HR & #TheFutureOfWork: the best of times, not the worst of times

7 january 2019

At HRbuilders, we’re committed to connecting great HR people and finding the right match in 48h for companies in urgent need of an HR professional. We also want to support HR in staying ahead of the curve and that’s why - every week - we provide you with valuable curated content - that we carefully collect from articles online and international conferences on HR, talent management & the future of work, molding it into a weekly mash-up #ConnectWithContent

Enjoy this week’s read about the future of work and the future of HR!

As technological breakthroughs rapidly shift the frontier between the work tasks performed by humans and those performed by machines and algorithms, global labour markets are undergoing major transformations. These transformations, if managed wisely, could lead to a new age of good work, good jobs and improved quality of life for all, but if managed poorly, pose the risk of widening skills gaps, greater inequality and broader polarization. 

The time to shape the future of work is now!

We dug into the World Economic Forum ‘Future of Jobs report’  that provides tools which can support responses to the critical questions confronting businesses, governments and workers in the horizon up to 2022. 
Here’s what you need to know to be ready: 

The robots are coming
First, automation, robotization and digitization look different across different industries: stationary robots are likely to be the most widely adopted by 2022 – but different industries have distinct use cases and preferences. 

133 million new jobs emerging vs 75 million current jobs disappearing
Second, by 2022, today’s newly emerging occupations are set to grow from 16% to 27% of the employee base of large firms globally, while job roles currently affected by technological obsolescence are set to decrease from 31% to 21%. In purely quantitative terms, 75 million current job roles may be displaced by the shift in the division of labour between humans, machines and algorithms, while 133 million new job roles may emerge at the same time. 
Growing occupations include roles such as Data Analysts, Software and Applications Developers and E-commerce and Social Media Specialists – jobs that are significantly based on, and enhanced by, the use of technology. And also expected to grow are job roles based on distinctively ‘human' traits, such as Customer Service Workers, Sales and Marketing Professionals, Training and Development, People and Culture, and Organizational Development Specialists as well as Innovation Managers.

Division of labour between humans, machines & altgorithms is shifting fast!
Third, the division of labour between humans, machines and algorithms is shifting fast: By 2022 58% task hours will be performed by humans and 42% by machines or algorithms. In terms of total working hours, no work task is yet performed predominantly by machines or algorithms today but by 2022, 62% of organization’s data processing and information search and transmission tasks will be performed by machines. The expansion of machines’ share of work task performance will be particularly marked in reasoning and decision-making, administrative and information search tasks. Even work tasks overwhelmingly performed by humans today — communicating, interacting, coordinating, managing and advising — will begin to be taken on by machines, although to a lesser degree.

42% shift in required workplace skills
Fourth, new tasks at work are driving the demand for new skills: by 2022 the skills required to perform most jobs will have shifted significantly. Workers will see an average shift of 42% in required workplace skills in the period leading up to 2022. Skills growing in prominence include analytical thinking and active learning as well as skills such as technology design, highlighting the growing demand for various forms of technology competency. However, proficiency in new technologies is only one part of the 2022 skills equation. “Human” skills such as creativity, originality and initiative, critical thinking, persuasion and negotiation will likewise retain or increase their value, as will attention to detail, resilience, flexibility and complex problem-solving. Emotional intelligence, leadership and social influence as well as service orientation are also set to see particular increase in demand relative to their current prominence today.

101 days of learning 
Fifth, we all need to become lifelong learners!
On average, employees will need 101 days of retraining and upskilling in the period up to 2022. Emerging skills gaps — both among individual workers and among companies’ senior leadership — may significantly obstruct organization’s transformation management. Depending on industry and geography, between one-half and two-thirds of companies are likely to turn to external contractors, temporary staff and freelancers to address their skills gaps. A comprehensive approach to workforce planning, reskilling and upskilling will be the key for positive, proactive management of such trends.
Employers all over the world are currently discussing their current skills challenges or should we say - skills shortages, the skills they need for the future and those future needs are remarkably similar regardless of the industry that you’re in: digital skills, the ability to cope with ambiguity, to anticipate change and to innovate feature heavily.

Now what about the future of HR?  
HR for sure has been transformed by the advent of tech and HR software is moving beyond its base functionality of benefits management, recruitment, development and other standard features. 
Automation definitely is an overarching theme when talking about the future of HR, with many functions becoming completely digitized, eliminating the need for human involvement.
Screening the internet, searching beyond the buzz words and thousands and thousands of hits on this topic, we chose to share these 5 trends with you:

Do employees trust the organisations they work in? Do they trust technology? A recent global survey of Ernst & Young (“Trust in the Workplace“)  showed that less than half of the respondents have “a great deal of trust” in their current employers, boss or team/colleagues. 
In his HR trend overview for 2019 Tom Haak introduces ‘People analethics’ because trust is an important issue to deal with in people analytics as well : trusting  that the value in People analytics is worth sharing data for; trusting the quality and integrity of the data; trusting the insights that are generated; trusting the motives of those using the data. 

Less is more
HR is doing too much, and that the list of HR initiatives is too long. What employees and senior management are looking for is more impact, with less effort

HR innovation labs
In order to experiment with new technologies and new innovative HR solutions some companies are installing an HR Innovation Lab. 

Fighting unconscious bias
Organizations are increasingly expanding diversity hiring goals to focus on inclusion around gender, ethnicity, culture, age, and LGBT-identifying individuals. And yet, implicit, or unconscious, bias is still prevalent throughout the resume screening process. Not only do companies with a diverse workforce perform better, it’s also key to build a team that looks like the world. That’s why companies now set diversity goals which HR personnel and hiring managers will then need to meet. To reduce the prevalence of sexism, racism, ageism, and classism during the hiring process, HR personnel can implement a variety of recruiting, applicant screening, interviewing, and assessment tools. HR personnel will increase their use of blind hiring technology in 2019 to remove unconscious bias from the entire hiring process. These solutions will expand the candidate pool to include qualified talent that have been left out for far too long.

From outbound to inbound recruiting
And to top this list of trends off, we would like to share with you one of the 15 top recruiting trends for 2019 that we found very useful and relatable. The way companies (have to) recruit today has changed fundamentally and it’s a candidate driven market out there in which talent now picks you! Recruitment marketing - the process of nurturing and attracting talented individuals to your organization using marketing methods and tactics -  is definitely on the rise.  As the 5th trend we would like to highlight, we picked the switch from outbound to inbound recruiting. Simply reaching out to the candidates and offering an open position is not the way to attract talent anymore. If you are looking for a long-term solution to advance your recruiting and hiring strategy, inbound recruiting is the recruitment trend you should adopt. Plenty more trends on recruiting on this interesting blog.

Want to learn more? We recommend reading these articles online: 

And don’t forget...
Your future is whatever you make it, because it all starts with your own mindset!

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