- A new report from market research firm Forrester predicts that those employers that lag behind in attracting critical digital talent will wind up paying up to 20% above market salary rates for new hires with particularly in-demand skills — a group that includes data scientists, high-end software developers and information security analysts — in 2018.
- The firm also predicts that 30% of companies will see declines in customer experience (CX), 20% of CEOs will put their companies at risk by not acting on digital transformation and 10% of firms will see profits from investing in cybersecurity.
- Automation will alter the labor market by eliminating 9% of U.S. jobs and creating 2% more, Forrester says. That shift will disproportionately impact specific sectors like sales and call center employees and administrative workers. Additionally, advancements in LED lighting will enable employers to make better use of office space, increasing workers' well-being and productivity. Employers will also spend 3% more on 'micro apps' for employees.
Digital leaders have already scooped up most of the talent they need, and those firms that have lagged behind face an even greater challenge to catch up. Employers in need of particular roles will need to alter how they approach everything from recruitment to pay and workplace culture to close the gap.
Employers cite worker engagement as a priority, but only 32% of employees feel engaged, Forrester said. HR might need to review how their organizations are handling recognition, development, flexible work schedules, employee well-being, self-service mobile access to benefits and other programs that rate high with workers. Disengagement costs U.S. employers an estimated $500 million a year in lost productivity, according to a recent study by Mental Health America and the Faas Foundation.
Business leaders say they plan to adopt artificial intelligence (AI) and other technologies to become more customer-oriented and efficient, but many struggle with taking the next step in the costly transformation. The Forrester report says that by not acting, they could be putting their companies at risk for a takeover or perish.
Forrester reported last month and reiterated in their predictions that the skills gap is overblown. The firm says the talent scarcity applies to only a few tech specialists, namely high-end software developers, information security analysts and data scientists. HR may need to turn to tech-friendly recruiting processes and reform talent pipelines in order to keep up in a job market with low unemployment.