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Jobs of the Future

Social Media Manager, SEO Specialist, App Developer and Big Data Analyst – all high demand jobs, and all jobs that didn’t exist a decade ago. The Digital Age has brought on the fourth industrial revolution, dubbed Industry 4.0 by technology professionals, and has already begun to disrupt New Zealand’s job market.

When we live in a world where half of today’s jobs may not exist tomorrow and half of tomorrow’s jobs don’t exist today, how can a workforce prepare for innovations that haven’t yet been invented?

Driving the Change

The landscape of the job market is rapidly shifting, with more jobs and industries becoming endangered than ever before. By 2020, we would have lost an estimated 7.1 million jobs globally, with 4.7 from the office and administration sectors, and with industrial and manufacturing not far behind with 1.6 million jobs. The loss of these jobs is largely down to employers looking to automate simple tasks such as data entry, manufacturing and even more complex jobs like construction.

In response to this, the job market can expect a growth of 2 million roles within business, finance, sales, computer and mathematical and engineering related sectors. There will be either an emergence of new or more refined jobs as businesses react to these changes, such as Big Data Analysts who can make sense of the increasingly sophisticated analytics. Or Specialist Sales Representatives who will have to adapt to new strategies designed to explain new products and services to new client audiences. But how can a workforce acquire experience in something that hasn’t yet existed? The answer is: they can’t.

Hiring with the Future in Mind

So what exactly does that mean for our emerging and existing workforce in New Zealand? With 48% of young people between the age of 15 and 24 unemployed, and RadioNZ recently stating that more than 80,000 young people are out of work, not in education or training, this poses a big problem.

It’s no secret that as an employer faced with a number of potential candidates, their work experience will be one of the critical deciding factors on who you choose to hire. So if businesses are hiring based on experience and young people are entering the workforce without it, how are they expected to get it?

Kelly A. Morgan said, "Changes are inevitable and not always controllable. What can be controlled is how you manage, react to and work through the change process”. If you recently watched World Class: Inside New Zealand Education you would have seen Finland’s education system, which focuses on learning rather than testing. Principles we could benefit from if they are at implemented here.

The Mind Lab is a fairly new venture in New Zealand, with the aim of improving digital literacy within the teaching profession and ultimately in students. Whilst these are strong solutions to the long term problems facing the New Zealand workforce, addressing the issues entirely will still need an equal change of attitude from businesses in the short term.

One third of all desirable skills and experience of most occupations by 2020, are not considered crucial today, meaning that employers need to be prepared to provide product knowledge and training. They will also need to steer clear from exclusively hiring people who have previously ‘been there and done that’. When faced with a talent shortage in a dynamic market, businesses need to consider the value of candidates with desirable attributes such as self-discipline, optimism, resilience, initiative and resourcefulness, as these people will thrive when taking on new responsibilities in roles that are brand new.

The use of psychometric assessments can be used to help source candidates ranging from entry level or executive, that have specific personality qualities like the above. This ultimately increases the chances of making a good hire. Once such a candidate has been found, the use of psychometric testing can be critical to their management and development. It can also be implemented to improve employee retention and engagement and not just part of the initial recruitment process.


Many employers are acutely aware of the impact digital disruption will have on their businesses, and the implications for the talent landscape. Whilst some employers are actively hiring candidates that will be flexible in these environments, or re-skilling their current employees in order to adapt, employers still need to better prepare themselves for these shifts.

If you’re hiring for a role new to your business, then it’s imperative you source a candidate who shows a keenness for learning and an ability to adapt. OCG has access to a number of psychometric assessment tools that can be used when managing and developing candidates, even if during the sourcing process they may not have been seen as the ‘perfect fit’ for the role.

Our recruitment approach will ensure that you have access to the candidates you need to better prepare your business for the future, so get in touch with us today to find out how we can help you adapt your company to upcoming changes.

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