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2018 Future Workforce Report: Hiring manager insights on flexible and remote work trends

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The Future Workforce Report, conducted by an independent research firm and commissioned by Upwork, explores the hiring behaviors of over 1,000 U.S. hiring managers to show how businesses are adapting to the rapid pace of workforce change. Nearly two-thirds (63 percent) of companies today have remote workers. Find out how companies are embracing a more agile, remote workforce, and what’s in store for the future.

Published in: Recruiting & HR

2018 Future Workforce Report: Hiring manager insights on flexible and remote work trends

  1. 1. 2018 Future Workforce Report: Hiring manager insights on flexible and remote work trends February 2018 © Copyright 2018 Inavero, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
  2. 2. Table of Contents 2 Topic Page Study Objectives 3 Research Methodology 4 Key Findings 5 Companies today face a dilemma 10 Work is changing 14 Remote work is more common, but companies lack policies to support 23 Freelancer usage is accelerating 31 The future workforce 39 Profile of respondents 41 Appendix 46
  3. 3. Study Objectives Upwork commissioned Inavero, an independent research firm, to conduct a study of workforce hiring in the U.S., focusing on knowledge work, with these objectives: 1. Understand the hiring challenges companies face today 2. Examine how work is changing as skills and technology evolve 3. Explore how teams are handling remote workforce management 4. Learn how companies are utilizing freelancers now and in the future 5. Discover how the workforce will evolve in the next 10 years This deck is organized in sections to detail results on each objective. 3
  4. 4. Research Methodology • An online survey of 1,005 workforce hiring decision makers obtained through a third-party, independent online sample. • Data collected November 8, 2017 – November 15, 2017 by independent research firm Inavero. • This is the second year the survey has been conducted. • Overall margin of error of ±3.09% at 95% confidence level. 4
  5. 5. Key Findings 5 Companies today face a dilemma • Nearly all (91%) hiring managers had open positions on their team at some point in 2017. • The typical position is open for 36 days, with engineering (45 days) and accounting/finance (39 days) positions open the longest. • Over three times as many hiring managers said hiring was more difficult in 2017 than said it was easier. • Access to skills (53%) cost/budget (45%) and internal hiring processes (33%) were the top hiring challenges in 2017.
  6. 6. Key Findings 6 Work is changing • Globalization, skill specialization and agile team models will change the workforce in the next 10 years. • The majority of hiring managers (65%) agree that companies will need to invest in training/re-skilling to prepare workers for the jobs of tomorrow. • Over half (52%) of hiring managers cited shortage of talent as the top driver for adopting a more flexible workforce model. • Hiring managers expect a 168% increase in the amount of work done by flexible talent (temporary, freelance or agency workers) in 10 years.
  7. 7. Key Findings 7 Remote work is more common, but companies lack policies to support • A majority (63%) of companies have remote workers, yet more than half (57%) lack work-from-home policies. • 5X as many hiring managers expect more of their team to work remotely in the next 10 years than expect less. • 2X as many hiring managers cite having the right skills as being more important than working in the same location as the rest of the team. • Majority of hiring managers with remote workers (61%) and work from home policies (52%) agree hiring has gotten easier in the past year.
  8. 8. Key Findings 8 Freelancer usage is accelerating • A large majority (79%) report their company’s utilization of freelancers has changed over the past 3 years. • Nearly half (48%) of companies are currently using freelancers, up 43% from 2017. • 4X more hiring managers expect their usage of freelancers to increase in 2018 than those who expect it to decrease. • Nine out of 10 hiring managers are open to working with freelancers rather than making temporary hires through a staffing firm.
  9. 9. Key Findings 9 The future workforce • 6X as many hiring managers agree that dynamic and agile team structures will become the norm. • 3X as many hiring managers agree that offices will serve as temporary anchor points rather than daily travel destinations. • In fact, 38 percent of full-time/permanent employees will work predominantly remotely. • The majority (56%) of companies will have increased their use of freelancers, 74 percent among companies who currently use freelancers.
