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The No-Collar Workforce

No Visa. No Problem: Jobs Go Global

The future is people working with technology

"You can build a wall but technology will climb right over it. Job protectionism in the age of Automation is futile. "

Tracy Levine, Forbes Coaches Council Tweet

According to Ravin Jesuthasan Managing Director and Global Practice Leader, Willis Towers Watson:

  • There is a lack of adequate metrics available to companies for measuring the value of talent and return on investment in employees
  • Investments in the workforce are often misrepresented as detrimental to budgets with no recognition of the value they create

When companies cannot measure the value of something in the balance sheet but need the labor, they get busy finding a cheaper way of getting the work done.  In the past, this resulted in offshoring jobs to take advantage of hiring employees who cost less.  COVID and the Global shutdown of the workforce changed everything, but changed nothing.  Automation was coming, but COVID accelerated the timeline for implementation and the realignment of workforce skills.

The world is changing quickly. As news comes out daily about layoffs, the new superjobs, and the need to reskill, it’s hard to keep up with the latest developments and hard to parse all of the information coming our way. Combine that with a constant stream of experts on ‘how to get hired’ that on the surface contradict each other, it can be overwhelming.  It’s natural to feel unsure of the right steps to take today, let alone tomorrow or next week for finding a job.

Professionals understand that they should be adapting and optimizing their competitiveness.  We can see that something is coming, but sometimes it is hard to wrap our minds around the change.  It is normal to think ‘it’ has always been that way and will always be some version of the past but slightly altered.

With technology, Visas are no longer a major barrier to overcome for hiring globally.  A clear understanding of trends and their impact creates a solid foundation for understanding why many jobs are going to be advertised to a Global Candidate pool. 

Trend 1: From Cheap Labor to Automation

Automation initiatives that reduce human labor have gained traction for the past 18 months.   COVID has accelerated the adoption.  According to Gartner, the scale and velocity of adoption, since COVID, is “triggering massive skill shifts, with over 58% of workforces reporting skill transformation.”   Even pre-COVID, on average it was estimated that 42% of the core skills within roles were expected to change by 2022.  Everyone will be required to reskill and increase technical and digital skills, as Legacy Jobs continue to decline.

Trend 2: From White Collar Workers to No-Collar Workers

Deloitte originally coined the term no-collar workforce in 2018 to describe a workforce where humans and technology work side by side.  Technology will no longer be an IT job skill, but an everybody skill.  Employees will need to understand the technologies used, their capabilities and adjacencies, their strategic and operational value, and the particular possibilities they enable.

Trend 3: From Country Bound to Global Jobs

The trend of unfilled positions will continue as corporations try to address the need for 1 billion workers to be upskilled.  According to a Pre-COVID Korn Ferry Study, “left unchecked, in 2030 that talent shortage could result in about $8.5 trillion in unrealized annual revenues.”  Companies will be increasingly inclined to broaden the geography of their talent searches.  

The almost overnight switch to work from home has helped shatter long term beliefs that people are more productive in an office.  According to Kate Smaje, a senior partner and global co-leader of McKinsey Digital, “Business leaders are saying that they’ve accomplished in 10 days what used to take them 10 months.”  The barriers to recruiting for individual jobs globally continue to decrease.

What YOU will need to be a Globally Competitive Candidate

Relevance is Not Random

It is really quite simple.  Embrace reskilling.  Eighty-Two Percent of all job openings already require digital and technology skills. 

 The most in-demand digital and technical skills according to LinkedIn are:

  1. Blockchain
  2. Cloud Computing
  3. Analytical Reasoning
  4. Artificial Intelligence
  5. UX Design
  6. Business Analysis
  7. Affiliate Marketing
  8. Sales
  9. Scientific Computing
  10. Video Production

It is easy to see the list and think “This doesn’t apply to my situation.” But it does. For example, if you are someone who completed your Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Certification before 2019, you have a skills gap. Blockchain and cryptocurrency questions were added to the CFA exam starting in 2019.

Even if an employer is hiring for a legacy job and has to decide between a dozen or so equally qualified candidates, they will want to see something to help them make a decision.  Digital certifications and badges that showcase upskilling and reskilling will create a competitive advantage in a global market.

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