The economic recovery over the past year has been remarkable: most sectors have recovered their pre-pandemic levels of employment and the unemployment rate is almost as low as it was before 2020. Some sectors are struggling to find workers and we see hiring in all industries remaining tight.
Looking beneath the surface, we see several trends converging, and recent research by McKinsey shows just how and why jobs are shifting quickly as the economy recovers.
What the research says about post-pandemic job shifts
Recent research by McKinsey found that the pandemic has accelerated a trend that was taking shape even before massive social disruptions: the fact that a number of workers will need to change jobs or even fields in order to stay employed. Jobs in healthcare, retail and tourism have been eliminated en masse, while other sectors of the economy have grown substantially like telemedicine, online banking, and streaming entertainment.
Where and how people work
The McKinsey report identifies three major components of the shifts we are seeing: remote work, e-commerce and automation.
The report scored positions based on how important “physical proximity” is, so that jobs in retail and tourism can be said to require a high degree of physical proximity while other office positions can be shifted to remote status. These jobs were naturally the most disturbed by pandemic disruptions.
The rapid shift to remote work has been perhaps the biggest change wrought by the pandemic. We’ve previously chronicle on how valuable making a position fully remote can be. Many employers, including WordPress, have entirely distributed workforces which can be a model for other companies contemplating making their operations remote or asynchronous.
Further reading on remote work:
- Work-from-home & Remote Work Policies: Are They For You?
- The Five Levels of a Distributed Workforce from the Founder of WordPress
- Remote Positions: How To Set Your Company Up For Success
- How Geographic Mobility Affects Salaries in the Age of Remote Work
- Best and Worst Cities for Remote Workers
The role of e-commerce
The second big change that McKinsey chronicled was the increasing role of e-commerce.
For this reason, we see the following changes in recruiting:
- More companies are looking to enlist a Head of E-commerce.
- We see an enhanced focus on Amazon-specific skills
- All companies can benefit from recruiting candidates with Digital & E-commerce Skills
More on hiring for e-commerce:
- E-commerce Executive Recruiting: Important Trends for 2022
- Understanding Amazon’s Role in the Post-Pandemic E-Commerce Landscape
- Why Luxury Beauty Brands are Increasing Hiring Executives with Amazon-Specific Skills
- Most Highly Sought Digital & E-commerce Skills for Post-Pandemic Retail
The Role of AI and Automation
Finally, the McKinsey research identified role of AI and automation in the changing pattern of employment: namely that industries in retail, restaurants and hospitality will rely on these technologies to replace workers and make operations more efficient and seamless. We therefore expect employers to want candidates who can successfully leverage AI and automation in their
What this means for employers
With jobs shifting away from those that require physical proximity, we expect employers to need to:
- Be more open to geographic flexibility and fully remote positions
- Be looking to maximize revenue through the use of AI and automation
- Continue to develop new and innovative digital sales and e-commerce experiences
What this means for employees
Most employees could benefit from a deeper understanding of how customers find them online, and in that sense, and therefore upskilling in terms of digital and e-commerce has never been more important.
There are many free courses that help you learn directly from the source, including: