Last week I started this double post on talent trends for a new decade. You can read the first part of the post at: https://xaviroca.com/en/talent-trends-for-a-new-decade-part-i/
I continue with the main trends:
- Specialization: it will be one of the key trends in the decade that we started. In the labor market there is a clear commitment to specialization. Many of the challenges we face today, both at the level of public administration and private companies require specialized professionals. In other words, professionals who concentrate all their professional activity together with their knowledge and experience, either in a very specific target audience or in a type of products and / or services that is very well defined. This trend to specialization will also lead to further growth of the freelance. In many cases, if a professional is truly specialized it may not make much sense to work 40 hours a week for a employer. Surely, the higher the specialization, the easier it will be for this professional to provide his services to several companies or in different projects. The trend towards specialization will continue to advance in the coming years.
- Humanism: against the trend towards specialization that I have just mentioned, there is another trend, even more incipient, towards humanism. And I am referring to the trend in the labor market towards positively evaluating professionals with a more humanistic, even more Renaissance, profile. Non-specialists, but with a global vision. That they can connect different disciplines. That they have high cultural levels. That they know of history, art, philosophy, or any discipline that allows them to have a greater cultural background and greater general knowledge. People “traveled”, with different professional experiences developed not only in different sectors but also through different professions or even in different countries. People who know how to contribute to humanize and introduce global vision in such a technological and specialized environment. In my opinion, it is a group that is still undervalued at the labor market level. But I am convinced that its importance and value will grow inexorably as this new decade progresses.
- Learn… and unlearn: We are living in an age where the only constant is change. And in a moment as changing as the current one, people must always learn. Those people who think that once their formative stage is finished, they no longer must train, they will have a difficult time. The knowledge acquired will become obsolete faster and faster. And as important as learning is the ability to unlearn. To change habits, to stop doing things as they have always done to do them in a new way. This unlearning process will be decisive so that professionals are always ready to adapt to the changing environment. As Darwin said well “The species that survive are not the strongest or the most intelligent. The species that survive are the ones that quickly adapt to the changes”.
- Algorithmic tasks vs heuristic tasks: In the professional world there are 2 types of tasks. The algorithmic ones are those that require an algorithm to be solved. Clear and very orderly decision rules. Challenges that have only one correct solution. It is estimated that approximately 75% of professional tasks in developed countries are algorithmic tasks. The other type of tasks are heuristics. They are those that do not need to follow certain algorithms or processes for their resolution, but are based on concepts such as creativity, innovation … and where each challenge does not have a correct solution but multiple ones. It is estimated that approximately 25% of current tasks are heuristics, but, beware, 75% of new professional tasks being created are heuristics. Therefore, this new decade that we started the heuristic tasks will be gaining ground to the algorithmic ones. Increasingly, algorithmic tasks will be performed by cheaper and more prepared people. In the medium and long term, algorithmic tasks will be carried out by computers, machines, and even robots. So, if you want to be competitive in such a technological environment and where machines and robots will gain ground, you must bet on developing increasingly heuristic tasks.
- Talent, the most decisive factor: I am fully convinced that in this new decade, talent will be the most decisive factor in the success or failure of any project. It will be the most sought-after resource, the most differentiating asset between one project and another. Great professionals will be more in demand than ever. There is going to be an all-out war to attract and keep the best professionals. And in this sense, salary will continue to be very important, but good professionals will value many other things. Factors such as freedom, the attractiveness of the project, the alignment of its values with those of the organization, personal growth … are going to be decisive in attracting the best talent to the organization. The companies that will be successful will be the ones that best manage talent. How to attract the right candidates, how to develop, motivate and satisfy them to bet on the company will be the most decisive aspects to achieve success at the business level.
Because as Doug Conant (North American manager) said “to conquer the market, you must first conquer the workers”.