Human-resources experts predict significant changes within the workforce over the next half-decade. A sizable shift is coming as millennials take their seats at businesses large and small, and Baby Boomers simultaneously either retire or modify their work styles to reflect increasingly flexible and mobile opportunities.
Given what’s in play, what will the workforce looks like in 2020?
To get some answers, analysts from different business and staffing sectors have their point of views. With their expertise, a picture of what business leaders — and employees — can expect from their professional landscape emerged. Here are five key points from them.
The freelancer is on the rise, and if you ask proponents of the “contingent” (freelance) economy, they expect that by 2020 some 40% of the workforce will soon be made up of contract-only employees.
Millennials don’t want to stay in one job forever, but also in part because companies prefer to try out employees before committing to them. These changes will affect the white-collar economy, just as they have already disrupted the blue-collar economy (e.g. Uber).
We already live in a largely work-anywhere world, thanks to the cloud and mobile tech, but shifting employee demographics will drive further alterations to the way we think about clocking in. Business leaders can expect millennials to account for some 50% of that workforce by 2020, but she also sees a growing incidence of Boomers who are close to retirement but who keep on working to some extent — often from offsite. The demand and creation of flexible-work options will continue to rise over the next five years.
See: Automated Future of Recruitment
A recent Georgetown University study showed that millennials already switch jobs some 6.3 times between ages 18 and 25. Only 1 in 10, according to the report, considers their current job to be part of their career. In other words, companies are not prepared for the millennial generation’s impatience. Throughout the next five years, employers can expect to see talent land, learn, lift off, and then move on with greater frequency than that of their Generation X and Baby Boomer predecessors.
Recent monthly employment numbers from ADP show that approximately 65% of all new non-farm jobs created are coming from small and medium-sized businesses. Especially hungry for new talent: High-growth small shops within the technology, healthcare and social-media marketing sectors. However, some of this SMB job creation is due to Baby Boomers who are retiring from their posts at older companies — a phenomenon expected to continue for up to 15 years.
As Boomers step aside, or decrease their engagement with the companies at which they remain in a part-time or flexible capacity, the 34- to 49-year-old set stands to reap new opportunities. Their experience relative to millennials should prove an advantage.
However, as a smaller demographic group, there will be a shortage of qualified workers in this age bracket, so companies hiring will have to hire more at the entry-level to compensate for the loss of Baby Boomers to retirement.
These five factors that employers and employees need to heed in the coming 60 months each deeply relate to one generation aging out of career-building efforts and another phasing into their own.
See also: What is the Future of Predictive Analytics in HR?