According to a June 2020 report by McKinsey & Co, Germany’s, Italy’s and Poland’s workforce will have shrunk quite a bit by 2030. Though a decline of 13.5 million is expected across the entire continent, those three countries combine for a grand total of roughly 9 million. Moreover: the average hours work each week have decreased. Simply put: those who are working, are working less hours.
At the time of release, McKinsey’s report suggested that the COVID-19 pandemic ‘may lead to other preferences for both employees and employers’. More than a year later, that statement holds truer than most would have imagined at the beginning of the global pandemic: the future of work has changed rapidly over the course of the past year and a half.
The future of work challenge
If McKinsey’s prediction comes true, the groundhog day-like scenario where vacancies become harder and harder to fill may be here to stay for a little while longer. “COVID has accelerated a number of the trends that were being predicted”, says Keith Rosser, director of Reed Screening and the chair of the Better Hiring Institute. “It’s accelerated the demise of certain industries the creation of new ones, more flexible working, and different employer/employee relationships.”
“How people choose future skills, how this is trained, and how we bring this fragmented picture together is crucial.”
“One of the pressing challenges directed at the future of work is the future skills agenda”, Rosser continues. “Careers education is very dated, as is the way young people, professionals, and their advisors choose career paths and skills. How people choose future skills, how this is trained, and how we bring this fragmented picture together is crucial.”
Connecting with employees
The onus lies on talent leaders, recruiting and HR teams. Whether through acquisition or a focus on retention, they have to fight off other organisations in order to achieve any type of business success. And according to Rosser, the first two steps is all about how you treat the talent you have. “How employers connect with their employees and build a reputation on this is important, as is how they attract talent from under-utilised parts of the labour market.”
“We need to resolve those things to help usher in a new, future labour market.”
In all, Rosser sees much that structurally needs resolving. “There’s better protection for work seekers, the rise of Digital Hiring and the transformation in the temporary/flexible worker market. There’s ethical hiring — and much more. We need to resolve those things to help usher in a new, future labour market.”
That future labour market will, if anything, have less traditional barriers. While working from home or hybrid working wasn’t on many agendas two years ago, remote hiring has suddenly become a possibility. And with remote hiring, more talent became available. Rosser believes the new trends born out of the COVID-19 pandemic will be the deciding factor in the recruitment of talent. “COVID-19 has eroded travel, physical offices, and even working hours”, he says. “The type of working world that emerges will be vital to the future war on talent.”