Trends in Workplace Automation, Reskilling and Job Openings

WorldatWork and Greenwich.HR Release Results of The Future of Work Survey

August 25, 2020

August 25, 2020 — Scottsdale, AZ — One in five organizations automated jobs in 2019 and, while manufacturing is often considered for automation, results of the survey indicate heavier activity in HR, finance and data analytics. Among those that did automate, they estimated 2.8% of jobs were impacted. For reskilling activity, 31% of organizations reported conducting workforce reskilling. These are some of the key takeaways from The Future of Work survey conducted by WorldatWork and Greenwich.HR. The survey also aligned with Greenwich.HR’s examination of 5.4 million job listings. (Journalists: contact for a copy of the results.)

Other key findings:

  • A number of organizations are still relying on hiring rather than reskilling (41% doing this a lot or some)
  • Virtual assistants may be augmenting traditional office support roles as 45% of organizations are trying to reskill jobs in office and administrative support
  • There’s a heavy concentration of transportation roles being reskilled (86% moderate or high)
  • Virtual learning is the most common channel for reskilling efforts
  • On average, 33% of positions require a proficiency exam
  • 60% of organizations rank budget and time the greatest reskilling challenges
  • For job openings overall, there’s been a 6% increase in openings requiring weekend work and increases reported for benefits such as PTO (7%) and dental/vision (4%)
  • The largest decline in job openings were for accounting skills (-16%), intern roles (-12%) and senior level roles (-11%)

An examination of over 5.4 million job listings conducted by Greenwich.HR indicates that for jobs more likely to be automated, over the last two years companies have increased emphasis on context-specific requirements and decreased emphasis on general knowledge and experience requirements.

“The data from Greenwich.HR lines up with what our survey reveals. Automation and reskilling are important components of any organization’s competitive workforce planning strategy today and into the future of work,” says Steve Boddy, Content Director, WorldatWork.

“Even in the last two years, companies have notably shifted how they define job requirements and how they communicate those requirements. They are becoming much more specific and companies are de-emphasizing general qualifications and knowledge,” says Cary Sparrow, CEO of Greenwich.HR. “During this period of high unemployment, companies are competing aggressively for talent. They’re positioning their non-pay rewards much more assertively than they were even two years ago,” he adds.


About the Study

WorldatWork, in partnership with Greenwich.HR, invited its broader membership and customer base to participate in the electronic survey, resulting in a final sample of 1,042 respondents representing organizations of different sizes and across multiple industries. Email invitations were sent directly to participants on April 29, 2020 and results were collected over a three-month period.  Results have not been weighted, but respondent profiles have been included to assist with interpretation of results.

About WorldatWork

WorldatWork, the Total Rewards Association, is the leading global nonprofit organization for professionals who are engaged in the critically important practice of Total Rewards. We serve those who are responsible for cultivating inspired, engaged, productive, and committed workers in effective and rewarding workplaces. We guide them in the design and delivery of Total Reward programs with our education and certification; idea exchange; thought leadership; knowledge creation; information sharing; research; advocacy; and networking. Founded in 1955, WorldatWork serves Total Rewards professionals throughout the world working in organizations of all sizes and every industry.

About Greenwich.HR

Greenwich.HR brings an entirely new lens to seeing the labor market, allowing innovations and efficiencies that have never been possible. Greenwich.HR provides the largest, fastest-growing, and most precise labor market data platform available. We track the hiring and pay behaviors of over 3 million organizations in real time. Learn more at Greenwich.HR.

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