Why Megatrends are Creating Headaches for Employers

A recent report, “The Global Future of Work – The Future Labor Force“, has identified a number of megatrends that have the potential for creating a messy future for employers.

Various Megatrends Affecting Employers

Aging population

According to the study the first megatrend is that an aging populations will greatly influence 2025’s labor market, extending retirement ages, potentially creating labor shortages, and increasing the older-age population burden for prime-age workers. This aging population will be particularly pronounced in Western Europe and Japan, though other reading I have done indicates that China will not be immune. This combination of trends will require that employers radically change whom they hire. More women will have to be hired, a radical departure for many cultures. It will also require employers to hire more immigrants. This in turn will force countries to change their immigration policies, yet another megatrend. According to the report “Global competition over high-skill laborers is forcing some countries to rewrite immigration policies and other countries to incentivize talent retention. These trends will intensify through 2025.” Much of the pressure to do so is coming from stressed employers.

Changing nature of work

Forcing more pressure on employers is the changing demand of how people work. With over half of the billion people on earth being Millennials the change to “freelance” workers is requiring many companies to be far more adaptable in how they structure their labor force. It will require more creative ways to get work done using an “on-demand” method. It will require and ease with technology and automation. Even HR may have to find a different way of working, as I wrote in Future Friday: Will there be an Uber HR be in our future? I suggest that many companies may move away from having an HR department to using on-demand HR specialists to get work done, leaving just a “core” HR group.

What skills will be needed?

What skills will business managers and the core HR group need to be able to make the best of a potential messy situation? I think there are a number of skills that will be key to navigating the coming megatrend mess. These are:

  • Adaptability- things are going to change, and if you are uncomfortable with that you lose.
  • Ability to think outside the norm. Don’t think outside the box, blow up the box.
  • Creativity- structures and methods of today will most likely not work.
  • Tech savvy- your next best workers may not be people, even in HR

What else would you add to this list? What are you preparing for today? Let us know in the comment section below.

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Mike Haberman

Michael (Mike) D. Haberman, SPHR is a consultant, speaker, writer of HR Observations, and co-founder of Omega HR Solutions, Inc. After over 30 years in HR he got tired of the past and focuses here on the Future of HR. Connect with Mike.


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