As technological advancements and the recent pandemic impacted the labor markets, many adjusted to the new working methods as offices closed rapidly. Workers deemed essential worked under protocols to reduce the spread.
In the next 25 years, enterprises and startups alike must change how they work and conduct talent management activities. The world has become a talent marketplace, and our mobile devices have made work boundaryless.
Potential Short- and Long-term Talent Management Disruptions
Research says that jobs with higher proximity levels may see a greater post-pandemic transformation, triggering knock-on effects in other areas as talent management is going through a shift in response and business models.
- On-site frontline workers in retail stores, banks, post offices, etc., constantly interact with customers. Some work may migrate to e-commerce and digital platforms triggered by behavioral change.
- The computer-based office work in hospitals, courts, industries and enterprises requires moderate physical proximity, with potential for remote work. This is the largest arena in the advanced economies, accounting for roughly one-third of the workforce, a challenge for talent management activities.
- The leisure and travel industry includes restaurants, hotels, airports, entertainment, and event venues with customer-facing workers. Remote work, business travel reduction, and automation of specific tasks may curtail labor demand.
- Production and maintenance include farms, construction sites, outdoor spaces, and residential and commercial sites with low physical proximity. As few interactions occurred, the pandemic had little impact on workers. This is the largest area in the developing economies of India and China, involving up to 55% of the workforce.
The Impact of Technology and the Pandemic on Work
The pandemic pushed talent management to get used to new behaviors, giving way to these three trends.
1. Remote work and virtual meetings will continue post-pandemic
An analysis of 2,000 tasks across 800 occupations showed that 20% to 25% of the workforce in the advanced economies could do productive work remotely between three to five days a week. This may impact work locations and geographies as most could move to the suburbs and small towns.
Some companies are shifting to flexible workspaces after positive experiences with remote work, which brought fewer workers into offices and saved capital. As per a survey, many executives plan to reduce office space by 30%, which could drive down the demand for public transportation, retail shops, and restaurants in downtown areas.
Remote work will impact business travel due to the extensive use of videoconferencing and virtual meetings. While leisure travel is due to rebound, at least 20% of business travel, making up the bulk of the revenue for airports, airlines, hospitality, and food services, may not return.
Although e-commerce boomed with virtual transactions, the share of e-commerce grew two to five times the rate in 2020 than before, propelling the growth in delivery, transportation, and warehouse jobs. Roughly three-quarters of first-time digital users say they will continue online transactions post-pandemic.
Additionally, telemedicine and online streaming also took off. Practo, an Indian telehealth company, grew tenfold in 2020. Though virtual practices may decline as economies reopen, the usage will be above pre-pandemic levels.
2. Automation and AI will propel adoption in work with high physical proximity
In 2020, many companies invested and deployed automation and AI in warehouses, grocery stores, call centers, and manufacturing plants to reduce workplace density and cope with demand surges.
Standard features include the correlation with high scores on physical proximity. Additionally, work with high levels of human interaction will accelerate automation and AI adoption.
3. People will shift how they involve in occupations
Nearly all low-wage workers who lost jobs could move to other low-wage occupations. However, as low-wage jobs reduce due to automation, there may be a demand for labor in high-wage jobs. Displaced low-wage workers may need to shift to occupations in higher wage brackets.
As formal employment opportunities drop, talent management can find both white- and blue-collar workers in the marketplace with a set of skills. As technology makes the marketplace boundaryless, there will be buyers of skills needed for jobs.
Talent management teams must trust providers’ competence and predict the service quality. Eventually, remote workers will be graded along the skills continuum, and gig workers with niche skills and expertise will work with competing firms.
Facilitating Workforce Transitions
Companies and governments showed flexibility and adaptability in response to the pandemic with purpose and innovation. Talent management can harness their flexibility and adaptability to reskill their workforce for a brighter future of work.
Talent management can begin with a granular analysis of what work can be done remotely or on-site. Companies like IBM, Walmart, and Amazon are retraining their workers to focus on tasks involved rather than whole jobs.
Companies are facilitating occupational shifts focusing on required skills rather than academic degrees. Many may not live in superstar cities, where the capital, diverse talent, and opportunities are concentrated before the pandemic.
While governments and policymakers enhance digital infrastructure, companies can extend certain benefits to independent workers and assist them in building skills and knowledge. Talent management must influence their company to create policies to skill up workers to migrate between occupations.
Talent intelligence platform like Draup enables you to adjust to a hybrid workplace with weightage for skills. It delivers talent management leaders with data-backed insights into the global talent pool, in-demand skills, location insights, reskilling pathways, etc.
The Hiring Opportunity Index provides data into candidates’ skills sets. It ranks them in new-age skills sets so that stakeholders can tweak their messaging to hire quality talent.