It’s time to start integrating Employee Workforce Analysis into company culture. If we don’t assess the workforce, we will not know which skills are lacking nor be able to identify any potential for development. Regions undergoing a transition in their industrial base often face an increased skilled shortage in emerging sectors of activity. Decreasing employment of skilled workers in traditional jobs is another problem with which they are confronted with, and this leads to a situation where attractive jobs with better remuneration and working conditions are available but remain vacant due to the lack of skilled employees. In order to fill these jobs, employee workforce analysis is essential and skilled workers from traditional occupations need to be retrained and upskilled in order to ensure that the labour force corresponds to the demanded skill set.
Types of assessment
The type of assessments that will need to be carried out more frequently are skill needs assessments, forecast and foresight exercises because they will provide information that will enable companies to effectively tailor the offer of education and training programmes to local needs, thereby helping to generate more successful transition outcomes.
These assessments will not be able to completely eradicate the skill set shortages and job mismatches, as both are inevitable in an ever-changing labour market. However, with the willingness to change and learn we can reduce their incidence, via improved career services, better co-ordination between the labour market and the education system, more offers for work-based training and addressing rigid wage-setting and employment protection legislation that prevents workers and firms from adjusting to mismatches.
The 3 types of jobs and the sectors that are creating more jobs
It has been said that there will be 3 types of jobs, categorised by the percentage of codifiable tasks within the role:
- Jobs that will disappear (these have lost the race against the machine). For example, clerks and administrative staff, or truck drivers.
- Jobs that are in collaboration with machines/algorithms (these run with the machine). For example, professions that rely on cognitive and social capabilities, such as doctors/surgeons.
- Jobs that are completely new or remain largely untouched (these run faster than the machine or are running a different race). For example, roles in the creative arts (unlikely to be automated), as are new roles that involve managing data and machines.
With regard to the third point – these types of jobs are within newly emerging sectors and are creating more jobs. The following list is of the sectors that are creating more jobs:
- Cyber Security
- Software Development
- Data and AI
- Product Development
- Cloud Computing
- Content Production
- People and Culture
- Product Development
Figure 22 depicts the leading positions in rising demand such as Data Analysts and Scientists, as well as AI and Machine Learning Specialists. However, there are newly emerging roles such as Process Automation Specialists and Information Security Analysts among a cohort of roles which are seeing growing demand from employers. The emergence of these roles reflects the acceleration of automation and the resurgence of cybersecurity risks.
Figure 29 demonstrates the types of insights that can guide job transitions through to appropriate upskilling. It presents the set of high-growth, emerging roles that are currently covered by the Data and AI job cluster, and the typical skills gap between source and destination professions when workers have moved into those roles over the past five years.
Necessary soft skills for the transition from declining to emerging sectors
Employee workforce analysis will allow the soft skills (personal and career attributes that enable effective and harmonious interaction) that are lacking in growing sectors to be identified. Additionally, it will license a smoother transition of skilled workers from diminishing to emerging sectors.
It is important to note that according to LinkedIn Learning data, managers spend 30% more time learning soft skills than the average learner. Therefore, soft skills in certain cases are just as important as hard skills to recruiters. Moreover, according to the World Economic Forum in their Future of Jobs Report 2020, self-management skills such as mindfulness, meditation, gratitude and kindness were among the top 10 focus areas of those in employment.
The necessary soft skills that are required for this transition of employees from areas of decline to areas of growth, differ between specialised sectors. However, the following list highlights the most common soft skills across the board:
- Analytical thinking
- Effective social and communication skills
- Strategic vision
- Leadership skills
- Cognitive skills (e.g. numeracy and literacy)
- Management skills
- Information and communication technology (ICT) skills
- Emotional intelligence
- Readiness to learn
- Communication, creativity, problem-solving and interpersonal interaction – (SME)
- Innovation-related transversal skills – (Large firms)
The set of skills which are in demand across multiple emerging professions are demonstrated in Figure 28. Among these ‘cross-cutting’ skills are specialized skills in Product Marketing, Management Consulting and Artificial Intelligence.
Figure 27 shows the top skills and skill groups which employers see as rising in prominence in the lead up to 2025. Skill groups such as critical thinking and analysis as well as problem-solving have consistently remained at the top of the agenda over the years. Skills that are newly emerging this year are in self-management such as active learning, resilience, stress tolerance and flexibility.
The importance of skills assessments
In conclusion, employee workforce analysis is so important in the ever-changing labour market because these skills assessments will identify the skills of a team in the workplace and then match their skills with new roles and opportunities available in that sector, whilst also identifying the new skills needed in order to succeed in their new role. Upskilling is more important than ever and skilled workers in specific areas need to be identified, so that the correct talent can occupy unfilled vacancies and new roles identified by these assessments. Thus, employee workforce analysis must be an integral part of the business in its entirety.
Benefits for all
Once the essential skills for these emerging sectors from the employee workforce analysis assessments are identified, employees can start to upskill. Improving the skill sets in the workplace has a myriad of benefits for workers, firms and the local economy as a whole:
- For workers, upskilling can result in greater job satisfaction and well-being, increased job quality and higher wages.
- From an employer’s perspective, better skills use can improve the retention of workers, reduce turnover and ultimately improve the productivity of the firm as well as create a greater employee engagement and improved relations between management and workers.
- Finally, from a local economic development perspective, workers that use their skills in the workplace, especially in non-routine tasks, are less vulnerable to potential offshoring of economic production. Improving skills use can also result in potential gains in aggregate productivity at the national level across many OECD countries.