How AI fights the demographic change
Today’s workforce is going through a rapid transformation. The universal five days in the office have given way to more remote and hybrid styles of working, the Great Resignation has seen mass job mobility, and companies are now competing for talent in a candidate-led market. In amongst all of this, accelerated by the pandemic, many of the baby boomer generation have been retiring earlier, as their priorities change. Although recently there has been an uptick in those considering re-joining the workforce due to immediate fears around the cost of living, according to the ONS, economic inactivity in those aged 50 to 64 has gone up over ten times since March 2020 – a seismic shift and a trend that cannot be ignored
Over time, if this trend continues, we could be left with a considerable imbalance of experience and expertise in our organisations, putting an enormous amount of pressure on us to plug those gaps. So, where should we start, and how can technology help streamline our strategy?
Here come the millennials
Millennials are poised to make up a majority of the workforce by 2025, meaning they will play a key role in moving up and filling the places left by the outgoing baby boomers. However, millennials are a highly active generation when it comes to job mobility and, increasingly, always looking for new opportunities. Therefore, holding onto these workers and their skills is going to become a major challenge, and focus, for us all as we look to navigate the change in the demographic tide.
Skills development must become a major focus. However, currently, this is proving to be a challenge, with a 30 percentage point difference in employee and employer confidence in their organisation’s prioritisation of skills development. More clearly needs to be done to prime organisations for this generational shift. We need to identify who would fit well into a role, what skills they have, what skills they need, and how best to develop them. This involves a lot of data, but to analyse, evaluate and implement this data is an increasingly impossible task for humans alone. This is where AI comes in.
Passing the torch with AI
In every organisation, there are many different learning requirements and career aspirations for each employee. By gathering data on employees, and by harnessing the power of AI, organisations can build rich skills profiles for their entire workforces. AI can then connect individuals with growth opportunities, helping to drive conversations with managers around development. By using AI in this way, we will be able to provide clear career progression paths for our employees, creating clear incentives to stay.
This effective use of AI can also be married with a thorough content investment strategy. By building a relevant, curated library of learning content, organisations can provide each individual with the right learning journey for them. Personalisation can also be at the core of this strategy, with the intuitive AI selecting the most relevant content for each individual based on their personal skills and goals. This helps to develop a culture of self-directed learning, but also allows us to view our organisations holistically and target key skills gaps that emerge.
It's clear that moving forward, AI is going to play an increasingly important role in acquiring, retaining and developing our workforces. This will help us get the best people with the right skills in the most effective roles, allowing us to better deal with any challenge that comes our way.
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