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The Jobs Of The Future Are Yet To Be Written

Hessie Jones

Dont_be_a_Job_Hopper-_-_NARA_-_514129-733x1024I’ve been told I’m a fatalist. Perhaps I am. From all the research I’ve done on the Future of Work and the amazing peers I’ve collaborated with in this category, it is  clear to me that the past definitely does not dictate the future. As this image implies, there was a time when we all expected to follow a common path: from school to a job for life.

I’ve seen firsthand how technology has wielded its way into the marketing sector. It’s changed the way people consume information and how they communicate with each other. This disruption in communication has turned the marketing industry on its head, and we find ourselves continuously struggling to keep up. Within a decade, I have seen colleagues’ careers cut short – those who have banked tremendous experience in traditional mass communications: TV, print, radio, and promotions.

The communications industry is in a perpetual state of disruption

By 2005 a new crop of roles had emerged, necessitated by the increased demand for web-based solutions: U/X design, online advertising, PPC management, community management, and web development. Now with the rise of ad-blocking and ever-increasing consumer demand for transparency and privacy, the online media industry is already being disrupted. The very jobs that were in high demand a decade earlier will need some necessary modifications. In my recent post, Have Consumers Won? Ad Blockers and the Demise of the Industry, I concluded:

Consumers are sending a message to the industry. They don’t want the current web experience, interrupted with annoying ads and messaging. They have been running away from it for sometime. The adoption of Ad blockers are just the beginning.

The pace of technological disruption has become so fast within the communications industry that marketers are turning to MOOCs and reference blogs just to keep up.

We are not alone. All industries are experiencing this.

“We are on the cusp of the Fourth Industrial Revolution”

The World Economic Forum recently published a report that “represented more than 13 million employees across 9 broad industry sectors in 15 major developed and emerging economies and regional economic areas.” The report indicates:

Developments in previously disjointed fields such as artificial intelligence and machine learning, robotics, nanotechnology, 3D printing, and genetics and biotechnology are all building on and amplifying one another.

Smart systems—homes, factories, farms, grids, or entire cities—will help tackle problems ranging from supply chain management to climate change.

The chart below cites the instigating variables that are forcing industries and organizations to undergo major structural and operational changes, from prevailing mobile consumption to the increasing efficiency of cloud computing to Big Data usage.

techwef

We are also witnessing a decline in pure labor. This article uses the term “transitioning labor,” which is disconcerting in and of itself. The larger losses (between 2015-2020) will be felt in office and administration and manufacturing and production, to the tune of 7.1 million jobs in the U.S.

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Is labor dead?

What technology has enabled is an exponential surge in productivity that has greatly improved gross domestic production and efficiency in the meantime.

The rise of the industrial revolution depended on human capital to produce things to meet market demand. WWII … the growth of the automotive industry… for decades, industries have relied on workers to improve productivity. The effect was cyclical:

…as businesses generated more value from their workers, the country as a whole became richer, which fueled more economic activity and created even more jobs.

Consider this, however: Based on the chart below, productivity and employment, which for decades correlated, began to diverge around the year 2000. As production strengthens, employment begins to wane. Over time, the economic growth in certain sectors do not rely on creation of jobs.

Note the growing disparity between GDP and household income since 1975.  The median household income overtime remains stagnant.

Authors of Race Against The Machine: How the Digital Revolution is Accelerating Innovation, Driving Productivity, and Irreversibly Transforming Employment and the Economy Eric Brynjolfsson, professor of MIT Sloan School of Management, and Andrew McAfee call this the “great decoupling.”

destroying.jobs_.chart1x910_0

Automation and robotics are already here

Advances are happening everywhere. A recent study by academics at Oxford University suggests that 47% of today’s jobs could be automated in the next two decades.

W. Brian Arthur, a former economics professor at Stanford University, calls it the “autonomous economy.”

As Brynjolfsson asserts:

People are falling behind because technology is advancing so fast and our skills and organizations aren’t keeping up.

The socioeconomic implications of this transition period are being felt today. Despite the larger economic impacts of job losses, those who are thriving fall within technology sectors and industries relying on the next-gen skill sets to respond to this increasingly competitive environment. Consider how Uber is currently impacting regulations in the taxi industry… or how AirBNB is leaving the smaller hotel chains scrambling… or how Tesla and Google will bring the car industry to its knees.

This is progress. But it’s also widening the skills gap and polarizing an economy.

