Trends in alternative work models

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What all employers need to know about the next generation’s preferences around NextGen work.

If you are an employer that recruits and hopes to retain younger workers, you need to think about work models beyond the traditional 9-to-5 workplace. The workplace has evolved, and it is no longer a one-size-fits-all.

The shift towards alternative work models includes freelance, part-time and limited-term employment. Collectively, this is known as the rise of NextGen Work, also often called the Gig Economy. In its Future of Jobs Report 2018, the World Economic Forum predicts that these new categories of jobs emerging will partly or wholly displace other, more traditional ways of working.

“As digital transformation continues to sweep across all sectors and industries, it is inevitable that the way we live and work will continue to change. As Millennials and Gen Z’s continue to enter the workplace, we see these changes becoming even more apparent – and employers need to be aware of the trends and find the best ways to work these into their strategies,” explains Lyndy van den Barselaar, managing director at ManpowerGroup South Africa.

New data illustrates how these trends are taking hold, including the newly released ManpowerGroup Solutions’ Global Candidate Preferences Research — How We Want To Work: What Employers Need to Know About Candidate Work Model Preferences. This research highlights differences in how candidates prefer to work and how employers need to adapt to address the growing global talent shortages.

In South Africa specifically it is predicted that millennials will represent over 50% of the workforce by 2020 and 75% by 2030.

So, what is driving the demand for NextGen Work? There are a few significant factors: NextGen Work supplements incomes over the short-term, provides freedom to explore different roles and develops in-demand skills for the long-term. Individuals also have the flexibility to control where, when and how they work, that can reduce stress and allow for a better work-life balance.

Most strikingly, nearly half, about 45% of all global candidates prefer something other than a full-time job. In some markets, the number of candidates who prefer contract, project, part-time, seasonal and temporary work exceeds 60%. Millennials in the ManpowerGroup study found NextGen Work to be particularly attractive, although people of all ages valued the flexibility and opportunity to develop new skills that NextGen Work provides.

While some markets are already embracing alternative work models, employers everywhere must tailor their workforce planning to candidate preferences. This may include, among other considerations, providing options for employees to work remotely, being flexible inside the organisation, and being creative with talent recruitment.

According to the Deloitte Millenials Survey, 2017, about 62% of South African businesses agreed that flexibility contributes to the organisations ability to meet its objectives, The report also found that 43% of surveyed South African millennials are open to freelancing – higher than the global average of 31% of millennials globally.

In 2019, it’s more crucial than ever for employers to understand the needs of employees, in order to recruit and maintain top talent. “Employers that understand and work to accommodate next gen workers will be a step ahead of their competitors – an important advantage considering the existing skills gap,” concludes van den Barselaar.

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