What COVID-19 teaches us about the future of work (and future talent)

woman wearing mask

The pandemic drastically altered recruitment and talent retention. That concerns every organization, including yours. You need agile hiring programs and HR strategies to best position your organization ahead of uncertainty. So how do you do that?

1) Look for different talents

We identified four main clusters of talents as important for the future of work, captured in our Future Ready Talent Framework, including expanding expertise, developing self, building relationships and designing and delivering solutions.

We’ve seen change in the way individual candidates successfully build and show these skills in a remote work environment. For example, information and data literacy, interest in lifelong learning and career development are all competencies that will help young talent adapt, innovate and build resilience as they enter a complex and challenging workforce from home.

2) Look for untapped opportunities to build and improve your pipeline

Where can you find those opportunities? Recent research we conducted with talent managers to better understand how they define talent and what measures they take to recruit and develop talent within their organizations, discovered two things:

  1. Organizations are finding success by hiring young talent early (and identify that co-operative education or work-integrated learning programs are a great place to start)
  2. Ideal full-time, permanent candidates possess a lifelong learning mindset

Watch this online event to learn more about the future of work.


Work-integrated learning can contribute to your talent pipeline too. It prepares young talent for success at work, reduces your hiring risks and develops long-term relationships and mobilizes support staff to improve your recruitment processes. 

3) Explore how to strengthen your remote work strategy

This shift to remote work forced us to look more closely at the ways in which we choose to manage talent. Your remote work strategy needs to offer flexibility, autonomy, meaningful work opportunities and ongoing touchpoints and connections with colleagues.

Ask yourself:

  • Are employees connecting with colleagues through weekly or project-specific meetings?
  • Are informal touchpoints easily accessible for everyone?
  • Are you creating opportunities to have fun and socialize, independently from work?
  • Do young team members have chances to build their professional network or seek additional mentorship and training?

4) Enable your organization to be future-ready

When thinking about how your remote work practice can create opportunities for you to be better prepared for a complex future workforce you can discover new ways to access talent. We have some tips for how you can start doing this today:

  1. Bring the right talent into your organization by hiring for the skills and competencies that support a remote workforce. Look for adaptability, resilience, communication, collaboration, self-direction, learning potential and digital and technological agility.
  2. Review what you have to offer the next generation of talent to improve how you can recruit and retain them. Build connections and commitment at work, create open channels to provide feedback, offer professional development and ongoing learning opportunities and provide meaningful projects and work.