As organizations reimagine the future of work, they must understand the trends that are changing the workforce. From millennials stepping up to become leaders to the opportunities and challenges presented by increased globalization, organizations need to be more agile and flexible when it comes to acquiring and managing talent.

In this section, we explore how globalization, skills shortages and the transformation of talent will affect how you attract and engage talent today into tomorrow. We also examine ways that workforce analytics and workforce planning programs help organizations adapt to the changing gig economy and total talent evolution.



As organizations reimagine the future of work, they must understand the trends that are changing the workforce. From millennials stepping up to become leaders to the opportunities and challenges presented by increased globalization, organizations need to be more agile and flexible when it comes to acquiring and managing talent.

In this section, we explore how globalization, skills shortages and the transformation of talent will affect how you attract and engage talent today into tomorrow. We also examine ways that workforce analytics and workforce planning programs help organizations adapt to the changing gig economy and total talent evolution.



As organizations reimagine the future of work, they must understand the trends that are changing the workforce. From millennials stepping up to become leaders to the opportunities and challenges presented by increased globalization, organizations need to be more agile and flexible when it comes to acquiring and managing talent.

In this section, we explore how globalization, skills shortages and the transformation of talent will affect how you attract and engage talent today into tomorrow. We also examine ways that workforce analytics and workforce planning programs help organizations adapt to the changing gig economy and total talent evolution.


How to Prepare for the Workforce of the Future


Automation is transforming the way we work. Technology is disrupting nearly every industry at an unprecedented pace.

The World Economic Forum calls this change the Fourth Industrial Revolution which is characterized by a “fusion of technologies that is blurring the lines between the physical, digital and biological spheres.”

Source: World Economic Forum

This pace of change means that employers need to take a proactive role in ensuring they have a workforce equipped with the skills of the future. To accomplish this, employers first need to understand the skills that will need to remain competitive and innovative. Then, they need to understand how best to prepare and train their current workforce, as well as prepare to source, recruit and hire the talent of the future. In this post, we’ll share the top skills of the future, how technology is changing the way we work and explore ways organizations can prepare for the workforce of the future.

Skills of the Future

According to the World Economic Forum, the top ten skills you need to thrive in the Fourth Industrial Revolution have shifted in the last several years, prioritizing complex problem solving, critical thinking and creativity as the top three skills and adding emotional intelligence to the list.

This list reflects the fact that robots can complete many tasks faster than humans, but the machines still lack creativity and emotional skills. As technology takes on more of the workload, the most in-demand employees will be those who possess the skills that computers cannot replicate. However, the need also increases for workers who have the skills to use, build and innovate the technology of the future.

Technology is Changing the Way We Work

As many as 375 million people around the world will need to change occupational categories by 2030 due to automation.

Source: McKinsey Global Institute

It’s no secret that automation is fundamentally changing the way many industries operate. Let’s explore this idea using the example of the impact of automation on the automobile industry. Some of the most well-known innovations in automation have happened in the industry–starting with Henry Ford’s assembly line. Now, companies around the world are racing to bring autonomous cars to market. We expect that the first autonomous cars will be available for sale to the public as early as 2021. The link to the potential disruption in complementary industries from delivery services to drive-through restaurants is overwhelming. However, it is an excellent example to use to illustrate the complexity of the skills needed for the future.

The skills required to deliver the cars to market are both highly technical and analytical. However, the skills needed to design and operate the vehicles of the future are more complicated. Skills in design thinking and innovation will be critical. Programmers will need to ensure safety in weather conditions from blizzards to heavy rains and navigate autonomous cars and trucks through road construction and complicated intersections and interchanges. They may be faced with programming life and death decision-making into the vehicles, which are inherently complex human behaviors requiring emotional and social intelligence skills above all others.

How to Prepare for the Future Workforce

Talent Transformation:

Automation and the skills transformation will affect many industries over the next decade, but lessons can be learned from the industries that have already come through the journey, transforming their workforce in order to deliver to a new business model. This transformation is illustrated with an example of one of PeopleScout’s clients, a company which provides research and risk management services.

