Understanding Hybrid Workers’ Behaviour – HR Challenges in 2022

CRE Workforce Dynamics & Hiring in 2022

Author: Forbes J. Rutherford, Principal, Rutherford International Executive Search Group Inc., Managing Director, NEXTalent Marketplace & Job Board, T: 855-256-5778 or Chat

Introduction: In Q2/2020, Rutherford International asked 204 senior multi-sector industry leaders within Canada’s commercial real estate industry to rank the political, economic, social and technological threats they expected to face through Q4/2021. Participants with direct or indirect authority over their resource plans also provided details. Please note, the data collection was completed early on in the pandemic when few of us foresaw an extended lockdown.

This article is the fourth in a series of commentaries that examine potential threats to Canada’s CRE industry, post-pandemic workforce dynamics and the probable impact on industry employment in 2022.

Hiring Challenges in 2022 – Understanding Hybrid Workers’ Behaviour 

Assuming education, skills and, where possible, experience is equal, an employer should screen their prospect list using our assessment analysis that measures the candidate’s POS (Potential of Success) score. This POS score is a benchmark that compares the prospects eighty-five Personality DNA traits to the twenty-three traits high-performers share in a comparative function. The POS score is an effective pre-interview screening tool when applied to a lengthy medium list of prospects.

“Effective Hybrid Workers Score High in Conscientiousness and Industriousness”

Dr Larry Cash, Lehman & Associates, 2021

However, when considering candidates for a distributive workforce, the hiring manager would be wise to include traits and competencies that support the nature of the working environment. The two most admirable qualities required of an effective WFH employee are related to achieving goals. They are conscientiousness and industriousness.

The additional characteristics we seek in a hybrid worker are Common Sense, Communications, Reflectiveness, Responsibility, Versatility, Written Communication, Tact, Constraint, Drive, Initiative, Goal Setting, Cooperation, Empathy, Humour, Community, Fraternity, Service, Learning, Purpose, Stress Tolerance and Family. 

Hiring Challenges in 2022 – Leading a Distributive Workforce 

Much has been written about Hybrid Work-From-Home employees and, less so, on what leadership traits are necessary for managing within this workplace environment. Unfortunately, the data is rudimentary, primarily anecdotal, often leaning to the “How to” of motivating and engaging as opposed to knowing if the manager has sufficient leadership agility to adjust to WFH employees capable of self-motivationor self-engagement.” 

At Rutherford International, we evaluate seven leadership styles when assessing executive and managerial talent. They are: Agile, Inspirational, Entrepreneurial, Utilitarian, Directive, Administrative and Collegial.

“Leadership Styles are Personality-Based at their Core”

Dr Larry Cash, Lehman & Associates, Behavioural Scientist, 2020

Research suggests that most leadership styles are personality-based at their core. This interpretation means, if you leave it to the “average” manager, they will rely upon their familiar or default interpersonal or personality type to manage. Which mean, when a problem requiring leadership arises, this “average” manager doesn’t have the means to double-clutch or adapt their leadership style to fit the circumstances.

For example, consider the manager with a default “Directive Leadership” style. A Directive leader does not feel the need to consult employees. This management style will expect employees to follow orders and willingly receive “constructive criticism” without discussion or reciprocal feedback. This commanding leadership style tries to set up an environment that motivates by creating a structured set of rewards and punishments. Whether on-site or hybrid, this style is antithetical to managing a post-pandemic Gen-Y and Gen-Z world.

“A Commanding Style is Antithetical to Leading a Post-Pandemic Workforce”

Forbes J Rutherford, Rutherford International, 2021

Most leaders and managers do not have a single dominant style but are more undifferentiated. They score equally in all said styles and struggle to know which kind to apply to a situation. Whereas, a leader with multiple types scoring high in two or three with little differentiation in the score (and the ‘agility’ style the most common) has a repertoire of leadership styles that can adapt to the problem at hand.

The leadership competencies we consider necessary for managing a hybrid workforce are: Sustains profitability, Seeks Innovation, Embraces Change, Thrives in Chaos, Drives Achievement, Communicates with Clarity, Maintains Accountability, Builds Consensus, Communicates Strategic Vision.

Rutherford International Succession Planning Program for a Post-COVID19 World

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