April 29, 2019

What will the global workforce look like by 2030?

Constant change. That's what defines today's workforce. Automation, Artificial Intelligence and other technological advancements have created hundreds of new roles, while making others obsolete.

Such is the pace of innovation that PwC predicts the global workforce will look completely different by 2030. In its 'Workforce of the future: The competing forces shaping 2030' report, it predicts the world of employment could go one of four ways. These four ways are described as worlds – red, yellow, green or blue. What does each world entail, and how could it affect employment?

The red world: Innovation leads the way

Innovation is everything in the red world, as organisations and individuals race to give consumers what they want. There's no such thing as huge corporations anymore – instead, small entrepreneurs and startups lead the way. A winning idea is all you need to make billions, and it's these digital entrepreneurs that hold the real influence in the red world. Think specialisation, but on a huge scale – work tends to be contract rather than permanent, and employers seek individual skills and experience rather than university degrees. 

In this world, technology outpaces regulation, meaning risks are high. Speed is paramount, making agility the number one desirable skill. 

The blue world: Corporate rules the roost

In the blue world, organisations continue to grow, until by 2030, many corporations are more powerful than nation states. They provide many of the essential services now supplied by governments, including education and healthcare. This leads to society becoming divided between those who have a corporate career and those who don't, with the individual coming first above any sense of social responsibility

In return for these services, corporations get data – about everything. This is how they make their money and serve the needs of their customers. 

Corporations must seek exceptional talent to survive in the blue world, meaning that the pressure to perform in this uber-capitalist workforce is relentless. 

By 2030, if corporations continue to grow, they could become more powerful than nation states. In the blue world, huge corporations have become more powerful than nation states.

The green world: Earth comes first

Consumers increasingly put pressure on companies to look after society and the environment – businesses that don't see their share prices plummet. Transparency and collaboration is key, and organisations must keep up with strict regulations regarding CSR and human resources. Diversity quotas are the norm, and it's up to businesses to develop their employees – the consequences of not doing so are severe. Employers provide more family-friendly working environments and flexi-hours are common.

Taking care of the environment and society in this workforce shouldn't just be a response to more intense regulation. In the green world, organisations must put the environment at the heart of their business strategy and CSR is integral to employee performance assessments.

The green world recognises the importance of technology in promoting environmentally-friendly initiatives, but this does lead to some losing out on employment to automation.

The environment takes centre stage in the workforce described in green world. In the green world, businesses put the environment first as employees seek more purpose in their roles.

The yellow world: Humans come first

In the yellow world, employees look for meaning from their jobs. They want to have an impact on the society around them, and humanness is highly valued as a response to a dissatisfaction with automation (although AI still pervades). There is a desire for fairer distribution of wealth, and technology has enabled crowdfunding to become the norm.

PwC even predicts that in the yellow world, Middle Ages-style guilds based around skill sets could spring up. It is these guilds that provide training and develop employees, rather than businesses. As a result, people feel the strongest loyalty not to their employer but to other people who believe in the same cause, and can reach it with similar skill sets.

In the yellow world, poor ethics and a lack of transparency, particularly in the supply chain, are condemned, and businesses must have strong relationships with governments and NGOs in order to survive. 

Keep up with the changing world of work with JacksonStone & Partners

In all these worlds, technology has changed the way people work and interact with their employers. Human skills such as problem-solving, leadership, emotional intelligence, empathy and creativity have increased in significance, while adaptability is the most important of all.

That's why no matter which world becomes reality, employers will need the help of recruiters to make sure they have the best talent working at their organisation. To find out how the executive recruitment specialists at JacksonStone & Partners can help, please contact the team today.