In 2010, the company began migrating customers from the traditional print version of their core product to an online version available on multiple platforms. This was a complicated and highly-involved transformation which impacted everyone from their internal workforce to their heavily print-dependent end-users. To illustrate the skills transformation that occurred, since that point in time, the number of technology hires PeopleScout makes for this client has increased 500 percent. This includes roles like product analysts, product managers and implementation consultants. At the same time, hires for editorial roles like editors, journalists and content developers have increased only 14 percent. And, in 2017, 100 percent of editorial roles filled were for their online research product; no positions filled were for the traditional print product.

In order to help guide this client through their talent transformation, PeopleScout worked closely with the internal HR function to adapt their candidate personas both internally and externally. We then developed sophisticated sourcing strategies to source candidates with skill sets that would meet the needs of the new organization. In addition to sourcing new candidates internally and externally, there were also efforts to analyze which traditional roles had transferable skills to the requirements of the new roles. This journey to transform a traditional business into a technology company required a substantial shift in workforce strategy to meet the needs of the new organization.

Future Skill Degree Programs:

Another way employers can prepare for the future workforce is through working closely with high schools, colleges, universities, apprenticeships and graduate recruitment programs to help develop degree programs that meet the skills of the future. By building these programs, employers can ensure that graduates have the skills necessary to succeed in the coming years.

The importance of high school programs is not yet as obvious as those in higher education, but many businesses and universities have started working with high schools to source and attract new talent early. The programs are particularly significant in industries where there is a forecasted talent gap. For example, Monte Sant’Angelo Mercy students in Sydney have the opportunity to partner with an engineering company to learn valuable job skills and open up thinking about new career pathways.

How to Prepare Your Current Workforce

Employers cannot simply wait for the workforce of tomorrow to arrive. To stay ahead, it is necessary to train and prepare current workers for these shifts. To make this a priority, HR and the C-suite need to be aligned on what roles will be needed in the next three, five or ten years, as well as what skills will be needed to fill those roles. The roles that exist now may transform or disappear altogether, and new skill sets will be necessary for the business to drive growth and strategy. Both need to be open-minded about the transferable skills in order to ensure success in having the talent to deliver key business outcomes.

Reskilling Programs:

In some countries, governments have taken on some of the burdens of reskilling. For example, the Australian government has established the Skilling Australians Fund which provides $1.5 billion between 2017 and 2021 to support apprenticeships, traineeships and other employer-related training. The goal is to retrain more Australian workers with the skills needed in the tourism, hospitality, health, engineering, manufacturing, building and construction, agriculture and digital technologies industries. The program is targeted toward automotive workers who lost jobs due to closing car manufacturing plants.

In the United Kingdom, the government plans to spend as much as 500 million pounds per year on worker training to combat low productivity. According to Reuters, the spending could reach as high as nearly 6 billion pounds on academic and technical education which will transform the system of technical education and increase the amount of training available by more than 50 percent.


Key Takeaways

  • Automation is disrupting traditional jobs, leading to new skills being required.
  • HR and the C-suite need to be aligned on what roles will be needed in the next three, five or ten years, as well as what skills will be needed to fill those roles.
  • Reskilling programs are a way to train and prepare workers for these shifts.

A Look into the Gig Economy


Thanks to the rise of freelancing platforms such as Uber, Airbnb, TaskRabbit and Fiverr, finding non-traditional means of employment is easier than ever.

20-30% of the labor force in the European Union is now made up of independent workers who are self-employed or do temporary work.

Source: McKinsey Global Institute

The Gig Economy’s Effect on Workers

Increased flexibility: For workers in the gig economy, flexibility is one of the biggest benefits.

No experience necessary: Most gig jobs have low barriers to entry, making on-demand work easy to start. For ridesharing services like Lyft or Uber, all an applicant needs is a vehicle, a valid driver’s license and a clean driving record. For room-sharing services like Airbnb, all you need is an extra room.

Worker concerns: Severance packages, disability leave, PTO, sick days, health insurance and workers’ compensation are just a few of the benefits typically afforded to employees but not contractors, freelancers or gig workers. Freelance workers often work other jobs to receive the protections and benefits often absent in gig work.

A study of Uber drivers asked the following question: “If both were available to you, at this point in your life, would you rather have a steady 9-to-5 job with some benefits and a set salary or a job where you choose your own schedule and be your own boss?” 73% of respondents selected flexibility over a traditional job.

Source: Uber

The Gig Economy’s Effect on Business

The most obvious appeal of hiring gig workers is that an organization can build a responsive workforce, tailored to suit business goals and objectives.

