If you’re unfamiliar with the term “purple squirrel,” it’s basically a phrase used to describe a job candidate with precisely the right education, experience, and range of qualifications who perfectly fits a job’s requirements. Over the next few years, as technology continues to evolve the way we work, the need for technical skills is going to be more important than ever before.
A new survey released by Clutch, a B2B research and reviews firm, uncovers how different technology trends are causing concern among workers and businesses alike. According to the survey findings, “Technology influences the way companies decide whether to hire or lay off employees.”
In light of this, 45% of respondents have hired new employees because their technical knowledge or skills have matched the company’s changing needs. And unfortunately, due to changing technology, 10% of companies in the Clutch survey report having to lay workers off, while 18% say they have resorted to outsourcing their work instead of hiring or firing anyone.
What Does the Future Hold?
While technology can be a great thing, when it comes to jobs, it’s causing anxiety among many workers, who fear the changing technology will replace their roles within the company—at least according to 15% of respondents, who say they are nervous that their current role won’t exist in 5 years due to technological changes.
While some respondents are hopeful that robots won’t take over the world, others are saying to prepare for change. “I wouldn’t be fearful that a robot is going to take your job,” says Ira Wolfe, president of Success Performance Solutions. “But it’s not going to be the same job you had before, even if the title is the same.”
The Clutch survey suggests that some workers who lack technical skills may struggle to find a suitable position matching their years of experience. Clutch researchers say, “As jobs become more competitive, some workers anticipate switching industries or specialties. However, 13% of respondents say they are not confident in their ability to find a new job that matches their current skills and level of employment.”
In order to prepare for this, candidates and current employees must start looking into technology training to upskill and make themselves stand out among the competition. And fortunately, 90% of survey respondents say they’re willing to adapt their skills to changing workplace technologies.
While finding the perfect candidate can be a difficult task, employers would be wise to offer learning and development training opportunities as a way to attract these candidates in the door. While not everyone will be your “purple squirrel” to start, you can train him or her to become the ideal worker after the fact.
To learn more about this survey, click here.
*Editor’s note: It’s just as hard to Photoshop a squirrel purple, as it is to find a purple squirrel candidate!