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Is technology reshaping the way we work?

Part 3 of our data driven investigation into 2014’s real talent trends

Recap: We’re continuing our data driven look into the real talent trends of 2014

Today we’re continuing our data driven look into the talent trends of 2014.

To recap on how we’re doing this, each week Indeed collects millions of job ads from sites across the web. And the team is kind enough to make all of this data publicly available and searchable. This means we can look at how frequently certain terms are occurring in millions of job ads, all the way back to 2005. It’s fascinating, and you should have a play with the tool at http://www.indeed.com/jobtrends.

Sitting in a workplace today, it’s easy to feel how technology is reshaping the way work gets done. So today we wanted to have a look at some of the big tech trends, to see if the impact on the workplace is as significant as the press and blogosphere makes out.

How is technology reshaping the way we work?

Again, there’s been a lot written on this topic recently. Here’s just a couple of pieces that you might have read over 2014:

Out of these, we’ve picked the four trends we were seeing again and again. In no particular order, we’re diving into:

  • Social media
  • Social (collaborative tech)
  • Cloud
  • Mobile

Social media

Clearly social media is no passing fad. It’s seen huge growth in hiring over the past ten years. But this is still less than 1% of all jobs, and at present these numbers are unlikely to represent much other than people hired into marketing roles. It will be interesting to see how “Social Media” in hiring evolves over the coming 5-10 years – will we see a stage where social media capability is a broader job requirement?

Social media

Social

Social (capturing collaborative tech) is potentially the bigger trend here, which continues to grow. It’s interesting how Social has seen a sustained pick up across 2014, whilst Social Media has plateaued.

Social

Cloud

Again, “Cloud” is a trend that’s seen major growth over the past five years. “Cloud” has come from nowhere to feature in nearly 1% of all job adverts across 2012 – 2014. The scale of growth shows the level of investment that businesses have made in getting the workforce cloud enabled.

HR Cloud

Mobile

Mobile is another big trend that’s really reshaping the way that we work. But similar to the “Cloud” it hasn’t been a growth area for 2014 (doing major growth at an earlier stage). If anything mobile is now starting to drop off as a hiring trend, as companies are reaching full capability.

Mobile

So, how is technology reshaping the workforce?

Cloud, mobile and social media have all been huge growth trends in reshaping the workplace. But as this hiring data makes clear, they haven’t been the tech trends of 2014. All three terms have plateaued or fallen away slightly over the course of the year.

What does this mean? As these charts make clear, these technologies have seen explosive growth over the past five years. And there’s still significant hiring happening – especially when you compare the current numbers to 10 years ago. But explosive and ongoing growth in the field may have slowed. So it’s possible that businesses are bedding down current efforts and making sure they have the right strategies in place to go forward (now that they’re through initial deployment).

The only place we’ve really seen ongoing growth over 2014 is social technology. As I wrote about here, there’s really good reasons to invest and integrate social and collaborative tech. It’s great to see that businesses are starting to recognise this return and invest appropriately.

Interested in the real talent management trends of 2014? Don’t miss the other parts of this series…

If you loved these talent insights, there’s plenty more in this series:

  1. Millennials are changing the way we work (part 1)
  2. HR is about to be taken over by data/finance (part 2)
  3. Technology is reshaping the way we work (part 3)
  4. Holacracy is set to make managers obsolete (part 4, coming tomorrow!)

If you’ve got interesting thoughts about what this article means for the future of work, I’d love to continue the conversation on Twitter. Tweet and follow @cognology.

Is HR about to be taken over by the CFO?

Part 2 of our data driven investigation into the talent trends of 2014

Recap: We’re using job hiring data to understand the real talent trends of 2014

Today we’re continuing our data driven look into the current state of talent.

As a quick refresher, we’re using the publicly searchable data from Indeed as a basis for this investigation. Because Indeed aggregate millions of job posts from across the web, it’s a great source for understanding what’s really happening in the workforce.

Today we’re going to shift the lens back in, and look directly at what’s really changing in HR.

Is HR is about to be taken over by data/finance?

