CXR Recommends: McKinsey’s Postpandemic Workforce Report

This very well-written, reasonably short, readable and timely global article (complete with a description of methodology for a pleasant surprise) is a must read: What 800 executives envision for the postpandemic workforce.

Take notes and share them upward because you can bet your bosses are reading this. Some of the conclusions are counterintuitive to the conversations we are hearing play out about permanent post-pandemic changes.

A few CXR takeaways

Resistance to working anytime from anywhere is still prevalent in the C suite. After noting a doubling of the % of executives willing to allow “at least 1/10th of their employees to work two or more days a week remotely” the article states: “Extending remote work beyond two days a week, however, was less popular…with just 7% saying at least one-tenth of their employees could work three or more days a week remotely.”

What jobs are most suitable for remote work? “More than 60 percent of workers in the US economy cannot work remotely.” Even if that is old thinking because of moves toward automation and redesign of jobs, it’s still going to be a large #. What is your # pre- and post-pandemic?

Roles executives expect to hire more people for post-pandemic, as a result of the crisis, include:

  • Health and Safety (83%)
  • Technology and automation (68%)
  • Digital learning and agile ways of working (45%)

For the first, it is not too soon to begin pipelining. The second should serve as a continuation of a pre-pandemic trend. The third is definitely going to impact TA. HR is challenged to balance its budget and shift resources to build an internal mobility strategy – upskilling and reskilling – versus constant competition to just ‘buy talent’ in the marketplace for those jobs deemed critical long term. Whose workforce plan and organizational approach are you participating in? How are you leading TA to break down silos between TA and TM?

Will there be an increase in temp workers? Should there be? 70% of executives ‘suggested that they wanted to hire on-site temporary workers or freelancers’. Operating under conditions of uncertainty it’s reasonable to want to mitigate labor costs but if the uninsured or under-insured ‘non-employees’ bear the brunt of the physical risks related to the pandemic, will there be blowback in employee engagement and more…perhaps much more in relation to the firm’s brand?

Would love to hear your thoughts on this report. Join the discussion on the Talent Talks eXchange.

Gerry Crispin

Gerry Crispin

Gerry co-authored eight books on the evolution of staffing and has written 100s of articles and whitepapers on similar topics during a career in Human Resources that spans more than 40 years from HR leadership positions at Johnson and Johnson; to boutique Executive Search firms; a Career Services Director at the University where he received his Engineering and 2 advanced degrees in Organizational/Industrial Behavior; and, GM of a major recruitment advertising firm even as he launched CareerXroads 25 years ago.

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