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A 2023 Recruiting Industry Trend: Hiring Grown-Ups

If a company wants to offer a remote working environment while mitigating their exposure to lost productivity due to immature employees collecting paychecks without fulfilling their end of the bargain, hiring grown-ups feels like a smart move.

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My hope/prediction: Screening for maturity (aka hiring people who act like grown-ups in the workplace) will be an intentional part of the recruiting process now that enough of the laptop class has taken advantage of WFH policies, slacked off in their PJs, and delivered sub-par value back their organizations.

Two things are broadly clear:

1. Remote work is here to stay—especially in tech.

2. Some people can’t be trusted with freedom and autonomy.

If a company wants to offer a remote working environment while mitigating their exposure to lost productivity due to immature employees collecting paychecks without fulfilling their end of the bargain, hiring grown-ups who understand the fundamentals of the employer-employee relationship feels like a smart move. And they shouldn’t be shy about doing it.

The incentives to show up and do your job regardless of how your performance is measured are blatantly obvious in the tech industry. They are:

a) Being an adult who has a job—and honoring that commitment.

(I can’t even believe that I need to list more reasons. But I will.)

b) Getting paid a shit ton of money to work in your pajamas from anywhere.

c) Getting every kind of cushy perk you can think of (while being able to work in your pajamas from anywhere).

How many more incentives does a person need? Once you get out of the realms of compensation, growth opportunities, and autonomy (location, flex schedule, etc), complaining about work demands is somewhat childish and the privilege of the laptop class becomes very obvious.

Now, before I step down from my soapbox I’d like to define the term “grown up” as it applies to work.

Traditionally, society defines a grown-up by age and/or personal responsibilities.

That definition doesn’t fit here. In the workplace, a grown-up is someone who shows up. They’re a professional. They don’t use their workplace as a platform for airing their beliefs about non-work issues. And they understand and respect boundaries. In fact, they want them because these types of boundaries increase productivity, clearly define expectations, and maximize deliverables.

In a professional context, being a grown-up is an approach to work. It’s a mentality that is independent of age.

From a recruiting perspective, it’s something you can screen for—and use to filter in or weed out.

This is obviously an opinion piece. But it’s influenced by observing thoughtless hiring practices and problematic company culture initiatives that ramped up considerably during the pandemic-era tech boom.

With any luck, who tech companies hire will also go through a market correction.

– Nate

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