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77% hiring for roles that didn’t exist a year ago, Korn Ferry finds

The breakneck speed of change in business is forcing talent acquisition professionals to ‘look into their crystal ball’ while hiring for both near-term and future needs. This is according to a global survey by Korn Ferry.

The survey found that 57% of respondents have hired for a specific skill set even if there is not an existing role for the candidate. More than three quarters (77%) say they are hiring for roles today that didn’t even exist a year ago.

Jacob Zabkowicz, Korn Ferry global vice president and general manager, recruitment process outsourcing, commented, “While technological advances are creating new roles in areas such as data analytics and artificial intelligence, other trends, such as an enhanced focus on the customer experience journey, are putting a premium on different skillsets.

“Businesses increasingly understand that the rapid pace of change means that, to thrive in the future, they will need access to skills and expertise that don’t necessarily fit within existing job descriptions.”

The speed of transformation has also meant that, unfortunately, 67% say they have had to lay off people whose roles are no longer relevant to the organisation’s direction.

According to the survey, one approach to finding the right talent for emerging roles is to look within the existing employee base. Nearly two-thirds (61%) say they invest more on upskilling existing talent than recruiting externally, and nearly half (47%) say they have formal retraining programs for workers whose jobs have evolved.

Zabkowicz added, “With the labour market as tight as it has been in decades, it’s critical that employers look inside their own walls to find talented people who could be trained to meet the evolving needs of the organisation, today and well into the future.”

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