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Navigating the Modern Workplace: Shahrukh Zahir on Empathy, Purpose, and the Next Generation

Today’s workplace profoundly differs from the workplace just a short twenty years ago. While the technological advancements we’ve seen recently are certainly the significant drivers of change, younger generations that increasingly makeup today’s workforce are driving further change.

The new workforce grew up in the digital era. It’s a globally-aware workforce that saw much social and political upheaval due to justice, cultural, and environmental issues. They are fluid, prone to quitting if they’re unhappy, and value having work-life harmony and purpose in their work while having an inclusive and diverse environment.

Among the professionals who lead the charge in helping businesses adapt to these changes is Shahrukh Zahir, a veteran in the recruitment industry and the founder and CEO of Right Fit Advisors. The work he’s done in the past has consistently been around creating positive work cultures and building great teams with diversity and inclusivity in mind, all while leveraging the latest technology advancements, such as AI, to deliver outstanding results.

For Shahrukh, engaging with the younger part of the workforce might come easy, but he understands that they are different and that they warrant a unique approach.

“The workforce that’s coming up has a completely different drive, so you just have to learn how to communicate with them,” he says. “Use the right kind of channels to communicate with them, understand they suffer from video and phone fatigue more than previous generations did.”

The best approach to recruitment and staffing for the companies in the Atlanta area, where Right Fit Advisors do the most work, tends to be informed by the same ethos. While the company uses AI in its process, it makes sure that the result leads to a harmonious outcome for its clients as well as the people being recruited.

“We don’t just follow the same carbon copy. That’s not what we do. We find a diversity component and a personality that will not clash with you, and we’ll pick a person that will help the company thrive and grow overall,” Shahrukh says. “We’re big on diversity and making sure minorities are represented. Especially in Atlanta — that is a big focus here.”

While recruiters play an integral role in making sure the modern workplace is appropriately staffed, they’re not the only ones whose work matters in that area. Companies themselves need to make sure they foster the right kind of company culture that will engage these young, talented people in a way that amplifies their potential.

“Organizations should leverage tools that will allow young professionals to stay engaged and foster a culture with collaborative and creative practices to promote innovation and growth,” Shahrukh explains. “Everybody is now in this state of mind of belonging, and they want to feel like they’re part of something larger than just themselves, while also meeting their personal goals and making an impact for themselves. So, creating different kinds of scenarios that will allow them to do that is important. And this is the kind of support Right Fit Advisor offers.”

In the end, Shahrukh Zahir points out that every generation has their own view of the words empathy and purpose. The key to creating great workplaces where talent can thrive might be to understand what those words mean for the generations that are about to dominate the workforce.