The Voice of #NextGenLeaders
The biggest issues affecting the world of work today as well as the issues that are likely to make waves in the future.
<small>THE VOICE OF</small>
I first encountered Enactus on Social Media. I was following their twitter account and their posts started to catch my eye. This was something fresh. This was young people engaging with work and social issues in a really meaningful way. It resonated with me as their approach felt very aligned to what we do at Kelly. We, as a business, connect people to work while Enactus are readying early talent for the future of work.
So, after discussion with the business, we decided to get involved and it’s been one of the most rewarding schemes I have had the pleasure of being a part of. The students I have encountered through Enactus have been incredibly passionate, completely engaged and astonishingly knowledgeable. They ask questions, they push, they probe, and they aren’t afraid to tackle the big issues affecting business right now.
For this special publication, we asked a group of Enactus students to share their views on the biggest issues affecting the world of work today as well as the issues that are likely to make waves in the future. From the application of AI to the gender gap and work-life balance, these students provided a fresh perspective on the topics that keep industry leaders up at night. Their thoughtful and nuanced approach to the subjects is incredibly impressive and makes for a great read. With added insight from Kelly leaders and input from the wonderful Dan Richards at the EY Foundation, we hope this collection leaves you with plenty to think about!
For me, Enactus is an example of an enterprise that truly understands the gap between traditional education and the world of work. It’s something I have written about before and something that I feel is strongly in need of reform. The truth is that education right now isn’t providing young people with the tools they need to succeed in a highly demanding and ever-changing workplace. With a rigid curriculum and a focus on a few narrow skills, something needs to change. Enactus is showcasing a way to provide practical, hands-on learning that truly prepares young people for work. I hope that their example can help to inspire change elsewhere.
To the students here today, I’d say find a career you can be passionate about. Be Bold. Be Brave. Be Provocative. Don’t be afraid to rip up the rulebook. By the time you guys are professionals and leaders, the world of work won’t look the same. And it’s up to you to find new and innovative ways to deal with the challenges this will bring.
Having seen what these students can achieve, as part of this contest and during our ongoing collaboration with Enactus – I’m not worried. Our future is in very safe hands and I’m excited to see where this generation will take it.
Technology, AI and Digitisation
Technology, AI and Digitisation
Technology is not only changing how we live, it’s transforming how we work. So, how do organisations stay ahead of the digital curve?
We spoke with Marco Benedettelli, second-year student at the Royal Holloway University of London about his thoughts on the rise of the digital age and the human skills that machines can never replace.
How do you think AI and digitisation will change how we work?
The application of AI and machine learning will allow us to save time on the repetitive tasks that we do each day in both our personal and professional lives. It will also reduce our need for some generic and analytical skills by allowing us access to systems that can learn. This is likely to lead to better efficiency, which is a positive for organisations. But these changes may negatively impact people in some traditional jobs. We all need to adapt and develop a new range of skills that will allow us to contribute in this changing world.
Are there human skills that AI can never replace?
I think one of the key skills that people generally undervalue in the world of business is the unpredictability of human behaviour. It’s something that algorithms cannot match. We might be able to predict based on assumptions, but those assumptions are limited. We do what we do in a very unique way that can never be fully mapped. This unpredictability drives creativity as well. And creativity cannot be replaced by machines.
How should organisations choose which technology to invest in?
You need to start off by understanding what your strategy is and what your plans are for the short and long term. Based on these considerations, you can make proper decisions about the tech you need to invest in. But what I would say is there is always room for improvement even within the technology. So, never underestimate the power and the limits of the technologies that are presented to you. The next big thing may turn out to be not as important as it seems.
Everything will become digital. It’s here and it’s not going away. And that means we have to start having discussions about how best to harness these new technologies. However, there are certain, very human parts of work that technology cannot replace, such as empathy and creativity. The truth is that AI is not going to play out like it does in a sci-fi movie. Machines are not going to replace us or take over the world! We provide information and AI builds out on this information in a very defined way. The best uses of AI support and augment humans by taking over low-value tasks. Allowing us to spend our time on the ideas and tasks that matter.
