05/27/2016 03:59 EDT | Updated 05/28/2017 05:12 EDT

Why The World Of Employment Will Never Be The Same

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In recent years, the world of employment has evolved to such an extent that it will never be the same. The workforce is aging, new technologies are changing the way we do things, globalization reduces the effects of borders and the availability of information promotes competitiveness. These conditions have triggered several significant changes that are transforming the employment industry.

Access To Millions Of Jobs

Since the web opens unlimited access to millions of available jobs, as well as in many countries, it is easy for anyone who wishes to do so, to find new employment opportunities, to compare them and apply.

The abundance of choices job seekers have, even encourages some employers to stand out from the competition. Companies can also be reluctant to devote resources for training employees who could decide at any time to leave and join the team of a competitor.

However, since there are already talent shortages in many professions, the need to keep employees triggers the creation of talent acquisition policies to encourage the retention of employees. Moreover, it is expected that there will soon be more important investments made in staff training. This will be seen firstly in the contribution of employers who provide learning and career progression opportunities to attract workers, and secondly, in the transfer of competencies needed to address the large-scale retirement of baby boomers.

A Job For Life? It's Over!

Rather than trying to hold on to a job for life, today's workers expect to change employers several times to advance their career. To ensure their onward progression, employees will develop their skills, experience and expertise to continue to achieve better results and stay competitive.

Now professionals with rare and coveted talents have greater bargaining power. In many cases, it is they who dictate the rules and can request better compensation and more favorable working conditions. For workers with common skills, it's the opposite because they often feel at their employers mercy since that are easily replaceable.

The Status of Workers is Evolving

More and more permanent jobs are giving way to freelance work that allows a growing number of workers unprecedented flexibility. This phenomenon is leading to the disappearance of rigid schedules, decentralization of expertise and simplifying work methods, especially in the tertiary sector.

Companies will sometimes form working teams dedicated to developing products, services, and other markets. Resources are allocated to team members as well as targets and timetables. At the end of a project, teams are dismantled, and their members assigned to other duties or projects according to their status.

New Collaborative Models

The rapid development of new technologies facilitates the emergence of new models for the labor market. In some cases, automation and artificial intelligence are already replacing positions. According to the OECD half of all current jobs could be substituted by computers and algorithms in the next 10 to 20 years.

The sharing economy sparked the creation of collaborative platforms of various kinds to address different issues. Whether for project management, sharing ideas, or the use of external expertise, collaboration models are increasing rapidly.

There is also a torrent of creativity that revolutionizes the way workers collaborate. Whereas the generation Z fits into this mold with perfect ease, the challenge is more difficult for previous generations who adapt more slowly. The technology gap has never been greater between new workers gradually entering the labor market and those nearing retirement.

The Digitalization Of Human Resources

Employers gradually refine their human resource management. They can now shift into "sophisticated technology" mode with many innovative tools available.

Their main ally comes from the proliferation of digital data that allows them to optimize the acquisition and retention of talent. Through judicious use of data, they can source the best talent for a position, and with predictive analysis, correct harmful trends that they would not have detected previously.

HR strategies are being refined, becoming more consistent with the specific needs of individual companies since they have better tools than ever to recognize the skills and identify the requirements of their workers.

The big changes that we have witnessed in recent years will continue to give way to a growing trend in the labor market. For some, this new era may be difficult while for others it will be good news.

For workers and for businesses, in many cases it will be necessary to use external resources to address the many challenges of the market that is moving forward at an accelerated pace with the digital age.

Typically, major changes bring their share of uncertainties and surprises. However, if managed correctly, they open the way to a successful future.

By Sonia Desrosiers

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