Future of Work: 5 Key Workplace Trends in 2022
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In 2014, DeVry University’s Career Advisory suggested 20% of the American workforce will be 1099 workers who will work remotely. Since then, other studies indicate more than 50% will be independent contractors by 2025. In March 2020, remote work was no longer optional but required as worldwide pandemic mandates for social distancing ushered in a new way to work.
Those who never worked remotely before had to make significant adjustments to their work life and, for the first time, have 24-hour access to their work. We all experienced lifestyle changes and shifted to frequent Internet use for everything from paying bills to ordering food. Those who previously traveled for work became accustomed to facilitating and attending workshops and conferences virtually.
Job seekers who are not aware of industry expectations and trends on the horizon may leave opportunities on the table. To be successful in this transition to the future of work will require job seekers to control their job search.
Americans seem splintered in wanting to either work remotely, in-office or a hybrid of the two. Right now, many have returned to the office at least on a part-time basis. No matter how you desire to work, the future of work is now:
- Our lives are more integrated with our work than ever, and we must look at our future using digital and remote access in mind.
- The disruption in the workplace is happening now. Why is that important to job seekers?
- People are showing their resilience and perseverance to employers who don’t want to let go of past practices.
- Job seekers are creating more opportunities as their lifestyles have more digital access.
1. Breaking the Glassdoor
Job seekers are becoming more aware of a company’s reputation and culture before applying for jobs.
For years, job seekers have used Glassdoor as one of the main ways to research a company and get a glimpse of its culture. Users can see what is being said by employees or those interacting with the company in their job experience. Although reviews on Glassdoor tell a small part of the company’s workplace experience, it weighs significantly in the minds of job seekers and users.
Glassdoor has never been the only place job seekers can find out information about a company. Keep in mind, not everyone considers all Glassdoor reviews as genuine and authentic but a dumping ground for those with a vengeance.
Similarly, those who complain about bad bosses on social platforms are deemed ungrateful. All social media platforms have users who document their experiences interfacing with the company. In recent months, there seems to be a surge of workers posting negative conversations with their bosses. Users of the anti-work subreddit are very active in posting combative text conversations with their bosses.
LinkedIn is also a place where job seekers document their interview process experience. Many users are sharing the weariness of interviews and rejection yet showing resilience and not giving up. What makes posts like these compelling is the interactions in the comments in real-time. They get more public views than any negative Glassdoor reviews in a short period.
While it is essential to know a company’s culture, job seekers shouldn’t rely on one platform as the only perspective. LinkedIn makes it possible to find current and past employees to ask questions and verify negative comments published online.
2. Same-Day Pay in Your Account
All of us came into the working world with the understanding pay occurs mostly weekly and monthly. In the past, a few industries such as construction and music pay contractors daily because of union agreements. Post-pandemic, more companies are now offering same-day pay to help workers stretched thin by economic demands placed on them.
Kroger, Adecco, and Six Flags use DailyPay to provide on-demand pay, including end-of-the-day payments. DailyPay provides employees seamless access to their earned money and the way their money can move around.
The disadvantages of on-demand pay are more about the unfounded pattern behavior of employee spending. Yet, the control the employee also has provides more opportunities to save and invest. Same-day access disrupts the same-day loan industry because interest is not associated with earned money.
Another company, Instant Pay, also provides on-demand access to earned pay by employees at McDonald’s, Papa Johns, and Chili’s. There are more companies, but providing an option where the employee controls their access to earnings would improve their quality of life.
3. Job Seekers Aren’t Who We Thought They Were
On September 6, Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits ended as expected for those receiving them. Many thought there would be a surge back to less desirable jobs and the industries experiencing worker shortages. On the contrary, many former workers in the retail, restaurant, and travel industries did not return.
Instead, there is data from earlier this year and the fall of 2020 suggesting entrepreneurship went up. During the pandemic shutdown, many took control of their careers and decided to upskill, reskill, and strategically quit their jobs.
Job dissatisfaction was a significant deal-breaker for employees and those who lost jobs in fractured industries. There are always detractors and critics of those receiving unemployment, even though their situation may not be self-induced. There are options such as temporary work, gap jobs, contracts, and freelancing until they find a permanent position.
