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The future of work isn’t perfectly clear. But that doesn’t mean your hiring team can’t start preparing to support it. Evidence-based hiring helps you remain flexible in the face of evolving workforce requirements.

What does the future of technology work look like? It’s a good question with few concrete answers. And while most leaders are focused on fighting through the uncertainty of 2020, it’s important to continue looking forward and preparing for what’s next.

The problem is that technology changes so quickly, making it difficult to nail down predictions for what work will look like in the future. In a year or two, you’ll likely be hiring to fill positions that don’t even exist today. So, how can you stay ahead of the trends?

There are plenty of analysts and thought leaders making educated predictions about the future of work, giving you at least some foundation for long-term planning. But more than anything, it’s important to embrace an evidence-based approach to hiring that sets you up for success no matter how the industry evolves.

Trends That Could Define the Future of Tech Work

Especially now, remote connectivity is often discussed as a core component of the future of work. But remote work is just one piece of the much larger concept. The future of tech work isn’t just about the kinds of technologies that will define the business world. Rather, it’s about how the role of technology will change within organizations.

A Deloitte report highlights four key shifts in how tech teams will contribute to organizational success—the transition to business cocreator, from service delivery to value delivery, from cost center to revenue engine, and from cybersecurity to resilience.

What exactly do these shifts mean for your organization? There are so many possibilities and it won’t necessarily help you to guess at which ones are most likely. Instead of playing that guessing game, focus your efforts around the future of work on how the tech workforce will evolve to meet new business demands.

The same Deloitte report highlights a few key characteristics for your workforce to go from specialized engineers to collaborative business co-creators:

  • Flexibility with Technical Skills: For now, many tech companies look to hire specialists for their open positions. There are very specific product goals to accomplish and it’s more likely you’ll find top talent that’s specialized as opposed to more generalized engineers. But in the future of tech work, it will be more important to find engineers with a solid foundation of technical skills and the ability to adapt as new demands emerge—not just to small tech changes, but to massive shifts in product development strategies and technologies.
  • Ability to Work Alongside Machines: We shouldn’t be asking ourselves which jobs will be displaced by automated systems and intelligent machines. Rather, we need to think about how tech workers will collaborate with machines to increase output and quality. However, this means looking beyond coding abilities to understand how an employee can leverage other systems for greater efficiency.
  • Knowledge of Business Functions: If tech teams are going to play a larger role in business value creation, your employees need to have an understanding of concepts outside of coding and development. These could include financial acumen, an understanding of business strategy, and an ability to empathize with internal stakeholders as well as customers. Hiring candidates who can work outside of a tech silo will be critical.

These are just a few ways that job candidates will have to adapt to the future of tech work. However, it’s not just up to your applicants to evolve. Your recruiting processes need to change to effectively source, assess, and hire the best talent for open positions.

Evidence-Based Hiring Helps You Stay Flexible

Going all-in on evidence-based hiring will help you remain flexible enough to evolve alongside future of work trends. Instead of holding fast to processes designed to hire tech specialists, evidence-based hiring leans on technical assessments and collaborative interviews to get a more accurate picture of a candidate’s fit for an open position.

To implement an evidence-based hiring strategy, you need tools and processes that:

  • Accurately Assess Hard Skills: It’s not enough to have one general coding test to get a baseline of a candidate’s abilities. Even though we may move away from strict specialization, you need accurate technical assessments that are tailored to the needs of open positions—even if those needs are broad and ever-changing.
  • Source Quality Active Candidates: No matter what the future of work brings, we know that hiring the top tech talent will remain highly competitive. Maximizing efficiency means getting away from processes that focus on generating high volumes of passive candidates. Running campaigns that create active candidates will give you a better pool of talent to address the future of work.
  • Help Hiring Managers Understand Soft Skills: When you’re looking for candidates that can play a role in business value creation, your hiring managers need deep insight into a candidate’s soft skills. That doesn’t need to be entirely separate from technical abilities, though. Being able to run interviews within a live developer environment can help hiring managers see how a candidate communicates, collaborates, and think about problem solving.

All of these traits are part of hiring that’s built to support the future of tech work. They provide you with all the evidence you need to make data-driven hiring decisions as opposed to having hiring managers make subjective choices that lead to bad hires.

If you want to learn how you can start transforming your hiring processes now to support whatever the future of tech work brings, download our free guide, The Art of Hiring Developers.

Roy Solomon is Chief Revenue Officer at Codility, and an expert in the future of work. Roy leads Codility’s customer-facing teams and advises TA and Engineering leaders from around the world on how to build their technical hiring and retention plans.

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