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Larry Fink’s CEO letter backed up by two other reports

LinkedIn has released its Global Talent Trends Report.    Quoting Protocol:

Job-seekers are looking for more than a paycheck. LinkedIn found that job-seekers prioritize work-life balance (63%) ahead of pay and benefits (60%) or culture and colleagues (40%). 

The words “flexibility,” “well-being,” and “culture” all appeared in LinkedIn posts more often in 2021 than in 2019, and company posts that used those terms attracted more engagement than those that didn’t. 

Younger employees prioritize flexibility. The word “flexibility” appeared in 83% more job listings in 2021 vs. 2019, LinkedIn found. Company posts used the term 343% more over the same time period, and those posts attracted 35% more engagement. 

Improving company culture is the key to retention. But where should you focus your efforts to build company culture? LinkedIn users surveyed in June had a few ideas. 

The most popular areas of focus were professional development opportunities (59%), flexible work support (48%), and mental health and wellness (42%).

Thirty-five percent said they wanted to see more attention paid to “training managers to lead remote and hybrid teams.” Diversity and inclusion was a top priority to 26% of respondents.

Indeed has their new jobs report, highlighting the job openings because they aren’t where they used to be.    The bottom ten are the big and expensive cities that typically lead on job growth, like San Francisco and DC.      The biggest grower is Boise City, Idaho, and almost all of the top ten have a lower cost of living than the national average.   

And it seems business leaders are noticing. Larry Fink, one of the most prominent investors alive, released his letter to CEOs… and highlighted that companies could expect employees in five days a week, neglect their mental health, and keep wakes low… and that’s no longer the case.     Of note, since 2018, he has highlighted “stakeholder capitalism,” the idea that public firms shouldn’t simply be looking to maximize profits but should do more for their workers and society, too.  This year, he specifically pushed back on the term “woke,” saying QUOTE “It is capitalism, driven by mutually beneficial relationships between you and the employees, customers, suppliers, and communities your company relies on to prosper.” (emphasis Fink’s).”

Why do we care?

Fink’s voice is undoubtedly louder than mine – but I’ll observe I’ve been saying the same thing.  

I often quip about how IT services companies over-invest time and energy in their tools and under-invest in their focus on people and processes.     Tools generally are about 10% of the costs of an IT services business, and labor is by far the largest… yet to listen to providers; one might think the opposite is true.

Here we have all the data on the new trends – large organizations may be searching for talent in different cities, or expanding there – or simply letting people work anywhere, leveraging that flexibility desire being expressed loud and clear.