Global Practice Strategy Lead,
My biggest aim is self-development. I take every opportunity and I want to be innovative everywhere I go. Enactus provides great challenges and the chance to network with some amazing sponsors
– Royal Holloway University of London, Psychology
IS THE CV DEAD?
THE AGE OF DIGITAL RECRUITMENT
The CV has been the cornerstone of the job search for decades. But increasingly employers are using technology to identifying top talent. Could digital skills passports be the future for candidates and employers?
We spoke with Dominic Nix, a third-year student at Glasgow Caledonian University who is currently studying IT Management for Businesses. Dominic gave us his insights on personal branding, digital passports and the reality of communicating with potential employers in a digital world.
How important is personal branding when it comes to searching for a new role?
I think first impressions really count when employers are looking for a candidate. I want to create an impression that I am personable, approachable, skilled and open-minded. I want them to be able to see this when they review my application or meet me in person.
What do you think about the idea of digital skills passports?
I think the idea of having an online passport that certified the skills you have would make things so much easier. I feel like it would improve the placement of the right person for the job and make it easier to match the right skills to the right employer. Also, some of the current testing employers use is too wide. It doesn’t always pick up on the right skills you would need for that type of job. I find that a lot when I am looking at IT placements.
Are there any downsides to a digital approach to recruiting?
I am currently looking for an industrial placement and it’s frustrating when the only communication I have with companies is automated emails telling me that I have completed tests and questionnaires. I feel like I would do better with a more personal approach where I could show them what my skills are. I’m not saying online assessments aren’t good. I think AI has made things more efficient in a globalised world. But I feel like there could be a more intermediate approach.
Glasgow Caledonian University,
IT Management for Business
Organisations are increasingly looking online and to automated testing to find out more about candidates. The CV is often less important now than their LinkedIn profile or even the LinkedIn groups they belong to. But we still have some way to go before a true digital skills passport is available. It’s something that the creative industries, crowd-based workers and freelance platforms are leading the way on. A completely automated recruitment process does run the risk of losing the ‘human’ in the talent process. And it’s important to find a balance that can be adjusted depending on the role, the skills required, and candidate preference.
Talent Advisory Services, KellyOCG
The future of work is something that will affect all of us. And although we don’t have a crystal ball (just yet) it’s important for every organisation to keep one eye on what tomorrow will bring. After all, identifying key future skills, technology, and trends can help put your business one step ahead of the competition.
We spoke with James Haworth Wheatman, Vice President of Enactus Sheffield and third-year Physics student to get his take on what the future holds for the world of work and the key skills we might need in this brand-new landscape.
How can organisations prepare for the future of work?
I think focusing on talent and getting the right expertise in. The people with the right degrees, the people who have great tech knowledge. I also think that Enactus and other organisations have to focus on becoming more technologically advanced. More generally, I feel that collaboration is a huge thing. You have people across industries working on the same things and I think there is a real benefit to these people coming together and collaborating. Some companies may not feel this is in their best interests, but I think it’s important for really getting the most out of ideas, particularly advancements in tech.
What are the soft skills that you think will become more important in the future?
I think that advances in technology could potentially remove the need for some soft skills. But this could be detrimental. In the world of business, I think you are always going to have to be able to talk to people, to connect with people. The core foundation of important soft skills will probably remain the same and communication is a key one. Technology can enhance things in many ways, but it can often lead you astray when it comes to communication. Like how it’s much easier to catch a gesture or meaning in person than it is on email.
How can organisations future-proof their business?
Certainly investing in new technology and streamlining their businesses through technological solutions. That is definitely something that everyone needs to invest in. They should also be part of industry events and start talking to their competitors and colleagues across the board. Having conversations and listening to experts is a great way to understand what’s coming next.
I n today’s world of work, every organisation must constantly prepare for the future. Change is accelerating and it is easier than ever to be left behind. Organisations need to be both agile and resilient in the face of these pressures. They must be innovative and always open to a fresh approach or perspective around the challenges they face. And finally, they need to keep a sense of humour! Organisations are run by people and it is essential that collectively their spirit and camaradeie is as high as it can be. Humour keeps people grounded and helps them to communicate more effectively with each other..