Hire for the right positions: Employers should carefully consider which specific jobs they need freelancers to perform and make sure the contractors clearly understand what they are expected to deliver. Organizations can quickly scale their workforces to supplement in-house staff or find workers with the skills needed to tackle critical projects.

Provide benefits: A report on the gig economy in the U.S. found that a major drawback for gig workers is the lack of benefits available. The report also found that as long as employers pay gig workers a competitive wage, they are happy to purchase their own benefits. This presents an opportunity for organizations looking to attract gig employees.

Managing Gig Employees

Worker misclassification: Depending on how gig workers are managed on the job, employers run the risk of a worker being managed as if they are a W-2 employee. Even when hiring managers have a good understanding of the difference between an employee and a contractor, managers may still treat contractors as W-2 employees. This can be an expensive mistake.

In the U.S., for cases where misclassification is deemed unintentional, an employer may be charged:

  • A $50 fee for each W-2 that was not filed
  • 1.5 percent of the employee’s wages, plus interest
  • 40 percent of the employee’s FICA (Social Security and Medicare) contributions
  • 100 percent of the employer’s matching FICA contributions

Additionally, organizations in the U.S. need to remain compliant with the patchwork of laws impacting contingent workers. For example, legislation, like paid sick leave, that isn’t specifically aimed at contingent workers may impact certain classifications of workers depending on local laws. Because many of these compliance issues are based on state, county or even city legislation, employers need to be prepared to keep track of the constantly changing compliance landscape.


Key Takeaways

  • Gig workers are looking for roles that are flexible and fit their lifestyle.
  • Providing benefits to gig workers, or a more competitive wage so they can purchase their own benefits, can provide you with an advantage when recruiting workers for gig roles.
  • Worker misclassification is a common and expensive mistake.

Drivers and Benefits of Total Workforce Solutions


Total workforce solutions (TWS), sometimes called total workforce management or total talent solutions, are a growing trend for organizations grappling with the changing talent landscape. A total workforce solution provides a central view and way to manage all talent at an organization – both employees and contingent workers, including independent contractors, gig workers, freelancers and statement of work (SOW) workers.

Drivers of the Total Workforce Evolution

Low unemployment:

Organizations need to find creative ways to attract and retain talent in this economic climate, including optimizing their balance of employees and contingent workers.

Generational shifts and the gig economy:

Baby boomers, who were the largest generation in the workforce for years, are starting to retire. Now, millennials make up more than one-third of all workers. The generational shift had another impact – the rise of the gig economy. Employers need to adapt to this generational shift and the growing popularity of this type of work to find and attract talent in a way that reflects the way that talent wants to work.

Talent shortages:

Employers are turning to total workforce solutions to adapt more quickly to changes in the workforce. In a total workforce solution, decision making is centralized and based on how to best secure talent, which enables increased agility and helps stakeholders see the benefit of making strategic decisions about how their workforce is procured.

A desire for greater insight into the total talent picture:

Leaders want a better view of the entire talent picture. By looking at permanent employees and contingent workers together, organizations can create a coherent strategy that effectively addresses the pressures of low unemployment, generational shifts and talent shortages.

A Staffing Industry Analysts study estimates that about 44 million Americans, or about 29% of the U.S. workforce, has taken part in the gig economy.

Source: Staffing Industry Analysts

Benefits of a Total Workforce Solution

Cost savings:

A well-managed total workforce solution should drive increased cost savings compared to MSP and RPO programs operating separately. An integrated program simplifies the management, reporting and recruiting resources required – reducing costs and increasing effectiveness. Through a TWS, organizations can find savings opportunities by making more strategic decisions about how to use their labor.

A full view of the entire workforce:

A total workforce strategy provides companies with a broad view of the workforce, across different labor classifications and departments. That level of visibility allows organizations to gain consolidated intelligence into their workforces and helps them evolve in the competitive talent landscape. As the labor market continues to tighten, leveraging talent based on how they want to work is critical.

Centralized decision making:

A total workforce solution centralizes decision making and ensures the right mix of both permanent employees and contingent workers. A centralized decision-making process helps programs run more effectively by identifying whether a role should be temporary, permanent, short-term or long-term as soon as a need is identified.

