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Shaping the workforce of the future

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The impact of the Fourth Industrial Revolution — the term used to describe the convergence of AI, RPA, Machine Learning (ML), and cognitive platforms — is forcing teams to shape their workforces to consist of all worker types, including permanent, gig, contingent, and machine. To use the 4Bs vernacular: buy, build, borrow, and bot.

Over half (56 percent) of the respondents to our HR survey agree that preparing the workforce for AI and related technologies will be the biggest challenge for their function. And while most (87 percent) are prioritizing efforts around how to identify the future workforce composition (the 4Bs), HR leaders still seem uncertain about the best approach to do that.

Committing to workforce shaping

The importance of using workforce shaping to break down and rethink traditional roles is largely understood by HR functions across the globe.

To meet the future needs of their organizations, HR needs to actively challenge who – or what – carries out the majority of traditional tasks. Ninety percent of Pathfinding HR* organizations cite that identifying the future workforce composition is a strategic priority, and approximately 80% believe they are largely prepared to do so. However, over half of their counterparts report they are either not particularly, or not at all, prepared.

Future workforce

Source: Future of HR 2020: Which path are you taking? KPMG International

Where does upskilling fit into the equation? And how much?

HR executives generally identify with the significant need to reskill the workforce. Two in three HR executives are prioritizing upskilling of the workforce to manage the impact of AI on the workforce, with 77 percent planning to upskill up to 30 percent of their workforce in digital capabilities over the next 2–3 years. CEOs seem to have a more aggressive agenda.

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