INSIGHT: Column is CXC’s Corporate Solutions Advisor. Colum’s background is in delivery of contingent workforce solutions, across the UK, US and Australia. For over 13 years, Colum’s experience has been developed in workforce management, B2B consulting, recruitment, procurement and workforce risk & compliance advisory. Colum takes complex workforce management solutions and advises on their simple implementation and operational uptake within corporate client organisations.
It’s a big call, narrowing down the top 8 workforce trends of 2019. But we’ve done it.
WIth the new year well & truly underway we’ve been busy researching the trends expected to explode (or further explode) when it comes to working and workforce management.
There’s a lot out there to take on. Luckily for you, we’ve done all the legwork.
#1 Technology Favouring the Gig Economy
One of the biggest workforce trends this year, will be the ongoing evolution of technology and the gig economy. There have been a number of historical outcomes from the intersection of technology and the gig economy to date. And in 2019, we’re going to see an even deeper integration of the two which will likely result in.…
Broader usage of app-based talent platforms. As the mainstream starts to take seriously, what’s considered ‘non-traditional’ recruitment (sourcing via app-based or online talent marketplaces), in response to workers choosing a non-permanent work status, the market will irreversibly change. Immediacy of access to quality workers, ability to act on business demands quickly, and fast deployment of specialist workers not before seen in the ‘old world’ of working will be (well, already is) the result. It’s exciting.
Similarly, usage of Freelance Management Systems (like Adepto) is also on the rise, where corporates can better organise their non-permanent labour in the cloud as an all-access contingent labour talent pool. This is already extending into integration of FMS systems with VMS technology and temporary labour payroll providers.
Big ticket specialists will be accessible. There are a number of jobs and job categories that are growing in demand, and short on supply, especially in IT, VR, AR, robotics and the like – a workforce trend we saw plenty of, in 2018. Many of the workers coming through in these categories, are choosing to gig. And they’re pricey. But organisations aren’t put off, because they’re hiring these gun specialists in for a specific timeframe and outcome, and then they’re gone. It’s a total win-win.
Better communications for gig workers. Digital face-to-face meetings, for example via Zoom or Skype, are far more efficient today. This means gig workers and their ‘employers’ are able to make better, faster decisions. Streamlining how gig workers deliver, makes for a better experience for all parties, and similarly, will boost the uptake of corporates engaging gig workers. More win-wins.
No so much a ‘workforce trend’ as a ‘workplace trend’. The gig economy has stimulated an explosion of collaborative work spaces: office environments for non-permanent workers to collaborate, or simply work in a more social setting. It’s human nature to crave social contact and collaborative work spaces achieve that for many working in the gig economy.
These spaces are not just a place to ‘go to work’. They stimulate networking, partnering up with other experts in the industry, producing outputs and ‘teams’ that would otherwise never have united. And the result for clients is significant: more expertise for in-demand projects, with often faster and more cost-effective results.
#3 Attracting Millennials to fill the skills gap
Ageing populations and increasingly fragmented workforces, have left many industries and countries experiencing labour and skills shortages. As Millennials come into the workforce, and as the largest generation working, companies are finding ways to attract and engage them. So rather than ‘they’re lucky to work here’, there’s more of a mindset of ‘what drives them to work here?’. Issues like Corporate Social Responsibility, and providing an environment where Millennials feel they’re making a difference, are strategies that meet the ideals of new workers. Smart companies are onto this already.
The days of quotas (gender, cultural) are sadly not behind us, but increasingly, business has realised the value of a diverse workforce from both productivity and profitability standpoints. So facilitating diversity will be on the rise in 2019. For example, better day care facilities (in or near workplaces), greater flexibility for parental leave, referral initiatives for boosting worker involvement in finding new talent. Engagement strategies that drive cultural diversity in the workplace is know to boost profitability and shareholder returns.
#5 Rise of the Gig Economy
Perhaps the most obvious trend that will continue in 2019, is the ongoing growth of the gig economy. Today in the US, more than 35 percent of workforce is considered ‘gig’. Let that sink in. The fact is, the gig economy has, of itself, been self-propagating. With more workers interested in working gig, the stimulation for new gig-based businesses has occurred – organisations that rely on these workers. Not only that, the gig economy has shifted how traditional business approach their workforce strategy. Investing in on-demand labour, and high-impact automation is transforming the workforce, to one that is becoming increasingly gig-worker-reliant.
Potentially the most transformational of the workforce trends we’ll see this year, is the impact of automation on the workforce. Increasing alignment between people and robots is already happening, and the augmentation of humans, by robots, is accelerating. Factors such as the ability of robots to understand human language, development of motor skills, and event logical reasoning are all on the rise. The impact of automation will have many positives including a boost to productivity and error reduction. And unlike the often espoused thinking that ‘robots are taking our jobs!’, quite the opposite is actually the case. A Deloitte study out of the UK found that of the 800k low-skilled job taken by automation technologies, 3.5million jobs, which actually paid over $10k more, were created. This is truly a transformational era.
#7 Alumni Labour
As Baby Boomers retire, the emphasis on skills gaps becomes increasingly apparent. This is a situation of potentially massive IP and expertise loss to business – and one of the potentially devastating workforce trends we’ll see this year. Or what’s been touted as the ‘corporate brain drain’. What we’re going to see more of in 2019, is the pooling of alumni talent, via the cloud, for business to access on-demand. The integration of FMS with HCM systems will facilitate this opportunity for business to securely maintain knowledge and IP, with a very transparent lens on worker expertise, previous roles and technical skills. This permission-based talent pool is a win-win for business and workers keen to keep their toe in their field of expertise.
#8 Independent worker attraction and retention strategies
Independent professionals – contingent workers, non-permanent workers – will have more choices in 2019, when it comes to selecting the clients they work with and the framework in which they work, on of the key workforce trends of 2018. As a result, organisations will need to get smart and strategic with respect to attracting (and re-attracting) contract to their business. Examples of how business is already starting to do this, include prompt payment guarantees, financial services or tax advice, travel discounts and more: incentives that are custom-built for the non-permanent talent in a business.
So…what’s your view? Are there any other workforce trends you’re expecting in 2019? Tell us about them in the comments!