Education is the starting point

It’s clear our current education is ill-equipped to prepare future generations for the impact of these ongoing changes. Consider the vantage point of a student entering college today and in the coming years. Accenture notes:

More Americans go to college than ever. But how many think about the return they will get from tuition payments that can easily reach $200,000? Up to half are unemployed or underemployed a year after graduation. And two-thirds say they need further training and instruction to enter the workforce.

As student debt balloons, it’s time for society to reevaluate post-secondary education—and our entire system. We need to create new and innovative systems that help individuals achieve their potential.

It’s clear that the Harvards and MITs of the world will need to change their models in the future as well. Free or more affordable education in the form of MOOCs (massive open online courses) and organizations like The Khan Academy or The Code Academy are already drawing students (of all ages) in droves.

The success of the Industrial Revolution or later was a result, in part, of the current education that was in step with the demands of the market. Not anymore.

The disconnect between the current education and the needs of organizations has never been clearer. PWC came out with this announcement last August and stated that degrees or A-level results will no longer be a criteria in assessing the value of potential candidates.

Here’s what I am observing today among peers and millennials: We are all in a mode of reinvention and continuous learning, striving to learn new skills in web development, writing, coding… all in the effort to be marketable under the new job conditions.

Machines can never replace humans

As part of our series on Humanity in Data, we will continue to explore the need for human-only abilities to help industry and society to progress in the coming decades. While automation and robotics will displace simple functions and be able to analyze zetabytes of information and deliver conclusions, human decision-making and creativity will be necessary to adjust to the growing challenges the world will face.

What’s exciting is that the resources available for learning are vast. As dismal as the current state of the nation is, we are at a critical point of reinvention that allows each and everyone of us to create opportunities to respond to real needs today.

I saw this on Business Insider: The future opportunities look like this:

1. Tele-surgeon: These surgeons operate on people remotely with robotic tools instead of human hands.

2. Nostalgist: Nostalgists are interior designers specializing in recreating memories for retired people. The elderly of 2030 who don’t want to reside in a typical “retirement village” will have the luxury of living in a space inspired by their favorite decade or place.

3. Re-wilder: These professionals were formally called “farmers.” The role of the re-wilder, however, is not to raise food crops but rather to undo environmental damage to the countryside caused by people, factories, cars, etc.

4. Simplicity expert: The simplicity experts of 2030 are interested in looking at how businesses can simplify and streamline their operations. For instance, they can reduce 15 administrative steps to three, or four interviews to one, or three days of work to a half-hour.

5. Garbage designer: Garbage designers find creative ways to turn the byproducts of the manufacturing process into high-quality materials for making entirely separate products.

6. Robot counselor: In 2030, robots will play a greater part in providing home care and services than they do today. The robot counselor will be a resource for picking the right bot for a family, by observing how the family interacts and identifying their needs and lifestyle.

7. Healthcare navigator: These professionals teach patients and their loved ones the ins and outs of a complicated medical system. The navigator also helps people to manage their contact with the medical system with the least amount of stress and delay.

8. Solar technology specialist: These specialists may own land where they manage a large spread of solar grids, to sell the harvested power to stations and other communities — or they may work as consultants in cities and other urban spaces, helping building owners to design, build, and maintain solar panels.

9. Aquaponic fish farmer: In 2030, populations of wild fish are disappearing — so new production methods like aquaponics will step in to replace fish that we can no longer catch in the wild. Aquaponics combines fish farming with gardening, where plants grow over water to cover its surface, while fish live below. The plants return oxygen to the water, and the fish produce waste that provides fertilizer for the plants.

Progress dictates a shift in mindset

Retirement doesn’t exist for many. Reinvention is mandatory to survival.

Organizations and the employable workforce are figuring this out as the needs of the market evolve.

For the next generation, perhaps the question needs to change from “What do you want to be when you grow up?” to  “What do you think needs fixing and what do you want to do to make a difference?

Want more insight on where the workplace is headed? See Social Collaboration: A Powerful Force In The Future Of Work.

Image source: Wikimedia

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What Gen Z’s Arrival In The Workforce Means For Recruiters

Meghan M. Biro

Generation Z’s arrival in the workforce means some changes are on the horizon for recruiters. This cohort, born roughly from the mid-90s to approximately 2010, will be entering the workforce in four Hiring Generation Z words in 3d letters on an organization chart to illustrate finding young employees for your company or businessshort years, and you can bet recruiters and employers are already paying close attention to them.

This past fall, the first group of Gen Z youth began entering university. As Boomers continue to work well past traditional retirement age, four or five years from now, we’ll have an American workplace comprised of five generations.

