Written By
Max Brown


2017 Workplace Predictions: Still Accurate?

I like milestones and progress reports.  And while I see upcoming job market predictions at the end of every year, I don’t often see workplace predictions periodically revisited during the following year to evaluate how much our corporate environments have changed.

So for this post, I’d like to provide a progress report on 2017 workplace trends to check in on how 2017 is changing the way we do our jobs.  The predictions I’ll revisit include:

  1. The gig economy will slow down.
  2. Companies will focus less on fun perks.  Instead, they will focus more on traditional compensation elements like increasing 401k match and they’ll invest time, money and resources in formal career development for their employees.
  3. Companies will improve their candidates’ experience during the interview process.

To gig or not to gig?

One of the most often discussed indicators of the gig economy is the growth of ride sharing services.  Both Lyft and Uber have continued to grow in the first quarter of 2017.

We also live in a world of changing needs for both employee and employer.  We’re seeing the gig economy hold steady, and the blended workforce is rising.  That means that permanent employees are teammates alongside freelancers and contract employees.

In our own Silicon Beach tech economy, we’ve observed this increase in blended teams as well.  Companies view this as a way to rapidly scale diversely talented teams to solve an immediate business need or complete a large project with a fixed timeline.  As long as the companies are up front about job timeline parameters and expectations from the beginning, people can leverage these opportunities to build a larger portfolio of meaningful projects on their CV and use that to propel their careers.

Employee development and traditional perks

We haven’t seen much change in the ways companies view traditional vs. more unconventional components of a compensation package.  However, one thing has been clear so far in 2017: the increasing struggle to convince the best candidates to leave their current job to join a new company or team still inspires companies to get creative in what they offer.  The newer and the less established the company is, the harder they will have to work to compete effectively with established companies for the same talent.

Improving candidate experience

Despite the rise of automated job platforms, there is no substitute for a human element of compassion when hiring team members. A recent study noted that “60% of job seekers have had a poor candidate experience” and 72% of them discuss those experiences with others in their network or on employer review sites.

The impact of this is that 80% of people seeking new positions are negatively influenced by that information so they pursue other opportunities at different companies. A bad candidate experience may even convince them to stop being customers. So, reputation is important. We haven’t seen a huge change yet in the way that companies handle candidates. But implementing that sort of large scale effort takes a lot of time and resources, more so if you’re doing it in house. And while not every company can turn recruiting into a profitable revenue stream like Virgin Media did, improving the candidates’ experience can help a company’s brand long term.

Workplace predictions going forward

What does the rest of 2017 hold for the workforce? At least for partners of Silicon Beach Talent, we’re seeing a steep increase in hiring tech, cleantech, and hardware talent in Los Angeles. And that’s a great thing for companies and candidates alike.