  10. 10. 10 Companies today face a dilemma
  11. 11. Companies are struggling to find talent 11 Q2.9. Thinking of the most recent roles you have been involved in trying to fill in the past year, how long have each been open (or how long were each open before being filled)? (n=910) 91% of hiring managers had open positions in 2017 36 Average days a position is open
  12. 12. 12Q2.10. In your opinion, how hard has hiring for the following roles been this past year compared to prior years? (n=958) Total Over 3x as many hiring managers said hiring was more difficult in 2017 than said it was easier Hiring difficulties have increased for all roles
  13. 13. Access to skills is the biggest challenge managers face 13Q2.11. What Are Your Biggest Hiring Challenges? (n=539) Q2.21 Please rate your agreement with each of the following statements about the workforce of today compared to three years ago (n=999) Note: Question was only asked to those who said that hiring got harder for any role/skillset 59% Of hiring managers agree that skills have become more specialized as compared to three years ago
  14. 14. 14 Work is changing
  15. 15. Globalization, skill specialization and agile team models are shaping the future workforce 15Q3.4. Please rate your agreement with each of the following statements about how workforce models will change in the next 10 years. (n=1002) Note: Chart shows net agreement (% agree = % disagree)
  16. 16. The acceleration of skills will require frequent learning to remain marketable 16Q5.3. How likely is it that the following scenarios will occur in 10 years? (n=890) Think it’s likely that workers will have to learn new skills to stay marketable as the job market evolves 85% As many hiring managers think it’s unlikely their entire job will be automated than those who felt very likely Think it’s likely that AI will accelerate the growth of knowledge work Think it’s likely that parts of their job will be automated 59% 65% 3X
  17. 17. Companies will need to invest in re-skilling as AI/robotics drives productivity and accelerates knowledge work 17Q5.4. Please rate your agreement with each of the following statements about the impact AI/robotics will have on the future of jobs. (n=974) Note: Chart shows net agreement (% agree = % disagree)
  18. 18. The Internet of Things ranked top innovation in next ten years, 2X more than AI and 3X more than robotics 18Q5.1. Please rank the following technological innovations in order of the impact they will have on your business in the next 10 years: (n=867)
  19. 19. IoT among the most sought after skills in 2018, along with marketing/sales automation, big data and analytics 19Q5.2. What top 3 skills matter most to the roles you’ll be hiring for in 2018? (n=974)
  20. 20. Talent shortage is the top driver leading companies to adopt more flexible workforce models 20 Q2.16. (If have hired/will hire freelancers in 2017 or 2018) What are the key drivers for your organization adopting a more flexible workforce (i.e. freelancers, temporary or agency workers)? (n=219) Q 2.21 Please rate your agreement with each of the following statements about the workforce of today compared to three years ago (n=1,000) 53% Of hiring managers agree that companies are embracing more flexible teams as compared to three years ago
  21. 21. of departments currently utilize flexible talent (temporary, freelance and agency workers) 59% Departments are increasing their usage of flexible talent 21Q2.5. Within your department, how many of the following types of workers do you have currently? How many do you expect to have in 2018? (n=861) The percentage of departments that utilize some form of flexible talent is up Compared to last year 24%(Up 11 Points)
  22. 22. Hiring managers expect significant increase in work done by flexible talent in the next 10 years 22 Q2.5. Within your department, how many of the following types of workers do you have currently? How many do you expect to have in 2018? (n=861) Q3.3. What percentage of your department’s work do you estimate will be done by the following types of workers in 10 years? (n=964) Among All Departments Among Departments with Flexible Talent in 2017 Worker Composition in 2017 Expected % of Work Done in 10 Years Worker Composition in 2017 Expected % of Work Done in 10 Years Increase 168% Increase 149%
  23. 23. 23 Remote work is more common, but companies lack policies to support
  24. 24. The majority of departments have remote team members 24 Q4.1. Do you have any team members who conduct a significant portion of their work from a remote location? (n=974) Q4.10. [If “yes” to work from home policy] How often does a typical member of your team work from home? (n=405) 63% of all departments have team members who work remotely
  25. 25. Department has resources/processes in place to support a remote workforce And the resources in place to support a remote workforce 25 Company overall has resources/processes in place to support a remote workforce Q4.5. Do you feel your department has the resources and processes in place to support a remote workforce? (n=892) Q4.6. Do you feel your company as a whole has the resources and processes in place to support a remote workforce? (n=899)
  26. 26. Yet, more than half lack a work-from-home policy 26Q4.9. Does your company have a work-from-home policy? (n=941) 57% of organizations do not have a work-from-home policy
  27. 27. Companies with work-from-home policies feel their policies have become more lenient in past 5 years 27 Q4.9. Does your company have a work-from-home policy? (n=941) Q4.10. [If “yes” to work from home policy] How often does a typical member of your team work from home? (n=405) Q4.11. Has your company’s work-from-home policy changed over the past 5 years? (n=937) Company’s work-from-home policy has changed in the past 5 years
  28. 28. Remote work is expected to become more common 28 Q4.1. Do you have any team members who conduct a significant portion of their work from a remote location? (n=974) Q4.2. What percentage of your overall team would you estimate work remotely at least half of the time today? (n=939) Q4.3. What percentage of your overall team would you estimate will work remotely at least half of the time in 10 years? (n=939) 5X as many hiring managers expect more of their team to work remotely in 10 years than expect less 55% of hiring managers agree remote work is becoming more common as compared to three years ago