Increased agility:

A total workforce solution provides increased agility as organizations can see the trends impacting their workforce earlier and respond to them more quickly. A total workforce approach combines talent acquisition and workforce management, so strategic initiatives can be more easily implemented from the top down.

Greater ability to recruit talent regardless of worker type:

These benefits combine to provide organizations with a greater ability to recruit talent regardless of worker type. With the full view of talent, leaders can see how different types of talent want to work and then designate the position as permanent or contingent to meet those worker expectations. Then, a unified employer brand speaks to all workers in the same way, so candidates get the same positive impression whether they are applying for a full-time job, looking for a contract position or working through a temp agency. As organizations deal with the skills shortage and competitive talent landscape, the ability to recruit both full-time employees and contingent workers effectively is necessary.


Key Takeaways

  • A total workforce solution can help you attract and retain workers.
  • A total workforce approach drives costs savings by simplifying recruiting and program management processes.
  • A total workforce solution provides increased agility as you can see the trends impacting your entire workforce earlier and respond to them more quickly.

Workforce Planning: Leveraging Workforce Analytics for Deeper Insights


Organizations need to leverage technology and big data to make more strategic decisions. Workforce analytics combines statistical analysis and predictive modeling to help you make fact-based talent acquisition and management decisions.

Advanced analytics spending in the UK is expected to jump to £24 billion reflecting the increasing trend of investment in analytics for business success.

Source: Consultancy UK

What is Workforce Planning and What Role Do Analytics Play in the Process?

Modern, data-driven workforce planning focuses on the future by assessing current hiring needs and predicting how those needs will evolve. Workforce analytics gathers and analyzes data to better inform decisions made in other parts of workforce planning to form a strategic plan to address workforce challenges. This approach can help organizations match talent forecasts with analysis of the talent pool to create a realistic view of the labor market.

Deloitte reports that the use of workforce data to analyze, predict and improve performance has exploded in practice and importance over the last few years, with more growth on the horizon. In its 2018 Global Human Capital Trends survey, 84% of respondents viewed people analytics as important or very important.

Source: Deloitte

When workforce planning is combined with workforce analytics, organizations are better able to predict future leaders within the organization, craft succession plans for critical positions and recruit the right talent.

Types of Workforce Analytics

Predictive analytics: Predictive analytics leverages historical data to create predictive models that anticipate what is likely to happen in areas such as employee turnover, skills shortages and shifts in the labor market.

Diagnostic analytics: Diagnostic analytics helps contextualize past performance by evaluating performance-based metrics in an attempt to discover the reasons behind past workforce successes or failures.

Prescriptive analytics: Similar to predictive analytics, prescriptive analytics uses the same sets of historical workforce data to anticipate the likelihood of specific results or events. What makes prescriptive analytics different is that the data is then leveraged to plan the best next actions based on those predictions.

Benefits of Using Workforce Analytics

While the most obvious benefits of workforce analytics are related to time savings, dollars saved and earned, performance changes and proof of ROI, there are less tangible benefits of workforce analytics related to organizational alignment, team cohesion and company culture.

Improving retention and employee performance: Workforce analytics can help organizations identify top performers, foster successful employee retention and talent recruitment programs and ensure the proper workforce is in place to accomplish business goals and objectives.

Improved hiring decisions: Workforce analytics helps hiring managers make decisions based on historical data. A great analytics tool can help easily find the best candidate to hire from historical data.


Key Takeaways

  • Companies are investing more in big data and driving tangible benefits as a result.
  • Leveraging analytics for workforce planning can help you achieve business goals.
  • Data-driven decision making helps you improve quality of hire as well as retention and performance metrics.

Strategies for Building an Effective Talent Community


Around the world, favorable job conditions are making it more difficult for employers to hire the talent they need. Adding to the challenge, employers are facing a skills shortage as they look to hire candidates who have the training, education and experience to bring their workforces into the future. Building a talent community is one strategy to combat these challenges.

U.S. job openings rose to a record high in April 2018, with vacancies increasingly exceeding the number of unemployed workers amid a robust labor market.

Source: Bloomberg

What is a Talent Community?

A talent community is a sourcing strategy that is an ongoing, multifaceted approach to candidate engagement that creates employment brand ambassadors and a talent pool that begins to feed itself. Building a talent community is a process rather than an event and takes continual effort to maintain.

