You may have noticed how the phrase “the future of work” gets thrown around recently. Often, the goal is to highlight the potential benefits of introducing automation, artificial intelligence (AI), and other innovations to drive business success in today’s highly digital environment.
While cutting-edge technologies may offer high-impact results for business operations, there’s another area where you can put these applications to good use—it’s none other than your HR department.
In the context of HR, the future of work may refer to any of the following trends in the workplace:
Altogether, these forces are redefining work, so it’s critical that you revisit your employment models. Otherwise, you may be putting both your business and HR goals on the line.
With that said, here’s an infographic that shows in more detail how emerging trends will impact your role in hiring, training, engaging, and retaining employees.
The prevailing technological revolution is bringing about massive shifts in the way companies are conducting business. More and more workflows are being automated, and as such, the need for physical and manual skills is falling except in labor-intensive industries.
The greater demand tends to shift towards skills that employees can use in conjunction with automation. These include computing, coding, and programming skills, which are highly technical competencies that digitally powered organizations need more of right now, and quite possibly, in the next decade or so.
Apart from hiring for technological expertise, your strategy should focus on candidates who can think critically and creatively, exercise good judgment, and process complex information that your business will need. These skills form part of the higher cognitive learning that allows workers to apply their technical know-how in vital tasks and situations within the work environment.
Meanwhile, soft skills like emotional intelligence and people management can provide the human connection in customer-facing jobs.
Needless to say, it won’t be easy finding all of the desired skill sets in every candidate. Estimates from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics place the number of open computing jobs to 1.4 million, but there are only 400,000 computer science graduates who have the skills for this kind of work.
Because of this skills gap, many companies are turning to outsourcing recruitment to fill unoccupied positions. This model of recruitment service is prevalent in developing countries with a diverse workforce and technological resources. Outsourcing services can help your business thrive in the future because you can keep your labor costs at a reasonable range.
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Independent workers refer to freelancers, contractors, consultants, and workers in the gig economy. They’re a growing part of the workforce with a wide range of skills that you can tap for special projects. In fact, 79% of executives believe that, in the future, work will be project-based instead of role-based.
To attract independent workers, you should be willing to accommodate alternative work set-ups, including remote or virtual offices. In this employment model, you’re allowing the members of your team to choose where or when they will work, as opposed to requiring them to stick to the traditional 9-to-5 office job.
You could utilize online tools that help facilitate collaboration and reporting between you and your employees to ensure that they remain engaged and accountable.
Whenever someone mentions the term “automation,” the interpretation is that machines will take away the job from your HR team. This is only partly true because, although AI technologies are expected to replace 16% of HR functions, what it actually means is that you’ll have more time to engage and interact with job seekers, as AI is designed to lessen your workload.
There are several ways that AI and automation can ease and speed up your recruitment tasks:
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Today’s job market is candidate-driven, which simply means that job seekers are becoming as critical as ever in choosing which company they want to work for. This is especially true among the millennial workforce, who tend to associate a positive company brand with a work culture where employees can work and learn at the same time.
As such, there’s a need for you to create numerous opportunities for company-wide training and mentoring so that the career paths of your employees are clear and they don’t stagnate. The more varied the projects or experiences that are given to them, the wider their professional perspective becomes.
Traditional learning models aren’t totally out, as brainstorming sessions that mimic classroom settings remain effective for many teams. However, companies are also recognizing the need to facilitate progressive learning in the workplace through digital means.
Here’s an interesting trend that’s worth looking into: the half-life of skills—or the length of time a particular skill is considered valuable—is down to five years. This means that skills picked up by your employees beyond those five years are deemed obsolete, and as such, no longer useful. Traditional learning management systems can no longer keep up with rising demands for learning and career growth.
Today, there’s a multitude of online resources that you can easily access, integrate into your office learning systems, and share with your employees. Altogether, these factors can help you eliminate any barriers to the learning and relearning of skills among your workforce.
READ THIS RELATED ARTICLE: How to Bridge the Skills Gap to Future-Proof Your Business
Thanks to technology, your employees can work faster and smarter. However, your customers are still expecting you to solve their most complex problems with ever-increasing speed and efficiency.
To meet this demand, it’s necessary to equip teams who are working more closely with one another with relevant skills from each discipline. When there’s collaboration across departments—say R&D, sales, marketing, and even IT—it’s easier for your business to develop products or deliver services that address your customers’ most pressing issues in a way that meets or even exceeds their expectations.
Aside from the advantage of utilizing digital tools and platforms to affect learning and upgrade skills, you can also use technology to enhance your employees’ overall experience.
You need to start using data analytics more to predict potential issues in employee retention. Collecting data about employee challenges—from commuting problems to lack of engagement and cultural adaptability—is valuable in countering employees’ plans to leave the company. Needless to say, failing to address such concerns early on can be costly for your organization’s hiring and training programs.
The future of work means preparing your organization for significant changes in tools, technologies, policies, processes, and skills that are important in the modern era. Your role as HR is to help establish a work environment that can make your business more versatile and agile.
Recruitment process outsourcing enables you to keep up in a competitive labor market by connecting you with top global talent that can adapt to your business’ ever-evolving needs. SuperStaff also specializes in giving your recruitment team a competitive edge through top-of-the-line tools.
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