By Jim Wong, CPA | December 18, 2014

It’s that time of the year again, time for wrap up lists and ‘what’s to come in 2014’ predictions. It’s hard to believe 2013 is coming to a close, and a look at the unemployment rate covering the last five years or so is promising, with a drop from 10% in October 2009 to 7.9% as of spring 2013.

The November jobs report also brought good news, with the unemployment rate falling to its lowest level in five years. These numbers reflect people actually finding jobs as opposed to people leaving the work force due to retirement or others simply dropping out, giving up on ever finding a job.

According to an article in Politico, recent reports show a slightly healthier economy heading into 2014: The jobless rate is falling, house prices are rising, the stock market is healthy, and economic growth has been better than expected.

But predictions are just predictions, and we all know how quickly the tides can turn when it comes to our economy.

Dan Schawbel, workplace expert and New York Times bestselling author of Promote Yourself, shared 10 of the top workplace trends he’s keeping an eye on it 2014 in a recent article for Forbes.

Here are five for you to consider, as we move into the new year.

  1. Freelancing becomes a normal way of life.There are 17 million or so contractors, consultants, and other such freelance workers today in America. That number is expected to rise, and with the rise of freelance work comes the rise of more remote or virtual work. Studies have shown you’re actually more engaged and get more done in a typical workday working from home than in an office setting.
  2. Employers create new ways of filtering candidates.Hiring may not be as robust as it could be just yet, but those who are hiring will be using more creative ways of sourcing candidates. Social networking/candidate online reputation discovery will become the norm, and so will candidate weeding with the use of tests, such as the “Collegiate Learning Assessment” – a so-called “post college SAT”.
  3. The continuous job search.Whether happy in a job or not, the internet is a digital candy store of possibility. According to Schawbel, “73% of workers don’t have a problem looking for new employment before leaving their current employer and 48% of millennials say they conduct job search activities at work.” People will move from job to job more frequently and with less stigma.
  4. Reputation becomes more important for both professionals and companies.Your reputation is all you have. Professionals as well as businesses are going to became more aware of the perils of either over-sharing digitally, or making a brand related social media faux pas.
  5. Boomers retiring – changing demographics in the workplace.According to Schawbel, “…18 percent of boomers will retire within five years…Next year, millennials will account for 36% of the American workforce too. One of the biggest problems companies will have is succession planning. They are going to have to train Gen X’ers and Gen Y’ers before their boomers retire or they will be in major trouble.” Businesses are already adapting to the younger generations entering the workforce, but now the pressure will be on for businesses to train and retain those workers.

What kind of hiring or workplace trends do you see for 2014?

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