Building a community has a host of benefits for employers. A talent community is sustainable. This means decreased time-to-fill and cost-of-vacancy because candidates who are interested in working for an organization are waiting for a job to be posted rather than a recruiter posting a job and waiting for the right candidate to apply.

Using Employer Branding to Build a Talent Community

Online talent communities:
An online talent community allows candidates to provide their contact information, resume and job interests. Then, the organization can search those resumes when a position opens and send matching job openings to the candidate. This keeps the employer at the front of a candidate’s mind and provides recruiters with a slate of candidates every time a requisition opens.

Recruitment email marketing:
Email marketing can be used in partnership with an online talent community. Organizations can send recruitment marketing emails to share job openings, as well as information about their culture.

Social media:
Every organization should have a strategy for sharing its employment brand on social media, and can use social media in an effort to engage potential candidates to join a talent community. One option is to create a separate “careers” social media page where your organization can post job openings and information about the workplace, culture and current employees.

A job posting could include a short video of a hiring manager talking about the job and what they are looking for. A video like this gives a candidate a better understanding of the job and gives them a glimpse into the culture of the organization. You can use video to show workplace tours, so job seekers get an idea of what working for your company might be like.

Chatting and text:
While some employers may be cautious to message candidates, many PeopleScout clients have found success and higher rates of candidate engagement when chatting and texting are introduced.

Using Innovative Technology to Power a Talent Community

The same technology used to attract candidates to open job requisitions can also be used to prompt individuals to join a talent community. Geofencing, AI sourcing and AI data tracking are examples of those technologies. By tracking what time of day candidates apply, open emails or use social media, employers can schedule email marketing and social media posts to maximize the number of candidates who will see and click on job postings.

Much like targeted ads for retailers can be delivered to a person’s cell phone or computer based on where that person is located, job ads can be targeted to candidates in a specific geographical area as well.

AI sourcing:
AI tools start sourcing candidates as soon as a requisition is opened, looking for active and passive candidates in talent communities and online databases.

AI data tracking:
AI data tracking can be used to make other sourcing and employer branding strategies more effective. Artificial intelligence and predictive analytics can understand and predict candidate behaviors.

Why Talent Communities Alone Aren’t Enough

  • Talent communities have to be combined with great employer branding.
  • The content has to be engaging and of value to the audience.
  • There needs to be the right mix of viable candidates with the skills and experience that your company values, and ambassadors for your employer brand.
  • It is what you put into it, not what you take out – you have to cultivate the community or it will stagnate.
  • Just-in-time recruiting is achievable if you use your talent community in combination with other tools, technology and operational best practices.


Key Takeaways

  • If you build a strong talent community, you will have a sustainable talent pool that reduces time-to-fill and ensures a steady pipeline of qualified candidates.
  • A strong employer brand can help you consistently attract new candidates for your talent community.
  • Leveraging technology can help you more efficiently manage your talent community.

Considerations When Sourcing Talent Globally


As the mobility of the global workforce increases, more employers are looking for the best talent from around the world. Multiple factors contribute to this increased mobility, and employers armed with the knowledge and expertise needed to navigate a global talent pool will hire and retain the best workers in the competitive talent landscape.

Technology is making the process easier. Video interviewing makes it simple to interview candidates without incurring large travel bills, and virtual reality technology could give candidates a realistic look at your office without an international flight. A variety of solutions for virtual work could mean that the perfect candidate won’t even need to travel to fulfill a job’s requirements.

The Value of Sourcing Globally

  • As employers look to hire candidates with the skills of the future, expanding your search across the globe can keep you ahead of the competition.
  • In industries with large skills gaps like healthcare and engineering, the ability to source globally is necessary to remain competitive.
  • Diverse workforces also increase productivity and employee engagement.

Managing Compliance Challenges

Starting a global sourcing program does come with challenges, the most obvious of which is immigration. If you are hiring foreign employees to work domestically, you need to abide by the immigration laws in your country, which can be complicated by shifting political climates. Throughout the hiring process, you’ll also have to contend with varying background check and data privacy laws. Additionally, countries around the world have different laws that regulate how you can contact candidates through email. If employers are hiring workers in other countries, they should also be aware of the differences in labor laws that apply.

