Companies today adhere to a decades-old recruitment process originally designed for in-person paper applications — a pre-Internet, one-company-for-life era that has quickly passed us by. The Internet increased our visibility of choice and ease of application, which – coupled with accelerating, always-on technology — shortened our attention spans to less than a goldfish’s.
Whatever the reasons, average employment tenure has declined significantly since the typewriting days. In fact, students today are projected to have an average of 17 jobs in as many as five careers or industries throughout their lifetime.
The implications are staggering; from increased recruitment and onboarding costs to brain drain to the stress of starting over again and again, both employer and employee will face challenges unique to this new world of work. In this forever-LinkedIn world, virtually every job across every industry is visible and accessible, presenting seemingly limitless opportunities. People are hopping more often and more broadly — across a wide range of industries and sizes.
Which begs the question: if the one-company-for-life era has passed, and frequent job-hopping is the new normal, why has the recruitment model — or better yet, the employment model itself — not changed?
The Employer Collective Imperative
A few decades ago, “leadership rotational programs” sprung up in companies far and wide. The goal was to keep high-potential college grads engaged in the company by fluctuating their assignments, keeping things new and exciting, and rendering them less likely to flee. In large organizations it was uncommon to move across functions, so the rotational programs forced the move: every 6-12 months, the employees would rotate from Finance to HR to Supply Chain, rounding them out for future management positions. In some cases retention clauses were built into the offer letters — leave the company within five years of completing the program and you forfeited your bonuses (or something like that). The company was making a sizeable investment in you, and flight wasn’t in the plan.
In today’s world of work, flight is the norm. Ubiquitous ads proffer greener pastures at every turn — advance your career, picture yourself here! The high-demand, “critical-skill” set bounce from one employer to another, bidding up their wage and social capital in one fell swoop. Companies decry a “war on talent,” refusing to admit talent won years ago.
Rather than continue on the perfect-job-perfect-candidate roller coaster, let’s imagine a different reality: one in which flight is part of the plan, with transition assistance built in.
Imagine your “rotational assignment” takes you not only from Finance to Accounting to Strategy — but from GE to Indeed to Slack. Maybe the opportunities are grouped by location; maybe they are remote. They key here is that moving between companies is as seamless as an internal company move. One application, one background check, one onboarding process that moves with you, from job to job (did someone say “blockchain”?) — within or outside of your current company […]
Source: ERE Media