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What can we expect from the labor market in the near future?

Now any employee who carries bold ideas is valuable in corporations: "
How will the labor market change in a few years? And how to prepare for this today? Elena Bogomolova, founder and CEO of the PROTALENT lab recruitment agency, told about new trends and professions of the future in a column for the Company magazine.

70% of professions do not exist yet

According to a report by the World Economic Forum, almost two-thirds of today's kindergarten students will eventually have professions that currently do not exist. We live in a world where more than 70% of the professions in demand in the future have not yet appeared. Everything is changing too fast. You need to think a lot about this, not to mention visualization. Such forecasts are made by futurologists around the world and leading universities of the world.

In a report commissioned by the UK government, published by Fast Future, a select group of futurists and thinkers were asked to list which scientific and technological professions, in their opinion, will be the most popular by 2030, taking into account achievements and developments. The group came up with 110 new professional roles, of which 20 were selected for research. For example, computers and robots are expected to change the fields of medicine and agriculture. In medicine, the invention of artificial limbs and organs will open up a new job for sports teams and the military: the manufacture of vital systems for humans. 

At the microscopic level, nanomedicine will allow selected scientists to treat cancer and other resistant diseases at the cellular level. We can expect the emergence of such specialties as" body parts manufacturer "or" elderly health consultant"," memory augmentation surgeon "or"time bank trader".

For example, IT giants are already introducing unusual positions. For example, Microsoft has introduced the position of "Transcultural Anthropologist", who works together with a marketer and is able to explain the relationship between cultural characteristics and their impact on the attitude to the brand. Or Apple has a Wizard of Light Bulb Moments ("The Wizard of Lamp Moments"), who manages innovations in the company and does not so much look for ideas as fascinates other people with them. 

Crisis situations are changing the labor market

Observing more than one wave of the crisis, it can be noted how quickly and dynamically the world is changing. In fact, there is no stability: new professions appear — old ones are removed. We are looking at past generations. Not so long ago, a military career was super-prestigious. And then the reform of the 90s — and a large number of people were displaced by the system. Now we see that no hard-skills can give one hundred percent confidence and guarantee in the future.

According to one Russian HR-tech project, during the pandemic, about 20% of service users thought about changing their profession or have already changed it. The catalyst for change is unstable stories that even push many to launch startups. There is a niche in biotechnology — many new stories have been born at the intersection of medicine and engineering.

After the pandemic, the first areas that have revived and in which the active involvement of specialists has begun are those where digitalization is actively underway and remote access is possible: the IT sphere, creative positions and marketing.

Now is the era and time of creativity, concern for the environment — these trends are pushing for the emergence of new professions, unique specialists. These professions are at the intersection of caring for the surrounding world and protecting the environment. New technological and biotechnological positions are already being introduced in companies that, it would seem, do not belong to polluting the environment in any way. At the same time, there is a shortage of technological and IT specialists in the market. This is a narrow segment, and it is not getting wider yet.

New qualities of specialists for a new world

Based on the results of the year of the pandemic and various discussions with business owners and top managers, it can be concluded that such qualities as cohesion, the desire to act together, the ability/ability to take risks, to do things that have never been done before have come to the fore in teams.

It is not easy for top managers to remove the so-called "expert cap", start acting differently in conditions of uncertainty and gain expertise in new areas.
It is very difficult to get out of the comfort zone psychologically, especially for those who have accumulated expertise, position in society. And the younger employees, who were easier and more flexible to change, provided some help to the expert management, which was more conservative.

Flexibility, adaptability, the ability to switch to new things, getting out of the comfort zone, lack of fear of acting and taking risks, the possibility of experiments — this is the set shown by those who were able to not just stay afloat during the pandemic and crisis, but also expand their business or even launch a new one.

Now there is a trend from global giants, such as Amazon — - they attract people with flexible, adaptive development skills, visionaries in their own way. Now, in corporations, the director of the innovation department is not strictly responsible for innovations, conditionally, but any employee of different levels who brings new bold and promising ideas becomes valuable. And they are ready to listen to him, they want to hear him.
The well-known futurologist Gerd Leonhard believes that it is useless to teach children exact sciences today, that the future will require more flexible thinking skills and developed emotional intelligence from us. He believes that the United States puts technology at the forefront, Europe — humanity, and China-the state. It is difficult to say what Russia puts at the forefront, but it is absolutely obvious that it is necessary to develop soft-skills and take care of your psychological, emotional health and condition. You need to be confident, calm, be sure to leave time for yourself, for sports, choose companies with a positive corporate culture and environment.

There are three most important types of skills for specialists who would not like to be left out in the near future: soft-skills (communication, presentation and self-presentation, emotional intelligence, team interaction), business skills (pitching, research analysis, project and data analysis, trend-watching, best practice) and digital skills (the ability to use various digital solutions in work). 

Forecasting in HR
As in many other areas, HR today is also beginning to include technologies to help people. The trend of predictive (predictive) analytics is becoming fashionable.
Unlike descriptive, when specialists can observe certain events and answer the question of what is happening now, predictive uses non-obvious dependencies. Artificial intelligence and Big Data come to the rescue. They are used, for example, to prevent/predict/identify the reasons for the dismissal of employees even before it happens, to predict their possible success or failure in a particular position.

In one Moscow division of a financial organization, they decided to correlate the indicators of personal qualities of sales managers and their professional success in the context of several quarters. The conclusion turned out to be interesting: employees who were inclined to more analysis, were skeptical about new things, showed much worse results than those who analyzed less, acted faster, were flexible and adjusted to a particular situation. Thanks to such analytics, they were able to predict and set individual plans for employees, set more realistic and reasonable KPIs.

If we are talking about finding new employees, then we can't do without a live specialist here, although now artificial intelligence is in demand and comes to the aid of HR in basic functions. Algorithms and bots, of course, can carry out an initial search for a resume, send out invitations to interviews and collect information about a candidate, and they are already doing this. However, when it comes to a complex, multifaceted search for top managers or the requirements for a candidate are vague and creative, there is no way to do without human intelligence. And, by the way, when it is difficult to find a suitable specialist in the market, and a potential candidate must have a certain balance of hard and soft skills, there are more and more such requests from companies to HR agencies. Therefore, in the field of HR, human participation in the selection of candidates remains important. 

Most often, they are more dominated by the hard-skills side, because this is the knowledge that they give at the university, the basics. However, for any field and profession of the future, it is necessary to develop a second field of activity. In the future, any job will become not so much what we have to do to survive, but what we want to do in order to contribute, create, learn or compete.