and firms closer together which makes it easier to share and exchange information, invent new technologies, and launch new firms.
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Baby boomers are the driving force behind 'big data' demand
No matter what generation we are we usually see young adults, who are tethered to their mobile device for texting, gaming and surfing the web, as the drivers of our new data-driven world. But surprisingly, baby boomers aged 46 to 64 represent possibly the largest generation driving rapid growth in data demand.
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U.S. Senator presses FAA to allow use of electronic devices during takeoff and landing
Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO) wants the Federal Aviation Administration to relax its long-standing rule against the use of portable electronic devices on airplanes during takeoff and landing. The agency has traditionally claimed the rule is necessary to avoid interference with an airplane’s instruments, but it is currently reconsidering the policy.
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Top 6 social-digital trends of 2013
It’s that time of year where we predict how in the year ahead technology continues to influence how we work and live.  Previously the trends have been under the “social media” lens because that has been the major disruptive force, creating both opportunities and threats. This year, the trends will be under term “social-digital” to broaden the focus.
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The 'flipped academic' in higher education - inform first and publish later
The concept of the ‘flipped classroom’ in schools is when pupils complete course material ahead of lessons to free up time with their teachers and apply the knowledge they have just learned. Now a related philosophy is developing in higher education. Can we also flip academics  or even academia itself?
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Google gives $5 million for drones to hunt African rhino poachers
There are horrific photos of subdued rhinos with their horns amputated by poachers that have become a viral phenomenon. Google is now giving $5 million to a conservation group for lightweight drones that will patrol the African bush, exposing ivory hunters along the way.
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Harvard's top endowment managers make 20 times as much as a professor

Ron Unz of the American Conservative posits that 375-year old Harvard University has grown so rich that it is now essentially a giant hedge fund with a little school attached.
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Are you ready to fly anywhere in the world in under 4 hours?

Are you ready for hypersonic travel?  The British company, Reaction Engines, have passed the European Space Agency’s initial safety tests for their air-breathing rocket engines.
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Are billionaires, Amish, the homeless, slum-dwellers, or Masai the happiest?
These are responses to: “You are satisfied with your life,” ranging from complete agreement (7) to complete disagreement (1), where 4 is neutral..
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And now some practical predictions of my own for the coming year, and the 4 years to follow:

1) CrowdFunding will become the newest and largest of the capital markets, but within  one to two years, look for regulators to step in and try to spoil the party. Right now, some pundits estimate that the demand for crowdfunding, inclusive of start ups, early-stage entrepreneurial enterprises, SMEs and cause-based organizations (including, humanitarian, charitable, PACs, member-based groups and NGOs) will exceed $1.0 billion in 2013 alone -- to avoid a conflict of interest, I must disclose that I recently became the CEO of CrowdFunding Incubator LLC;

2) Real unemployment and underemployment within the industrialized western nations will continue to rise, as real compensation (inclusive of the value of the customary benefits of the past) will plummet;

3) The price of food and other family staples will rise in all of the English-speaking nations;

4) Brazil and other portions of Latin America will thrive, while China, Thailand and Southeast Asia will experience sufficient internal problems as to offset their anticipated denomination of world wealth and commerce;

5) India will continue to make great economic strides and become an increasingly active world trading power, and not just an outsource resource;

6) Most of the Middle East and parts of Africa will be in a state of war - from Shiites versus Sunnis to Islam versus the West to civil wars and uprisings against the leadership in most of these monarchies - and the US will continue to be involved because the weapons and rebuilding businesses are far to profitable to permit strategic withdrawals, no matter the amount of casualties;

7) Hybrid cars will become increasingly popular as oil and gasoline prices continue in their instability;

8) The idea of Global Warming will win much more acknowledgement and acceptance in the scientific community;

9) Nanotechnology will not be as fruitful or as powerful as many of us thought it might be even a year ago, but genetic engineering, stem cell regrowth potentialities, and a better understanding of the electrodynamics of the Human mind and its diseases will attract a great deal of attention, progress, adoption and capital;

10) The Euro will be a secondary currency as the wealthier countries in the European Union become more and more wary of their weaker partners;

11) An amended version of something like the Glass-Steagall Act (which separated banks from investment houses and brokerage firms in terms of their permitted activities, investments and reserve requirements) will resurface in the US and other western countries;

12) While longevity will experience (over these next five years) will increase up to as much as five years, this number will be based upon the median average and not the mean, as obesity, drug-resistant microbes and poorer medical care for the middle class and the working poor will decline precipitously. We will witness a resurgence in the Caribbean and Africa a resurgence of such diseases as cholera, diphtheria, and new strains of super viruses make their appearance;

13) A knowledge of brain chemistry will grow enormously, while AI (artificial intelligence) development will actually slow down as we continue to redefine the very essence and nature of intelligence;

14) Most communications and commerce will be conducted by mobile devices, and most software and data storage operations will be subsumed under the cloud;

15) Cable television will yield (though not without a fight) to satellite television, and streaming mobile-accessible media. Satellite telephones will become increasingly popular as an alternative to tower-to-tower digitized mobile communications;

16) Civilians will be protesting the availability of weapons to the general public, while arms of every caliber and type will be snapped up by an increasingly armed, albeit hypocritical citizenry;

17) Corporate armies and strategic defense departments will become more and more prevalent. Privatized armies will be loyal to their highest bidders, and nationality and patriotism will take more and more of a backseat to mercenary profits. High-net worth individuals and corporate executives will be guarded by private security firms;

18) Divisions between national governments and the governed will increase and become increasingly violent as citizens try to reclaim their power (#occupy), and governments cling tenaciously to the source of their funds through the ability to tax and confiscate. Militia activity in the United States will see a significant increase. The Taxpayer Revolt Movement will experience a resurgence and governments will strive to eliminate paper currency and supplant it with electronic funds transfers in order to more able to a) monitor the money supply, and to b) directly deduct tax liability assessments from the accounts (bank and brokerage) of citizens. This will favorably impact the prices of precious metals, physical commodities and a re-visitation of barter;

19) Mobile device applications will continue to soar in popularity and utilization;

20) As cyber-dependency invites increasingly audacious cyber attacks, companies and government entities will begin recruiting more and more computer security professionals - of course, cyber-espionage will also be on the rise, and many companies will attempt to recruit otherwise unaffiliated hackers into their ranks. Privacy through electronic communications will have become a complete impossibility, again reaffirming the viability of satellite communications and other, older methods of keeping communications secret.

21) There will be tremendous and exciting discoveries during the course of these next one to three years in the fields of disruption theory, plasma and stealth weaponry, and these will raise many ethical and basic Humanitarian questions and concerns.

Thank you as always for reading me, re-tweeting me and to letting me share my visions of the future with you.

Douglas E. Castle for The Global Futurist Blog, The Business And Project Planning And Management Blog and the CrowdFunding Incubator LLC Group Of Blogs

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