Learning & Development, Talent

Diverse Set of Skills Will Be Vital in 2020

“If you are looking for ransom, I can tell you I don’t have money. But what I do have are a very particular set of skills, skills I have acquired over a very long career, skills that make me a nightmare for people like you.” —Liam Neeson, in Taken.


Source: maxkabakov / iStock / Getty Images Plus

In 2020, you best be sure your workforce has a very particular set of skills if you want your business to succeed. So, what do these skills consist of? Glad you asked, because these skills need to be just as diverse as your workforce is. As automation continues to disrupt the world of work, upskilling and reskilling will be key to evolving the competencies of workers in order to complement technological innovation, according to the 2020 Talent Trends Report released by Randstad Sourceright.

The report found that as many employers (66%) plan to provide training and reskilling for artificial intelligence (AI) as those who plan to develop workers’ soft skills (60%). The employer responses mirrored those of talent in the company’s 2019 research; where the most sought-after skills included both technical capabilities (43%) and soft skills like communications (41%).

Human capital professionals also recognize that talent fluidity—the ability of workers to mold their skills to adapt to automation, digitalization, and other changing needs of their organization—will be critical to the future of work. Yet while 91% of human capital leaders believe that it is their company’s responsibility to provide reskilling to meet business needs, only 22% are currently providing training or reskilling to existing employees to help address talent scarcity, and nearly one-third of respondents who said they intend to offer reskilling said they aren’t sure how to do so.

“Digitalization has changed the way we work and has redefined the skills that are most important for employees to possess,” says Rebecca Henderson, CEO of Randstad global businesses and executive board member—in a press release. “Yet while employers have acknowledged that it is crucial for their businesses to reskill staff to keep up with changing technology and bolster the soft skills that only humans can possess, it is troubling that so few companies are currently offering this necessary training.”

Based on a survey of more than 800 C-suite and HR leaders, the 2020 Talent Trends Report provides a global snapshot of how talent leaders are uniquely positioned to make a significant impact on business performance by adjusting their talent strategies in the face of technology, shifting business priorities, and the evolving talent landscape.

In addition to AI and soft skills, companies also plan to train existing employees in analytics skills (59%), technical capabilities (57%), and cloud computing (54%). Thirty-eight percent of respondents view reskilling as an important measure for redeploying talent who are at-risk of losing their jobs due to automation.

Additional findings from the report include:

  • Internal mobility: Forty-seven percent of companies will be increasing investments in their internal mobility programs in 2020, up from 39% in 2016. In Randstad Sourceright’s 2019 survey of talent, 31% of working professionals said their ideal employer should offer career progression opportunities.
  • Automated talent acquisition: Seventy-one percent of C-suite and human capital leaders say that technology has made the recruitment process simpler and more efficient for them, and 72% believe that technology is helping them make smarter hiring decisions. Eighty-one percent also say talent analytics play a critical role in sourcing, attracting, engaging and retaining talent.
  • Digital insights: Nearly half (47%) of employers are investing in predictive analytics for talent, and a majority (54%) are investing in digital specialists to support HR. In Randstad Sourceright’s 2019 research, a majority (60%) of working professionals also said they would have more job opportunities if they possessed broader digital and tech-focused skill sets.
  • Workplace culture: While 60% of employers said digital transformation was moving too quickly in 2019, that number fell to 45% this year, signaling that businesses are adapting their cultures to drive their digital shift. This is evidenced by the fact that 77% of talent leaders reported acquiring more digital skill sets to expand their reach and open up business opportunities.

What skills does your workforce need to brush up on this year? How does your company stack up to the ones in Randstad Sourceright’s survey?