You’ve heard of “Davos,” the annual meeting of the global movers and shakers of business, held in Davos, Switzerland. But you might not be aware that the convener of that event, The World Economic Forum, is committed to “improving the state of the world and is the International Organization for Public-Private Cooperation.” “Davos” gets lots of press, but the ongoing work of the organization provides a trove of data, analysis and information for any leader, in any organization, anywhere in the world.
I recently downloaded a January, 2016 report, The Future of Jobs: Employment, Skills and Workforce Strategy for the Fourth Industrial Revolution, and had a great time wandering through the massive (167 pages) report. Don’t let the length deter you from downloading and skimming the content. There’s something there for everyone who is thinking about and strategizing the future of their workforce.
The analysis in the report is from a survey of CHROs, other CXOs as well as functional HR leaders representing 13 million employees in 15 developed and emerging economies. A total of 371 companies from 9 broad industry groupings are represented in the data.
The report is organized into two parts:
Part One: Preparing for the Workforce of the Fourth Industrial Revolution
- The Future of Jobs and Skills
- Drivers of change
- Employment trends
- Skills stability
- Future workforce strategy
- The Industry Gender Gap
- The business case for change
- Gaps in the female talent pipeline
- Barriers to change
- Women and work in the fourth industrial revolution
- Approaches to leveraging female talent
Part Two: Industry, Regional and Gender Gap Profiles
- Industry profiles
- Country and regional profiles
- Industry gender gap profiles
The Drivers of Change section is a primer on what employers are facing from a demographic and socio-economic perspective, as well as from a technological perspective. I talk to HR leaders all the time who have a hard time balancing strategic responses to these two drivers of change. This chart shows the global top drivers in each of these two buckets and how they rank with the survey respondents.
This is just one of a number of useful analyses in the the report.
And an analysis such as this wouldn’t be complete without recommendations for action. The short term focus areas for action are not surprising:
- Reinvent the HR function
- Make use of data analytics
- Talent diversity – no more excuses
- Leverage flexible working arrangements and online talent platforms
Everyone performing research and analysis, as well as writing about macro trends in the talent space agrees with these four areas of immediate focus.
The longer term recommended actions are not quite as well socialized, and in many ways, are the most critical strategies we can and should begin to deploy NOW:
- Rethink education systems
- Incent lifelong learning
- Accelerate cross-industry and public-private collaboration
This report came to me via Facebook, of all places. WEF posts a continual stream of global reports, videos and links to data and analysis of value to HR and leaders in all functions. Check them out.