Technology’s Impact on the Future of Hiring
Technology is disruptive, transformational, and if not controlled, dangerous to all of us. Please forgive the slightly doom and gloom opening line, but as much as big business celebrates the many uses of technology, is this progression truly good for all of us? Or will it cause major changes in hiring that are ultimately negative?
Well, I believe this comes down to how well we plan ahead moving forward and how we treat our labor force—who also happens to be our consumers and customers, I must hasten to add. Here, I’m going to cover the main areas where I see major change through technology occurring and what both the positive and negative outcomes of this change may be.
Will working in the big city really be a thing of the future? I’m not so sure, as the pandemic catapulted us into working from home, and technologies such as video conferencing were there to support the change. Now, post-pandemic we see that companies are moving towards a hybrid work model, which for now may be essential, but when considering that video conferencing is the current solution to remote working, if the metaverse really does take off as we expect, then VR technology will play a major part in our daily work routines in the next 10-15 years. For the record, and so that my bias is known in this article, I am pro “work from anywhere” as I feel it supports a much better work-life balance. I do understand that this view is not universally shared though and respect that.
But let’s look at the benefits of the above—firstly, by accessing talent and providing opportunity in any geography, increased decentralization could see the playing field leveled for those who cannot get to those big cities and would see a more equal economic displacement of wages across the globe. I believe the choice of where to work provides a greater quality of life, being able to live in an environment you choose, including where is potentially more affordable. Opening up the “work from anywhere thesis” holds many benefits.
Conversely, there can be issues with culture, productivity, and synergy for the team. And while technology and decentralization may impact this, a healthy structure of communication will be key to maintaining success in these areas. Face-to-face contact and building relationships are essential to a successful onboarding and culture, I would question that full decentralization may erode this somewhat.
Some jobs that are here today, are simply not going to exist in the future. Automation, robotics, and AI will ultimately serve as the destroyer of many manual jobs we see today. This may see many industries lose a large component of their hiring strategy altogether—areas such as drivers, warehouse workers, and many other high-volume job-hire titles, may completely disappear.
The benefit will sit with the companies that no longer have to pay for this human capital, including all of the hiring needed to facilitate the onboarding of such workers. The cost savings and efficiencies will be dramatic. However, I am dubious that any of these savings will ever make its way to consumers.
The main issue that we must reckon with as a collective will be the workers who are displaced from these jobs—where will they go? What jobs could they potentially transition into? What markets could absorb them? These are relatively unanswered questions. If we are to avoid the mistakes of the past, such as what we witnessed firsthand in geographies like the Rust Belt, we need to be thinking hard about how we reskill, train, and repurpose the human capital that is set to be displaced. We owe it to them and ourselves as a collective to learn from our past and do better this time around.
How do you hire for jobs that have never been hired for before? The creation of new job titles has reached unprecedented heights and will continue to drive forward at breakneck speed. At the heart of the creation of these job titles is technology and hiring workers to fulfill these jobs that have “never been worked before” will prove to be a major challenge for all businesses in the future. We have known for some time that the education system simply is not keeping up with the demands of industry, especially the technology one.
I cannot see any advantage to this, other than the workers that adapt and become the new age workers, with new job titles, will be in high demand, based on low supply with a net result of high wages. The disadvantage is very straightforward: companies will move at the pace of the labor they can recruit. This means solid hiring strategies will be more essential than ever.
Technology is disrupting everything; we are of course in the middle of the fourth industrial revolution. Hiring is going to become more difficult, building teams will require new ways of thinking when it comes to building relationships among people in different and vast geographies, compensation will be re-evaluated, and job titles will continue to be created that we’ve never seen before.
All in all, the future of work is desperately dependent on technology, and the rapid pace of progress may come at a costly price—we must remember that we as a collective are the consumers. There is only so long profit can continue to erode the labor force until profit is no longer possible as you have wiped out your consumer base.
Arran Stewart is the Co-Founder and CVO of blockchain-powered recruitment platform Job.com, and has spent over a decade working to disrupt the recruitment industry with innovative, first-of-its-kind technology. His expertise on hiring, recruitment, technology, and macro job market trends has been featured in Forbes, Inc., Reuters, Wired, Fortune, and Nasdaq, among others. [Twitter: @Arran_J_Stewart, @jobdotcom] [Facebook: @JobDotCom] [LinkedIn]