Marketers and researchers have been obsessed with Millennials for over a decade; they are the most studied generation in history, and at 80 million strong they are an economic force to be reckoned with. HR pros have also been focused on all things related to attracting, motivating, mentoring, and retaining Millennials and now, once Gen Z is part of the workforce, recruiters will have to shift gears and also learn to work with this new, lesser-known generation. What are the important points they’ll need to know?

Northeastern University led the way with an extensive survey on Gen Z in late 2014 that included 16- through 19-year-olds and shed some light on key traits. Here are a few points from that study that recruiters should pay special attention to:

  • In general, the Generation Z cohort tends to be comprised of self-starters who have a strong desire to be autonomous. 63% of them report that they want colleges to teach them about being an entrepreneur.
  • 42% expect to be self-employed later in life, and this percentage was higher among minorities.
  • Despite the high cost of higher education, 81% of Generation Z members surveyed believe going to college is extremely important.
  • Generation Z has a lot of anxiety around debt, not only student loan debt, and they report they are very interested in being well-educated about finances.
  • Interpersonal interaction is highly important to Gen Z; just as Millennials before them, communicating via technology, including social media, is far less valuable to them than face-to-face communication.

Of course Gen Z is still very young, and their opinions as they relate to future employment may well change. For example, reality is that only 6.6% of the American workforce is self-employed, making it likely that only a small percentage of those expecting to be self-employed will be as well. The future in that respect is uncertain, and this group has a lot of learning to do and experiences yet ahead of them. However, when it comes to recruiting them, here are some things that might be helpful.

Generation Z is constantly connected

Like Millennials, Gen Z is a cohort of digital natives; they have had technology and the many forms of communication that affords since birth. They are used to instant access to information and, like their older Gen Y counterparts, they are continually processing information. Like Millennials, they prefer to solve their own problems, and will turn to YouTube or other video platforms for tutorials and to troubleshoot before asking for help. They also place great value on the reviews of their peers.

For recruiters, that means being ready to communicate on a wide variety of platforms on a continual basis. In order to recruit the top talent, you will have to be as connected as they are. You’ll need to keep up with their preferred networks, which will likely always be changing, and you’ll need to be transparent about what you want, as this generation is just as skeptical of marketing as the previous one.

Flexible schedules will continue to grow in importance

With the growth of part-time and contract workers, Gen Z will more than likely assume the same attitude their Millennial predecessors did when it comes to career expectations; they will not expect to remain with the same company for more than a few years. Flexible schedules will be a big part of their world as they move farther away from the traditional 9-to-5 job structure as work becomes more about life and less about work, and they’ll likely take on a variety of part time roles.

This preference for flexible work schedules means that business will happen outside of traditional work hours, and recruiters’ own work hours will, therefore, have to be just as flexible as their Gen Z targets’ schedule are. Companies will also have to examine what are in many cases decades old policies on acceptable work hours and business norms as they seek to not only attract, but to hire and retain this workforce with wholly different preferences than the ones that came before them. In many instances this is already happening, but I believe we will see this continue to evolve in the coming years.

Echoing the silent generation

Unlike Millennials, Gen Z came of age during difficult economic times; older Millennials were raised in the boom years. As Alex Williams points out in his recent New York Times piece, there’s an argument to be made that Generation Z is similar in attitude to the Silent Generation, growing up in a time of recession means they are more pragmatic and skeptical than their slightly older peers.

So how will this impact their behavior and desires as job candidates? Most of them are the product of Gen X parents, and stability will likely be very important to them. They may be both hard-working and fiscally savvy.

Sparks & Honey, in their much quoted slideshare on Gen Z, puts the number of high-schooler students who felt pressured by their parents to get jobs at 55 percent. Income and earning your keep are likely to be a big motivation for GenZ. Due to the recession, they also share the experience of living in multi-generational households, which may help considerably as they navigate a workplace comprised of several generations.

We don’t have all the answers

With its youngest members not yet in double digits, Gen Z is still maturing. There is obviously still a lot that we don’t know. This generation may have the opposite experience from the Millennials before them, where the older members experienced the booming economy, with some even getting a career foothold, before the collapse in 2008. Gen Z’s younger members may get to see a resurgent economy as they make their way out of college. Those younger members are still forming their personalities and views of the world; we would be presumptuous to think we have all of the answers already.

