In his recently released Global Talent Trends Report, LinkedIn outlines four trends for the workplace in 2019: flexible working, transparency in salaries, soft skills, and better protection against harassment and discrimination in the workplace.
The four trends are based on a survey of more than 5,000 human resources managers worldwide compared with LinkedIn analytics. 9 out of 10 staff consider soft skills as important, if not more important, than hard skills. A large proportion (87 percent) of companies now offer flexible work and comparatively few German HR professionals see salary transparency and better protection against harassment and discrimination in the workplace as trend topics.
“We are experiencing a changing world of work,” says Barbara Wittmann, Member of the Executive Board of LinkedIn DACH. “The changes are driven by different factors. Flexible working, for example, involves a growing need for a self-determined lifestyle, and technical developments that make concepts such as remote working possible in the first place. Other trends have a political background: the debate on harassment and discrimination in the workplace, for example, is strongly driven by #MeToo and other movements. For employers who want to succeed in the fight for the best talent, it is important that they recognize these trends in a timely manner. “
1. Flexible working is the new standard
According to LinkedIn, more and more applicants are explicitly looking for employers who offer flexible work models. Companies are reacting to this demand and are increasingly pointing out the corresponding regulations in their job vacancies – since 2016, there has been an increase of 78 per cent in job advertisements explicitly mentioning flexible working. In addition, the majority of HR professionals (87 percent) state that their company now offers flexible work. However, there are significant differences between the individual sectors. In the software industry, 72 percent of companies implement corresponding models, in the manufacturing industry, however, there are only 43 percent.
Most importantly, flexible working seems to be the Northern Europeans. Eighty-five percent of HR managers surveyed here state that offering such work models is very important when it comes to attracting new employees. In Germany, as in the US and Great Britain, 75 percent agree with this statement. China is in the bottom of the survey with just 52 percent.
2 Salaries become transparent
More and more companies are changing their strategy. Twenty-seven percent of the world already informs their employees and applicants about salary ranges, and 22 percent see at least a certain likelihood that they will start over the next five years. However, German HR managers attach the least importance to salary transparency in international comparison. 52 percent of the US, 50 percent of the French and 50 percent of British HR think the topic is an important trend – in Germany it is only 34 percent.
3 New focus on soft skills
Soft skills are gaining relevance. 80 per cent of the surveyed personnel attribute to them a growing importance for the company’s success. And 92 percent believe that soft skills are just as important or even more important than hard skills. The following skills are particularly important to employers worldwide.
- time management
However, while the hard skills of applicants can be verified by means of certificates, certificates or employment tests, the assessment of soft skills often lacks a structured approach. 68 per cent of the staff members mainly rely on the impressions collected in the interview. Only 41 percent rate soft skills as part of a fixed process. There is still some catching up to do here.
4. Better protection against harassment and discrimination in the workplace
Unfortunately, harassment and discrimination in the workplace occur in all sectors and at all hierarchical levels. However, the problem awareness of many employers and employees is still growing. Eighty percent of HR professionals say their company has taken preventive measures recently. And 75 percent state that people are behaving differently in dealing with this issue today than they were two years ago. An international comparison shows that continental European human resources managers are less likely to have the topic on the agenda than their colleagues from other parts of the world. In India, 87 percent of HR professionals consider the implementation of anti-harassment and discrimination measures as an important trend, in Australia it is 76 percent and in the US 74 percent. In Germany, on the other hand, only 47 percent, in France 54 percent and in Italy 57 percent of this opinion.