ECEC job seekers look more at culture, less at pay
The Sector > Economics > ECEC job seekers look more at culture, less at pay

ECEC job seekers look more at culture, less at pay

by Freya Lucas

January 22, 2020

Using data gathered from talent acquisition, development and compensation experts from across the globe, Korn Ferry has identified emerging global talent trends for 2020, with one core takeaway being that employees from all sectors and industries, including early childhood education and care (ECEC) saying that their personal principal driver at work is the belief that their work has purpose and meaning, not how much they earn. 


In the coming year  Korn Ferry Digital CEO Byrne Mulrooney predicts that there will be “an even greater focus on transparency, agility, culture and purpose-driven leadership”. 


“Employers are also becoming more flexible in how they embrace technology, attract and reward employees, and create ongoing transformation at all levels of the organisation.” 


The research identified nine emerging talent trends including a need for employees and employers to share a sense of purpose, trust and agility; a greater reliance on artificial intelligence (AI) in the attraction and retention of employees; and the presence in all sectors and industries of “career nomads”.


Trust, purpose, agility

Previous working models featured someone in charge, who determined strategy, and held tight control over the outcomes – in an ECEC context, this may look like a senior manager who sets budgets, challenges spending, and strives to work to fulfil the strategic directions of an ECEC organisation or business. 


This, Korn Ferry said, is leading the push globally to have environmental, social and governance (ESG) metrics in compensation packages for leaders, instead of just financial metrics. The future of leadership lies in “creating an agile and adaptable culture where teams trust each other and understand the purpose of the work: “why” we exist, who we are as an organisation, and what we stand for.”


Amongst those who responded to a recent Korn Ferry survey of professionals, 96 per cent said that any business will see a long-term financial benefit when they make a strong commitment to purpose-driven leadership. 


The role of AI in candidate and employee care 

When considering high-volume, fast turnaround hiring efforts, as are often found in ECEC, it’s often impossible to keep every candidate in the loop, Korn Ferry said. 


Here, the Group explained, sophisticated artificial intelligence tools, such as chatbots can be used to inform candidates quickly and efficiently on where they stand in the process, help them navigate career sites, schedule interviews and give advice. This is significantly transforming the candidate experience, enhancing engagement and elevating overall satisfaction. 


Chatbots are also increasingly becoming a tool for employees who wish to apply for new roles within their organisation, Korn Ferry said. Instead of trying to work up the nerve to ask HR or their boss about new opportunities, employees can interact with a chatbot that can offer details about open jobs, give skills assessments and offer career guidance. 


Rise of the ‘career nomad’ 

Around the world, and in all professions, employers are grappling with the growing phenomenon of ‘career nomads’ – high-performing, talented professionals who switch jobs, organisations and even careers at a faster rate than others. 


Although a recent Korn Ferry study found that 88 per cent of professionals believe frequent job switches have had a positive impact on their careers, most organisations still consider hiring career nomads a risk. However, there are a number of benefits arising from having nomads in the workforce — gains that arise from their multidisciplinary experiences, intellectual curiosity and high learning agility. That’s why many employers are now taking steps to keep these high-potential, diverse and agile “job hoppers” in their companies. 


Some organisations that are further along with their talent management strategies are using success profiles to holistically select and evaluate talent across disciplines, not just those with experiences tied directly to a role. They are looking for candidates who also possess the soft skills to deal with ambiguity and uncertainty, which is needed to help them grow with the company. As a result of this trend, more employees are also jumping across roles, as there is more flexibility within an organisation. 

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