Generational analysis is part research, but also part theory testing. What we do know is that this second generation of digital natives, with its adaption of technology and comfort with the fast-paced changing world, will leave its mark on the American workforce as it makes its way in. As a result, everything about HR will change, in a big way. I wrote a post for my Forbes column recently where I said, “To recruit in this environment is like being part wizard, part astronaut, part diplomat, part guidance counselor,” and that’s very true.

As someone who loves change, I believe there has never been a more exciting time to be immersed in both the HR and the technology space. How do you feel about what’s on the horizon as it relates to the future of work and the impending arrival of Generation Z? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Social tools are playing an increasingly important role in the workplace, especially for younger workers. Learn more: Adopting Social Software For Workforce Collaboration [Video].

The post What Gen Z’s Arrival In The Workforce Means For Recruiters appeared first on TalentCulture.

Image: Bigstock

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How The Digital Economy Is Defining An Entire Generation

Julia Caruso

millennial businesswomen using digital technology at work“Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.” – Steve Jobs

As a part of the last wave of Millennials joining the workforce, I have been inspired by Jobs’ definition of innovation. For years, Millennials like me have been told that we need to be faster, better, and smarter than our peers. With this thought in mind and the endless possibilities of the Internet, it’s easy to see that the digital economy is here, and it is defining my generation.

Lately we’ve all read articles proclaiming that “the digital economy and the economy are becoming one in the same. The lines are being blurred.” While this may be true, Millennials do not see this distinction. To us, it’s just the economy. Everything we do happens in the abstract digital economy – we shop digitally, get our news digitally, communicate digitally, and we take pictures digitally. In fact, the things that we don’t do digitally are few and far between.

Millennial disruption: How to get our attention in the digital economy

In this fast-moving, highly technical era, innovation and technology are ubiquitous, forcing companies to deliver immediate value to consumers. This principle is ingrained in us – it’s stark reality. One day, a brand is a world leader, promising incredible change. Then just a few weeks later, it disappears. Millennials view leaders of the emerging (digital) economy as scrappy, agile, and comfortable making decisions that disrupt the norm, and that may or may not pan out.

What does it take to earn the attention of Millennials? Here are three things you should consider:

1. Millennials appreciate innovations that reinvent product delivery and service to make life better and simpler.

Uber, Vimeo, ASOS, and Apple are some of the most successful disruptors in the current digital economy. Why? They took an already mature market and used technology to make valuable connections with their Millennial customers. These companies did not invent a new product – they reinvented the way business is done within the economy. They knew what their consumers wanted before they realized it.

Millennials thrive on these companies. In fact, we seek them out and expect them to create rapid, digital changes to our daily lives. We want to use the products they developed. We adapt quickly to the changes powered by their new ideas or technologies. With that being said, it’s not astonishing that Millennials feel the need to connect regularly and digitally.

2. It’s not technology that captures us – it’s the simplicity that technology enables.

Recently, McKinsey & Company revealed that “CEOs expect 15%–50% of their companies’ future earnings to come from disruptive technology.” Considering this statistic, it may come as a surprise to these executives that buzzwords – including cloud, diversity, innovation, the Internet of Things, and future of work – does not resonate with us. Sure, we were raised on these terms, but it’s such a part of our culture that we do not think about it. We expect companies to deeply embed this technology now.

What we really crave is technology-enabled simplicity in every aspect of our lives. If something is too complicated to navigate, most of us stop using the product. And why not? It does not add value if we cannot use it immediately.

Many experts claim that this is unique to Millennials, but it truly isn’t. It might just be more obvious and prevalent with us. Some might translate our never-ending desire for simplicity into laziness. Yet striving to make daily activities simpler with the use of technology has been seen throughout history. Millennials just happen to be the first generation to be completely reliant on technology, simplicity, and digitally powered “personal” connections.

3. Millennials keep an eye on where and how the next technology revolution will begin.

Within the next few years Millennials will be the largest generation in the workforce. As a result, the onslaught of coverage on the evolution of technology will most likely be phased out. While the history of technology is significant for our predecessors, this not an overly important story for Millennials because we have not seen the technology evolution ourselves. For us, the digital revolution is a fact of life.

Companies like SAP, Amazon, and Apple did not invent the wheel. Rather, they were able to create a new digital future. For a company to be successful, senior leaders must demonstrate a talent for R&D genius as well as fortune-telling. They need to develop easy-to-use, brilliantly designed products, market them effectively to the masses, and maintain their product elite. It’s not easy, but the companies that upend an entire industry are successfully balancing these tasks.

