Written By: Wendy Glavin Each year, companies like Gartner, PWC, Deloitte, Forrester, and publications including Harvard Business Review, The New York Times, Forbes and others make predictions about the year’s technology trends. For 2020, these include, AI (and AI-as-a-Service), 5G data networks, personalized and predictive medicine, computer vision, multi experience (virtual, augmented and mixed reality), blockchain technology, hyper automation (ML), robotics, the empowered edge, distributed cloud, digital ethics and privacy, autonomous things and more. Despite technology’s entry into most B2B and B2C industry sectors, many people feel that technology is changing too fast and they can’t keep up. Technology underpins all other sectors of the global economy, but its advancement could be stalled by serious talent problems. Such deficits are already evident, and Korn Ferry research forecasts that by 2030 the labor-skills shortage will reach 4.3 million workers. This is equivalent to 59 times the number of employees of Alphabet GOOGL[NGS] - $1,312.59, Google’s parent company. While the digital revolution often seems unstoppable, it could be about to hit a wall.
Dispelling Hiring MythsToo Old -- Reskilling at scale is a concern and priority for 80 percent of C-suite executives worldwide, according to a McKinsey survey. Reskilling significant portions of the workforce within the next 5-10 years will be required—tens of millions of mid-career, middle-age workers, particularly in advanced economies—with the development of soft skills a key element. Outdated Credentials – People think that if they stopped working for a period of time, they’d no longer relevant in the workforce. If you're thinking this way, think instead about new ways to use your skills, and don’t discount what you’ve learned outside of work. For example, staying at home to raise your children teaches you about negotiation, compromise, multi-tasking, decision-making and other talents. Don’t Discount Experience – Several years ago, a global Canadian organic consumer product goods company was looking to hire a marketing professional to build its presence in the US. One of my colleagues wanted to recommend me, but I didn’t think I had the experience. When I thought about my life skills, however, I remembered living in the south of France where organic farming and products are the norm. Years ago, I represented a candy company which today is the ninth largest in the country. Combined with my ability to speak French, I was hired. My relationship with the agency head in Montreal was a perfect fit. Now, we’re close colleagues and friends.
Adopt a Learning MindsetIn our fast-paced digital era, technology has changed the way we communicate, work, shop and live. To stay relevant, we need to be curious, resilient, agile and adaptable. After decades of research, Dr. Carol S. Dweck, PhD, world-renowned Stanford University psychologist, proves this point in her book, Mindset: The New Psychology of Success. Dr. Dweck defines two ways of thinking—fixed and growth mindsets. People with a fixed mindset believe that their intelligence is fixed, while people with a growth mindset believe abilities can be developed over time. As discussed in Forbes earlier this year by David Villa, Dr. Dweck posits that: "A growth mindset is a mindset that allows information to flow through. People who have a growth mindset tend to be more positive. They understand that intelligence can be developed and added to if needed. They embrace challenges and view them as opportunities for growth." "Those with growth mindsets know that effort is what will lead to learning, and will often learn from criticism from their peers. People with growth mindsets find stories of the success of others to be inspirational. All in all, those who have a growth mindset feel freer in life. They understand that they are in control of who they are as a person, and what they do in life."
The Importance of Soft SkillsWhile hard skills like data science, IT, AI, and automation are in-demand, research suggests that soft skills are equally important since machines can’t replace a human’s social and emotional intelligence. Clearly, skilled talent exists. But, employers need to replace outdated hiring practices and look for people that have the needed skills to work in our ever-changing environment. In fact, The World Economic Forum reports that you need the ten skills listed below to thrive in 2020:
- Complex problem solving.
- Critical thinking.
- People management.
- Coordinating with others.
- Emotional intelligence.
- Judgement and decision making.
- Service orientation.
- Cognitive flexibility.