Talent agencies have seen several changes in the talent market in 2022. BTG reports that the most in-demand skills are project management and organizational design. In terms of fastest-growing skills, the most increase in demand is for artificial intelligence and machine learning experts, and cost reduction experts.
Artificial intelligence and machine learning experts are in high in demand as companies seek to make effective use of their data. With the commercial success of AI and ML in recent years, these skills are already in short supply. Job postings are expected to grow by 71% over the next five years. This increase in demand also evolving fast, and employers want these skills onboarded as soon as possible.
The resulting trend is that the position requiring these skills is filled using outside consultants, rather than in-house employees. While the short-term nature of consulting engagements might deter some employers, consultants bring a vast range of experiences gathered at numerous companies across many engagements. Such experience translates to results faster than expected.
High-end independent talent is able to tap big data for more informed decision-making, automate processes for efficiency and cost reduction, and leverage technology to anticipate and respond to rising consumer needs. Projects that might make the best use of such talent include creating an intelligent automation strategy for enterprise-wide shared services, designing integrated data hubs by organizing and coordinating data across the organization, and developing predictive analytics tools to forecast the outbreak of infectious diseases.
More than 60% of CEOs believe that their industries are in a recession or headed for one by the end of 2023. As a result, preserving cash reserves is a top priority for them and their companies. Cost reduction experts are usually seen as a temporary need in companies and are most normally filled by independent experts. These consultants bring not only deep financial expertise, business acumen, and outside perspective, but are also able to tailor their recommendations for specific industries in the context of current market conditions and the competitive landscape.
Cost reduction consultants are often engaged for scoping and prioritizing cost optimization opportunities across business functions, leading contract renegotiation to reduce technology spending across portfolio companies, and serving as interim CEO to drive cost containment and margin improvement.
Growth strategy, usually the top priority of CEOs, is complemented by risk management strategies in today’s economic downturn. Risk management experts are in high demand, and the demand has doubled year-over-year since 2021. At the same time, business leaders must also contend with the challenges posed by the pandemic. C-suite executives surveyed cited the ability to hire and retain talent as both the most important factor and biggest risk in reaching their organizations’ growth goals in 2022.
Our own anecdotal evidence shows that while many companies are cleaning house as a cash preservation measure, they are, at the same time, looking for high-end talent to be able to stay competitive. These signals are confusing to a volatile job market, but may end up being a net positive for high-end technical and business talent.
The rapid and volatile changes in the job market appear to favor high-end independent talent, both with technology and business skills. At Sidespin Group, we provide a wide range of expertise and experience in both technical and business expertise.