The Outsourcing Week in Review (Future of Work): June 16, 2023

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Welcome to Inside Outsourcing: The Outsourcing Week in Review


As the wheels of the digital revolution spin faster, we’re here decoding the rapid evolution of the workforce. You’re welcome. Welcome to another Inside Outsourcing: Future of Work! 

South Africa is looking for solutions to combat its escalating brain drain crisis. In a roundtable discussion organized by the Employer of Record (EOR) platform Playroll, HR experts and business leaders underscored three key strategies to curb the talent exodus, including advancing skills development and transfer, offering workplace flexibility, and backing employees’ personal and professional goals. AIMS South Africa‘s Leonie Pentz said that workplace flexibility could help attract and retain core talent in the country. Global Talent Sourcing Trainer Vanessa Raath added that supporting key talent and fostering leadership engagement could help elevate the crisis. Notably, the number of South Africans living abroad — including highly skilled young individuals — increased from 786,554 in 2015 to 914,901 in 2020

Halfway across the globe, Ireland‘s Minister for Enterprise, Trade, and Employment, Simon Coveney, said the European country could become a global hub for artificial intelligence (AI). According to Coveney, AI could create thousands of high-value jobs in the coming years. He added that avoiding the rising technology could result in missed opportunities and job losses as other nations capitalize on it.

IT services provider Experis reported that 58% of global employers anticipate emerging technologies — like AI, machine learning, virtual reality (VR), and augmented reality (AR) — to create more jobs than they will eliminate. The report involved almost 6,000 IT employers across 41 countries, and found that many organizations are incorporating these technologies into their recruitment processes. As cybersecurity, technical support, and user experience emerge as top staffing priorities, companies are responding by training and upskilling their workforce, hiring new skilled workers, and investing in automation.

One of these companies is Accenture. In a recent announcement, the tech giant revealed a $3 billion investment in its Data & AI practice to promote the wider adoption of AI among its clients. Accenture will use the funds to enhance its AI capabilities, drive acquisitions, talent development, and industry solutions, and bolster ecosystem partnerships. The company also aims to double its AI talent to 80,000 professionals in three years. Similarly, IT services firm Happiest Minds Technologies plans to ramp up its AI capabilities by hiring 1,300 new software engineers. Happiest Minds Co-founder Joseph Anantharaju said the firm would leverage AI to serve clients in the education and healthcare sectors. Moreover, Happiest Minds is also looking to partner with OpenAI-backer Microsoft to utilize ChatGPT more extensively and gain the upper hand in India‘s vast IT industry.

In the Philippines, customer experience (CX) solutions provider Concentrix emphasizes the importance of reskilling and upskilling to keep pace with the growing influence of AI in business operations. Concentrix Senior VP and Country Leader Amit Jagga said that Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) employees must keep pace with technological advancements and innovations to ensure their preparedness for future changes. Concurrently, the industry body IT and Business Process Association of the Philippines (IBPAP) partnered with the training platform StackTrek to leverage AI opportunities and enhance the country’s digital workforce. The collaboration will integrate industry-relevant skills training into higher education institutions and launch IT career initiatives across the Philippines. It also includes components like the AI and Programming Academy, StackLab for AI Research and Development, and an AI Executive Education Program for its future enrollees.

However, the advent of AI is not without its challenges. In the United StatesAI was reportedly responsible for around 3,900 job cuts in May. According to outplacement firm ChallengerGray & Christmas, incidents such as AI replacing copywriters at The Washington Post and an eating disorder helpline substituting human staff with a chatbot demonstrated the rise in automation of various job roles. Yet, some analysts predict a bright future for job creation through the $1.3 trillion generative AI market as the industry gains support from several global companies.

As the world reopens post-pandemic, tech giants Google and Salesforce developed contrasting strategies to encourage employees back into the office. In a memo, Google announced that nonattendance in the office for at least three days a week could result in poor performance reviews. On the other hand, Salesforce pledged to donate $10 to local charities each day an employee comes to the office between June 12 and 23. Amidst these strategies, resistance remains from employees who favor remote work for its flexibility and work-life balance. This prompted a suggestion from flexible work strategist Cali Williams Yost that creating meaningful connections and engagement should be prioritized over physical presence.

Speaking of flexibility, Fiverr‘s new report revealed that 80% of digital nomads plan to continue their lifestyle for the next five years. Gali Arnon, Chief Marketing Officer at Fiverr, said that work and travel are becoming “increasingly blended” as the global workforce evolves. The study also shows an uptick in the number of digital nomads changing locations every six months and more women adopting this lifestyle for increased flexibility and autonomy.

Business with pleasure, anyone?

The future of work stories this week​..

14 June 2023

13 June 2023

12 June 2023

  • IBPAP partners with AI firm for digital training – read article…
  • Most employers believe AI, VR will create jobs — report – read article…
  • Digital nomads embrace their lifestyle, says Fiverr report – read article…

9 June 2023

  • Ireland can be AI global hub with right regulations — minister – read article…
  • AI adoption leads to 3.9K American job cuts in May – read article…
  • Roundtable tackles South Africa’s brain drain crisis – read article…

8 June 2023

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About Derek Gallimore

Derek Gallimore has been in business for 20 years, outsourcing for over eight years, and has been living in Manila (the heart of global outsourcing) since 2014. Derek is the founder and CEO of Outsource Accelerator, and is regarded as a leading expert on all things outsourcing.