Preparing for the next big disruptions & hybrid work

Posted by Gradconnection

Our AAGE presentation this year was titled 'Navigating The New World Of Work - A Hybrid Future'. During the session we covered how the early talent market has changed over the last couple of years and looked at projections for the future based on how users have been interacting with GradConnection, including broader thought leadership data from our parent company SEEK. We also discussed how student sentiment has changed, and how to stay ahead of the engagement game, providing some actionable takeaways to ready yourself for 2022 and beyond.

Here's a quick snapshot of what we shared regarding how we can all prepare for the next big disruptions and hybrid working. 


  • Short term: The 'Great Resignation' has been predicted to hit Australia in March 2022, but we are already seeing impacts - 52% of recruiting employers report having trouble hiring staff and 2 in 5 workers say they're ready to quit their job
  • What can you do now?
    • Develop skills through your organisation rather than solely rely on recruitment as this will become harder in the next few years
    • Focus on retention
    • Promote and support flexibility as it is now expected
    • Review salaries, and focus on additional training or perks
    • Mental health support – wellness coaches are becoming common 
  • Long term: Baby Boomers will be retiring and exiting the Australian workforce by 2030, (or by 2035 if they work till 70 years old), leading to a potential shortfall of 1.5m people in the workforce
  • What can you do now?
    • Outsourced models
    • Automation/technology
    • Globalise teams
    • Import talent
    • Hire grads! By hiring early talent you build a stronger talent pipeline and a future-proof workforce
    • Become more competitive - early engagement, improved EVP and tapping into what Gen Z want and value most!


What do Zillenials (Gen Z) value?

  • Authenticity - make it real!
  • Passion for Positive Impact - they don't just want to know what you do, they want to see examples
  • Diversity - this generation uses personal pronouns
  • Development pathway
  • Opportunities - to think creatively and be involved in strategy
  • Flexibility - work/life blurs, side hustles


Source: Code Like A Girl & The Marketing Millennials not-the-ping-pong-tables-or-free-activity-6855168380182388736-6yJj 



  • Flexible work is here to stay
  • High productivity masking exhausted workforce
  • Gen Z is at risk & will need to be re-energised
  • Shrinking networks endangering innovation
  • Authenticity will spur productivity & wellbeing
  • Talent is everywhere in a hybrid model - democratizing access

We asked current students what their ideal split of remote & in office looks like - 52% prefer to work in an office, while 19% said remotely and the remaining 29% don't really mind. Of this group, 55% amended that they would be happy to work remotely if it was necessary. In our student focus groups ran throughout September the sentiment was similar, with hybrid being the preference for learning and graduate recruitment, and students prefering to be in the office for internships etc. 

Finding the perfect balance will take some time to get right, especially for graduate hiring over the next few years.

In summary there are a few things we can all be looking to work on towards finding that perfect balance -

  • Prioritise rebuilding social capital and culture & create meaningful connections
  • Always seek feedback & ask for suggestions
  • Consider ‘hangouts’ rather than linear virtual meetings
  • Create a plan to empower people for extreme flexibility
  • Rethink employee experience to compete for the best and most diverse talent 






Sources codex3049.pdf

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