Following the recent 50th anniversary of the Moon Landing, the team at Moon Executive Search have been reflecting on pivotable events in the search sector and what is happening in our future – how do you plan a forward-looking recruitment strategy when many of the future roles do not yet exist?
In this article, we consider if it is possible to plan for an undefined future, and how you go where no-one has gone before.
Certainly, the Moon Landing was a pivotable event in our history and the impact as we know, is far reaching. At Moon Exec Search we like to think our impact is also far reaching and we love the association with the Moon! Our 20th anniversary of trading is just around the corner, so watch this space for our updates as they happen.
Technology is advancing at an unprecedented rate and when talking to our clients we are already seeing the direct impact that this is having on jobs, skill requirements, and ultimately, recruitment strategies.
However, technology is not the only influencer. From our conversations with c-suite executives, it is apparent that megatrends such as shifting economics and demographics, urbanisation and resource scarcity will also have huge ramifications on the future of business. And, watching these trends unfold will help Boards plan for their future.
In addition, changes in regulations, laws, consumer trends and worker sentiment are also important factors, which are being cited by our clients as influencing not just the way they operate their business, but also their use of technology.
When considering what the future workforce may look like, a good place to start is to think about which skills cannot be replaced by technology. We would advise our clients to look at each role and work out how many of the tasks undertaken as part of that role rely on human traits such as creativity, innovation, persuasion, design and collaboration.
These are the roles that cannot easily be replicated by technology, whereas more process driven roles such as data entry or order picking have already proven to be more cost and time efficient when done by AI.
However, mapping out the impact of technology is only the first step. The next challenge to consider is how to re-skill and upskill your human employees whose roles may become obsolete in the future.
As part of any technological transition project, we will work with our clients to consider what skill sets the business needs to deliver growth in the short, medium and long term. We consider how many of these skills can be developed by re-skilling and upskilling, and what additional skills need to be sourced externally.
We would always recommend engaging with your employees at an early stage of a project to find out what other areas of the business interest them, and to identify their transferable skills. It is crucial to put in place a comprehensive training and support programme which will not only increase their skill-base and future-proof their employment but will also deliver future business growth.
It is estimated that some 75 million jobs will be displaced by technology, and an estimated 133 million new roles will be created. Linkedin have outlined some of the roles of the future, which include:
· Organ Creator – creating organs from stem cells and new materials
· Augmented-reality Journey Builder – creating experiences using virtual reality
· Makeshift Structure Engineer – using 3D printing to create temporary constructions
· Human-Machine Teaming Manager – defining how machines & humans work together
· Digital Currency Advisor – financial management focusing on crypto-currency
· Drone Traffic Optimizer – overseeing flight paths to optimize traffic
· Self-Driving Car Mechanic – servicing and repairing autonomous cars
· Agile Supply Chain Worker – specialists sourcing materials quickly and at low cost
So how should you plan your recruitment strategy for an uncertain future? When discussing this with our clients, it has become apparent that the key will be to plan for a dynamic future, as opposed to a static one. Develop a strategy that will work across a range of scenarios and ensure that your recruitment and innovation strategy are aligned, as this will help identify where future skills gaps might lie.
Employee engagement is also going to play an important role; by engaging with your workforce you will not only gain invaluable insights from all areas of the business, but will also prevent employees being alienated by an evolving company innovation strategy, thus ensuring they are truly engaged in the changes and given appropriate support when re-skilling.
From engaging with our clients, it is evident that the millennial workforce is most likely to be excited about the opportunity to expand their skill-base, as their interaction with technology is more embedded in their daily lives. However, at the other end of the scale the more mature workforce may see the phasing out of some roles as a threat and will need more support and encouragement to re-train. So, it is worth investing time here, or the business could lose valuable experience and soft skills.
Planning for the future is also about looking at what skills will be needed in the longer term and developing a talent pipeline which includes tapping into the next generation of workers.
A major concern for Boards is the increased competition in attracting and retaining the pivotal talent of the future. We are already seeing an increased importance being placed on the business culture, working practice, employee engagement strategy and market adaptability. Businesses which get this mix right are the ones which will harness the power of technology and attract the next generation talent.
About Moon Executive Search
We understand the challenges that businesses face when recruiting for a niche or hard-to-fill roles. Being a trusted partner to our clients means that we get to know your business in depth, which in turn allows us to source the very best talent that meets and exceeds your business’s needs.
If you would like to confidentially discuss your businesses future plans, please contact Simon Quinn, Head of Search at Moon Executive Search on email@example.com or +44 (0) 1275 371 200.