The traditional career path of university graduates who go to work for large organisations is on the wane, with increasing numbers of them going to work for themselves, either in a freelance capacity or in a startup enterprise.
As many as 50% of employees will be working in a freelance role in 10 years.
This cohort is nearly twice as likely to reskill, because they realise more than most, that education is a lifelong process. Their willingness to upskill and remain in touch with technological advances will mean that their services will be in high demand.
With digital developments changing the way we do work so rapidly, most organisations won’t have the necessary talent already on the payroll, and so will need to recruit skilled workers from the outside. It is likely to come from freelancers or contractors, which statistics show are the fastest-growing segment of the workforce.
The rise of the contingent workforce, along with the skills gap that new technology will create, a war for talent.
Organisations will compete for a workforce that is skilled and relevant, as they jostle to stay relevant in an ever-changing digital landscape.
In turn, this offers two possibilities for organisations:
- pay top dollar for permanent, freelancers and contractors knowing the costs to recruit are high
- capitalise on the need for continuous learning, by becoming learning institutions within themselves, and thereby attract and retain talent.
Opportunities for organisations
According to a study by Deloitte on the digital readiness of companies, the second most important characteristic of a future-ready organisation — after flexibility and adaptability — is learning ability and a skilled workforce.
Not only do companies need to identify employees with the right education, new talents and necessary transferrable skills, but they need to reinvent themselves as learning institutions if they are to attract and retain employees.
Organisations will be ideally positioned to develop ‘professional development hubs’ of learning to keep their workforce up-to-date and competitive. Family commitments, work pressure and other factors are often barriers to workers committing to further skills development and training. However, if organisations provided relevant training for the emergent leader, they could reduce the amount of time and money spent on hiring, and invest it into growing their people instead.
Building a culture of lifetime learning promotes a motivated, engaged and loyal workforce. Investing in people and their continued development not only ensures companies can compete successfully in the new world of work, but it sets the organisation up to be an employer of choice. This makes it easier to recruit new talent and retain the talent that already exists.