Is Holacracy a real management trend?

Part 4 of our data driven investigation into 2014’s real talent trends

Recap: We’re continuing our data driven look into the real talent trends of 2014

Today we have the last part of our data driven look into the real talent trends of 2014.

To recap, we’re investigating these trends using the public data that Indeed makes available about millions of job postings. Using the Indeed data, we can look at how frequently certain terms are occurring in millions of job ads, all the way back to 2005. It’s a powerful way to look at whether HR trends are really changing the way that companies are hiring.

Today, we’re using this data to look at Holacracy.

We heard a lot about Holacracy in 2014. But is it a real trend…or just a good news story?

There was a lot written about Holacracy in the business press over 2014. Many of these articles were focused on Zappos getting rid of all managers and moving to a Holacratic org structure.

Some of the high profile news pieces you might have seen included:

But is this a real trend? Because if you’re signing up to a Holacratic workplace without managers, you’d expect that the job advertisement should mention the fact.


The data is pretty clear here. To seven decimal places, we’re seeing zero job advertisements that feature any mention of Holacracy.

My advice: don’t throw out your org chart just yet! Management isn’t going anywhere for a long time.

As the chart below shows, traditional “management” continues to come up in a consistent 30% of all job posts. This has been relatively stable over the past ten years. What it means to be a manager will certainly change around the edges (through concepts like Agile Performance Management), but traditional management isn’t going anywhere fast.


Interested in the real talent management trends of 2014? Don’t miss the other parts of this series….

If you loved these talent trend insights, there’s plenty more in this series:

  1. Millennials are changing the way we work (part 1)
  2. HR is about to be taken over by data/finance (part 2)
  3. Technology is reshaping the way we work (part 3)
  4. Holacracy is set to make managers obsolete (part 4)

And of course, I’d always love to continue the conversation and discuss this article on Twitter. Tweet @cognology with your take on this research and any other key trends you’d like us to look at.