Industry Leaders Discuss Expectations of Today's Workforce

In mid-March, Paragon partnered with the Arizona Technology Council and brought together leaders from Workiva, ITA Group, the University of Advancing Technology and Paragon’s Director of Recruiting to discuss the changes and challenges leaders are facing today.

Q1: If you had to rank what you’re seeing today and what’s most important to candidates, how would you rank pay, career progression, remote work, etc.?

Jason Katcher, VP & CIO at ITA Group:  The type of work an individual would get to do and career path are at the top of my list. Flexibility to work - where and how they want to work - is a big part of that conversation. Followed by pay and culture. The environment and the culture you create is really important. How leadership supports team members goes a long way and can lead to great referrals.

Greg Lagan, Director of Recruiting at Paragon: Mental health is really top of mind. I think is pretty clear there’s been a transition from a ‘living to work’ mentality to more of a ‘working to live’ mindset. Pay is probably number two from what we’ve been seeing at Paragon. Especially for in-demand skillsets like AWS, serverless, azure, .Net and data. We’re in the people business and why we can rank these things, every person prioritizes differently. What I’d recommend is integrating the prioritization question into your screenings to ensure there is alignment with your mission and how your company operates.  

Amanda Crowley, VP of Global Talent Acquisition at Workiva: It’s so important to identify early in the conversation what’s priority for the candidate. We’re seeing culture leads the way. Culture is how Workiva differentiates itself. Secondly, hybrid and flexibility, followed by pay. Pay transparency is beginning to trend across the US – more and more employers are beginning to post pay ranges.

Dr. Dave Bolman, Provost of UAT and member of the board of directors of the Arizona Technology Council: We’re seeing that students want a competitive salary, but they’re also taking into consideration the kinds of tools and projects they’d get to work on {the work they actually get to do}. They’re making decisions on if the company feels right – they want to work for a specific mission and come out of the gates on a team hitting the ground running.

Money, flexibility and culture
Q2. What gets in the way for allowing flexibility?

Amanda: Trust is the number one obstacle. Needing to see the individual and to know they’re performing is difficult for some to get past. It’s a dated approach. It hurts talent attraction and their ability to thrive.

Jason: At the end of the day it takes conversation. The biggest growth that has happened due to the pandemic is in leadership growth. It’s a leadership maturity. Leaders need to understand what’s important to each individual. Depending on what the work is, it may require teams to be together. Get in the trenches and spend more time with your people and understand what’s important to them. At the end of the day, if the work gets done that’s what we care about. I’d echo, “Work where you work best.”

Work where you work best

Interested in hearing more? Click here to watch the full panel discussion.

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