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I'm the founder of FutureWork IQ where I spend my time assisting businesses to design digital workplaces or “offices in the cloud.” These environments enable companies to allow flexible and remote working for their teams. I also teach the digital literacy, fluency, communication and collaboration skills needed to work in these modern technology-rich workplaces.

Last month at the World Economic Forum in Davos The Future of Jobs report was released. In essence the report is all about the employment trends created by The Fourth Industrial Revolution. As the introduction to the report states:

“The World Economic Forum’s Future of Jobs Report seeks to understand the current and future impact of key disruptions on employment levels, skill sets and recruitment patterns in different industries and countries. It does so by asking the Chief Human Resources Officers (CHROs) of today’s largest employers to imagine how jobs in their industry will change up to the year 2020.”

The impact on the Fourth Industrial Revolution is already being felt across the world and, of course, South Africa is not an exception. This graphic shows the time frame this has to impact industries and business models.

FFuture of Jobs 2018-2020

The following observation is made “the impact of technological, demographic and socio-economic disruptions on business models will be felt in transformations to the employment landscape and skills requirements, resulting in substantial challenges for recruiting, training and managing talent.” The report then adds: “Not anticipating and addressing such issues in a timely manner over the coming years may come at an enormous economic and social cost for businesses, individuals and societies as a whole.”

It is really interesting to see the strategies South African businesses are going to use to make sure they are not disrupted by the coming tsunami of change. Here are their strategies indicated by percentage:

  1. Invest in re-skilling current employees (56%)
  2. Target female talent (32%)
  3. Support mobility and job rotation (32%)
  4. Attract foreign talent (16%)
  5. Offer apprenticeships (12%)
  6. Collaborate with educational institutions (12%)
  7. Target minorities’ talent (12%)

It is interesting to see what emphasis is being given by business overall and how this compares to South African business.

future workforce

One thing is for sure each business will need to carefully consider what they will individually do in order to future-proof their business from the change on it’s way. If you look at these lists, what is your company’s strategy going to be? What is your personal strategy going to be. The report highlighted these areas for immediate focus.

  • Reinventing the HR Function
  • Making Use of Data Analytics
  • Talent Diversity
  • Leveraging flexible working arrangements and online talent platforms