Succession planning, mobility and social media to shape the future workplace

Robert Half research confirms succession planning, workplace mobility and social media are the key drivers that will shape the future of the workplace.

  • 53% of Australian HR leaders say succession planning will have the greatest impact on the future of the workplace, 51% refer to workplace mobility followed by 34% who say social media recruitment. 
  • 44% think succession planning will be one of the most challenging elements related to HR planning in three years, 35% say employee engagement. 
  • 39% consider specialist recruitment agencies will be the most effective recruitment tool by 2020, 38% say online job boards and 34% refer to their company website. 

Independent research by specialised recruitment company Robert Half confirms succession planning, workplace mobility and social media are the key drivers that will shape the future of the workplace.

Whilst 53% of HR managers think succession planning will have the greatest impact on the future of the workplace, 44% say succession planning will be one of the most challenging elements in recruitment in three years. This can be partially attributed to the Baby Boomer generation gradually retiring from the workforce, and as such preparing for the replacement of their most experienced employees will be a crucial factor in preparing for the future of workplace. This emphasises the need for succession planning to be a top priority for companies in the future. 

Andrew Brushfield, Director Robert Half Australia said: “Succession planning is a critical process in any organisation and HR managers are astutely aware that planning for the future is an essential business practice. By implementing succession plans, employers who are faced with the sudden departure of a leader can ensure it is a manageable event, rather than an organisational crisis.”

“Succession planning also applies to larger generational shifts in the workforce as many Baby Boomers have already left the employment market, a trend that is set to continue over the next several years. This has caused some concern among employers, as the anticipated rise in the number of retirements also affects the recruitment policy of organisations that are increasingly preparing for the replacement of their most experienced employees.”

“Companies are counting on motivated Gen Y talent and recent graduates to be available for these new job opportunities and to be able to make a maximum contribution to the company’s productivity as quickly as possible, thanks to knowledge transfer from the Baby Boomers and additional training courses.”

When reflecting on the future of the workplace, more than half (51%) of HR managers anticipate a mobile workforce will have the most impact and more than one-third (34%) refer to social media recruitment. 

“In the future, as Gen Y and Gen Z will make up for the majority of the workforce, HR managers may have to source more candidates via social media channels as these professionals are very much active on social media, also when looking for jobs. Planning for the future not only includes securing an adequate talent pipeline, but also involves how companies will engage with mobile professionals in the social media age.”

Looking ahead, more than one in three (35%) HR managers expect employee engagement will be one the most challenging elements they will face in three years, which suggests HR leaders are also concerned that their future staff may need more engagement than their predecessors. 

When looking at future recruitment tools, as the employment market tightens, companies realise the increased importance of specialised recruitment agencies when sourcing the right candidates – almost two out of five (39%) HR managers think specialised recruitment agencies will be the most effective recruitment tool in 2020. When thinking about recruitment processes of the future, companies understand that a comprehensive approach is needed to secure the right talent. Not only recruitment agencies, but also company websites (38%) and social media tools (33%), such as LinkedIn and Facebook, are regarded among the most effective recruitment tool in the future, an indication of the growing influence of digital tools in the HR function. 

“While technology will continue to play an integral part of a company’s recruitment strategy, companies profoundly understand the importance of the ‘human touch’ in order to secure the right talent.”

“In today’s competitive job market, where companies are competing for top talent and where demand is exceeding supply in several industries, it’s in a company’s best interest to have an all-round hiring strategy that combines both the latest technologies, social media and specialised staffing agencies,” Andrew Brushfield concluded. 

Australian HR managers were asked:

  What are the top three trends that will have the greatest impact on the future of the workplace? What will be the most challenging elements related to your HR planning in three years?
Succession planning 53% 44%
Mobile workplace 51% 31%
Social media recruitment 34% 29%
Demand for workplace flexibility 32% 29%
Multi-generations in the workplace 26% 23%
Employee engagement  24% 35%
Big Data/data analytics 23% 24%
Mobile recruitment  21% 29%
Talent management  16% 23%
War for talent  15% 28%
Employee branding  3% 3%

Source: Independent survey commissioned by Robert Half among 100 Australian HR managers – three answers per respondent.

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About the research
The annual study is developed by Robert Half and conducted in April 2016 by an independent research firm, surveying 100 Australian HR managers. This survey is part of the international workplace survey, a questionnaire about job trends, talent management and trends in the workplace.

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