The following is a guest post by Rehan Haque, CEO of metatalent.ai.
Work trends have rapidly changed across the world, post-pandemic. How and where people choose to work now or in the future will radically differ from how it used to be a few years ago.
Labor markets across all sectors have undergone drastic shifts in talent requirements and demands as businesses across the board increasingly accelerate the adoption of automation and emerging technologies.
This has resulted in a growing skills scarcity across the globe.
As workers require more technical and digital skills to master emerging technologies, many organizations risk being left behind due to an undereducated and underprepared workforce.
Businesses must take the required steps to ensure that their present and future workforce has the training and digital skills needed to thrive in the working environment set to emerge over the next decade.
The future as business embraces technology
The World Economic Forum estimates 150 million new technology jobs will be created globally over the next five years, with over three-quarters (77%) of all jobs set to require digital skills from workers by 2030. Only a third (33%) of technology jobs worldwide are filled by the necessary skilled labor.
From a business perspective, this means the talent pool is severely diluted – for each skilled worker, there are two other unskilled, unequipped ones. And it’s clear that many workers risk long-term unemployment without reskilling and better preparing the workforce with the new digital and technology skills demanded by this changing job market.
One thing is for sure for those businesses looking to what the future holds: without rapidly changing how we reskill and upskill workers, this mass of untapped potential will only grow as more new technologies emerge.
As more innovative technologies emerge, the strongest and most employable candidates for businesses are not necessarily the most intelligent ones but those most responsive to change. These candidates are not reactive or aversive but somewhat responsive and receptive when it comes to adopting new skills and overcoming new challenges. Exponential advancements will fuel the new normal of business in new and emerging technologies as we seek to refine how work is done and make operations more efficient and effective.
The change will constantly come unabated. When we talk about preparing the workforce with the digital and technology skills required for ‘the future of work, we are not talking about the potential needs of the global labor market in 2030. We are talking about an urgent need that already exists. Businesses must act now or risk becoming rapidly irrelevant.
A new post-pandemic era
History will look back on the Covid-19 pandemic as both a global health crisis and a turning point in how we work: a milestone that resulted in significant, lasting changes to the working world. Businesses worldwide responded to lockdowns by accelerating digitalization and adopting technologies such as internet of things (IoT) devices, virtual presences, artificial intelligence (AI), automation, and immersive experiences, resulting, in many cases, in a much-needed disruption of established industries, with a hugely positive democratization of finance, education, job training, and even human capital and talent sourcing.
The pandemic was also the catalyst for rapidly accelerating trends in remote work, e-commerce, and digital transformation. Up to 25% more workers found the need to switch occupations and reskill or upskill to stay relevant in the current and future workforce. These shifts have certainly altered recruitment parameters and required skillsets and talent development goals across all industries, leaving millions of workers unprepared for these sudden changes entirely in the lurch.
Post-pandemic workforce reskilling and upskilling can no longer be treated as an optional focus; it has quickly become an essential need for businesses worldwide.
Preparing workers for the integration of technology
Technological developments are already accelerating at a rapid rate, with businesses already moving to adopt emerging next-generation technologies, such as AI and automation. Yet when it comes to whether their existing workforce has the knowledge and skillset to master the new integration of technology, businesses are lacking. As technology will only grow more advanced and evolve further, this issue can no longer be ignored. With the current scarcity of a workforce skilled in their usage, it falls on organizations to ensure they provide the necessary training to train workers and combat the current shortage of a skilled workforce themselves.
Without customized or specific training, acclimatizing to emerging tech can appear overwhelming and daunting, not just for inexperienced younger workers joining the modern workforce but also for veteran workers needing to reskill for the sake of relevancy in the job market. Upskilling both the existing and emerging workforce through curated, skills-based training programs provides businesses with the tools they need to prepare their workforce for the future of work. This workforce can then be directly redeployed back into business operations, armed with the skillset and knowledge to utilize next-gen tech to its maximum potential.
Better than a classroom, prepared for deployment
Through tailored reskilling & upskilling programs, workers have also found it easier to transfer and apply their newly gained skills in work environments. With the rise of Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) solutions being integrated into business strategies, training in those areas must be accessible to workers.
For example, a recent PWC study found that workers trained in VR were up to 275 percent more confident in applying skills learned after training – a 40 percent improvement over in-person classroom training. Similarly, VR learners were four times faster to train than in the classroom and four times more focused than their e-learning peers.
The future workforce is already here, and it is more than ready to adapt – most workers simply need the tools to upskill efficiently. A talent marketplace moderated by AI makes this task much easier to fulfill. Businesses can specify the training and skills they want to prioritize for their teams, and the market curates the necessary mentoring and training programs specific to their needs. In starting this process now, businesses future-proof their workforce for years to come and reap the benefits of a highly employable and adaptable operational team.
Rehan Haque, the CEO, and founder of Metatalent.ai. A thought leader and a subject matter expert with over 15 years of global strategic and operational leadership experience in cybersecurity and risk governance, Rehan successfully implemented business process reengineering and transformational solutions across critical infrastructural & corporate sectors at leading organizations, including Deloitte, British Petroleum, BMI, and PFG.