The Future of Talent

24th February 2017

Posted In: The Topic | WMB Careers

The Future of Talent the definitive paper for 2017 on finding top talent and ensuring they operate at their best, was launched recently at a special HR forum hosted by Cpl in The Science Gallery, TCD. The paper is written by Cpl’s Future of Work Institute, in collaboration with clients and candidates, to identify future work trends and support companies in future proofing their workplaces.

The Future of Work Institute was set up in 2014 by Cpl with the objective of identifying future work trends and supporting companies in future proofing their workplaces regarding finding talent, succession planning and in informing strategic business plans

Some of the key findings of the white paper include:

Clients believe over 20% of jobs may be performed by machines in 20 years’ time. Machines are rapidly advancing on many routine human tasks – and this will only increase exponentially in the coming years. Clients are already preparing themselves for the advance of robots, machines and Artificial Intelligence. The good news is that there are plenty of jobs for humans and many of the jobs being taken focus more on processing and repetitive tasks. However, it highlights the importance for companies in looking at their talent strategy with machines and Artificial Intelligence in mind.

As machines take over some jobs there is a huge focus on the best talent. With the growth in technology across all areas of business the power of the good idea is critical to business success and therefore the demand for top talent has reached an all-time competitive high with huge premiums paid for those creative and innovative employees. With companies like Airbnb becoming market leaders within ten years of their birth, and with more companies being disrupted by new ideas, the power of the idea has never been more important to ensure companies future proof their workplace.

Diversity becomes one of the critical focuses for 2017 as creativity becomes of vital importance. 2017 seems to be the year when a diverse workforce begins to become a business necessity as opposed to a ‘nice-to-have’.  All research has pointed to diverse teams and diverse workforces delivering better results to the bottom line. A diverse business is now a necessity and access to talent from around the globe is now making this more achievable.

Working from anywhere helps access talent around the world but causes problems for management. It is one thing to find the best talent but holding on to the best is becoming more and more difficult. With millennials approaching 50% of the workforce in only three years’ time it is imperative that organisations change how they work. Working flexibly and from anywhere is becoming more desirable but also opens up a lot more potential talent to your organisation. This, however, can pose a challenge for management used to seeing all their staff in the office on a nine-to-five basis.

Older workers are still discriminated against in job searching even though they are more necessary given the declining birth rate.  There is a prominent generation gap in the workplace. Older workers will make up nearly a quarter of the Irish working population by 2041 yet Irish companies are not prepared for this. Ageism and discrimination is common and the research shows that many companies feel that they are not adequately trained in dealing with older staff in work.

Finally, senior management still talk about the importance of top talent but do not measure this effectively. While we continue to hear from CEOs that people are their most important resource, very few management teams reward their senior executives or their people. Given we manage best what we measure this highlights that the phrase “people are our greatest asset” may still just be an aspiration rather than a plan.

According to Peter Cosgrove, Director of Cpl and founder of the Future of Work Institute in Ireland, “The findings in this paper are an interesting insight into future trends in attracting and managing the workforce.  But it also highlights how employers have a long way to go in future proofing their businesses in order to cater for the new order in workforce diversity, age ranges, locations, and in anticipation of Artificial Intelligence and robots carrying out some duties within employee job specifications or replacing people altogether. Brexit and the Trump presidency also have an impact.”

“Planning for such changes and disruptive forces is key in attracting and retaining productive and happy employees, and the Future of Talent paper offers guidance on how to address these issues.”

Pictured at the launch is Katie Ryan, Head of Research at Cpl’s Future of Work Institute. (Pic: Marc O’Sullivan)