October 1, 2021
Photo: Maskot/Getty Images
Welcome back to our Workplace newsletter where we share the latest tips, tools and insights to help you stay informed about the modern tech office. Today: The future of HR leadership, "geo-neutral" pay and possible relocation pay cuts.
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Jeff Schwartz, the vice president of insights and impact at Gloat, is no stranger to the new titles companies are adding to their growing roster of executives. His own title did not exist just a decade ago, and prior to joining Gloat, an online talent platform for the workplace, Schwartz was a senior adviser for the future of work at Deloitte.
Schwartz said he's seen a majority of new leadership titles pop up in HR, where companies are dealing with new employee needs. He sat down with Protocol to chat about why executive titles are changing and how they reflect our evolving workplace.
This interview was edited for length and clarity.
Why are we seeing so many new executive titles, especially when it comes to HR?
These roles in one sense reflect the new things that we're doing — markets, digital, wellness experience [and] purpose being some examples. Titles we didn't really have in the same way before. We may have had a health coordinator doing OSHA coordination, but we didn't have a wellness officer.
The second way work is changing is that work is becoming more multidisciplinary, and we see this in the titles as well. One of my favorites we see is chief talent and purpose officers. That's a good example … so within HR, work is becoming more connected, more multidisciplinary.
The third theme that we're seeing is that work is becoming more cross functional. So it's not only that the work and job and titles are changing. Much more of the work that we're doing is team-based, much more of the work we're doing is dynamic.
What trends have you noticed in terms of the new roles that are being created by companies?
There is a trend to put the words, digital and data in almost as many roles as possible. But that's not a surprise because it's a new core capability. So whether you're in HR, or finance, or operations, or R&D, the level of digital proficiency and the levels of data proficiency that you need are growing.
The other thing we're seeing is the growing understanding of the importance of the non-technical skills. We used to call them soft skills … At the same time that we've seen a rise in the digital and the data skills, we've also seen an increasing demand for problem solving, emotional and social intelligence, communication and the other one which I think underlies them all, which is the ability to work on teams.
Are some of these new titles being put in place to help solve for the "Great Resignation" at their respective organization?
This is one of the mega-trends that we're looking at now. So we've all been looking at the "Great Resignation," "the great resume tsunami," "the great retirement" … Organizations are also asking themselves, what can we do to create a world of opportunity inside our organization? So the challenge for business leaders, and C-suites, and obviously, HR and talent is to create that world of opportunity inside the organization.
More tech companies are offering geo-neutral pay -- offering the same compensation despite geographic location. The reason? The candidate is king right now. In the past, leaders could enact cost-of-living adjustments if an employee wanted to relocate out of a metropolitan city and they'd get little pushback. Now, in a tight and competitive labor market, candidates are more apt to take another job with better compensation and the ability to work remotely from anywhere in the U.S. This move toward geo-neutral pay has also made it easier for smaller tech companies to compete with large companies for top talent. "If you're a software engineer and you're talented, there's not a great reason why you shouldn't be paid the same if you're living in San Francisco versus if you're living somewhere else in the U.S.," Andrew Boni, CEO of Iterable, told Protocol.
Read the full story here.
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Thoughts, questions, tips? Send them to firstname.lastname@example.org. Have a great weekend, see you Tuesday!