By Monica French, CEO de TOD, Octubre 2018.
Human Resources is struggling right now given the new workforce economy. The job market is hot, professionals are empowered to hop around, always searching for better benefits, greater career development, work-life balance, and so on. How are HR professionals expected to compete and how can the workforce better prepare for all these changes? I wanted an answer to this question, which is why I bought a ticket to LinkedIn’s Talent Connect conference in Los Angeles.
The CEO of LinkedIn, Jeff Weiner, shared powerful insights and brought together over 4,000 professionals in the talent industry: big corporate recruiters, software providers, e-learning experts, LinkedIn staff, etc. It was packed, I would call it the Broadway show of Human Resources. There was a rapper, a dancer, a violinist, the whole shabang.
But beyond the fluffy red curtains, the bright blue lights and the small talk in crowded lounges, there was a fundamental message that was conveyed at this conference, one BIG one. And it was that the nature of what we call work is going through a transformational change, and that is what keeps HR recruiters up at night and should do the same for you if you are not preparing for this change.
The work of yesterday is dictated by 9 to 5 office hours (maybe 9 to 9 given the always-on and mobile lifestyle we live in) while the work of tomorrow is getting the work done in real time, wherever and whenever. The work of yesterday is dictated by small cubicles and closed offices and the work of tomorrow is about co-working spaces, WeWork and meetings at Starbucks. The work of yesterday is about working at a company for most of your career or working as a traditional full-time employee, and the work of tomorrow is working as a full-time employee while doing some gigs on the side, becoming a freelance consultant or doing contract work. And most importantly, the work of yesterday has the company at the center of your world where everything was tied to it – your pension, your family, your professional development – and the work of tomorrow is YOU at the center of your world, meaning your personal talent brand (PTB) is the guiding force for you career, your capacity to acquire new skills, your income, your purpose.
So how can you prepare for the democratization of the new workforce? I took away these three focus areas from the conference:
1.The War for Skills:
Here is the good news, if you are creative, problem solving person that can acquire new skills swiftly while exerting good emotional grit, then you will do great in this new economy.
According to the Future of Jobs Report by the World Economic Forum, the top three skills sets that will be demanded by 2020 are: 1) Problem Solving, 2) Critical Thinkingand 3) Creativity(New One). Creativity was at #10 in 2015. Why? Because you can’t train a robot to imagine, to think outside of a box, to innovate. That is what we do best as humans. Two new skills made the top 10 list in 2020, which was Emotional Intelligence(#6) and Cognitive Flexibility(#10).
Cognitive Flexibility is the capacity your mind has to adapt new conducts and thoughts while adopting new concepts and adjusting to new changing environments. Hello Industry 4.0 and Digital Transformation. This new skill set is critical, now more than ever, given the disruption of business models wrought by technology across retail, banking, healthcare, and more.
2.Gig Economy is here to stay:
Many like to think of the Gig Economy as something separate from The Economy. Sorry to tell you but it’s actually more part of the same thing, meaning Gig is here to stay and it is getting bigger. According to the UpWork survey published last year, there are 57 million independent workers (freelance, gig, contract work) but that’s not the striking data. By 2027 they estimate that there will be over 86 million independent workers vs 83 million traditional salaried workers. Meaning we can expect to see a workforce where 50% will be made up of freelancers and the other 50% will be non-freelancers in the U.S.
Why is this happening? Two main reasons: millennials and technology. An estimated 47% of millennial workers do freelance, more than any other generation (UpWork survey). They want greater control of their agenda, their hobbies, their projects and most importantly their lives. They are the generation that calls the shots but most importantly they want a higher sense of purpose where their work means something, they want to leave their mark.
In terms of technology, the emerging marketplace platforms that are uberizing the gig-economy are enabling more connections than ever for freelancers. UpWork, one of the biggest global freelance platforms has over 375,000 freelancers on its platform that represent 5000 plus skills, have closed 2 million projects and it just went through an IPO and is valued at US $1.5 billion.
3.The Tech Tsunami:
The fourth industrial revolution (industry 4.0) is challenging business models across the board that either immerse the new technology or get driven out by the technology.
How does this all play a role in terms of skills and automation? For one, this is shortening the lifecycle of skills acquired through the impact of artificial intelligence, virtual reality, cloud computing, bitcoin, etc. As for automation, according to the McKinsey Global Initiative, 51% of work activities in the US are susceptible to automation with an estimated 400 million to 800 million jobs to be displaced.
It’s not expected that you dominate all these new technologies emerging and become a data scientist, but you sure have to try and understand it and how its disrupting your industry.
Democratization has to do with choices. We have more choices now than ever between dating apps, jobs, the housing market and bank accounts than we know what to do with. As for your career, the choice is yours to be the pilot or copilot behind the wheel and become part of the workforce of the future. The 2.0 workforce. Now is the time to define your personal talent brand and sell the heck out of it.
If you want to learn more about issues around the workforce 2.0, visit and sign up to our web site www.talentondemand.com.mx or follow us on Facebook or Linked in.#futureofwork, #gigeconomy, #workforce2.0, #Talentconnect