Small Business Q&A: Peter Cosgrave, CPL Recruitment

In this week’s Q&A, Kehlan Kirwin talks with Peter Cosgrave from CPL Recruitment, who has gained insight into how companies can future proof their business.

Small Business Q&A: Peter Cosgrave, CPL Recruitment

What is future proofing?

Essentially it is making sure you are prepared for what the future holds for your business. In business it is difficult to ‘predict’ the future but there are a number of things that are visible to us now which can offer an insight into how things will operate years and even decades from now.

Visible things like what?

We just did a paper outlining several topics which people can turn to now. For example we know the population is ageing. Two percent of the workforce born today will live to 120. This ageing effect, which is growing, will have a big impact on how long people work for. This impacts taxes, pensions and how companies can operate. DIY company B&Q has hired a lot of over 60s people and has made them an important part of its workforce because of their knowledge based on many years of experience and their willingness to talk with customers. So the ‘older worker’ is a real business prospect where they add value to the company.

That contrasts then with ‘millennial’ workers?

Yes. So a millennial is somebody born between 1980 and 2000. In a decade they will make up 75% of the workforce. These are people who have always known technology and who have always known the internet and mobility. This means they are less interested in structured workspaces and bureaucracy within companies. If they have ideas they want an environment where they can express those ideas through their work or through management. Also social media now means those employees are part of your brand, as they can openly comment on a number of platforms about their workplace. It is impossible to be a poor place to work and for a lot of people to not know it.

Tell me about the rested workers research you’re working on?

What we’re looking at is the fact that a lot of companies are becoming more insistent on workers getting away from their desk. Volkswagen recently banned management from using email after 7pm. This was based on the idea that people get burned out and tired from constantly being connected to work. A rested employee is an employee who can give more creativity and ideas which can help the company grow. When you look it at it makes a lot of sense. It’s very rare that people are struck with ideas while sitting behind a desk. It’s when they see something on holiday or get an idea while in the shower.

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