The Future of Work- What You Need To Know Today

The Future of Work- What You Need To Know Today

The strong infusion of technology at the workplace is creating a shift in how leaders want to run their businesses and manage people. As digital business transformation and constant tech evolution reshapes the business world, many conventional job roles are changing or becoming redundant, while a whole host of new roles are taking their place. Decision makers are seeing the need to scale up talent with the right skill sets, while providing existing employees with rigorous upskilling and re-skilling, and rightly so! With approximately 60% of organizations expecting a skills gap hitting them in the next couple of years[1], their concern is not misplaced. All the more reason for business heads to be focusing on bringing in employees who have exhibited not just strong tech evangelism and skills but also have demonstrated a strong and innate sense of communication, collaborative and adaptive capabilities.

As the competition to hire the available talent intensifies, leaders are looking across geographies to beef up their workforce, while trying to balance their efforts with cost effectiveness. They are also evaluating options such as remote working, distributed teams, freelance contributors and gig workers to bring in people who can navigate the shift to a tech-strong organization. In fact, according to a recent survey, already 40% of workers are in alternative work arrangements – gig and contract work, with the numbers expected to steadily rise[2]. With organizations opting for such arrangements, they are also using collaboration and communication tools such as Slack, Zoom, Basecamp, Flock, GoToMeeting, Trello and many more to align business vision, workflows, and people together[3].

Forbes says that by 2020[4], more than a million knowledge-based jobs will be replaced and this will be done based on new technologies such as robotics, chatbots, drones, and virtual agents; however, three times as many jobs will be created in the United States alone –  those requiring high levels of human-touch factors such as empathy, intuition and mental agility. This means that the more repetitive and commoditized tasks will be assigned to machines via high levels of automation/ RPA or Robotic Process Automation, while humans will be required for the more comprehensive and emotive tasks, working alongside the machines.

As talent requirements change, balancing that with changing employee needs and the onset of innovation in terms of social collaboration work models, social media, sharing economy, etc., traditional talent acquisition based on intuition will give way to the use of AI, M2M learning, predictive algorithms and more to guide candidates through the application process.

IBM’s Watson now matches candidates to jobs on a fit score that is based on their experience and skillsets. The usage of pre-hire assessment tools, sophisticated analytics teams to prioritize workforce planning, recruitment process, quality check, and more is also becoming more common as we speak.

Employee experience is being placed at the centre of all recruitment searches – SAP uses video games, while other similar companies use simulations and gaming to engage with prospective candidates. Unilever, in fact, has an all-digital recruitment process that has significantly improved their overall hiring and retaining processes. These exercises, apart from engaging with candidates and giving them a glimpse of how it is to work with the organization, also allows the employer to analyse the data to understand if the candidate can succeed in the role. Algorithms work with the collated data to predict the best team fits, the learning needs of specific employees to help in a seamless onboarding experience, the most probable candidates to leave the organization, and more. They also help deliver real-time feedback, R&R, create taskforces for specific challenges, monitor performance and employee morale. As these changes gain momentum and with 2020 almost upon us, it will be interesting to follow how the future of work continues to evolve.