VP & Global CoE Lead, Contingent Workforce Outsourcing & Talent Supply Chain Management, KellyOCG
Enactus gives you real experience working in a company and that’s something no other university society can give you.
Wheatman University of Sheffield, Physics
Although strides have been made in tackling gender inequality in the workplace, we still have some way to go. A lack of female representation at board level and continuing disparity in pay are just some of the issues women face at work. How can organisations close the gender gap for good?
We discussed this issue with Enactus student, Emily Chatakondu, currently studying Chemistry at Nottingham University. She shared her ideas on the barriers faced by women at work and the steps organisations can take to effect lasting change.
What do you think organisations can do to address the gender gap in the workplace?
I think one of the biggest problems for female graduates going into business is the ‘imposter’ syndrome. There is often fewer women in the room and that makes it harder for them to share their views and feel safe to speak up. I think organisations also need to engage with girls at an earlier stage. Perhaps maybe at 16. When you start to make decisions about what you want to do. It would make the world of business feel more accessible. I also think more competitions or initiatives like this one can help girls (and everyone from all backgrounds) experience work in a really accessible way. It’s a much easier first step than going in for a formal interview.
What are the biggest obstacles that women face in the workplace?
I think it gets really tricky if you want to have children. The way to address this from a policy level is to promote more equal paternity leave. Creating a culture where men feel like they can take time off work as well. I also think women are often taught not to speak up. And that makes them less inclined to ask for promotions, to ask for opportunities. And that comes down to what and how we teach girls to behave from a really young age.
Would more visible female leaders in business help to promote change?
Yes. People have said to me, “Well, it’s all equal, anyone can go for a job – so don’t worry if there are hardly any women in an organisation.” I disagree, I think it’s really important to see women represented. I had a conversation with my sister this morning and she was telling me that there are more CEOs called John running FTSE 100 companies than there are female CEOs. That’s just ridiculous. You should be able to see CEOs that are representative of the community as a whole. Women in business should be represented at all levels.
I started my career in the Royal Air Force, so female leaders were few and far between! I just didn’t have that type of role model to look up to. It’s made me passionate about mentoring up and coming female leaders within our business and being the type of leader who celebrates achievement and ability regardless of gender, background or anything else! I also think having women at all levels of a business is key. They often bring a different energy and a perspective to the room that helps organisations build smarter strategies and look at challenges in unique ways. Diversity within our business (and any business) makes us all stronger.
Vice President Global Solutions, EMEA, Strategic Sales Lead, KellyOCG
I was really attracted to the social enterprise side of Enactus. I’m currently involved in a project where we are building toilets for a community in Ghana. We then sell the waste to make fertiliser to support the same community. It’s been really rewarding and successful.
– University of Nottingham, Chemistry
A Smart Approach to Work-Life Balance
A Smart Approach to Work-Life Balance
The next generation of candidates wants more than a job. They want to be part of a supportive, inclusive organisation that promotes a balanced approach to work and living. Employers have to do more than pay lip-service to this idea, instead they must embed balance at the very heart of their culture.
We spoke to Sam Tyrell, Managing Director of Enactus Sheffield who is currently in the third year of a Biomedical Sciences degree. He discussed the importance of work-life balance for him individually and how he thinks organisations can get better at this important balancing act.
How important is a good work-life balance?
Vitally important, in my opinion. From my experience in Enactus, it’s very easy for people to get sucked into work and we see some members drop out because they throw everything into it and burn out. It’s just not sustainable. The same applies if they are going for a job after university. If they burn out, it’s not good for the company and it is not good for them. I think at some point in the week, everyone needs to zone out and relax completely. How exactly we achieve this is up for debate, but it’s vitally important.
Would an organisation’s approach to work-life balance affect your choice of future employer?
