Lewis Hanrahan, Business Manager, Gi Group

East Midlands Recruiter Foresees ‘Skills-Led’ Future Workforce

With emerging jobs on the horizon and ‘traditional’ roles on the decline, one of the UK’s leading HR and recruitment specialists, Gi Group, which has branches throughout the East Midlands, shares its expertise on how businesses can best prepare for the brave new world of post-pandemic, AI influenced, fast-changing work.

As advanced technologies such as AI continue to emerge and develop apace, speculation has grown as to what the future holds for the world of work. For some, this is curiosity about the opportunities it may create, and for others, it’s uncertainty as to what it may replace.

In the Future of Jobs Report 2023, employers anticipated a structural labour market churn of 23% of jobs in the next five years. This is a mixture of new jobs added and declining jobs eliminated, with an overall prediction of a 5% decrease of current employment[1].

Technology trends such as AI are anticipated to play a major factor in the churn, as it is expected to be adopted by nearly 75% of surveyed companies.

Whether this will create job growth or job losses is a hot topic of debate for many business leaders and candidates alike, Lewis Hanrahan, Business Manager at Gi Group in Nottingham, explained.

He said: “No one can know for sure what the jobs market will look like in the next 20 years, and essentially, the answer really depends on the type of work and sector. Given the events in most recent years and the fluid nature of the market, providing a definitive answer would be impossible. However, looking at recent patterns and upcoming trends, we know for certain that the recruitment landscape will need to get used to being in a constant state of adaptation and flux.”

Lewis went on to explain how he predicts the rise of technology will see more jobs introduced into the market and with that, it will bring more opportunity.

He said: “We have already witnessed a shift towards skill-based hiring in 2023, and this is only expected to become a more popular practice. Traditionally employers looked to experience and qualifications when appointing someone, whereas with skills-based hiring, employers will hire based solely on skills and aptitude. In return, we may start to see the jobs market open up even more, with more opportunity available to candidates as the once established career-path model is replaced with job switching.”

While new technology brings more choice for employers, Lewis has noted that the emergence of AI has caused concern for some candidates, who have apprehension about the replacement of roles and what new jobs will be available, and the specialist skills needed to fill them.

He said: “A lot of these concerns from candidates stem from the unknown. At one point, computers and the internet were seen as new technology, and when they were introduced in the workplace, employees had to learn how to use the software. Fast-forward to today, this is an embedded practice of our everyday lives, which we work in synergy with.

“We predict AI to follow a similar suit, while it may seem alien to many people now, training and educating our workforce will be similar. By eliminating the fear around AI and equipping employees with the right skills and knowledge, the future of the workplace is an exciting prospect.”

As AI becomes more present in the workplace, the skills needed for jobs are estimated to change by 65% by 2020[2]. As a result, it’s predicted that six in 10 workers will require training before 2027, yet only half of workers are seen to have access to adequate training opportunities today[3].

In order to avoid a potential skills gap, Lewis explained that in the coming years, HR leaders will need to focus on gaining an in-depth understanding of the skills their workforce already obtain, and pinpoint the areas where upskilling is required.

He said: “Training and upskilling employees will be vital in navigating the upcoming changes to the workplace. Skills such as analytical and creative thinking, and how to analyse data, will become extremely valuable to employers. Responsibility will then fall to managers to provide access to such training, and we predict this to be a big part of HR plans for 2024 and beyond.”

Gi Group UK is headquartered in Chesterfield in the Midlands. The business employs close to 500 people and in 2024 is proud to serve almost 1500 clients from 87 locations (26 branches and 61 sites). Gi Group UK is uniquely committed to the creation of social and economic value for both employers and candidates alike. Gi Group Holding in the UK places one person in work every 90 seconds.

For more information about Gi Group in the UK, please visit: uk.gigroup.com.

[1] https://www.weforum.org/publications/the-future-of-jobs-report-2023/digest/

[2] https://hrreview.co.uk/hr-news/future-of-work-hr-news/linkedin-warns-of-a-65-shift-in-job-skills-by-2030/372715#:~:text=A%20groundbreaking%20report%20from%20LinkedIn,in%20artificial%20intelligence%20(AI).

[3] https://www.weforum.org/publications/the-future-of-jobs-report-2023/digest/