Workforce and talent will continue to be driving forces in site location, retention, and expansion decisions.

Workforce and talent will continue to be driving forces in site location, retention, and expansion decisions.
By Rebecca Kusner of R4Workforce

We’ll see communities adapting and integrating new technology, businesses identifying and hiring for skills, and job-seekers/workers picking jobs based on the quality of the workplace in 2019.

Figure 1: Excerpted from The Future of Work. Deloitte

Role of technology. From Artificial Intelligence to block chain, technology will continue to be front and center in 2019. Workforce development practitioners are rushing to figure out how they use technology to increase their impact and more importantly, how to ensure their clients can adapt to a rapidly changing workplace. Training potential workers in new tech fields will be important but training them to apply their knowledge and to continuously grow it is critical.  Block chain will help accelerate how information is shared between companies and candidates and AI will play a role in how people and jobs are actually matched. From improved sourcing to accelerated screening, technology continues to change the natures of work, how we prepare for it, and how we connect to it.

Skills and competencies v. credentials or years on the job. As job-seekers, workers, and the roles they fill continue to evolve, businesses are evolving how they are looking at and for talent. Skills-based approaches to sourcing and talent development will grow in prominence in 2019. This means looking at the skills and competencies an individual brings rather than just years of experience or educational credentials. New ways of considering labor market characteristics will help guide location decisions as businesses consider what skills a potential labor pool has or can develop rather than what credentials the local schools are producing. Focusing on skills and competencies can and should lead to greater equity and inclusion at work. Recent data shows objective skill assessments can reduce implicit bias in the hiring process. This opens access to new talent pools and yields a more diverse workplace which has ties to improved productivity, customer service, and financial returns.

Increased focus on the quality of work.  Despite record low unemployment, businesses continue to find themselves unable to recruit and retain the talent necessary for growth.  This issue is further exacerbated by the fact that for the first time, there are now more available jobs than there are job-seekers to fill them.  Technology and skills-based solutions will help, but in 2019, expect to see businesses implementing new and innovative approaches to improving the quality of their jobs in an effort to combat these market forces and increase worker productivity, reduce turnover, and time to hire. Employee Shared Ownership Plans (ESOPs), profit sharing, wage growth, apprenticeship models, and the introduction of technology and programs to help employees access benefits and resources are all emerging strategies to improve job quality in 2019.