LinkedIn says employees can create the world of work they want

LinkedIn says employees can create the world of work they want

 March 23, 2022

Daniel Shapero, Chief Operating Officer (COO), at LinkedIn, looks at how 2021 was the year our relationship with work changed forever, our patterns of work and life changed, and people around the world started rethinking not only how they work and where they work, but why they work.

“We call it the Great Reshuffle. In 2022, the dust will begin to settle, and new norms will become more visible, perhaps even mainstream,” Daniel explains. 

To understand what norms will prevail, Daniel says that we must first recognize that talent is in incredibly high demand now, and will be for the foreseeable future. 

“Just as supply chains became a focal point of many businesses over the past year, executive teams will increasingly make hiring, development, and retention of talent a top strategic imperative. 

“We are in the tightest labor market in recent memory, and we expect it to get even tighter in 2022, especially when it comes to digital skills, which businesses will need to deliver against customer expectations post-pandemic,” says Daniel. 

Shaping career opportunities of tomorrow 

Daniel highlights that with talent in high demand, employees are in a stronger position to create the world of work they want – where managers trust them, work policies embrace flexibility, and the path to career growth is clear. 

“The rising generation of professionals know that the skills they build and experiences they acquire today shape their career opportunities of tomorrow, and will be quick to move between employers if they feel that their growth is limited. To compound this trend, remote work is giving many, particularly those outside of major metropolitan areas, more job options to consider without disrupting where they want to live,” Daniel comments.

Daniel states that LinkedIn data shows the future of work will continue to evolve, with decades-old rules getting re-written. Here are some expected trends:

  • People are reevaluating what work means to them and a tightening labor market opens possibilities. Early in 2021, there was a particularly sharp rise in job transitions – with the share of U.S. LinkedIn members changing jobs surging 50% year over year in August 2021, and a LinkedIn survey found that more than half (59%) of working Americans are rethinking their career in order to find more fulfillment from their work. 
  • Entrepreneurship was a popular career path, with millions of Americans launching businesses in 2020 and 2021. Layoffs created record unemployment leaving millions in need of jobs. At the same time, many others reset their career expectations entirely to seek more fulfillment, explore career paths with greater flexibility or compensation, or pursue a passion project. This wave of new businesses – including a notable surge of female founders – will reshape labor market dynamics going forwards. 
  • LinkedIn is seeing that workers want more from their careers and are holding employers to higher standards. Companies are rewriting their playbooks, trading long-standing hiring practices for skills-based recruiting, and putting renewed focus on employee skilling and training. In fact, close to three-quarters of executives (72%) believe that training is crucial to helping people work effectively in a hybrid world where you have fewer opportunities to ask the colleague next to you for help. And with more than 67% of recruiters making skills and competencies the focus on job descriptions in the last year, LinkedIn doesn't see this trend slowing down any time soon. 
  • LinkedIn data has also reflected the importance of skills development with members’ skills for the same job changing by about 25% from 2015 to 2021. At this pace, by 2025 LinkedIn expect members’ skills will have changed by about 40% - and that between by 2025, members may need to learn three more new skills, on average, to keep pace with the changing nature of skills required for their jobs.

Flexible working options 

“We know transition can be hard and companies are reassessing their entire working models, cultures, and company values. In 2021, we saw job seekers applying to a more selective range of roles and driving a harder bargain with their employers for more flexibility, compensation, and internal growth opportunities," says Daniel. 

“81% of leaders have already, or are planning to offer employees greater flexibility, reflecting what employees want: 87% prefer to stay remote at least half of the time." 

The design of a hybrid workplace is a significant part of ensuring that the future of work works, according to Daniel. 

“Employers are re-evaluating their workplaces with an eye on flexible seating, communal work spaces, and even immersive meeting spaces with virtual reality - all to ensure that teams can effectively collaborate, regardless of location. But there’s no one-size-fits-all formula for hybrid work. We predict the most successful companies will test multiple strategies, embrace employee feedback, and iterate constantly,” he continues. 

Employee wellbeing is key 

Daniel explains that new employee/employer contract isn’t just about where employees work, it’s also about how they work, and a necessary focus on employee well-being will emerge as a key part of this new contract. 

“Employees are moving away from the often glamorized “hustle” culture. In response, companies are listening and promoting work-life balance, along with better resources to support their employees, like mental health counseling. It’s a smart move: employees who feel cared for at work are more than 3x more likely to be happy at work and ‘happier’ companies outperform their competitors by 20%,” he says. 

Talent retention will move front and center and internal mobility programs will have a renaissance. With the global economy experiencing massive change – along with a tight labor market – investing in employees has never been more important. Employees at companies with high internal mobility stay almost twice as long than those who don’t, and those who have found new roles internally are three times more likely to be engaged than those who haven’t.

Measuring campaign success 

“As we think about the specific experiences we’ve navigated alongside our customers who are driving go-to-market strategies, we expect some exciting shifts in B2B. We predict a revolution in B2B advertising where privacy-first models prevail and B2C lookalike approaches subside; and a world where intent signals become the foundation for fostering healthy buyer and seller relationships,” comments Daniel. 

“In light of privacy changes occurring around the globe, companies are rethinking how they reach audiences with relevant content, and as a result, B2B digital advertising will notably shift. Marketers must reimagine everything from the products they use, to how they reach their buyers, to how to measure campaign success.”

Daniel highlights that is uncharted territory. “The brands that win – that really redefine the future of B2B digital advertising – are the ones that are nimble and quick to test and iterate. The bottom line is that in 2022 -- and beyond - the future of B2B digital advertising is built on privacy, understanding buying groups, and having the skills to dig into insights to identify the buying signals that will allow you to create impactful marketing campaigns.”

The new world of work 

And while buyers have benefited from the rise of virtual selling, it’s much harder for sellers to break through: this year alone, there was a 30% decline in buyer response to sellers compared to the pre-COVID benchmark, Daniel explains.  

“Buyer intent signals will be the new currency. Buyers are more selective about who they connect with and sellers should be too. Sellers who build their outreach strategy around buyer intent signals – understanding what buyers are interested in right now and identifying where they are on their journey – will be the ones finding success in 2022.”

Daniel concludes, “We’re excited to see how the new world of work continues to evolve and new norms being created. Employers and employees across organizations are writing the playbook together - where new paths will be paved and more learnings will be gleaned from tested approaches that fail and succeed. We hope these predictions spark some thinking to help you prepare for top of mind business decisions for the year ahead.”

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