“You know, you’ve got a lot of companies that ‘oh no, no, we’re purely domestic, we don’t need to worry about that.’ And then wake up one morning and their competitor has been acquired by a French firm. And then they turn around and say ‘oops, now we are competing globally, whether we like it or not. Another one, for example, is the shift in the composition of the workforce—what I call the ‘rise of the millennials.’ And they’re bringing demands on the workplace that we’ve never seen before.”
Old concepts about employee loyalty to a company—or a company’s loyalty to an employee—have changed. And Richards says the talent equation has turned upside down. Richards says the new millennials are interested in working for you only if the job is challenging. They’re not necessarily interested in joining the company at age 22 and sticking around to become CEO when they’re 64.
“We’ve been used to — over the past, let’s say 50 to 70 years — where the supply and demand equation between employer and employee has been in favor of the employer. That is going away rapidly. To allow the people to want to work for you, you’ve got to provide meaningful work to them. It’s no longer a matter of you just opening the door and people coming walking in. You’ve got to establish your employer brand, you’ve got to establish a reputation in the marketplace as a place that somebody wants to work.”