  29. 29. Skills are viewed as more important than location 29 Q2.23. Which of the following is more important for a new hire? (n=1003) Q4.8. For the following descriptors, which type of workers tend to… (n=998) as many hiring managers say that being the most skilled person for the job is more important than being able to work from the same location as the rest of the team. 2x
  30. 30. Hiring managers at organizations that currently have remote workers are more likely to think hiring has become easier in the past year Companies with remote teams are more likely to think hiring has become easier in the past year 30Q2.10. In your opinion, how hard has hiring for the following roles been this past year compared to prior years? (n=958) 61% Hiring managers at organizations that support a work-from-home policy are more likely to think hiring has become easier in the past year 52%
  31. 31. 31 Freelancer usage is accelerating
  32. 32. The freelance job market is changing, majority of organizations are increasing their use of freelancers 32 Q2.19. (If had freelancers in 2017) In your opinion, how has the usage of freelancers within your organization changed in the past 3 years? (n=406) Q2.20. Please rate your agreement with each of the following statements about the freelance job market compared to 3 years ago. (n=1002) 79% of those who use freelancers say the usage of those freelancers has changed in the past 3 years
  33. 33. Nearly half of hiring managers are using freelancers 33 Q2.5. Within your department, how many of the following types of workers do you have currently? How many do you expect to have in 2018? (n=861) Q3.1. Do you plan to increase your usage of freelancers in the next 10 years? (n=689) 48% of hiring managers are currently utilizing freelancers The percentage of departments that currently utilize freelancers is up compared to last year 43%(Up 14 Points)
  34. 34. And they expect to use more in 2018 34 Q2.5. Within your department, how many of the following types of workers do you have currently? How many do you expect to have in 2018? (n=416) Q2.13. What is the primary reason you will be using more freelancers in 2018? (n=204) Q2.14. What is the primary reason you will be using fewer freelancers in 2018? (n=254) 4x as many hiring managers expect their usage of freelancers to increase in 2018 than expect their usage to decrease as many hiring managers expect their usage of freelancers to increase in 2018 than expect their usage to decrease 4x
  35. 35. 90 percent of companies are open to hiring freelancers rather than working with a staffing firm 35Q2.26. Which of the following are reasons you may hire a freelancer instead of hiring a temporary employee through a staffing agency? (n=1005) 9 in 10 hiring managers are open to hiring freelancers rather than temporary employees through a staffing firm
  36. 36. The majority use freelancers for specialized work 36Q2.17. (If have hired/will hire freelancers in 2017 or 2018) Which of the following is true about the freelancers you most typically use? (n=225)
  37. 37. Freelancers are largely used across multiple projects 37 Q2.18. (If have hired/will hire freelancers in 2017 or 2018) How do you most typically work with freelancers? (n=223)
  38. 38. Freelancers are helping companies get more work done 38Q2.25. If you had not been able to find a freelancer to hire for your most recent project, which of the following would have likely occurred? (n=1003) 84%of teams would either delay, cancel or extend project workloads
  39. 39. 39 The Future Workforce
  40. 40. By 2027... 40 56% of all organizations will have increased utilization of freelancers 74% of organizations that currently have freelancers will have increased their utilization 3xMore agree than disagree Offices will serve as temporary anchor points rather than daily travel destinations 38% of full-time/permanent employees will work predominantly remotely Dynamic and agile team structures will become the norm 6xMore agree than disagree Q3.1. Do you plan to increase your usage of freelancers in the next 10 years? (n=689) Q3.4. Please rate your agreement with each of the following statements about how workforce models will change in the next 10 years. (n=1002) Q4.3. What percentage of your overall team would you estimate will work remotely at least half of the time in 10 years? (n=939)
  41. 41. 41 Profile of respondents
  42. 42. Respondents Represent Companies of all Sizes 42 Q1.1. Which of the following best represents your company’s total revenue for calendar year 2017? (n=890) Q1.2. Which of the following best represents your company’s size? (n=1000)
  43. 43. Respondents Come From a Variety of Industries Across the Country 43 Q1.4. Which of the following best describes your organization’s primary industry? (n=1005) Q6.2. Please enter the five-digit zip code that corresponds to your primary place of employment. (n=995) Note: Only ten most common industries are shown
  44. 44. Respondents Represent a Variety of Job Functions 44 Q1.3. What best describes your role in the company? (n=1005) Q1.5. Which of the following functional areas do you currently work in? (n=1005)
  45. 45. Respondents Represent a Variety of Demographics 45 High School or Equivalent 15% 2-Year Degree 15% Bachelor’s Degree 45% Master's Degree or Higher 25% Q6.1. What is your current age? (n=920) Q6.3. Which of the following best describes your gender? (n=1000) Q6.4. Which of the following best describes the highest level of education you’ve had the opportunity to complete? (n=1005)
  46. 46. 46 Appendix
  47. 47. About this Study This study commissioned by: Upwork Upwork is the world’s largest freelancing website. As an increasingly connected and independent workforce goes online, knowledge work —like software, shopping and content before it— is shifting online as well. This shift is making it easier for clients to connect and work with talent in near real-time and is freeing professionals everywhere from having to work at a set time and place. Freelancers are earning more than $1 billion annually via Upwork. Upwork is headquartered in Mountain View, Calif., with offices in San Francisco and Oslo, Norway. This study conducted by: Inavero Inavero is a global leader in human capital management research. The firm powers satisfaction and thought leadership studies for hundreds of top firms within the space and leverages more than 300,000 survey responses annually to provide insight into the millions who work in the gig economy and the companies who hire them. 47
  48. 48. © Copyright 2018 Inavero, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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