For the next decade, unemployment rates may be low and we will run out of workers. People are living longer and working lesser number of hours. The population in the US is not growing, by 2030 Americans over the age of 65 will make up 20% of the population, and people over the age of 55 will constitute the fastest growing segment of workers. Fertility rates in the US is now 1.6, it was 3.5 in 1960. Young families in the US are not having enough children. The boon is that we have a record low unemployment rate, internal and global mobility and new ways of working through phones and tablets.
In the United states, retirement costs will go up due to the aging population and this will in turn slow the economy. Automation in the form of AI, Big data, RPA will fix the economy and help the growth. There is a massive skill gap and skill inequity which can be fixed by retraining professionals, hiring people with the potential to grow and train them , create internships to get young talent or reskill people inside the company to advance in their careers. There is an alternative workforce and since the last decade the number of 1099s and part time checks have gone up by 34%. According to the latest study by Upwork, 42% of people under the age of 35 are now freelancers. The service industry is booming and Uber, Lyft and Upwork are part-time alternate options for people.
How can HR be prepared for this Talent shortage?
- Look for opportunities to retrain and re skill the older workers so that they are prepared for the new work roles and extend their tenure in the company. Re-careering is now a trend in HR.
- Microsoft actively recruits interns and trains college students as interns. AMC theaters and many retailers no longer look for grads, they recruit based on personality, attitude and communication. Pedigree is now becoming less important.
- Focus on building soft skills, team building not just technical skills at work. Communication and collaboration are the key skill required in many jobs.
- HR should discuss about Team structure, team building and apps like Microsoft Teams should be used to promote collaboration and work processes.
- HR should value their workers as an asset and not just payroll costs. They should also think of the alternative workforce.
The employee experience along with efficiency and productivity can be enhanced using integrated HR and payroll systems so that information is available online and there is one source of truth leading to employee satisfaction and retention.