Digital and soft skill rated highly in emerging world of work

Fluid talent trends

The 2020 Talent Trends Report from Randstad Sourceright has found both organisations and talent are seeking digital and soft skills to expand business and career opportunities As automation continues to disrupt the world of work, upskilling and reskilling, says the company, will be key to evolving the competencies of workers in order to complement technological innovation.

The report found that as many employers (66 per cent) plan to provide training and reskilling for artificial intelligence as those who plan to develop workers’ soft skills (60 per cent). The employer responses mirrored those of talent in the company’s 2019 research; where the most sought after skills included both technical capabilities (43 per cent) and soft skills like communications (41 per cent).

Human capital professionals also recognise that talent fluidity – the ability of workers to mould their skills to adapt to automation, digitalisation and other changing needs of their organisation – will be critical to the future of work. Yet while 91 per cent of human capital leaders believe that it is their company’s responsibility to provide reskilling to meet business needs, only 22 per cent are currently providing training or reskilling to existing employees to help address talent scarcity, and nearly one-third of respondents who said they intend to offer reskilling said they aren’t sure how to do so.

“Digitalisation has changed the way we work and has redefined the skills that are most important for employees to possess,” said Rebecca Henderson, CEO of Randstad global businesses and executive board member. “Yet while employers have acknowledged that it is crucial for their businesses to reskill staff to keep up with changing technology and bolster the soft skills that only humans can possess, it is troubling that so few companies are currently offering this necessary training.”

The 2020 Talent Trends Report is based on a survey of more than 800 C-suite and HR leaders. It offers a global snapshot of how talent leaders are uniquely positioned to make a significant impact on business performance by adjusting their talent strategies in the face of technology, shifting business priorities and the evolving talent landscape.

In addition to AI and soft skills, companies also plan to train existing employees in analytics skills (59 per cent), technical capabilities (57 per cent), and cloud computing (54 per cent). Thirty-eight per cent of respondents view reskilling as an important measure for redeploying talent who are at-risk of losing their jobs due to automation.

2020 Talent Trends Report Key Findings

Internal Mobility: Forty-seven per cent of companies will be increasing investments in their internal mobility programs in 2020, up from 39 per cent in 2016. In Randstad Sourceright’s 2019 survey of talent, 31 per cent of working professionals said their ideal employer should offer career progression opportunities.

Automated Talent Acquisition: Seventy-one per cent of C-suite and human capital leaders say that technology has made the recruitment process simpler and more efficient for them, and 72 per cent believe that technology is helping them make smarter hiring decisions. Eighty-one per cent also say talent analytics play a critical role in sourcing, attracting, engaging and retaining talent.

Digital Insights: Nearly half (47 per cent) of employers are investing in predictive analytics for talent, and a majority (54 per cent) are investing in digital specialists to support HR. In Randstad Sourceright’s 2019 research, a majority (60 per cent) of working professionals also said they would have more job opportunities if they possessed broader digital and tech-focused skill sets.

Workplace Culture: While 60 per cent of employers said digital transformation was moving too quickly in 2019, that number fell to 45 per cent this year, signaling that businesses are adapting their cultures to drive their digital shift. This is evidenced by the fact that 77 per cent of talent leaders reported acquiring more digital skill sets to expand their reach and open up business opportunities.

To get more insight about this year’s top talent trends, request a copy of Randstad Sourceright’s 2020 Talent Trends Report.

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