The face of a global workforce looks a lot different than many North American employers might have envisioned a decade ago. A host of influencers contribute to how the world's workforce looks today. Economic, social, technological and political forces shape the profile that characterizes human capital as we now know it.
If we peek inside companies today, we will see an older and more diverse population of workers who operate in an agile environment and who leverage technology in order to collaborate and stay connected.
Demographics shape the workforce and ageing will continue to have a profound impact between now and the year 2060. Declining birth rates affect the emerging talent pipeline and while there might be differences in the severity of decline, it exists in all parts of the globe. The loss of the baby boomer talent pool means that companies feel more pressure to fill their growing skills gap all while trying to juggle the transfer of knowledge from retiring workers.
Eliminating boundaries fuels mobility
The search for talent finds recruiters turning their attention to skilled workers in developing countries. Success with diverse recruits builds greater confidence and a belief that the country of worker origin doesn't need to limit accessibility to talent. In a recent *Randstad Sourceright Talent Trends Report, talent scarcity is said to have negatively affected 72 percent of the businesses of survey respondents. (*400 HR, talent and business leaders were surveyed)
Where boundaries to jobs once existed because of geographical restrictions, technology has opened a world market for jobs. Where workers reside matters far less than it ever did before. This trend will only continue to grow. Technology makes the face of the workforce a global one where workers are more easily able to move from company to company without having to leave their country of origin.
Freelance is the new black.
Increasingly, workers are opting for greater flexibility where independent contractors make up the fastest growing portion of the global workforce. Even what was previously considered the normal work week of 40 hours is changing. Due to a host of reasons including differing lifestyle needs, workers are open and more comfortable with non traditional work arrangements such as fixed-term contracts, casual and part-time. In addition, more workers are connecting with companies through recruitment agencies.
Benefits on a global scale.
The changes in the rise of a global workforce places different considerations on the definition of group benefit programs. Just as the face of the workplace evolves, employers will need to look at how well their benefit program fits the changing interests of their worker population.
Approximately 8 percent of the Canadian population lives and works in foreign countries. Whether a Canadian citizen working as an expatriate or a foreign citizen or inpatriate working in Canada, attention must be given to health care services and providers able to support the requirements of international plan members. While companies are learning more about the changing face of the global workforce, there is a lot involved in establishing and maintaining a dynamic benefit plan that meets the demand of workers in regions around the world.
At Arthur J. Gallagher, we help protect companies from regulatory and compliance risks while meeting the needs of an international workforce. We invite you to contact us to discuss your HR strategy to ensure it is structured to attract and retain top talent. We stay up to date on evolving benefits topics around the world and we are here to help so that you can focus on what you do best.
Dave Dickinson, B.Comm, CFP, CLU, CHFC
Experienced Benefits Specialist ready to optimize your group benefits and pension plans.