Skills gap has HR thinking beyond the traditional workforce
- The skills gap is forcing HR professionals to look beyond traditional sources for talent to, for example, contingent workers, according to a new UpWork study, the 2018 Future Workforce HR Report.
- Sixty-two percent of HR managers surveyed said talent shortages are forcing them to embrace a more flexible workforce to fill positions, and many said hiring is more challenging now than it was in the past. In other key results, 78% of HR managers said they believe skills will become more specialized, and 61% predict that most of today's jobs won't exist 10 years from now. Seventy percent said they're already using flexible talent, including agency personnel, freelancers and temp workers, and a similar amount think agile teams will be the norm in coming years.
- And as work evolves, UpWork said it believes employers will rely less on job descriptions and focus more on projects, skills and capabilities. "This will require greater flexibility and innovative thinking from hiring teams to ensure that they have the most qualified people to move their business forward," said Zoe Harte, SVP of HR and talent innovation at Upwork, in a statement.
Studies on the future of work generally predict that workers will require new skills to survive in the predicted impending technological disruption. Some say that, as a result, employers will focus less on candidates' credentials and more on their skills, without regard to where and how they were obtained. Others note that employers may need to focus on candidates with the right soft skills and train them on technical skills.
Today, however, the skills gap and low unemployment continue to serve as barriers for employers looking for the right talent. Similar to UpWork's findings, a Randstad Sourceright study shows a shift toward contingent workers. Employers say the move allows them to adjust their staffing levels according to market changes, which keeps them agile. The challenges, however, include finding ways to appropriately manage, engage and support them without rendering them "employees" in the eyes of the law.