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5 Things the Next Generation of HR Professionals Want to Address

We asked applicants for PayScale’s Future of Work scholarship to share how companies need to evolve to meet the needs of their employees in the future.

The Future of Work Scholarship is aimed at students who are currently studying or plan to study human resources or business in college. These applicants are the next generation of HR professionals.

Here are some of the common themes that came out of their responses and some quotes directly from the applicants.

Opportunities To Grow

“Opportunity does not necessarily mean promotion, it means that companies need to be able to offer a chance for growth and development or even just dynamic workplace tactics.” (Kellen from Charlotte, NC)

Your future employees want to grow in their careers. You can invest in your employees by giving them the opportunity to develop their skills. As the economy and technology changes your employees want to keep advancing as well. This may mean providing more training for the employees that you already have and better on-boarding for new hires. Future employees want to be challenged to learn more.

Two-Way Communication Between Employee and Employer

“A lot of times with big businesses, processes outweigh employees in the sense that employee insight and input are not heard. Sometimes the value of input is more important than the process.” (Brandli from Auburn, WA)

Your future employees want to be heard. It is important that there is two-way communication and transparency between employers and employees. Our recent employee engagement research reinforces the idea that transparency leads to better employee satisfaction. Employees will invest more in your organization if you share critical business information with them, provide timely feedback on their performance and share with them why you make pay decisions the way you do. Communication is key to making your employees feel valued.


“Employers need to invest more in a diverse workplace, of minds, ethics, views and ideas to force their employees to evolve and in response propel the company.” (Aaron from New Orleans, Louisiana)

Your future employees crave a diverse workplace. There are many benefits to embracing diversity in your company. Workers with different experiences bring different insights and ideas — helping your company to be more innovative. Employees want to see less discrimination and a mutual respect between people in your company.

Flexibility and Work life Balance

“In my opinion, allowing workers to have a flexible schedule will encourage workers to be more productive at work which increases the company’s success. People will work better and be more productive if they know that the company respects their lives and obligations outside of work.” (Karyna from Athens, OH)

Flexibility and work-life balance are important to the incoming generations of workers. This means different things for different companies and their employees. You need to find out what it means for your employees, whether it is flexible schedules, work-from-home policies or even unlimited PTO. Promoting good work-life balance can help keep up employee morale and decrease burnout.

Keep Pace with technology

“With upgraded technology comes greater ease of use which means happier users. For example upgrading computer programs or the physical computers themselves will increase productivity.” (Laura from Santa Barbara, California)

Your future employees have never lived without technology. Technology is advancing and your future employees want companies to keep pace with technology. Workers are eager to adopt new technology and it is important for your company to give them the opportunity to do that.

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Tell Us What You Think

How is your company evolving to meet the needs of future employees? Let us know in the comments below.

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Jaimelenn Uemura
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