In spring In 2021, the world began to open up again and we saw an unprecedented amount of movement in the global job market. It was a moment we called the Great Reorganization, when employees rethought not only how and where they worked, but also why – and changed jobs at a historic pace. Today, we’re coming out of the Big Shift and seeing the rate of LinkedIn members changing jobs globally for the first time since March 2021.
It is now the word of the day among leaders and companies uncertainty. We’ve gone from slower, more predictable ebbs and flows to constant, persistent disturbances as the norm. This presents a huge challenge, but it can also be an opportunity. Leaders and organizations that are adaptable will win. You can wait out a storm only to be hit by the next one, or you can change before you have to and avoid being caught up every time new circumstances arise.
Nowhere is the need for adaptive leadership more pressing than when it comes to creating an agile workforce. During the Great Reorganization, employers have been relatively nimble when it comes to adopting remote and hybrid work, turning what was once a niche offering into the norm for many sectors. Yet when it comes to a company’s most fundamental asset – its people – we’re still largely under-innovated and relying on outdated ways to find, retain and develop talent.
A new way forward to build a fairer and more efficient talent market is to move to a skills-based approach. This is not a new concept, but it has lived on the periphery for too long. For decades, employment was primarily based on the degree you earned, the jobs you held, the people you knew. This has resulted in less agility for employers and lost opportunities for qualified candidates. The world we live in now requires alternative, flexible and always available routes to well-paying jobs. I believe that change will come through a skills-based approach to opportunity.
LinkedIn data suggests that both employees and employers are beginning to use skills as a common language in the job search. More than 40 percent of employees now explicitly use LinkedIn’s candidate screening and prospecting skills. This skills-based approach should not stop there. Our recent report on global talent trends shows that organizations that excel at internal mobility are able to retain employees for an average of 5.4 years, almost twice as long as those that struggle, where the average retention period is less than three years.
This new era of work brings new opportunities, but requires an adaptive leadership approach. Leaders who realize that the old ways of recruiting based on degrees and pedigree no longer make sense will be the ones who succeed. In 2023, this change will begin to play out on a much larger scale and move from the fringes to the mainstream, as employers begin to realize the untapped potential we unlock by moving into the labor market in the first place.
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