  • In the U.S., full-time workers are often expected to work eight hour days, five days each week, and overtime is common.
  • Adults employed full-time in the U.S. report working an average of 47 hours per week, which equates to nearly six days a week, according to Gallup.
  • In some countries, hours worked per week are capped. For example, in Brazil, work hours are capped at 44 per week. A regular shift cannot exceed eight hours and a maximum of two hours of overtime is allowed per day.
  • French workers have a “right to disconnect” after hours.
  • In Sweden, fika, or a mid-morning break for coffee and snacks, is common.

In Australia, employees are entitled to long service leave, or a period of extended paid leave from work after a long period of working for the same employer. The exact requirements vary based on jurisdiction, but are in general, six to 13 weeks of leave for every seven to 10 years worked.

Differences in Office Cultures

Employers should also be prepared to manage the cultural differences that exist in recruiting, hiring and working around the globe. While a cultural mistake isn’t likely to result in a fine or other legal consequence, it can cause other problems. A lack of cultural literacy can lead to anything from communication confusion during the hiring process to a negative impact on your employer brand that will make it more difficult to recruit top talent.

Understanding Office Politics

Organizations should not overlook the importance of internal communications, office politics and training. Employers should train all employees, regardless of location, about the cultural workplace norms that could impact workers.

Some expressions or phrases have different meanings in the same language, depending on where it is spoken. It is important for those communications across borders and cultures to be aware of these differences. For example, the phrase “to table” has different meanings in different countries:

  • In the United States, to “table” usually means to postpone or suspend consideration of a pending motion.
  • In the rest of the English-speaking world, such as in the United Kingdom and Canada, to “table” means to begin consideration (or reconsideration) of a proposal.

Considerations When Sourcing Talent Globally

Key Takeaways

  • Complying with complex immigration laws requires paying close attention to shifting political climates.
  • Cultural literacy is important in a globally diverse office or virtual environment and can help avoid miscommunication.
  • You should not overlook the importance of internal communications, office politics and training.

The Value of Globalizing Your Recruitment Strategy


It is increasingly important for international organizations to build recruitment strategies that are effective across multiple countries. One factor driving this shift is falling unemployment around the world.

The U.S., China, Japan, Britain and Canada all have unemployment rates at or below 6%–with the U.S., China and Japan at or below 4%. This makes it difficult to find and attract top talent in these economies.

Source: The Economist

Benefits of a Global Recruitment Strategy

  • Improved quality of hire: An effective global sourcing strategy enables employers to make a better cultural match and increases the potential of finding the right candidate with the right skills.
  • Increased diversity: By deploying a truly global process, employers are able to attract and hire a more diverse slate of candidates.
  • Better ability to source candidates with skills of the future: Automation is changing the way we work, and different areas of the globe are adapting at different paces. With a global recruitment strategy, HR professionals can identify talent from around the world with the necessary skills and connect with candidates regardless of where they live.

Components of a Global Recruitment Strategy

  • Employer brand: When implementing a global recruitment strategy, organizations need to build an employer brand that is effective across the world. It is important to work with local employees to ensure employer branding and recruitment marketing campaigns are culturally appropriate in each region in which an employer recruits.

69% of employees are more likely to stay with a company for three years if they experience great onboarding.

Source: SHRM

  • Consistent onboarding process: The onboarding process should also be as consistent as possible in each location. At PeopleSout, we standardize, document and create global job contract repositories to make our clients’ onboarding more efficient and compliant.
  • Centralized technology: A centralized technology system across all global locations provides better data and a wider view of your entire workforce so you can spot trends and make strategic decisions more quickly.
  • Global labor market data analysis: If the talent market starts to tighten in one part of the world, you can see how your workforce compares throughout the region and other areas of the world. That insight can be used to make high-level business decisions. For example, a PeopleScout client was looking to hire Norwegian speakers in a central European country. After analyzing the market data, PeopleScout provided recommendations for better locations outside of Norway where the client could find more candidates who met their requirements.


Key Takeaways

  • A globalized recruitment strategy drives improved quality of hire, increased diversity and a better ability to source candidates with the skills of the future.
  • When implementing a global recruitment strategy, it is important to work with local employees to ensure employer branding campaigns are culturally appropriate in each region in which you recruit.
  • Analyzing global labor markets makes for smarter hiring because you can see how your workforce compares throughout the world.