Yes, absolutely. It would be a factor at the top of the pile. I appreciate in most organisations you have to be passionate about what you do and throw yourself into it. But I think there is a difference between being passionate and just putting in endless hours and effort that leave you drained. I think for me, it would be a job that I am passionate about but within a culture that recognises that work isn’t absolutely everything.
How can organisations create better work-life balance for their employees?
I think, in terms of my experience from leading Enactus, it has to come from the top down. If people see their leaders saying, “This weekend I did this” or “I went there”, talking about something apart from their workload, this reflects downwards. They need to see balance at every level and this needs to be communicated really well.
I have had an amazing two-year experience with Enactus. I was drawn to the social enterprise side as well as the hands-on business experience. It’s been incredibly rewarding. I started off as a team member and have now progressed to Managing Director.
– University of Sheffield, Biomedical Science
The way people are working and want to work has changed. A phrase I hear a lot at the moment is work-life blend and I think that’s a great way to look at it. It’s about finding a way for your career and your personal life to complement each other and having the fluidity and flexibility to make your own unique blend work. The key to truly flexible working is trust. By trusting the people who work with you, and giving them the flexibility they need to thrive, organisations can achieve more. We also need to recognise that we are in a candidate-driven market, where many people are choosing to work on their own terms. The gig economy is growing and increasingly organisations are choosing to harness the power of freelancers. In a recent survey by KellyOCG, 65% of talent managers agreed that the gig economy is becoming the new normal. The world of work is changing, and flexibility is central to this new reality.
Marketing Director, Global Talent Solutions, KellyOCG
The Changing World of Work
The Changing World of Work
A CONVERSATION WITH DAN RICHARDS
We know the world of work is changing and that the speed of change is accelerating fast. This has created one of the most exciting and disruptive periods in the history of work. But what does that mean for the next generation of talent and how can organisations future-proof their business in such an uncertain world?
We sat down with Dan Richards, Recruiting Leader for EY UK and Ireland and Trustee for the EY Foundation, to talk about how individuals and organisations can thrive in such uncertain times.
Tell us a little more about the EY Foundation and how you support young people.
The EY Foundation supports young people from low income households into education, work or enterprise. It runs three programmes, one of which is Smart Futures. This is a ten-month programme giving 16-17-year-olds paid work experience, mentoring and intensive training in employment skills. In 2017 the Foundation supported more than a thousand young people, and has plans to grow this significantly over the coming years.
What are the key changes we could see in the workplace of the future?
I think the workplace of the future is going to be very different from today. We’re probably going through a revolution that is bigger and more far-reaching than the industrial revolution. And I think we will continue to need people to fuel that growth. Technology and automation are going to grow and increase efficiency. It’s about smart people and smart machines working together. We’re going to be augmented by machines not replaced by them. I also think that AI and automation will take away some of the drudgery of repetitive work, freeing up people to get involved in more high-value work and hopefully more fulfilling responsibilities.
What are the most important skills we will need in the future world of work?
We’ve really got to dial up the emotional intelligence. I think this is key in terms of future-proofing all types of organisations. It starts with self-awareness, with really strong listening skills and with techniques like mindfulness. In a crowded world, you have to develop your empathy to work with very different groups and different individuals from the top to the middle to the bottom of organisations. You will need to be able to work with individuals who come from every single kind of demographic.
How can organisations keep pace with change?
They have got to really network. They have to keep a very external view on what competitors are doing and what smaller businesses are doing. They also have to understand what is happening with technology and be able to harness important tech as quickly as possible. To achieve this, they must be incredibly agile. From a talent point of view, companies are going to be full of contractors and gig workers, so they are going to need to crowdsource for products and services but also enable their own people to self- develop and keep up to date. All of these things mean organisations have to both externally and internally focussed all of the time. They will also be interacting with a much broader range of clients and demographics and should take steps to reflect and include this diverse talent within their organisations.
EY Foundation is a UK Charity that helps young people, particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds, find alternative routes into employment and education, or even set up their own business. Their purpose is to inspire and engage young people across the UK who are at a disadvantage in the jobs market and help them to fulfil their potential for work.
Recruiting Leader/ Trustee
EY UK & Ireland / EY Foundation