The relationship people have with work and the expectations of the companies they work for has changed dramatically over the last few decades. Whereas before, professionals looked for long-term, steady employment, and focussed more on salary and benefits, people now want something more from the companies they work for. They want purpose, passion, drive and a reason for doing what they are doing. These changing employment considerations are covered in our The 5 Things Millennials Look For In A Job article.

Nilay Khandelwal, Managing Director at Michael Page Singapore says, “As people’s relationship to work changes, there is one thing that companies must do: Explain the WHY. In the interview process, candidates want to know: Why should I join, what motivates current employees, what is my purpose? All this should be beyond immediate short term results. They want to see their path for the future.”

In the tough race to hire top talent that we’re seeing today, many skilled professionals have their choice of who to work for. They are receiving multiple offers from companies of varying sizes, and they can take their time making a choice. With this choice, candidates begin to evaluate aspects beyond just the initial offer – they want to know who they will report to, what are some of the non-monetary benefits of joining this company and what the main purpose behind their role is.

Adaptability and growth for the future is a concern for more professionals, so companies must focus on providing a long-term vision. If you don’t do this, you will either have trouble securing your top candidates, or have high attrition later on, and we’ve seen that play out first-hand in many different situations.

Understand your purpose

By understanding the purpose behind your company and being able to explain it to an audience outside of your employees, you will be able to hire the best available people. Although not all employers do this, the ones who do will more consistently and efficiently attract the talent they need to grow into the companies they wish to become.  

Communication and access to information today is quicker, more widespread and deeper than ever. Instant messaging, social media, in-company networks and review sites have opened worlds of information to everyone. Adapting to this new reality through genuine conversations will bring better candidates to your company, because purpose-driven cultures work.   

Dynamic working

The idea of dynamic working is growing as a concept in Asia. As Khandelwal explains, “The different kinds of employment that an individual can have has increased over the last five years. Whereas permanent work used to be the only form, now we are seeing many more temporary or contract roles. We are also seeing professionals shift from one function or area of expertise to another – something that was unheard of before.”

More professionals are looking for working situations that:

               -are well-balanced

               -allow for flexible or remote working

                -have progressive leave options for new parents

                -have a culture that is congenial, collaborative and agile

These criteria allow for a sustainable work-life balance to be nurtured.

There is a growing appetite from companies to seek professionals who are passionate about a certain subject matter, rather than only technically skilled.

And while flexible working hours and more dynamic working environments is certainly an advantage for professionals, companies can benefit from offering flexible working conditions as well. Companies should look at becoming more output oriented, rather than input oriented. As Khandelwal explains, “It doesn’t matter if you’re in the office for 10 or 12 hours, it’s now more about what you are delivering. This mind set is growing as a concept in the Asian workplace.”

The role of PageGroup

Speaking about how PageGroup helps companies find this balance to attract better talent, Khandelwal says, “PageGroup itself comes in as a mix of old and new, and we ensure that our clients find a balance between the two. Companies can’t change overnight, but they can take baby steps through cultural integration, employee benefits, retention programs, and learning and development journeys.”

Companies need to take baby steps towards cultural integration, differing employee benefits, talent retention programs, L&D journeys and other non-traditional programs. All of this has gained in importance, and any company that hasn’t yet invested in these areas is certainly doing so now. This where we at PageGroup are able to advise many companies that we partner with.

Read more in our series on the Future of Hiring here

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