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Leading the way in hiring a new generation

Maeve Hunt Maeve Hunt

As each year passes, the way professional services firms recruit and what they must offer to the new generation changes.

Technological advances have invariably changed the way we work with no one able to predict what the future holds. If current research is accurate, artificial intelligence may take over many professional services roles. However, what is certain is that we must have leaders in place who are flexible to change and with the ability to take advantage of the positive benefits new technology and the new generation will bring.

We have heard many times that being a good leader takes honesty, communication skills and being approachable. What else is becoming clear is that a good leader will need to inspire, ensuring they are connected and relevant to the new generation. Listening is key! Good leaders need to connect with their team, with greater connectivity expected through innovative media channels and close contact conversations. The great leaders of today are closely connecting with their people and seeking ways for them to drive their business. Good leaders mentor, develop and motivate. To some, this may sound new age but there is a strong commercial case also, with businesses aspiring to grow and create a brand.

The new generation of professionals have grown up with technology as an integral part of their world. Although they bring greater expertise they also bring greater demands, refusing to accept companies who are not up to speed. Research indicates that the new generation put an emphasis on corporate social responsibility, care of the environment and are often more interested in experience and work life balance than material things.

Diversity is also in the forefront of everyone’s mind when promoting talent. Businesses must build and implement workplace solutions that unlock the potential for a diverse and inclusive workplace. Diversity is key to business success. With a diverse mixture of people a business is better prepared for all eventualities. Recommendations to help make this happen include taking action and speaking up throughout an organisation (not just at the top), encouraging diverse leadership styles, role models and investing in sponsorship programmes.

With all this in mind businesses have a duty to be flexible and embrace changes in technology, flexible working and culture. It requires workplaces to collaborate, be agile and creative. In order to attract the brightest and best talent we need to develop cultures that fit with every generation. We must reward talent and encourage leaders of the future. In the words of John Quincy Adams, ‘if your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.’

 If a business can implement this culture, great leaders are born no matter what their age!