Massive digital disruption. Thrilling tech advances. Unpredictable market forces, globalization, and the gig economy. Radically altered business structures. All of these forces are shaping our lives and workplaces dramatically. This is what we found in our research for the 2020 Open Assembly Future of Work Trends Report. Download a copy here.
The year 2020 and beyond will be an exciting time for open talent. The open talent market is growing rapidly. In fact, nearly $126.3 billion was spent in the global open talent economy in 2018, including $7.8 billion in B2B. Along with this shift, work is increasingly defined by the outputs and problems the workforce solves, teams and relationships, tools and technology that automate and enhance work, and integrated worker development and learning.
Businesses that are welcoming or forming around these shifts are thriving.
Skills gaps are widening
It’s no secret that as tech advances it creates a shortage in needed skillsets and talent. It’s been estimated that 85% of the jobs that will be required in 2030 do not yet exist. Despite efforts, a great number of organizations are scrambling to adapt their workforce fast enough to keep up.
Businesses face the challenge of reinventing jobs while attracting talent to fill skills gaps created by rapid advances in technology. Most struggle to up-skill or re-skill existing workers to meet new skills needs. According to the World Economic Forum, more than half of all U.S. employees will require significant re-skilling and up-skilling in just three years. Open talent models help bridge those skills gaps.
AI is huge, but won’t replace human skills like curation, integration, empathy
Although IT, data, AI, and automation are radically shifting jobs, the future of work is still uniquely human. In a recent study, 74% of executives planned to implement AI to automate tasks in the next three years, but 97% say they will use AI to enhance worker capabilities.
The next 10 years will be all about integrating technology with human intelligence, so that tech and human capabilities augment one another. Technology will make some jobs obsolete but transform others, and to create and elevate roles that require uniquely human skills such as curation, integration, problem-solving, imagination, curiosity, and empathy.
Independent work is the new norm
The alternative or independent workforce is no longer alternative, it is mainstream. By some estimates 40% of the U.S. workforce now works on a freelance or contract basis and two-thirds of Millennial and Gen Z workers have a “side hustle.” In a recent Gallup study of U.S. workers published by the New York Times, about 64% of respondents were employed in a traditional one-to-one employee-employer arrangement. The other 34% held multiple jobs or had income from one or more self-employment arrangements. Wow.
Open talent communities are thriving. More and more businesses are taking advantage of specialized B2B talent networks and platforms that make it easy for them to hire for the skills they need exactly when then need them. Smart businesses are acquiring, investing in, or developing closer relationships with key open talent communities and platforms.
Blend independent and in-house talent for the win
Open talent doesn’t solve everything, but businesses that are taking a team-oriented, challenge focused, and flexible approach to talent are seeing big gains. We’re moving away from slower, hierarchical 20th-century business structures into an era when flexible and open talent models will reshape the way work gets done.
Time and time again we see that the best strategies prioritize cross-pollination and partnerships. Now is a great time for businesses to develop open talent ecosystems to access top-level skills with the flexibility to scale up or down as needed.