It is not an easy job to crystal gaze into 15 years. Since the time I got this topic to write about, I have been dreaming, visualizing the future. And to do that, I went back 15 years to see how the Talent map changed in the last 15 years in India.
With the internet & the telecom industry just about taking off, the knowledge workforce had made their presence felt across sectors. Access to talent became easier since the advent of job portals. And the result was faster acquisition of talent. And with the economy doing well till 2007, the pressure was on hiring. The slowdown in 2008 hit many industries and all of a sudden there was a massive pull back on hiring. Rather the process of restructuring across companies meant that there more layoffs happening rather than hiring. The engagement levels in organizations had nosedived. In the last 5 years, the internet industry acquired a different look. This was an explosion of a different kind. E commerce companies started mushrooming across the country thereby throwing up different set of talent requirements. As things appear, this industry will continue to grow rapidly till some amount of consolidation takes place in about 5 years from now. During all these years, the other sectors like FMCG, Pharma, Real Estate, Automobiles, Energy, etc. continued to have a steady run. On the talent side, there was a clear shift taking place with more and more workforce joining the booming service sector. Education itself had undergone a boom which saw innumerable colleges of all types open across the country. Government pushed for more IITs and IIMs fully realizing the importance of critical talent. The National Skill Development Council came into being with a focus to train employable workforce. The importance of English was perhaps felt the most in these 15 years.Mobile phones had taken centre stage of each individual in the cities and the villages.
The key takeaway from these 15 years has been the speed at which change in technology took place and brought about shift in our lives and thereby the talent behaviour.
I closed the flashback with the importance that mobile had acquired in our lives by 2015. And I believe the entire Talent mapping will revolve around mobile in the year 2030. Let us look at the year 2030.
The mobile platform has further invaded into our lives thereby making life more engaging and interesting. All the major cities in the country have gone Wi Fi which has enabled mapping of talent much easier. Talent in this mobile world appears something like this:
Organizations are looking for more than one skill set in an individual. If you are a great Supply Chain Manager, be ready to double up as an Accountant too. People would carry multiple qualifications because it gives them the edge. There are no 2 years’ MBA courses & 4 years’ Engineering courses out there. Each course will be a maximum of 6 months. The content would have shrunk into this much timeline. It will be easy to acquire knowledge since you are almost living on the mobile. Hence the talent that will hit the organizations will offer options to the organizations. It also prevents the talent from getting redundant.
Increasingly Talent is working as a volunteer. He or she will decide how long they would like to be engaged with the organization. They will be choosy about the opportunities that come their way. Instead of the IJPs of year 2005, there will be VJPs (Volunteer Job Postings). These will be short jobs or tasks which will be time bound. You meet a new bunch of people to work together on projects all the time. The talent takes a call to take a break and acquire some new skills. The dependence on the organization to provide all support has dropped significantly.
The lines between the home and office have blurred. The large office buildings have become redundant as increasingly, talent is operating from home. He wakes up and starts work as per his readiness. He marks his attendance on his mobile and gets working on the same. Face time is the key platform for virtual meetings with multiscreen options on the phone.Workapp like the good old Whatsapp is the new platform where the virtual exists and that is where the talent is found. Each organization has its own Workapp and things are getting worked out seamlessly.
Times have changed indeed. No more does an organization decide for the talent. The talent decide for themselves. The talent does self-assessment during the interview processthrough the mobile phone and gets to know how well he has performed. Once on the job, he designs his own compensation package as per his need and not the organization. Like the West, the compensation structure has become simple with just one head of a Base salary and the tax working around it. The talent finds this more exciting and it helps him to stay engaged.
e. Grey collar
Just like the lines between home and office has taken place, there is blurring of the 2 category of workforce that existed in 2015. With the knowledge worker becoming the key talent, there is no more the white or the blue collar. Rather there is discussion around the Grey collar. There is little to differentiate between the erstwhile Managers and Technicians. There are more Self Managing Teams (SMTs) which work like mini organizations within the larger organizations. And within these SMTs there is no hierarchy as the leadership gets shared.
Unlike the retirement years of 58 or 60 years, the talent no more retires. They just volunteer out to do a lot of community work ie take care of the elderly, maintain cleanliness in the city, maintain law & order, etc. The role of the community for the talent is much more than the corporate. The talent in this era finds more happiness in giving back to the community. Because of the virtual work and the flexi schedule, he contributes at least a couple of hours in a day to community.
So what does all the above mean? Does it mean there will be no manufacturing? Will there be only service sector? On the contrary, all the above norms have impacted both the sectors. There will be elements of each of the above in the talent that works in both these sectors. Agriculture is highly automated and the talent is found to be engaging in it as part of the community living.
The speed of change has further shrunk from the years 2000-2015. In those 15 years, the talent map had shifted quickly from the earlier times. In these last 15 years, as we dwell in the year 2030, things have further speeded up. Talent is mobile and free to decide for himself. The organizations have adapted to this change quite rapidly to keep them engaged.
Till the net crystal gaze, enjoy the dream!