We all read about it daily. We hear about it from our friends and neighbors that may be in a job search. If we are so fortunate to be employed in the labor marketplace, we feel it. Change is coming. But what is this change exactly?

To quote a recent article about Genesys by Andrew Karpie with Spend Matters, “the established workforce supplier landscape and supply chain is really changing now.” The reasons for and drivers of change are many fold. We believe in a better way and we welcome these changes to a system which can aptly be described as archaic. You can read the full piece by Andrew on Genesys HERE.

We see plenty of statistical evidence: the growing shift towards freelancing, the work and lifestyle desires of the millennials and Gen X’ers, the degree of unrest and disengagement expressed in virtually every worker survey you see. So what is driving this phenomenon some are calling “The New World of Work”?

This moniker by its very nature suggests change – the “new” world of work. While there may not be a definitive definition of the new world of work, one thing is for sure: we can see the impacts of change. For those of you lucky enough to hear Seth Mattison speak, he frames it as a battle being waged between the old, rigid hierarchy paradigm and the new, more dynamic network paradigm. The younger members of our workforce have been shaped by a networked environment of mobile technology and social experiences.

So what does this really mean? A clash of culture, of needs, of expectations, and interests. So in essence if we understand the workforce of today, we can understand and define what is both an opportunity and a challenge: a need for major structural shift in the way people work and connect with work opportunities. This is evidenced by:

  • Employment Unrest: A recent report by Rapt Media titled “U.S. Employees: Detached, Disengaged, and Disenchanted” found that only 32% of US employees feel engaged.
  • Shifting Priorities: In a recent GoCo Blog, “10 Ways to Attract Top Talent by Improving Your Workplace Culture,” none of the ten were related to the actual work being performed.
  • Changing Processes: The Coca-Cola Company recently posted “Hire Power: How Social Media is Changing the Way People Search for Jobs,” in which they discuss the impact of social media stating, “where recommendations have replaced references, connections trump cover letters and the resume is a soon-to-be relic…”.

This is only a small sampling of the change afoot in the labor markets of today. But these few examples illustrate just how rampant the changes are and how they are affecting everything. While technology is an important facilitator, it isn’t the driving force of change. It is people that are changing the ways in which they think about work and prefer to perform it as well as how they find work and how they incorporate work into their lives rather than the other way around.

This is the birthplace of Genesys: to recognize, change and improve the ways in which people engage with work, by meeting the fundamental needs of people beyond just finding a job. While Genesys is anchored in technology, you won’t see technology mentioned in our vision, mission, purpose or values. That is because we see our reason for being centered on people and meeting their new expectations through experience, empowerment, transparency, and mobility. We believe that by working within the existing landscape of industry participants to create a higher functioning ecosystem is the pathway to achieving those things most efficiently and effectively.

Andrew Karpie put it well when he said “Genesys is a prime example of how innovation can occur within the established staffing supply chain, as a reimagining and rearrangement of staffing processes enabled by new technology and platform models.” We believe that is an accurate representation of where Genesys is currently in our evolutionary journey.

Bill Price, CTO

As we are wrapping up our preparations to visit with many of our peers and other industry participants at SIA’s “Collaboration in the Gig Economy” event next week, it occurred to me that we are at an interesting juncture in our industry. The event itself is a sort of “way point” in a shift in thinking from more traditional, siloed problem solving in our industry to more of a community or ecosystem approach.

Our current employment paradigms, born over 100 years ago, are the offspring of the Industrial Age. Over time we’ve developed a family of conventions, practices, and systems that govern the myriad employment vehicles available today. These have served us well for many decades, but as the workforce has become more dynamic the complexity and limitations have become more evident. Many of our processes, systems, and methods for employing a workforce have become bloated and inefficient translating to an ever lengthening gap between when the talent is needed and when the worker starts. It will take time for new systems, new technologies, and new regulatory provisions to catch up with the accelerated changes we are seeing in the workforce.

In the meantime, as a community and as the shepherds of the labor marketplace we must stay focused on meeting the needs of our workers and employers while the supporting framework catches up. That means we must find ways to work together to untangle and simplify the employment structures in place today. That will require collaboration across organizations and functions in new ways that may feel foreign or seem counter-intuitive.

As the Genesys team builds automation to deliver talent clouds to our customers, we recently encountered a situation where we found a better solution for representing and transmitting a candidate’s qualifications and experience than using the traditional resume. So we approached our client with an alternative and the option of adopting a new way of consuming this information. Unsurprisingly, their initial reaction was “we’ve always required a resume.” However, because of the flexibility and speed inherent in our technology we were able to quickly configure to this delivery model and demonstrate the feasibility of the proposal. After the client adopted the new method there were readily apparent new efficiencies that meant workers were engaged and ramped up in a fraction of the time required under the traditional resume approach. This is just one simple example of how old conventions can be challenged to the benefit of workers and employers.

We’re really looking forward to the exchange of ideas and experiences at the SIA event next week and we’re hoping that you’re pushing the envelope in your thinking and will bring those thoughts with you!

Bill Price, CTO