A number of trends are converging to heighten sensitivity to the future. Perhaps the most significant trend is a noticeable tendency for people to take back control of the management of their careers. People also want more control over other aspects of their lives and we see signs that consumers are becoming more demanding. As individuals step back into the driver’s seat, corporations will be forced to become more responsive to both employees and customers.
A principal driving force is the upward trend in the economy. There are two important factors here. First is that the economy is improving, in many ways and in many places. Most of the places that have not felt the influence of the economic growth will experience positive change soon. The second factor is people’s perceptions that conditions are getting better. Corporate leaders are responding with more positive strategies, energizing the growth.
Another influential trend is the rapidly increasing flow of communication through the use of the Internet. Often, the needed information and knowledge, on which to base decisions and take action, is instantly available, around the world. The use of the Internet for e-commerce is also growing at a rapid rate, expanding markets geographically, socio-economically, and in rate of response. Competition is intensifying.
Employee recruiting has intensified already, and the pace will pick up significantly over the next few months. Accompanying this movement is a migration to more electronic recruiting. Organizations like technology leaders Recruitmax (www.recruitmax.com), WebHire (www.webhire.com), and Hire.com are enjoying a healthy increase in attention from existing and prospective clients in a number of countries.
Education and training trends indicate that employers will become much more active in this field. To attract and hold top talent, they will provide on-site training, special arrangements to attend courses at community colleges and other schools, and will provide more support for tuition reimbursement programs. Look for wise employers to seek deeper relationships with colleges with innovative and creative programs, colleges that are not necessarily in the mainstream of better-known institutions.
We expect the growing economy to create an excellent year for most of the players.
From “Herman Trend Alert,” by Roger Herman and Joyce Gioia, Strategic Business Futurists, copyright 2004. (800) 227-3566 or www.hermangroup.com. The Herman Trend Alert is published each week in English, Spanish, French, and Portuguese.