How to prepare your workforce for 2030

By Robert Half on 1 January 2024

No one can predict the future with complete accuracy.

But emerging tech innovations, from IoT to 3D printing to artificial intelligence (AI), and the digital transformation efforts now underway across many industries can provide strong clues as to what we can expect from the workplace within the next decade — and how digital recruitment needs will evolve to meet changing demands and trends.

Key trends to impact the workplace

The gig economy and digital transformation

Many businesses are already embracing flexible staffing models, so they can engage specialised IT professionals for as long as needed on a project. Employers will likely need to rely even more on “gig workers” due to changing workforce demographics, growing reliance on applications, and more.

The rise of the Agile workforce

To fuel their digital transformation efforts and other business projects, more companies are applying the Agile methodology or similar work processes to initiatives beyond the software development life cycle. That trend is already driving demand for IT professionals who understand Agile practices and can work collaboratively in a fast-paced environment.

Future roles in-demand

Some of the future essential IT roles that will need to be filled include:

Data analyst

As the Internet of Things (IoT) grows, and as more devices and sensors become interconnected, the volume of data — including data generated by and collected from users and machines — is only going to expand.

To help manage it, make sense of it and derive value from it, businesses will need skilled statisticians who can work with large data sets.

IoT and cloud security specialist

As companies move fully to the cloud and adopt IoT technologies, they will need experts who can help them define security strategies, set policies for and help to implement IoT, cloud and mobility initiatives.

IoT and cloud security specialists will need to work closely with IT and business leaders to ensure that solutions meet security and compliance requirements, as well as support digital objectives around the IoT and the cloud.

Front-end web developer

Many businesses, as part of their digital transformation efforts, are or will be updating or building front-facing digital assets, such as websites, with responsive design so that they look elegant and provide a positive experience for users across all devices.

Such work requires front-end web developers who are skilled at responsive web development, HTML5, CSS3, AngularJS and jQuery, and Angular programming.

How to prepare your workforce

1. Communication

When it comes to digital disruption, which is now a constant state in most organizations, ongoing communication is vital. When a company is in a period of transition, uncertainty can easily breed rumors, resentment and stress among workers. That’s partly because change can make employees feel insecure about their jobs.

Underscoring how new technologies, like RPA and AI, can free up time to focus on more challenging, interesting and impactful projects will help workers embrace change.

2. Give workers the opportunity to evolve their skills

A big part of preparing the workforce of the future is retraining and reskilling your employees. Providing team members with access to new technologies and the associated training to use them in their jobs can give companies a recruiting, retention and performance boost.

3. Let go of yesterday’s approaches to learning

Developing your workers so they can stay relevant in the workforce of the future will require you to rethink how you train and develop them. Continuous learning — encouraging employees to keep growing their knowledge and skills and providing them with the support and resources to do so — is a more effective strategy in a rapidly changing technology and business environment.

So, too, are mobile learning programs and tools, which allow employees, including remote workers, to expand their skills from anywhere.

What’s your staffing strategy for 2030?

With 2030 nearing around, hiring managers need to establish a clear and viable strategy when it comes to recruiting for their future digital initiatives and transformation efforts.

Part of this challenge will be facing an already existing issue of a lack of IT talent available in China.

Regardless of current market dynamics or future uncertainty, tech hiring managers, and IT leaders, should start thinking now about the skills and knowledge their organisation might require in the not-so-distant future.

It’s never too soon to start building a pipeline of qualified tech professionals you might someday have an opportunity to hire, or to develop and train your current IT staff so they’ll be ready to meet new challenges.

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