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There’s no glossing over the fact that the last two years caused radical changes that rippled through the world of work. Some good. Some bad. And we’re not just talking about the endless Zoom calls and virtual Friday bars…

But the pandemic allowed many people (not all) to reassess their priorities and start considering things like employer flexibility and treatment, along with salary. 

There’s been a real shift in power from the company to the workers. XpertHR Survey’s report for 2022 found that 89% of employers said that recruiting and hiring will be either “somewhat” or “very challenging'' this year.  

In order to be competitive in this so-called war on talent, the way companies approach hiring, upskilling and company culture needs to change.

It got us thinking – how will the world of work continue to evolve when it comes to hiring and talent management? How can your company culture scale internationally? What really makes people want to work for an organisation?  

These are some important (and hefty) questions – let’s take a closer look. 

Hiring from a new talent pool brings new challenges 

In the midst of this great labour reshuffle happening across the globe, hiring is shuffling too. Where previously a company would receive 100-200 applications for an open position, it’s not uncommon now to receive thousands for the same one when marked as remote

Hiring people remotely does have its perks – like less company money being spent on office space. And employees can wave goodbye to that monthly commuter card. 

And instead have something like a Pleo card in their wallets and the ability to spend company money on whatever they need to help build that home office. 

But, it also presents new challenges for HR, People and Talent teams. Particularly when it comes to building a good culture.

Scaling your company culture starts with getting your values right   

Adding remote workers to your team, moving your company to 100% remote, or having multiple offices around the world conjures up the very valid question of: How do you ensure your company culture will scale internationally? 

This topic was discussed back in December at Forward, our very-first digital summit dedicated to the world of work that brought together over 30 industry leaders and big-thinkers. 

Anna Gullstrand, VP People at Mentimeter, which has offices in Stockholm, Sweden and Toronto, Canada, explained, “You need to be clear and transparent about what your company believes in so employees can be aligned from the very beginning.” 

“Establishing what you believe [as a company] and finding people who believe in the same things is what building a company is all about,” adds Anna. 

“People aren’t that different from each other, because our brains aren’t that different! We all want status, certainty, autonomy, fairness, relatedness and so on. Companies should create a culture that rewards these things because these types of “human needs” resonate with people no matter where in the world you are.” 

A company’s values and mission should ground your people, and should be the glue that brings everyone together. 

Taking things one step further – how can organisations with distributed teams create communities within the company to keep people engaged, motivated and have that all important sense of belonging? 

Hold up, what does sense of belonging mean? Well, I’m glad you asked… 

How a sense of belonging retains top talent

In a recent report from McKinsey and Co, 51% of people stated that their reason for leaving a job was a lack of sense of belonging. 

A fair salary is only the tip of the iceberg for modern employees

Companies need to be looking at ways in which culture can foster a sense of belonging and strive for transparency and continuously invest in their people. People want to be seen and heard positively and feel safe in the workplace.  

“At Spotify, we use the analogy: diversity is about being invited to the party, inclusion is about being invited to the dance floor, and belonging is when they play your song,” Marc Mckenna-Coles, Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging Strategy Lead explained at Forward, “It’s about bringing alive everything about you that makes you an individual.”

Fostering this sense of belonging is more important than ever, especially when it comes to hiring and talent management, as Marc highlighted. “Inclusion is about creating an open environment – it makes an organisation inviting and brings talent in.” 

“Belonging is all about how people can be their authentic selves and bring their uniqueness to the table – this brings in the element of retention. We know people are leaving companies after one, two years. We want to keep that talent! And having people feel seen and heard positively in a business helps.”

Culture matters more than ever

The work of work is transforming at light speed thanks to recent global events and shifting to an employee-centric approach even more. 

The way we work has changed. And the way talent looks for work is changing. 

In order to stay competitive, organisations need to think about their company values, how those values will scale across distributed teams and truly foster workplace environments where employees can day in and day out be their true selves. 

These are key components of any organisation’s company culture. 

And these are the things that really matter. 

You can catch up on the entire Forward sessions ‘Staying connected - how to maintain culture internationally’ and ‘Creating belonging in an organisation’ here — but hurry, you’ve only got until March 8th.

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