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Herman Trend Alert: 2007 Workforce/Workplace Forecast

Each year at this time, The Herman Group issues its annual forecast. Typically, we have offered an abbreviated version. This year, we offer you our full forecast for the coming year.


Herman Trend Alerts are written by Joyce Gioia, a strategic business futurist, Certified Management Consultant, author, and professional speaker. Archived editions are posted at

From "Herman Trend Alert," by Roger Herman and Joyce Gioia, Strategic Business Futurists

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GREENSBORO, NC — Each year at this time, The Herman Group issues its annual forecast. Typically, we have offered an abbreviated version. This year, we offer you our full forecast for the coming year:

1. Job Hopping to Accelerate

Fueled by increasing job creation and the fact that more than half of the United States has become a seller’s market, dissatisfied workers worldwide with a wider variety of choices will choose to leave their employers in greater numbers. Particularly, younger workers will feel less attached to their employers and have the confidence to jump to another job.


2. Employers Looking for Better Efficiencies

Employers large and small will continue to look for ways to economize and drive more profit to the bottom line. We are already seeing an increasing lack of tolerance for workers who have been resting on their laurels (and/or relationships) for years. Finally, there is a growing awareness of the high cost of employee turnover, and employers worldwide will seek innovative approaches to retention.

3. Older Workers More Highly Valued

Following the lead of a few model employers, public and private sector employers desiring to retain the intellectual capital in their older workers will offer more flexible work arrangements to these workers. This flexibility will include phased retirement, part-time work, and seasonal work (at a significant premium in salary), all with a benefits package that makes it worthwhile to keep working.


4. Employers Will Embrace New Technologies to Do More with Less

Employers are increasingly applying new technologies to increase profits. Examples of this trend include the adoptions of self-check-out in supermarkets and self-check-in at hotels and airports. The development and implementation of these new technologies will require more highly skilled people.

5. Business Communities Will Address their Dissatisfaction with Schools

Employers, dissatisfied with the preparation of recent graduates, will be motivated to take action. An increasing number of community initiatives will address these issues. The effectiveness of these initiatives will depend on the community support of students, parents and the local school system. Expect to see more mentoring and outreach to youth.


6. Continuing Increases in Training and Development

Employees at all levels will be expected to participate in more training. More employers will require this investment in self-development for the mutual benefit of both parties. Part of the rationale for this increasing investment is employers’ inability to find candidates with the right experience, so they will have to “grow their own.”

7. Offshoring and Reverse-offshoring Will Continue to Increase

Not heeding the experience of others, some employers chasing the dream of increasing profitability will continue to try offshoring. In the meantime, companies in India and elsewhere will engage in reverse-offshoring, hiring and training U.S. graduates in other countries at foreign local scale.


8. Using Technology and Business Intelligence, Recruiting will Morph

Using more sophisticated technology like virtual video interviews and advanced pre-employment assessments, the Internet will facilitate advances in the technology for recruiting we could only dream about in the past. Through video interviews. employers will save hours of interviewing time and enjoy a higher level of EEO compliance. In addition, wise employers will engage leading-edge firms to provide business intelligence that will help them make better hiring and salary decisions.

Copyright 1998-2006 by The Herman Group of Companies, Inc., all rights reserved. Reproduction for publication is allowed by permission of The Herman Group, Inc., and must include the following attribution: "From ‘The Herman Trend Alert,’ by Roger Herman and Joyce Gioia, Strategic Business Futurists. (800) 227-3566 or The Herman Trend Alert is a trademark of The Herman Group of Companies, Inc.