how a shared commitment to innovation powers success.

  • career advice
  • July 11, 2018

What are the most significant trends affecting the workplace, both today and in the years to come? Randstad’s recently completed Workplace 2025 Study, which surveyed over 800 senior-level leaders, including directors, department heads, key decision makers and C-suite executives across a wide range of industries — as well as more than 2,600 employees, like FTEs, part-timers, temps, contractors and freelancers — sought to find out. This is part of the greater Workplace 2025 initiative.

employers view the ability to innovate as essential

The rapid pace of change, together with ongoing disruptive innovations, means that most companies today view innovation as essential to their ability to compete in the marketplace.

  • Two thirds of employers indicated that they are behind the curve in implementing new technologies, and that they would not be considered “innovative leaders” in their industries. 
  • A full 89 percent said that it is critical for organizations to redesign their structures, and embrace digital technologies in order to increase productivity, better compete in the marketplace and reduce long-term costs. 
  • 20 percent said the biggest obstacle to becoming leaders in innovation is a lack of skilled resources.

Particularly as the pace of innovation continues to accelerate, those companies that fall behind in with their innovation strategy will be in danger of dropping out of the race altogether. The ability to attract and retain top talent is almost certainly going to be a differentiator.

job search and HR technology is rapidly evolving

Today, companies seek to uncover just how technology-fluent employees are right out of the gate. For example, the hiring process often formally kicks off with pre-employment screening for specific skills, as well as self-assessment tools, like personality and aptitude tests. And some companies have fully embraced digital innovation and begun to use sophisticated chatbots to assess candidates early on in the hiring process.

Candidates are also more empowered than in the past, capable of thoroughly researching employers, drilling down into organizational culture and getting a read on perks and benefits — all before they decide if they’re going to apply. In an increasingly globalized labor market, job seekers who wish to network — wherever they are — can now connect with recruiters and employers digitally at virtual job fairs.

employees want to see digital transformation in action

The adoption and use of digital tools today is increasingly linked to the concept of digital transformation, which Forrester defines as “harnessing digital assets to continually improve customer outcomes while increasing operational agility.”

One clear, and perhaps surprising, takeaway of The Workplace 2025 Study was just how much clout digital transformation held for candidates when evaluating potential employers.

  • One third of employees (31.3%) believe the future success of their company will be largely dependent on digital transformation. 
  • A full 80 percent agree that when they are considering new employment, the hiring organization’s use of the latest digital tools greatly influences their willingness to join the company. 
  • Sixty-two percent said they will only work for a company who is considered a digital leader. 
  • Forty percent said they have left jobs because they didn’t have access to the latest digital tools.

it’s not just employers who care about innovation

The way that companies approach innovation is increasingly becoming a differentiator in employer branding. Simply put, companies that are perceived to be innovative will have an easier time attracting, hiring and retaining top talent — innovation is, in essence, product differentiation.

If you’re a forward-thinking and -looking candidate who is passionate about innovation — and wants to work for a company that feels the same — your interview is a chance to vet your potential employer’s attitude toward innovation. Consider asking questions like:

  • What activities are you currently engaged in to embrace digital technologies? What are the anticipated benefits of those activities? 
  • Is the company reorganizing to embrace digital technologies? If so, how far would you say you are in that reorganization — early stages, halfway there, nearing completing? 
  • Do you support training or professional development for your employees to make them more innovative? 
  • Where will this company be in five years? How about in 10 years?

Want even more insight on how you can leverage innovation to power your success? Check out this informative webinar.