5. Mind the app
Less than a decade ago, nobody had heard of apps, let alone owned or used one. That changed with the debut of the App Store in July 2008. Now users of Apple mobile platforms have made more than 100 billion app downloads of the million-plus apps to choose from.
In just a few intense years, apps have become the go-to solution for a whole lot of issues large and small. In fact, right now plenty of people are facing a problem thinking: “there must be an app for that”. The millions of apps already created are just the beginning of a self-reinforcing loop of appification. As more people use familiar apps and discover new ones, more smart people and smart investors are stepping up to provide new ones. Next up: a whole lot of inventive but non-techie DIYers invent apps in a massive wave of crowdsourced problem solving.
The Talent Perspective – recruitment is already seeing the development of apps for all sorts of issues from onboarding to review sites such as Glassdoor. Almost any sort of issue is now getting the app treatment: how can you use text more effectively in recruitment? Use the text-recruit app; how can we reach passive candidates with videos? Use the match-click app; how can your LinkedIn groups be improved? Use the new groups app, etc. And of course there are apps for apps, most particularly a range of Facebook Apps (Work4, Job Vite, Job Cast etc). We can only expect this trend to continue – in particular in terms of areas such as onboarding where there is a clear on-going need, but also pre-boarding (for the crucial time candidates are deciding whether to join).
6. Getting smart
The world is going crazy not just for smart people but also for smart everything. To find out what smart has come to mean, look no further than the smartphones that have pretty much taken over the phone industry with their big lists of capabilities in small packages.
Hot on the heels of smartphones, we now have smart watches that control music, count steps, show social media updates, take pictures and more; smart fabrics that can change colour, generate electricity and monitor vital signs; smart shoes that guide the wearer to a destination with haptic (touch) cues; and smart drugs that boost the natural cognitive functioning of the brain to enhance memory, learning and reasoning.
The next wave is all about smartification. Anything has the potential to be smartified with the application of creative thinking and embedded sensors, processors and wireless communication. There might possibly be one or two big innovations that radically change everything, but there will definitely be many small innovations that make all of life that bit smarter.
The Talent Perspective – leaving aside tech, at the heart of smartification is the desire for ‘smart talent’ and this is only going to intensify. However the definition of smart is liable to continue to evolve away from a purely academic smarts to a more rounded ‘consultant style’ smart.
7. The Roar of the Cloud
As more activities move into the cloud and more needs can be served from the cloud, individuals, communities and organisations will face the same question time and again: What value is there in people being in the same physical space for this activity, whatever it might be? Increasingly, people will find no functional, operational value for many activities, so they won’t bother.
The Talent Perspective – there is a growing trend towards remote interactions in both the workplace and recruitment – video interviews, virtual meetings and presentations, recruitment via social media etc. This is all great and can offer real business benefits, but let’s not forget people’s (even amongst Generation Z) favourite form of communication is still face-to-face. It’s also easily the most effective for tasks such as persuasion and engagement – both really important in recruiting and retaining staff. So there may still be a particularly strong functional benefit to face-to-face communication in the talent space.
8. Experience Is the New Classroom
Nowadays book learning is nothing special. Anyone can get access to information in books and lectures on virtually anything. In fact, the world’s most prestigious universities are offering the fruits of their knowledge free to the whole world via MOOCs. Today it’s practical, hands-on skills that are becoming less common and more valued. Hence the growing need for practical, experiential learning that turns the what of content into the how of application.
Today’s experiential learners benefit from self-feeding cycles of theory and practice, with access to a great range of masters and applications. They have a growing selection of organisations aiming to provide rich mixes of learning. And they are free to innovate.
Universities are finding that offering serious experiential programmes is a great way to attract motivated students and to enhance their standing.
The Talent Perspective – In the future, organisations will understand that robust experiential education cannot just be a nice-to-have, but rather a core part of their business model, giving them the benefit of fresh minds, creating a pipeline of valuable talent, cutting down on recruitment costs and garnering CSR kudos. Internships and experiential education will increasingly become an option for older workers looking to retool for the changing workplace.
This blog was written by Graeme Wright, strategy director at Havas People.