With the ever-increasing skills gap faced by businesses despite the record low unemployment in a stronger economy, the seven million unfilled jobs serve as a conundrum to companies.

Innovations in technology such as artificial intelligence, 3D printing and driverless cars further threaten businesses that already have challenges in human resources.

Hence, a big red flag: To avoid workforce pain, how to strategically plan for the decades ahead?

Obviously, all of this points to the need for strategic planning.

In the tech revolution, prepare for four HR challenges:

  1. Fix your culture to prepare for rapidly evolving technology
  2. Recruit people who can propel your business
  3. Retrain your current workforce
  4. Terminate employees who cannot adapt

Your company is not terminally unique. Worldwide, in the decade ahead, countless businesses will have hundreds of millions of workers who need reskilling or face laying them off.

Employees who have a self-direction aptitude for adapting and reskilling will be at a premium for companies.

In this competitive marketplace, it’s definitely not going to be enough to outsource and or to hire new people. Retraining is vital. This might require a cultural change.

Arguably, constant technological change means many people won’t adapt.

Therefore, it’s vital to implement the Pareto Principle – the 80/20 rule. Like it or not, only 20 percent of your workforce will contribute to 80 percent of your future operational performance.

Focus on rewarding these people and retrain the rest. If they can’t be retrained for the right skills, enhanced recruitment and layoffs will be needed.

Unfortunately, the optics as well as implications for society with long unemployment lines will be unfortunate.

It might seem harsh, but automation means major change. A heavily unionized company will face unacceptable choices. Given political change in public policy, it might be difficult to terminate unproductive workers.

It’s critical for companies to identify the future skills and roles they’ll need in their staffing, and to make needed changes.

As technology evolves, there will continue to be new jobs with new demands for workers.

The competition for skilled workers will intensify – resulting in a crisis for each HR department. So, employers and workers must enthusiastically participate in reskill planning.

Companies that excel in identifying future HR needs will compete the best.

Seven strategies to meet your future needs:

  1. Evaluate your culture for its potential to adapt. Employee accountability is vital.
  2. Analyze and visualize your personnel gaps and skills you’ll need in the years ahead. Concurrently, understand the value to your company.
  3. Develop a series of plans that include recruiting, hiring, reskilling and outsourcing.
  4. Renovate your operational infrastructure and talent pool to create high performance.
  5. Seek ideas from your best talent.
  6. Be disciplined in your timely execution of making needed changes.
  7. Continually fine-tune strategies when necessary.

In conclusion, you should have a mindset to prepare for a workforce war. You’ll have a battle in prepping your culture for needed changes, recruiting the right workers and in reskilling.

From the Coach’s Corner, here are relevant tips:

For Profits, Align Your HR Program with Your Business Strategy — For profits, a successful human-resources management strategy should complement your overall business strategy. Here’s how.

For Best Performance, Inspire Employees with Non-Financial Rewards — Money talks, of course, and is a way to motivate employees. But money is not always the chief motivator. Here’s why with some ideas.

Hiring Applicants: 5 Deadly Sins of Even Savvy Managers — In this competitive and litigious marketplace, small details in human resources can make or break a company. Even though an organization’s performance matters, many managers unfortunately take shortcuts in the hiring process.

Management Strategies for Productive Applicant Interviews — You must be assertive – ask the right questions and listen intently to cut through the morass of canned answers to get the answers you need to make good hiring decisions.

HR — Succession Planning Is Essential for Business Success — To keep growing a business, it’s vital to preserve the trust of customers, employees, partners and investors. No matter how small or large your company is, a strategically written succession plan for the chief executive officer and talented employees is critical for sustainability.

Management – How to Improve Accountability in Your Company — If business and tepid growth have affected your outlook, take a look at your human resources and consider a couple of questions. If you don’t like your answer, here are eight solutions.

“I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination.”

-Jimmy Dean


Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.