In this guest blog, Jeanne Meister, Partner, Future Workplace and Co-author of The 2020 Workplace: How Innovative Companies Attract, Develop & Keep Tomorrow’s Employees Today (Harper Collins) shares her insights on the future of work in an Internet of Everything (IoE) landscape. The description of the new hire process in the blog post below is adapted from Chapter 1 of her book, The 2020 Workplace.   

Job searching, hiring and our daily work life are rapidly changing thanks to technological innovations.  Knowledge workers are gaining greater control and flexibility over their employment experience.  This will start from the moment job seekers begin an employment search.

According to the 2014 Cisco Connected World Technology Report, more than 60% of workers report that their current or future job searches will not be limited to their hometown, or even country.

Organizations will need to evolve their processes to find and hire the best talent in the future.  Today’s methods won’t work with tomorrow’s workforce.  Consider the case of “Katya,” a top graduate from a well-respected university in 2020. After graduation, Katya will land her first job at D&Y, one of the country’s last two major accounting firms.

Submitting an online resume and completing several rounds of in-person interviews will not be the way Katya gets hired.

Instead, after a participating in a series of video chats on the D&Y Facebook page, Katya will be selected to compete in an employment contest hosted on YouTube to earn the right for a personal interview.

Next, Katya will be invited to play a video game called “Shadow Spectator” that will allow her to virtually shadow a D&Y auditor and learn more about the job.

After a virtual meeting with the human resources team, Katya will receive her official letter of hire and onboarding documents, which she she’ll retrieve from her wearable device, perhaps a smart-watch. At the end of her new hire process, she’ll attend a series of manager presentations delivered via TelePresence where she will select her manager based on their communication styles and commitment to mentoring and coaching of new hires.

Self-selecting a manager is just one way knowledge workers will have more control over their work experience in the future.  All of this will happen without Katya ever going to a D&Y office.  She’ll work from home and only travel to attend critical in-person workshops or client meetings.  The rest of the time she’ll rely on collaboration tools to interact with co-workers and clients as D&Y has instituted a zero email policy with all communications on the D&Y enterprise social networking platform.

Sound far-fetched? Think again.

Although this illustration is a fictional example of what it will be like to get hired in the 2020’s, much of the technology driving the future business landscape is already here.

Today we are seeing a convergence of mobility, cloud and social technology – the Internet of Everything (IoE) – that is driving us toward a more connected and collaborative work environment. The result will drive disruption in today’s current HR hiring practices and retaining top talent.

These evolving collaboration tools are leading to greater workplace flexibility, something that is no longer seen as a “perk,” but rather an expectation of job candidates and employees. To stay competitive and attract qualified talent, organizations must not only recognize the changing workplace for what it is, but should also be ready to revamp their hiring process and use it as a brand-building opportunity.

Consider the large number of today’s professionals that use two or three mobile devices for both work and personal use. Couple the finding in Cisco’s 2014 Connected World Technology Report  that 60% of respondents would abandon their laptops in favor of any other mobile device for their work and professional use. With the growing demand to work from anywhere, the future workplace will depend on organizations harnessing the power of technology to drive greater flexibility.

Now is the time for IT, HR and business leaders to co-create shared initiatives they will use that will help the company attract and retain top talent.

How can employees be social ambassadors? How can future employees connect with brands in real-time? How can companies find the right talent and keep them excited to come to work?

That’s the big opportunity we can prepare for now.

Be sure to join the conversation, #FutureOfWork.

Additional Resources:


Jeanne Meister

Founding Partner

Future Workplace & Co-Author of Best Selling Book