Disruptive Technology Is Reshaping the Workforce
By Lindagrace De la Cruz, Recruitment Evangelist, Indeed

A person smiling for the camera  Description generated with very high confidenceTechnology has, and continues to be, the wind that steers society’s ship into unchartered waters. As changing weather constitutes a continual need for recalibration and adjustment on behalf of the ship’s crew to stay or shift the course, innovations in technology have demanded a similar agility from society, and a willingness to adapt to thrive. When we take this analogy and apply it to business, we see the same situation — businesses cannot ignore the changing winds and stay above water. To be responsible to their customers, businesses need to be responsive to changing trends in the industry, both locally and globally. To take things a step further, with innovations in technology come emerging trends, that when accounted for, place talent attraction professionals in a prime position to stay competitive and ahead of the curve. Planning for the increasing impact of these trends will be crucial in setting apart top-performing professionals from everyone else.

Our greatest economic inflection points from the past 200 years have come from disruptive technology. To clarify, it is important to understand that disruption is not simply a change or advancement in technology. In this case, disruption is the use of technology to reinvent or reshape an existing business. The first long-distance phone call was recorded in 1876 by Alexander Graham Bell. This disruption paved the way for life less dependent on snail mail and horse-mounted couriers, and effectively set us on a trajectory — a trajectory we are still on today — to discover and embrace increasingly faster, more efficient ways of communication. In the late 1800s, hoping for the arrival of a letter in a few months was the norm, whereas now, if a text message goes unanswered for the day, it may be considered off-putting, or at the very least, odd. This disruption in technology changed the expectations we held for communication worldwide, and effectively, changed the face of business operations, standards and strategies.

The Internet, as another example, has not only accelerated the pace of nearly every task, but it has also altered our reality with regards to the accessibility of resources available to us 24/7/365.  AOL changed the face of the game, but has since been supplanted by better search platforms, social media and resource apps.  And here we find ourselves in 2017, living in a world that relies more and more on the Internet to help us make the biggest, most important decisions of our lives, from home-buying, to vacation-planning, to matchmaking, to job search. Armed with mobile devices that fit in our purses and pockets, we can conduct these life-changing searches and make these decisions when it’s convenient for us, at any time around the clock. 

When it comes to the talent marketplace, this latest inflection point has produced seven key trends impacting how people find jobs around the world today. We see the following trends reshaping the U.S. labor market: 

  1. Every company is becoming a tech company.
  2. Specialized software is leading to a specialized workforce.
  3. The labor market is bifurcated based on skill.
  4. Full-time jobs are being replaced by more flexible alternatives.
  5. Labor is a national asset that is increasingly mobile.
  6. Smart companies are following talent around the world.
  7. The Internet is changing the way people look for jobs.

Specifically, in the realm of job search, the Internet has made an active jobseeker out of almost everyone. An Indeed survey conducted by the Harris Poll, a third-party source, shows that U.S. job seekers are more active now than ever before. The survey reports that 91% of people say they are either actively looking or open to a new job, with 76% of people looking at job opportunities at least monthly. This dismisses the previous notion that we are all fighting for a tiny sliver of active candidates. With this data discovery comes the need to reframe the conversation in the talent attraction space from one of “active and passive” candidates to one of inbound and outbound candidates, because the reality reveals that most jobseekers today are inherently active.

What we are also finding is that in the U.S. and other industrialized nations, every company is becoming a tech company. From cafes to retail banks, to most other types of business that are not tech-related businesses, the dire need of talent with technical expertise is growing. This need becomes even more apparent when we look at the employment data surrounding software developers that illustrates that only 28% of software developers work in jobs in which they are developing software products. According to a developer study by Stack Overflow, the rest of this group work across a variety of industries and occupational areas, further indicating that companies of all kinds need tech talent to operate and innovate.

I look forward to exploring all seven of these trends at CTHRA’s HR Symposium. It’s worth noting that some, if not all of the trends, will naturally pose new challenges for the talent attraction space. Never has it been more crucial for leaders to brace themselves for change and find ways to proactively position tactics that are in and of themselves agile. Such agility will likely require not only identifying how these key trends impact the company, but the entire business landscape, because change that may affect a given industry has, in the past, come from far outside.

Lindagrace will be speaking at CTHRA’s HR Symposium on Thursday, October 26, 2017. Her session, Recruiting the Workforce of Tomorrow, will be held during the 10:30 a.m. breakout sessions. For more details please visit www.CTHRASymposium.com.






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