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How Workplaces Are Pivoting to Achieve World Class Cultures for Hiring for 2021

remote work culture

References to agility and reimagining employee experience proliferate the digital space amid conversations around this upcoming year’s workplace strategies.

As well, this McKinsey survey lays the groundwork of technology-fueled speed and efficiency as a key enabler of a high-performance culture; 800 executives “suggest a disruptive period of workplace changes lies ahead due to acceleration of automation, digitization and other trends.”

We all know that work will never be the same, even if we don’t yet know all the ways in which it will be different,” says Stewart Butterfield, CEO and co-founder, Slack, in a recent BBC Unknown Questions article. “What we can we say with certainty is that the sudden shift to distributed work has provided a once-in-a-generation opportunity to reimagine everything about how we do our jobs and how we run our companies.”

Employment Strategies to Move Faster Within a Work-from-Home Culture

“If we can move past decades of orthodoxy about 9-to-5, office-centric work, there’s an opportunity to retain the best parts of office culture while freeing ourselves from bad habits and inefficient processes, from ineffective meetings to unnecessary bureaucracy. Every leader believes they can do better, and things can move faster: this is their chance,” asserts Butterfield.

He suggests revamped headquarters in tune with digital-first work will provide the platform for engagement, organizational agility, alignment and teamwork empowerment across far-flung disciplines and locations. This is because employees will want to capitalize upon more flexible geographical locations and overall work-life balance that have sprung up as a result of work from home options.

This Beekeeper blog describes one of the ways to enable this speedier, distributed work organization while also underscoring the mission-critical need for companies to leverage employees’ mobile devices for integrated, democratized communications. 

reach and connect with top talent

  1. Reach & Connect: Start with a goal to reach the entire workforce, regardless of location.
  2. Digitize: Transform traditional, top-down communication channels like paper-based and in person processes, with flexible digital channels that can be updated instantly.
  3. Automate: Save time by automating existing workflows and processes through integrations and chatbots.  
  4. Optimize: Continuously improve processes with access to rich data and analytics.

Regardless of a company’s ultimate strategy to enable the model, a fully remote or hybrid remote-office model is likely here to stay. Only 12% of knowledge workers surveyed by Future Forum Research want to return to full-time office work; 72% desire a hybrid remote-office model going forward.

Reimagining Goal Setting to Make Employees Most Productive

“As companies adapt to massive disruption, they must move quickly to redefine workforce strategies and reimagine the employee experience (EX),” according to an Accenture Research Report, authored by Shammak Banerjee, Managing Director, Accenture Strategy, Talent & Organization, et al.

While we saw a flood of talent wash over the market amid the pandemic, there’s still a shortage of needed skills, spurring companies to reassess employee value propositions, to remain relevant.

For example, a shortage of nearly 500,000 registered nurses is predicted by 2022, due to retirement. As well, a shortfall of up to 139,000 physicians is anticipated, by 2033, according to the American Medical Colleges, as two demographic trends continue: 1. more people over age 65, who generally require more speciality care; and 2. more physicians reaching retirement age.

Additionally, Emil Saygh, President and CEO of Ntirety, a global managed cloud services provider, quotes The New York Times’ reporting of a predicted “3.5 million unfilled cybersecurity jobs globally by 2021.” 

This is due in large part to overwork of existing staff; inexperienced staff being tasked to deliver on advanced security requirements; and business’ dependence on tech-based solutions despite lack of expertise to manage them, explains Saygh.

“Organizations that focus on building their ‘EX Factor’ (or Employee Experience) will attract and retain top talent, reduce cost to serve and enhance operational agility,” say Banerjee, et al.

And, whatever the size of the organization: whether a start-up, small or medium-size business desiring to expand, or a large global enterprise seeking to disrupt on a larger scale, consider the value of replicating the EX Factor. Differentiating experiences at scale will help businesses outperform their rivals in earnings, according to the same Accenture report. 

“By reimagining HR, finance, IT and Global Business Services (BS) into employee services, companies eliminate functional silos and reset cost structures to self-fund and deliver EX at scale,” continues Banerjee, et al.

An example of such a reimagining is the creation of a “delightful experience for onboarding,” according to the same authors. The new employee is liberated from traversing corporate silos and disparate touchpoints; instead, an EX group of owners, each “empowered to reimagine the people, processes and tools required to deliver the desired employee outcomes,” own the onboarding process. Moreover, this model organizes around outcomes — not functions.

lever TRM optimizes around outcomes of the hiring process

Planning Employee Experience Beyond Onboarding


The conversation in the Accenture report continues around three key ways to pump up your EX factor and improve engagement and retention. Here is a highlights-only snapshot.

1. Co-create the experience through three lenses: human, physical and digital. Form quick-moving design-thinking pods that deploy solutions that enhance the employee’s sense of belonging, collaboration, flexibility and value.
2. Reimagine the model, beyond traditional levers such as compensation and elevate to a more sophisticated model emphasizing KPIs, workforce productivity, time to proficiency, retention, employee net promoter score, etc.
3. Exploit the power of human + machine to deliver the model at scale,  expanding the ecosystem, through a curated network of strategic partners, adaptive or liquid talent pools, to speed this evolution and unlock new value through innovation.

Beyond achieving attraction and retention, employee experience (EX) is vigorously about boosting ROI. “Companies with highly engaged workforces see a measurable bottom-line impact, significantly outperforming their peers and making their organizations stand out during a time of disruption,” according to the same Accenture study. 

Weaving Performance Goals Into the Job Description

“As companies return to work, workplaces are developing and establishing their hiring practices,” says Sue Bhatia, Founder and Chairwoman of Rose International, the 24th largest IT staffing company in the U.S., in this Forbes article.

This can include seeking out in-demand skills among the new surplus of talent from industries and businesses that have been stalled and/or shuttered, and building innovative talent relationship management solutions.

These are performance-driven employees, many of whom possess easily transferable skills that are high-value to other industries. By tapping into this overflowing talent pool, companies can distinguish their own value proposition now while also building talent retention foundations for the future.

For example, consider transforming the traditional position summary into a compelling job description that weaves in performance goals, to resonate with the right, transferable talent. Lever’s guide on Rethinking the Job Description helps hiring managers and recruiters shift the focus from skills to impact made over the first year and beyond.

Moreover, by “connecting the dots” (between the employee’s old industry and the new company’s industry) within the powerfully impact-driven job description, hiring managers and recruiters can ease the emotional disruption for these types of job seekers. Providing “compassion” amid the chaos and uneasiness that many people are feeling supports job seekers as they aspire to relocate their careers and financial futures, according to Bhatia.


Let Lever Nurture help you reimagine your talent relations management strategy with more efficiency, data integrity and compassion to further your hiring for employee impact. The more you can build a relationship with candidates upfront, the more engaged they will be with the work at your company later on. Our intelligent sourcing automation software can help you build sustainable, business-differentiating relationships with the ever-evolving talent pool.