Our Workforce 2020 surveys show that companies are having a hard time finding employees with the right skills. For example, the need for skills in areas like analytics, cloud, and programming/development will grow sizably over the next three years, but less than half of employees expect to be proficient with most of these key technologies in that time. And abilities in vital specialties such as cloud and mobile lag compared to other technologies like programming/development and job-specific software.
This is a large-scale issue; in fact, US Vice President Biden recently published a report on federal education, workforce, and training programs that emphasizes the need for strong skills development opportunities.
In order to develop the technology skills they need within their organization, companies will have to focus more on supplying the right technology and training to their employees. Currently, less than half of employees say their company provides ample training on the technology they need, and less than one-third say their company makes the latest technology available to them.
When we surveyed over 2,700 executives around the world, we found that 83% are increasingly using consultants, intermittent employees, or contingent workers. The shift from hiring traditional full-time employees to a more flexible workforce demands major changes to the way companies think about compensation and benefits, training, and organizational culture.
Companies are already responding to the changing workforce, but given the magnitude of this trend and the increased regulatory scrutiny that is likely to follow, they may not be doing enough.
You can find more on the changing nature of work in our research report. If you haven’t checked out our research yet, you can find out more by visiting our landing page.
Job descriptions are changing fast. Employees need new skills to keep up as technology evolves and new ways of doing work—even the threat of being replaced by artificial intelligence—loom. Employee respondents to our massive global survey are concerned with their own obsolescence and want opportunities for development and a clear career path—that goes for Millennials and non-Millennials alike.
Executives are also worried about the growing skills gap—many say it is difficult to find employees with base-level and specialized skills. Despite their concern, our survey results point to a lack of understanding and effort from strategy-setters when it comes to investing time, resources, and technology in training and development for employees—executives and employees both report limited opportunities for skills development.
Investment in training and development will be increasingly important as the skills companies need become increasingly advanced and technology-based—just one of the changes that is sure to come in the 2020 workforce.