Gone are the days when people would get a job fresh from school or uni and stay in it until retirement. Not only are we now more likely to change employers, we’re also likely to move locations, and even entire disciplines. And that’s not just coming from a change in the way people want to work, it also comes from growing automation, the creation of whole new roles, and changing demographics.

The significance of this has been obvious for a few years, however, a new report by the World Economic Forum revealed fresh insights into the future of work as we enter the 2020s.

We’re going through changes…

An article by the organisation, created as part of their annual meeting, showed that 42% of the skills currently needed to perform existing jobs will be different by 2022. In addition, a third of all existing jobs (1 billion) will be transformed by technology. Dubbed “the fourth industrial revolution”, this change will have effects on all industries, with AI and automation the push behind this. This means that business leaders should currently be assessing the suitability of their existing hiring strategies to meet the challenges and opportunities presented.

However, it’s not just re-skilling that’s needed. Companies will also have to create and fill new roles. While existing employees will fill some gaps, businesses will need specialists too. And they’ll be in some of the most business-critical areas like data science, AI specialists, and growth hackers. As these are harder to re-skill the current workforce pool to do, employers will be battling with other growing businesses to hire the best people. Considering the newness of these markets and the lack of experienced candidates, this will be tough.

According to digital innovation specialist Accenture, not meeting this skills demand could cost G20 countries $11.5 trillion in potential GDP growth over the next ten years.

 

The impact on business-critical roles

While half of the companies surveyed by the WEF anticipated decreasing their full-time workforce due to automation, 38% also say they expect expansion through these new roles. However, a lack of skilled talent will impact business-critical hiring because these important roles lack skilled candidates. The jobs will form a crucial part of a business’ infrastructure, affecting their operations if they’re left unfilled. With demand then pushing up the cost of filling these roles, businesses need to act quickly to get the right people in place.

 

So, what’s next?

Companies now need talent acquisition and retention plans that factor in the risks to their business-critical roles. Re-skilling and up-skilling are vital, but putting plans in place to source fresh talent for newly-created roles can’t be far behind.

At Solutions Driven, we know that this sounds like a lot for c-suite to deal with over the next two years. That’s why some of the world’s biggest companies come to us to help with their business-critical roles. Our in-depth knowledge from working with some of the most forward-thinking companies, means we’re ideally placed to advise and source talent for companies now, and in the future.

Source: WEF 2020

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