Studies say that half of the world’s CEOs consider uncertainty the biggest external threat to their business. They focus on how technology and automation are predicted to have on talent management and workforce planning. However, talent management and workforce planning are more about using technology resulting from complex, changing, and competing forces.
Virtually recruiting workers became the new norm for many companies during the COVID-19 pandemic. For the first time, internal mobility supported by reskilling and upskilling was imbibed into talent management and workforce planning. Diversity is finally a matter of urgency and accountability.
Many megatrends can fundamentally influence talent management. Understanding them can help us prepare for the changes in the next decade and beyond.
Globalization shaped by a combination of governance and technological developments can facilitate seamless and real-time cross-border communications. The workplace has become connected, virtual, and boundaryless, making talent management and workforce management global.
Half of them work outside the local offices, at least for half of the working week. This is likely to increase in a post-COVID-19 world. As the world faces the transformative economic, social, and environmental challenges of Globalization 4.0, companies address talent needs globally.
The Influence of Urbanization and Mobility
Over half of the world’s population now live in cities. With the number of city dwellers rising to two-thirds by 2030, there is an increased demand for new mobility solutions, including autonomous vehicles and electrification.
In 1993, management guru Peter Drucker stated that office commuting would become ‘obsolete’ one day. Pandemic fears have accelerated the reconfiguration of the mobility landscape, with consequences to the future of work.
Organizational coherence introduced by technological advances has put remote working in the limelight, inspiring companies to fit in a remote/hybrid work model in their talent management and workforce planning. 3 out of 4 CFOs plan to shift at least 5% of onsite workers to permanent remote positions.
Within this decade, the rush-hour commute to the brick-and-mortar office block may be a thing of the past, changing the face of talent management forever.
Accommodating Demographic Change and a Multigenerational Workforce
There are five generations in today’s workforce – from the silent generation to gen Z, with baby boomers representing the fastest-growing segment. People are working longer these days, presenting a unique challenge for companies.
Different generations have different ideas of what fulfilling work entails, and it may interfere with their performance considering external expectations placed on workers based on their perceived experience and age. Companies must get everyone on board with skillful adaptation and deftfullness and align varying goals and perspectives.
A multigenerational workforce can bring significant value and opportunities to the table. 89% of HR recruitment professionals believe that a multigenerational workforce makes their company more successful. Experts say that a multigenerational workforce improves continuity, stability, and retention of intellectual capital.
While younger workers enjoy the wisdom, an engaged work ethic, and professionalism that their older colleagues provide, senior colleagues display stronger relationship skills to an organization’s benefit. Longer lifespans allow more opportunities to pivot and reinvent themselves.
Future talent management leaders must manage the learning and development of a multigenerational workforce and harness diverse levels of talent and experience in their workforce planning.
Transitioning Nature of Careers
Autonomy and remote collaboration are changing ‘how’ work is done and how people pursue ‘careers.’ Technology is increasing the potential for cooperation and collaboration across multiple platforms, with messaging platforms, video calls, and video conferencing forming the new foundation of the distributed workforce.
A recent survey cited video meetings capabilities and real-time collaboration tools as key technologies to improve performance. There is a shift in workday and workweek. Talent management is experimenting with remote and shorter workweeks. ‘Career’ as a concept is under scrutiny with ‘corporate ladder’ aspirations under shift too.
There will be a shift in the division of labor between robots and humans, changing our conception of individuals’ requirements in the labor force and what it means to bridge the gap between jobs and skills.
The Proliferation of Nonlinear Careers
Plotting a dream career and building your career is a thing of the past. The next generation will likely switch jobs in a matter of few years. 50% of all workers across industries across the U.S. have made a career change. The nature of change coupled with shorter tenures in both roles and organizations makes for different career paths.
Younger generations choose side gigs as an attractive second income generator, building skills further in some industries and job functions. Younger respondents have filled more positions relative to their older counterparts.
Enhanced connectivity and collaborative technologies have seen self-employment rise to new levels, with approx. 20 to 30% of the working population in the U.S. and E.U. choosing to engage in more independent, on-demand work.
Furthermore, young people are diversifying their income with multiple revenue streams. With more people starting to understand that they do not necessarily need a workplace to work, many will give up on the concept of fixed employers and employment altogether.
Companies will find a way to accommodate fixed and unaffiliated workers in their workforce planning activities and talent management.
Narrowing the Skills Gaps
Technology advances upskilling and reskilling opportunities. Proficiency in new technologies is only a tiny part of the equation, as disruptions like AI, ML, and automation have a premium on soft skills that machines cannot master.
Creativity, originality, initiative, critical thinking, persuasion, and negotiation are likely to rise in value, including resilience, attention to detail, complex problem-solving ability, and flexibility. Talent management professionals believe that the biggest skills gap in their organizations is in leadership.
As per our research, while technical skills and digital capabilities are the least valued, interpersonal skills and critical thinking is valued the most. Technical skills like engineering, accounting, or architecture may not diminish in importance. Workforce planning could set individuals with opportunities to individuals with ‘human skills,’ entailing higher pay.
Climate Change and Resource Scarcity
Climate change and resource scarcity are already affecting everyday life and will drastically impact business, costing 215 of the top 500 corporations as much as USD 1 Tn in coming decades. As carbon and energy standards and efficiencies are implemented, organizations must prepare for a potential rise in operational and investment costs.
CEOs will increasingly consider climate change as a plan. Risk begets opportunities. It is estimated that companies worldwide can save USD 2.1 Tn from facilitating a low-carbon transition in a few years.
When organizations put climate change at the center of their strategy and build a low-carbon and high-resilience supply chain, it will reduce costs and increase efficiency. Most jobs will be transformed or redefined in terms of their requirements and working methods, and ‘green’ initiatives are likely to create multiple new professions, shaking up things in talent management.
Automation and Technological Advancement
There is an estimation that 120 million workers in the top 12 largest economies must be retrained in the coming years as machines take over humans’ tasks. Three-quarters of global companies have started to automate their business processes or are in the works.
The World Economic Forum predicts that innovative technologies, including AI, ML, IoT, and automation, will generate 58 million more jobs than it removes from the market. Those who are willing to diversify their skills stand to benefit.
Whether you are bullish or bearish about automation, one cannot deny that technology will impact talent management.
Workforce planning boosts productivity and helps organizations overcome workforce challenges, delivering high employee satisfaction, effectiveness, and retention rates. Additionally, reskilling retains minority and diverse talents. Our research reveals that minority talent is employed in roles where severe disruption is possible. Along with re/upskilling, HR recruitment must include a diverse workforce.
Talent intelligence tools like Draup gives talent management teams with access to dashboards from where they can perform a comprehensive analysis of their minority talent. Draup’s machine learning models analyses and replicates it on a broader level for any roles/skills across industries and functions. It can make talent management and workforce planning a fact-based, agile, and collaborative process.