Employees working, colour

The World of Work in 2019

The world of work underwent some significant changes in 2018. A host of factors will continue to alter productivity and the way organisations hire and retain the best talent to build better businesses in a changing world in 2019.

Legislative, compliance, technology advancements, and global socio-economic changes are having enormous impacts on the world of work. Near-full employment, tight labour markets, and an abundance of data in 2018 have resulted in major changes to the way businesses operate, hire and retain talent; the precedence to provide fulfilling, good work could effectively address transformative trends across the world of work.

Candidates and clients will continue to feel the effects of tight labour markets across the world. Businesses will continue to experience candidate and skill shortages, further legislative reforms will increase the burden of costs they must absorb. New technologies will continue to emerge and disrupt markets and businesses across the world, whilst global growth will slow.

Industry changes mean staffing firms take on an increasingly important role in partnering with businesses and candidates to address threats and leverage opportunities to provide good work and build better businesses. Consultancy firm, Korn Ferry, identified key emerging trends in the HR and talent space in their report

 

Workplace reforms effectively protect the worker

Public policy in the US, UK and Europe is evolving to better reflect the flexible ways in which people choose to work. The human cloud is the fastest growing segment of today’s technology-fuelled gig economy. Impellam recognises that behavioural trends indicate individuals regard flexible working more and more in a transformative age. 

With Impellam’s support, businesses can effectively identify the importance of, and provide, flexibility, through the recognition of the advantages flexible working provides towards improving productivity and attrition through the provision of fulfilling, good work.

In the UK, the rights of all workers will continue to be a priority, as the UK business secretary pledged on December 17 - the majority of recommendations made in the Taylor Report will be taken forward. Improvements to workers’ rights to safe guard flexible workers will continue to be critical in the provision of fulfilling, decent work. 

Zero hour contracts will continue to be disputed - the Irish government announced its promise to introduce a new law banning zero-hours contracts in spring 2019. Safeguarding workers’ rights by providing good work that offers individuals a sense of meaning continues to be a priority across Impellam in 2019 and onwards.

 

Diversity and inclusion uncovers untapped candidate pools

Low unemployment rates, especially in the UK, Europe and the US, have resulted in tight labour market conditions in 2018; this means that there are lots of jobs available for less people to fill them. This has led to there being increased competition for talent amongst businesses with roles to fill, as reported by SIA last month.

A recent study from talent acquisition and recruitment process outsourcing consultancy, Cielo, found that nearly 70% of business leaders surveyed worldwide believe the existing talent pool is shrinking while the competition for talent is increasing. 

Inclusive businesses are winning the war for talent, and are benefitting from workforces with diverse perspectives and experiences that provide difficult decisions with quality context.

By becoming a more diverse and inclusive employer, businesses can engage and retain their sought-after talent more effectively by improving their commercial purpose and employer branding. This is increasingly important as immigration regulations shift in 2019 in the UK, Europe, and further afield.

We know that there’s a better way to do recruitment and build better businesses through equality, diversity and inclusion. Impellam are trusted to improve access, experiences and provide fulfilling careers for all our people and candidates by partnering closely with clients to support them in becoming more inclusive employers to build better businesses. 

At a time when full employment is driving wages up and competition for talent is mounting, businesses must consider the role soft benefits play in talent motivation, attraction and retention, upskilling existing talent, and realising the untapped pools of talent through a revised diversity and inclusion strategy in 2019.

 

Artificial intelligence becomes more ‘intelligent’  

The dramatic rise of AI and machine learning has provoked intense debate amongst business leaders in 2018. Fears around machines replacing all human labour has existed since the start of technological transformation. 

Deloitte’s Global Human Capital Trends report found that 42% of business executives believe automation will have a major impact on job roles over the next two years. Not necessarily a negative impact, however. Robots may make some jobs redundant in the market, but history demonstrates that they also tend to create new ones. 

According to predictions from the World Economic Forum, ‘There won’t be a shortage of jobs but – if we don’t take the right steps – a shortage of skilled talent to fill those jobs…Technological change will keep increasing, so learning new skills will be an ongoing necessity.’

Not only is it predicted AI will increase the number of jobs in the market over the coming decade, it is also set to improve our cities, infrastructure and health; as well as augmenting our time at work, making us more effective and productive, and our work more meaningful. 

Artificial intelligence will be leveraged to retrain and upskill workers so they can step into the new roles that technological advancements facilitate in 2019. Further, the advantages of blockchain will be harnessed to free up recruiting specialists to do what they do best - engage in long-lasting personal relationships with both candidates and clients. 

If AI lives up to its true potential in the workplace, it will not only help to free up time to produce better outcomes, it will allow us to do more positive, meaningful work. Innovative technology will support the provision of fulfilling work. 

Joscelin Conrad, Director of Investment & Innovation, provides insight into the role AI will play in the world of work in 2019: “AI will augment our time at work, making us more effective and productive, and our work more meaningful. The dangers of AI relate to humans not making the right choices on how to use it for the betterment of society, individuals, economies, and labour markets. Ultimately, the true business potential of AI, for both companies and people, is infinite – it’s up to humans to make the right decision on how to best use the potential.” 

 

Personalised pay for generational demographics

A multigenerational workplace is inevitably a complicated one. As Korn Ferry identify, there are four generations in the workforce with varying expectations and needs that employers must address. 

It’s time for meaningful, personalised employee engagement to take centre stage. Organisations must seek to understand all their employees’ needs to support them effectively and provide fulfilling work.  

As Russell Beck, Head of Consultancy for Impellam, suggests: “The more demographics within a business, the harder it is to manage everyone harmoniously. Every individual is unique and complex; people cannot be grouped or defined by trends – and employees are no different.” 

Businesses must start assessing the way different age groups in workforces interact and co-exist to engage and retain the best talent in the tight market employers face in 2019.

 

Review processes reconsidered 

Korn Ferry’s report outlines how ‘ongoing feedback is the name of the professional development game’. Assessment is a necessary part of corporate life, as it is any environment where performance is important. It’s something that businesses need to do not only to satisfy our human need for self-ratification but also to see how we’re performing, and how our companies are performing.

Different groups of workers have different expectations when it comes to feedback. Understanding how to get the best out of people to retain them will be integral to building better businesses in 2019. 

Impellam will continue to tune in to our customers and deliver on our promises to be the most trusted staffing company. We’ll continue to use our international expertise and house of brands to provide people with fulfilling work, and deliver innovative, agile staffing solutions that build better businesses in a changing world. 

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