There is a rapidly accelerating pace of change in our lives due revolutionary technologies, such as artificial intelligence, 3D printing, robotics, biotechnology, etc. The Fourth Industrial revolution and the disruptive technological changes accompanied with socio-economic, geopolitical and demographic developments are changing the employment and talent landscape. Recently, the Global Talent SummitThe future of Jobs and Education” touched upon some of these changes and mentioned some of the challenges facing the future job environment. The following section is summarizing, based on the work delivered during the Global Talent Summit and the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2016, the main challenges facing the job market and talent employment.

Photo credit: Futurist Speaker

First: Changing Nature of Jobs

one of the main challenges is impact of technological changes on the job nature, ways of job searching and employment trends. “The Future of Jobs” report by the World Economic Forum 2016, highlighted job losses in industries and job families such as office and administrative, manufacturing and production and construction and extraction. At the same time, new jobs and skills will be created in business and financial operations, management, computer and mathematical, architecture and engineering and sales. Through job loss is worrisome for employees, their job needs continue to evolve beyond basic needs to include the job nature, the existence of a purpose and prospects of development. Such needs becoming more essential than ever as expressed by Jim Clifton, CEO of Gallup during the Global Talent Summit.

Clifton suggested developing and nurturing entrepreneurship as a solution and though the suggestion is appealing; it doesn’t capture the complexity and comprehensiveness of challenges ahead. Companies, when recruiting, are looking for a pre-determined mold which constitute a good employee. Doing so result in neglecting other aspects of the individuals and their uniqueness which would affect the company’s ability to be creative. Andrew Mack, the founder of AMGlobal Consulting, emphasize that structural changes are needed rather than only changing the approach. 

Second: Inclusiveness and Youth Values

The another challenge is related to lack of actual appreciation of youth strength, energy, drive, and creativity.  Such undervalue results in disengagement from workplace; according to Gallup study in 2015, 68% of the US employees are either not engaged or actively disengaged.  Companies need to rethink their strategies and methods of recruiting and engaging their employees through considering their unique needs and nurturing a culture that celebrate differences. Another aspect companies need to reconsider is workforce inclusiveness and diversity especially with the increasing evidence of how diversity positively impact an organization’s profit, sustainability and creativity.  “The future of Jobs” report suggested the utilization of technology and data analytics as tools to overcome gender gap and advance workforce parity.

Third: Education System

The current state of education system has been highlighted as a great challenge in different conferences and reports. Dissatisfaction with the education system and its ability to be innovative and prepare students to the future demand was expressed by 75% of the WISE expert, according to Brandon Busteed, the Executive Director of Education and Workforce Development at Gallup. Furthermore, Carol O’Donnell, Director, Smithsonian Science Education Center, pointed out the importance of developing students’ ability to identity problems rather than only handling problems.

There are serious calls for reforming education to cope with the coming technological revolution. For example, Edith Cecil, the Vice President of Institute of International Education, expressed concerns in the U.S students, inability to prepare themselves to working in global market. This is due to the prominence of global education and overseas experiences especially as corporations are more likely to hire individuals who have global education and exposure to different cultures.

There previously mentioned challenges are some of the many challenges ahead. Therefore, I would like to leave you with the fundamental question of “How can governments. Educators, employers and businesses collaborate to harness the Fourth Industrial Revolution opportunities and prepare for its challenges and how can we actively involve education institutions in this conversation?”


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