Adapting to Rapid Changes in the Workforce and Employment

Adapting to Rapid Changes in the Workforce and Employment

I’ll never forget going to an amusement park with a friend of mine many years ago, and about halfway through the ride, he screamed, “Stop this rollercoaster . . . I want to get off!” I’m sure most of us have been in a high-octane situation at work or in life when we’ve thought the same thing. And the last couple of years, since the beginning of the global COVID pandemic and all the changes that have wrought, has been a prime example for the workforce and employment/hiring. But I’m here to tell you to pull down the safety bar, buckle in, and hang on for the ride.

Adjusting Your Hiring Mindset

The workforce has changed—and it’s not done changing. Rapid developments in the last few years have meant some hairpin turns, huge drops, and loop-the-loops. The pandemic, the Russia-Ukraine conflict, the Great Resignation, ongoing hiring freezes, layoffs in tech, rising interest rates, and inflation at the grocery store (and elsewhere) are enough to make us feel like we don’t know whether we’re coming or going. For those of us deeply immersed in the technology industry, the tidal waves affecting the global supply chain led to significant difficulties with the manufacturing workforce. Every time we almost get our feet under us, this rollercoaster either dives or banks hard, giving us a new twist to deal with.

Technology’s an environment with constant advances and adjustments, ever-accelerating change. And we need to make sure that we are armed with the best tools and resources on the hiring front and need to confront hard questions straight on. There are tough questions that need to be faced:

  • Are you hiring now? 
  • Should you be?
  • What will the future look like? 
  • Are we headed toward tough times? (Are we in them already?)
  • How do you know when looking at the employment landscape, whether restructuring, hiring, retraining, or upskilling the workforce is the right course?

Ultimately, regardless of the employment landscape, we need to discard the rigid mindsets of the past to find the right people for open positions in our organizations. To be successful in this pressure-filled environment, we need to update our skills and processes (something I wrote a whole book on). Let me share three simple habits that need to be updated, simplified, or simply fired.

  1. Accept that some changes are here to stay (whether you like it or not). Hybrid working environments are nothing new. Zoom is here to stay. Flexibility is one of the top things new hires are seeking—along with diversity among their colleagues (especially among Gen Z), work-life balance, and a corporate culture that reflects their values.
  2. Nimbleness is part of the rollercoaster. With all these ups and downs, you cannot be caught in the same old processes. That was one of the amazing things about the pandemic—as horrible as so many aspects of it were and are—it was certainly a test of a company’s nimbleness and ability to adapt to rapid change.
  3. Know your audience. The workforce has never been more diverse—and that includes age, for example. You may have one job, but what appeals to a millennial versus a Boomer is different. You can describe that same job in two totally different ways, and that’s not cheating. That’s just helping them see the advantages that apply to each cohort.

The world has changed and is not done changing. We need to adjust our hiring mindset accordingly, or we will continue to struggle in this more empowered and aware world. No, we can’t stop this rollercoaster ride—but we can adapt to it.


It’s time to reimagine your hiring practices and reconnect with modern workers. Download chapter one of Fire Your Hiring Habits! to take a forward-looking peek at the strategies for revitalizing your workforce.