Digital Transformation, Artificial Intelligence, Algorithms and the like are just a few examples for the profound shifts that shape the 21st century. Milestones in the world of work that have resulted in changes on meta forces such as mission, people, place and technology. In this article, I would like to take a closer look on consequences of the world of work on the central meta force people.

Referring to the framework of 8 themes by the Office of the Chief Human Capital Officer (OCHCO) at NASA, I would like to draw conclusions for best practices regarding recruiting in the 21st century.

Redesigning organizations

As the world of work is shaped by agile developments, leading organizations cannot simply lean back and bask in reflected glory. Active readjustment to current developments is absolutely essential in order to deal with the complexity of the global market.

But which concrete actions need to be implemented by HR departments in order to stay competitive? Complexity requires interdisciplinary teams and a lot of networking. Thus, an important factor is the recruitment of people who are able to work together in diverse teams and who are willing to overreach the goals of an organization.

Redefining individual roles

Keeping the complexity of the world of work in mind, it should become clear that dichotomous talent assessment will not deliver sustainable solutions. A more reasonable approach is portrayed by dynamic and continuous tools which consider the shift of priorities within a company. Especially milestones such as AI that have resulted in a lot of redundancy of human workforce. These developments underline the growing importance of social capital and the redefinition of human talent.

Agilely illustrating learning

In contrast to prior understanding, learning is not a steplike process of constant growth. It has also adapted toward a reversed u-shaped curve of constant progression and regression. Companies should thus adapt to this development by shifting toward a culture that empowers individuals to explore, learn and to continually reinvent themselves. This way, the key factor of innovation – a learning culture of lifelong learning is supported. The unknown simultaneously appears as a  challenge and opportunity which implies that iterative approaches should be preferred when it comes to defining best practices.

Providing inspiration and trust

High amounts of perceived self-efficacy and intrinsic motivation are essential psychological components that ensure that employees stay motivated – which can significantly increase productivity and success. Organizational leaders thus have a key position with regard to motivating their employees. Leaders should personify a personalized, agile and holistic workspace, trying match talent with expertise and passion. Moreover, providing employees with enough space to acquire valuable competences, external engagement and constant self-reinvention will result in symbiotic effects for both the company as well as each individual on a longterm perspective.

Creating a culture of well-being and sustainability

Not only a strategy but especially a responsibility is the investment into benefits which support each individuals well-being. Home Office, trust-based working hours and coworking spaces are just some examples for flexible working designs which have shown significant impact on agile workforce, innovation and on general mental health.

In the future of work which features artificial intelligences and automation, organizations face many missions– missions that can transform challenges into tangible opportunities. Organizations can become role models by rearranging themselves and by using insights and by actively analyzing external trends in this new era. Let us step toward becoming a leading organization in the future of work by high amounts of human investment, collaboration and by taking advantage of the power of the individual.


Abbatiello, A., Agarwal, D., Bersin, J., et al. (2018) The rise of the social enterprise, 2018 Deloitte Global Human Capital Trends. Deloitte.

Skyland, N. (2018) The Future of Work Framework. NASA.