If you’re a regular reader of the business press, I’m sure you’ve read plenty of articles suggesting that HR is about to be made obsolete. No one seems to agree on who’s about to take over the function, but data analysts and the CFO get mentioned regularly.

Here’s some of the typical press/blog articles you might have read over the past year:

Today we’re using hiring data to see if this takeover is really playing out. Are companies really recruiting super analysts to take over HR? We’re going to find out by having a look at some of the following terms across job adverts:

  • HR & Data
  • HR & Big Data
  • HR & Analytics
  • HR & Finance

But before we jump into that level of detail, let’s set the scene with a general look at the recruiting landscape for HR, analytics, data and finance.

Data

I find it interesting that “Data” has been falling away over the past three years in job adverts. This is about the same timeframe the business press started making proclamations like “data is the new oil”

Data

Big Data

And maybe some of this falloff in “Data” can be explained just through buzzword substitution. Hiring for “Big Data” seems to have picked up in late 2011/early 2012, at the time that “Data” started to drop away.

Big Data

Analytics

At the same time “Analytics” shows on-going growth over the past 10 years, although an interesting downtrend over 2014.

Analytics

Finance

Hiring for “Finance” has shown a constant and sustained downtrend over the past 10 years. I find it quite incredible that “HR” seems to be a better economic barometer than finance (compare the following two charts).

Finance

HR

Based on this chart alone, it’s amazing how correlated HR jobs are with the general economy.

HR

HR & Data

Adding “HR” and “Data” gives us an interesting picture on the data revolution in the HR profession. It’s clear that there is real growth here that doesn’t exist in the profession as a whole. But the press are 5 years too late in recognising this as a trend. Over 2013 and 2014 we’ve seen “HR” and “Data” fall in relative frequency.

HR Data

HR & Big Data

You can see that “HR”and “Big Data” is very spikey (given the very low data volumes). However it’s clear that there was a pickup at the same time as “Big Data” in general. This seems to be a case of the business media really pushing a term to the forefront of the hiring agenda.

HR Big Data

HR & Analytics

“HR” & “Analytics” has seen sustained growth over the ten-year period (but remember that this is coming off a low base. This is definitely a term to watch.

HR Analytics

HR & Finance

This is an interesting graph with some spikes on serious volume – I’m sure there are some interesting factors driving the spikes (I’d love you to jump into the comments if you have thoughts about what they represent).

HR Finance

So, is HR about to be taken over?

Whilst there’s some evidence of growth in “HR” & “Analytics” and “HR” & “Big Data”, these trends are small scale and relatively early in their lifecycle.

Relative to HR as a profession (c.3% of all job advertisements) these trends are small scale – with about 1 in 50 HR job advertisements currently featuring “Analytics” and about 1 in 150 HR job adverts featuring “Big Data”. So it’s fair to say we’re not at the stage of a massive takeover just yet. But there are clearly things happening over the medium term – which makes this an interesting trend to watch.

Interested in the real talent management trends of 2014? Don’t miss the other parts of this series…

If you loved these talent trend insights, there’s plenty more in this series:

  1. Millennials are changing the way we work (part 1)
  2. HR is about to be taken over by data/finance (part 2)
  3. Technology is reshaping the way we work (part 3, coming tomorrow)
  4. Holacracy is set to make managers obsolete (part 4, coming Friday)

And of course, I’d always love to continue the discussion on Twitter. Tweet @cognology with your take on this investigation and any other key trends you’d like us to look at.

Are Millennials really changing the way we work?

Part 1 of our data driven investigation into the talent trends of 2014

Introducing a four part investigation into 2014’s key talent trends, thanks to our friends at Indeed

We’ve spent the past few weeks searching for a data driven way to investigate the top HR and talent trends of 2014. The real question that I wanted to ask here was: “are these real trends affecting business, or just a big media/blogger beat-up”?

Luckily, we found Indeed’s awesome job trends tool. If you’re not familiar with Indeed, it’s one of the world’s biggest job post aggregators. Indeed collects millions of job ads from sites across the web. This approach has quickly seen them become a recruiting powerhouse.

