If you needed any convincing that the future of work is here, this is it: you can now be hired for a job that doesn’t exist yet. It sounds nonsensical, but it’s happening right now. Our recent survey of talent acquisition professionals shows that there has been a real shift towards hiring for skills, rather than for specific jobs.

Indeed in APAC, 59 percent of respondents said they have hired for a specific skill set even if there is not an existing role for the candidate. 78 percent said they’re hiring for roles today that didn’t even exist a year ago.

This shift is in response to the maelstrom of change battering businesses. Technological advances are creating new roles, while other trends, like customer experience, are putting a premium on different skill-sets. Mobility, globalisation and demographic changes also impacting the change or creation of new jobs.

The rapid pace of change means that in order to thrive, businesses need access to skills and expertise that don’t necessarily fit within existing job descriptions. To find the right talent for emerging roles, forward-thinking talent acquisition professionals are looking beyond job titles, focusing instead on the skills needed for future success.

Prepare for the crunch

Already, the labour market in APAC is tight but it’s nothing compared to what’s coming. Korn Ferry research predicts that the demand for talent will far outstrip supply by 2030, with the deficit likely to reach 85.2 million workers. As soon as next year, there will be a shortage of almost 3 million workers in the finance and business services sector alone.

In this environment, it’s essential to understand the existing skill-base among your workforce, identifying the mission-critical strengths and gaps closely tied to the business strategy. This is the first line of defence in preparing for the talent crunch.

Don’t rely on the crystal ball

It’s easy to dismiss these ideas as crystal ball gazing, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. These three very real, non-mystical principles can help re-shape your talent pipeline to meet the coming challenges.

  1. Hire for skills
    As the boundaries between roles blur and meld, existing and previous job titles become less relevant. Instead, the focus should be on soft and transferable skills developed through critical experiences rather than just through years of experience. These are the skills that will help employees be more agile to the changing needs of the business.
  2. Look inside
    As the external labour markets get tighter and tighter, companies must create their own pipelines of skilled talent. Look inside your own walls to find talented people who could be trained to meet the evolving needs of the organisation, today and well into the future.This means knowing your workforce like never before. Talent professionals must gather information on employees at all levels of the organisation, ready to empower leaders to make the right decisions about developing, managing and retaining top talent.
  3. Plan
    Organisations that fail to forecast their talent needs for the future will stumble into the future of work blind to its realities, and without the time to make up lost ground. Yet our survey showed that only 4 percent of respondents in APAC plan their hiring needs for three or more years. With access to more data than ever before, talent professionals need to arm themselves with the insights necessary to develop a long-term talent plan that will position the business for future success.

Read the Talent Shift and get ready to rethink your talent pipeline now.

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About Contributor

Pip Eastman is the Managing Director for APAC Regional Solutions, RPO and Professional Search, Korn Ferry. She is responsible for the performance and growth of the APAC business; developing new clients, enhancing market presence and integrating RPO and Professional Search’s lines of business into existing clients. Pip has extensive experience in solution design. Her responsibilities included client development, contract and commercial negotiations, and the implementation, operational delivery, and continuous improvement of projects.

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