Unemployment bias is an ugly stigma of past generations, and many managers today carry it out around like a badge of honor. Some theories validate that managers who take it personally are the primary reasons for an employee resigning. Many of the unemployed had other reasons for not returning to work immediately after resignations or layoffs.
The pandemic exacerbated health, family, child care, or mental health issues. Some of the issues involved being the caretaker of children, elderly parents, or other family members requiring long-term care. However, being a caretaker doesn’t mean ignoring your future, but finding an employer who values employees with life’s challenges faced by all.
4. ATS: Something Old, Yet, Something New
Job seekers may have to look outside of traditional methods to get their resumes seen. Referrals from your network beat out the usual online application process.
The Applicant Tracking System (ATS) is often under scrutiny for being the “resume black hole” of the job application system. The ATS function scans resumes for keyword usage to identify the best-qualified candidates for the position. Jobscan reports that employers and recruiters use the ATS to screen the hundreds of resumes they receive for one job and streamline the hiring process. The resume is scored based on the job description and the candidates who score the best.
A recent Harvard study shows that ATS often overlooks well-qualified candidates in its design to exclude unqualified candidates within the scanned pool. One example is the study where a veteran has the experience for a civilian job per the job description but does not have the civilian credentials the ATS is programmed for. The Harvard study maintains that the employer’s candidacy criteria can miss a potential candidate’s experience through the job description.
The ATS issues cited through the Harvard study are an update to past studies emphasizing how people can utilize networking and use referrals as their primary job search tool. Referrals from an employee are still the best way to get job interviews, no matter the economic downturn or pandemic. Studies show referred employees maintain a longer job satisfaction than those who applied solely through a job board subjected to the ATS.
5. Your Vaccination Status May Help You Stand Out?
Several articles discuss how including vaccination status on a resume or LinkedIn profile can help a job seeker stand out. Although many employers require either tests or masks, it’s more advantageous if the job seeker knows what the employer expects.
In some states like Illinois, state mandates require employees in health care, educational, or public sectors to be fully vaccinated. There are specific deadlines for facilities participating in Medicare and Medicaid to employ fully vaccinated employees. In many health care facilities, a license is often not enough, and certain vaccinations are also required to be able to work.
To have your vaccination status on your career materials or your social profiles is something to carefully consider. Having it listed may create bias as it’s still a polarizing issue. To not have your vaccination status on your resume when an employer requires it can also be problematic.
In one survey, one-third of employers disqualify applicants who don’t have their vaccination status on their resumes. The users control LinkedIn profiles, and it’s unlikely recruiters will use it as a gauge but with possible discrimination. Aaron Rodgers, the Green Bay Packers quarterback who claimed his immunization fulfilled NFL standards for vaccination, used homeopathic medication, not the federally approved vaccination. After a quick LinkedIn search, I noticed LinkedIn users who placed “Immunized” on their headlines. Rodgers’s controversy claiming “immunized” status may look at the user’s verbiage indifferently.
States with vaccination laws recognize employees that received the Pfizer, Moderna, or Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Any other method would be considered non-compliant, and likely recruiters will see it that way too. LinkedIn users who are open to being recruited or potentially referred by someone in their network will need to craft clear messages.
Not only must your value offering to employers, potential collaborators, or referrers be clear, but it must be direct. That’s why it’s better not to include your status on your LinkedIn profile as recruiters are not filtering through their initial search for potential candidates.
The pandemic has tested the very fabric of our livelihoods and workplace and how we approach finding work. It’s important to know what will affect the industries we desire to work (or currently work) in and what the employer requires. If you’re currently conducting a job search, you’ll want to know what work culture is right for you without waiting for an interview to ask questions. Not all employers are working remotely, requiring vaccines, or paying daily or weekly. It’s nice to know if the disruption of traditional work processes will affect your future. Maybe it’s time to walk away from a career that served you well for a decade that no longer aligns with your values or expectations anymore. To thrive in the future of work, you must take control of your life.
Are you ready?