Disruption can happen anywhere and at any time. Get ready!

Across every industry, big players are threatened — not only by well-known competitors, but by small teams sitting in a garage drafting new ideas that could turn the market upside down. In reality, anyone, anywhere, at any time can cause disruption and bring an idea to life.

Take my employer SAP, for example. With the creation of SAP S/4HANA, we are disrupting the tech market as we help our customers engage in digital transformation. By removing data warehousing and enabling real-time operations, companies are reimagining their future. Organizations such as La Trobe University, the NFL, and Adidas have made it easy to understand and conceptualize the effects using data in real time. But only time will tell whether Millennials will ever realize how much disruption was needed to get where we are today.

Find out how SAP Services & Support you can minimize the impact of disruption and maximize the success of your business. Read SAP S/4HANA customer success stories, visit the SAP Services HUB, or visit the customer testimonial page on SAP.com.

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About Julia Caruso

Julia Caruso is a Global Audience Marketing Specialist at SAP. She is responsible for developing strategic digital media plans and working with senior executives to create high level content for SAP S/4HANA and SAP Activate.

Robots: Job Destroyers or Human Partners? [INFOGRAPHIC]

Christopher Koch

Robots: Job Destroyers or Human Partners? [INFOGRAPHIC]

To learn more about how humans and robots will co-evolve, read the in-depth report Bring Your Robot to Work.

Download the PDF (91KB)

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About Christopher Koch

Christopher Koch is the Editorial Director of the SAP Center for Business Insight. He is an experienced publishing professional, researcher, editor, and writer in business, technology, and B2B marketing. Share your thoughts with Chris on Twitter @Ckochster.

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What Is The Key To Rapid Innovation In Healthcare?

Paul Clark

Healthcare technology has already made incredible advancements, but digital transformation of the healthcare industry is still considered in its infancy. According to the SAP eBook, Connected Care: The Digital Pulse of Global Healthcare, the possibilities and opportunities that lie ahead for the Internet of Healthcare Things (IoHT) are astounding.

Many health organizations recognize the importance of going digital and have already deployed programs involving IoT, cloud, Big Data, analytics, and mobile technologies. However, over the last decade, investments in many e-health programs have delivered only modest returns, so the progress of healthcare technology has been slow out of the gate.

What’s slowing the pace of healthcare innovation?

In the past, attempts at rapid innovation in healthcare have been bogged down by a slew of stakeholders, legacy systems, and regulations that are inherent to the industry. This presents some Big Data challenges with connected healthcare, such as gathering data from disparate silos of medical information. Secrecy is also an ongoing challenge, as healthcare providers, researchers, pharmaceutical companies, and academic institutions tend to protect personal and proprietary data. These issues have caused enormous complexity and have delayed or deterred attempts to build fully integrated digital healthcare systems.

So what is the key to rapid innovation?

According to the Connected Care eBook, healthcare organizations can overcome these challenges by using new technologies and collaborating with other players in the healthcare industry, as well as partners outside of the industry, to get the most benefit out of digital technology.

To move forward with digital transformation in healthcare, there is a need for digital architectures and platforms where a number of different technologies can work together from both a technical and a business perspective.

The secret to healthcare innovation: connected health platforms

New platforms are emerging that foster collaboration between different technologies and healthcare organizations to solve complex medical system challenges. These platforms can support a broad ecosystem of partners, including developers, researchers, and healthcare organizations. Healthcare networks that are connected through this type of technology will be able to accelerate the development and delivery of innovative, patient-centered solutions.

Platforms and other digital advancements present exciting new business opportunities for numerous healthcare stakeholders striving to meet the increasing expectations of tech-savvy patients.

The digital evolution of the healthcare industry may still be in its infancy, but it is growing up fast as new advancements in technology quickly develop. Are you ready for the next phase of digital transformation in the global healthcare industry?

For an in-depth look at how technology is changing the face of healthcare, download the SAP eBook Connected Care: The Digital Pulse of Global Healthcare.

See how the digital era is affecting the business environment in the SAP eBook The Digital Economy: Reinventing the Business World.

Discover the driving forces behind digital transformation in the SAP eBook Digital Disruption: How Digital Technology is Transforming Our World.

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About Paul Clark

Paul Clark is the Senior Director of Technology Partner Marketing at SAP. He is responsible for developing and executing partner marketing strategies, activities, and programs in joint go-to-market plans with global technology partners. The goal is to increase opportunities, pipeline, and revenue through demand generation via SAP's global and local partner ecosystems.