Each week, the team at Indeed make data from millions of job ads publically available and searchable. So we can look at how frequently key words (or phrases) are occurring in job ads, going back ten years.

It’s an incredibly powerful way to look at whether these HR trends are really changing the way that companies are hiring.

What do millions of job posts tell us about the real talent trends?

We picked out four trends that we’ve seen come up time and time again in the business press over 2014. These four trends are:

  1. Millennials are changing the way we work (part 1, today)
  2. HR is about to be taken over by data/finance (part 2, coming tomorrow)
  3. Technology is reshaping the way we work (part 3, coming this Thursday)
  4. Holacracy is set to make managers obsolete (part 4, coming this Friday)

We wanted to understand if these are real trends shaping the way companies are hiring, or if they just make great stories in the press. We’re going to dive into one of these topics per day over the next four days. So make sure you check back frequently!

Without further ado, let’s jump into Millennials and find out if they’re really reshaping the workplace…

Are Millennials really changing the way we work?

There has been a lot written about Millennials in the workplace over the past year. Here’s a couple of the more influential pieces that you might have seen

I’m going to highlight some of key attributes of a “Millennial friendly workplace” that just keep coming up throughout these articles:

  • Flexibility
  • Feedback
  • Collaboration
  • Friendly
  • Work from home

To see if workplaces are really becoming more Millennial friendly, let’s have a look at these five terms in job advertisements:

Flexible

We know that Millennials want more flexibility and better work life integration. And this chart provides pretty strong evidence that workplaces are heading in this direction. Over the past 10 years, you can see the frequency that “flexibility” comes up in job adverts has nearly doubled. This is the most frequent of the Millennial related terms, appearing in nearly 15% of all job posts.

Flexible

Feedback

Feedback has shown similar growth, albeit from a lower base. It’s interesting that the term has plateaued in job advertising since mid 2012.

Feedback

Collaboration

Collaborative and friendly workplaces are commonly cited characteristics of a Millennial workplace. There’s an interesting relationship here between the “collaborative” and “friendly” workplace. Collaboration showed very strong growth over the period of 2005 to late 2011. It has plateaued since and fell significantly in 2014.

Collaboration

Friendly

In an interesting takeaway for your recruiting efforts, it seems that the “collaborative” workplace is out, and the “friendly” workplace is in. This was probably one of the bigger surprises in cutting the data. Over the past ten years there’s a real trend towards more friendly workplaces. I certainly didn’t expect to see such growth over the past 2-3 years.

Friendly

Work from home

We’ve saved the most interesting for last! Because in identifying the real Millennial trends of 2014, “Work From Home” is the big growth story. Since early 2014, the term has shown accelerating growth with no end in sight (have a close look at the explosive growth from mid 2014).

Work from home

Millennials really are reshaping the workplace

The data does show that out that these Millennial demands really are reshaping the workplace. More and more workplaces are offering what Millennials are ‘demanding.’

But there’s also a deeper trend here. It does appear that we’re moving to “Phase 2” of the Millennial friendly workplace.

  • Phase 1 includes the trends of “Feedback”, “Flexibility” and “Collaboration”. These were trends that showed strong growth through to early 2012, and have now plateaued.
  • Phase 2 includes the trends of “Friendly” workplaces, and “Work from home”. These two trends in particular have shown significant acceleration over the past three years – whilst some of these earlier trends have stagnated.

Where to next? I’d love to hear your thoughts on what else is could be included in phase two of the Millennial friendly workplace trend.

Interested in the real talent management trends of 2014? Don’t miss the other parts of this series….

If you loved these talent insights, there’s plenty more in this series:

  1. Millennials are changing the way we work (part 1, today)
  2. HR is about to be taken over by data/finance (part 2, coming tomorrow)
  3. Technology is reshaping the way we work (part 3, coming Thursday)
  4. Holacracy is set to make managers obsolete (part 4, coming Friday)

I’d always love to continue the conversation and discuss this article on Twitter. Tweet @cognology with your view on this research and any other key trends you’d like to see investigated.