Evolving Employment Scenario: 2021 and its Predicaments!

first_imgA new report from the ManpowerGroup Employment Outlook Survey states that employment trends in the first quarter of 2021 are expected to be on the rise with a Net Employment Outlook of 5 percent. Not just that, the report also states that corporate India plans to hire more people in the first three months of 2021 compared to the quarter ending December 2020. The economy is finally showing some fledgling signs of recovery, and with the imminent arrival of a vaccine for Covid-19, an overall positive sentiment seems to have gripped the market.Many of the fundamental factors that have sustained the Indian economy over the years, including geopolitical issues, demography, and a diversified economy, will continue playing their roles in the new normal. But now, there is another key component that has been added to the mix – digitization.Thanks to the pandemic, digital acceleration at the workplace has increased manifold in less than a year. We now operate in times when the new business circumstances around the world have created a variety of jobs that require digital skills, making 2020 a wholly tech-dominated year.Take the example of all the ed-tech startups that have emerged this year to teach coding to children, and make them future-ready. Right from Camp K12, StayQrious, to Coding Ninjas and Tinker Coders, the shift in online teaching has meant these startups have all generated immense interest. Plus, the grand success of the coding platform Whitehat Jr. has further fueled this change. Even in the healthcare sector, the disruption arising out of Covid-19 has triggered a transformation, with more and more people preferring digital consultations over physical ones.But will this trend continue to dominate 2021, and how will it impact the overall employability sentiment?It may seem like this sudden wave of digitization will overtake all our jobs. And there is some truth in all of this. In the Indian IT industry, insiders and analysts peg the number of IT and ITeS employees set to lose their jobs over the next few quarters between 150,000 and 200,000. But does that mean that we are simply living in a historically unprecedented time for job losses, or is this all part of something that will precede an employment revolution?The need of the hour is adaptation rather than reinvention. What this trend of digitization will do is build a bigger marketplace for professionals in 2021, creating a favorable demand-supply situation. Companies across the spectrum will now be on the lookout for employees who can fit into niche portfolios, and are domain-experts rather than just generalized professionals.Moreover, organizations will now work harder to ‘put humans in the loop’, a term coined by Deloitte to describe how companies will have to rethink work architecture and retrain people to leverage technology and transform the business. The broader aim will not be just to eliminate routine tasks or cut costs, but to create more value for the end consumers, and more meaningful work for employees.The focus in 2021 should be on expanding both digital and soft skills. The rise of automation in the workplace has brought along a whole set of new skills needed in human workers. Technology will definitely replace a lot of the manual and repetitive tasks that most jobs entail, but it will also free up time to hone skills that are uniquely human. In fact, a World Economic Forum study shows that the top skills for the next decade will include critical thinking, creativity, and people management, all of which are essential human skills, and not something that can be achieved through automation. Companies will still need workers that can exhibit these skills, alongside the digital skills necessary for the changing times. What this means is that you may be happy with online doctor consultation for now, but at some point, you will require that human touch and empathy.Humans were and will remain key enablers of this smart new world of technology. They will only be an evolution of typical workers, but what will set them apart is their ability to understand the new landscape of work, and adapt seamlessly to it.last_img read more