January 01, 2016

2020’s Workforce

The American workforce is changing. Already today, we’re seeing an increase in the number of non-traditional workforce relationships. A recent report released by Field Nation and Ardent Partners indicates that nearly 35 percent of today’s total workforce is comprised of non-employee workers, including temps, freelancers, and independent contractors.

Over the next few years, we expect the landscape of the American workforce to go through more shifts. In this article, we list out some of the worker changes we expect to see by 2020.

More Millennials

Many studies say that by 2020, most workforces will be almost entirely made up of millenials. Additionally, expert forecasts reveal that 91 percent of these millennials are expected to stay in a job for less than three years. This impacts companies, as HR departments will have to start re-thinking their retention strategies. A three-year average tenure means that employers will have to start thinking more short-term about the employee life cycle, including knowledge transfer, cultural acclimation, engagement, and job satisfaction.

More Contingent Workers

With more millennials entering the workforce, companies are expecting to lose years of employee careers, but with the growth of contingent worker utilization, companies should also expect to lose the convenience of having employees as a captive audience for eight hours per day. According to a study by Oxford Economics, 83 percent of executives indicated that they are increasingly using contingent workers on an any-time ongoing basis. Recruiting firm, MBO Partners, projects that there will be nearly 23 million contingent workers by 2017, a 26 percent increase from 2013. These contractors, who are not fully invested in the company since they may have multiple clients, and part-time workers, are more difficult to engage and effectively interact with.

More Remote Workers

A survey of business leaders at the Global Leadership Summit in London found that 34 percent believe that more than half their company’s full-time workforce would be working remotely by 2020. And 25 percent said that more than three-quarters would not work in a traditional office by 2020. This means that companies will have to revise the way they approach strategic HR outcomes such as worker engagement, communication, collaboration, alignment, recognition, culture, and productivity.

Increased Workforce Skills Gap

The McKinsey Global Institute predicts a global shortage of skilled college-educated workers of over 38 million people by 2020. This is expected to boost up wages in developing countries and also drive the globalization of knowledge work. So beyond just the complexities of managing a blended workforce in 2020, companies should also expect to face difficulties in finding skilled workers and training them. It will become a strategic necessity for HR to create effective learning and development programs, along with performance and talent management. The deficit of 38 million skilled workers, means that a company’s recruitment investment will become more valuable than it is currently.

What Will the Workforce Look Like in 2020?

What Will the Workforce Look Like in 2020?

Source: Inc.com

What This Means for Talent Management in 2020?

This evolving workforce means that HR departments in 2020 will have to be comprised of professionals who are experts at cultivating a thriving workforce out of a diverse and complex group of employees. This type of management means that companies need to start thinking of HR as a strategic partner, rather than an operational necessity. Executives should start planning ways to free up experts from the transactional tasks they do currently, so that they can start working on solving the challenges of a complicated blended workforce ahead.