This 3-part series looks at how the workforce is evolving, what’s driving the changes and what it means for modern-day employers.
The workforce is changing — and not only is it changing fast but the with a huge amount of variety and choice.
We are already seeing a more flexible, more freelance, more collaborative and far less secure work world.
Millennials are demanding better work-life balance, young parents need time to share child-care (and parent-care) duties and baby boomers are looking to ease gradually toward retirement.
Today, almost 60% of the Australian workforce works in some flexible capacity – whether that is part time, casual, contract, or roster-based. Researchers and futurists look five to 10 years down the track and see that number reaching as high as 85%.
And it’s being run by a generation with new values. Workers today want work to be less punishing and more meaningful.
Paying your dues, moving up slowly and getting the corner office — that’s going away.
It’s no longer a non-negotiable that you have to sacrifice your personal life to have a professional life. And employers who embrace this will have a distinct advantage in the war for talent.
Now, that’s not to say work ethic and hard work is out the window because at the same time no one is going to pay you just to show up anymore.
Leadership structures are becoming increasingly flat, as roles shift based on each individual’s strengths and capabilities.
The jobs of the future will have very little to do with processing words or numbers (the Internet can do that now). Nor will we need many people to act as placeholders, errand runners or receptionists — even doctors should be worried with IBM’s Watson Supercomputer already better at diagnosing cancer than regular human doctors. Instead, there’s going to be a huge focus on finding the essential people and outsourcing the rest.
Many decisions will become automated as we develop increasingly sophisticated analytical tools, which will allow people to focus on creative endeavors that are uniquely human like managing customers and digital communities, brainstorming ways to innovate and disrupt the status quo, and building employer branding and employee engagement.
As an example, the majority of the recruitment process will be done for you through matching algorithms, psychometric testing and the power of the crowd through tools like Workible and LinkedIn and so you simply have to apply the human element.
Changes in the workforce mean that employers need to adapt their recruitment, training and management processes. And it’s not going to be a matter of one big transition project and you’re done. Society today is evolving at such a rapid rate, it requires constant analysis and adaptation.