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  • Writer's pictureEdwin and George

EGM Foresight 2020

Summary of Key Predictions for White Collar Workers:

  • An increase in hires in South Australia based on the need to build better teams.

  • An increase in the percentage of FTE unemployment.

  • A Boomer Exodus in the workplace will stimulate some job growth.

  • Companies will see further redundancies to make way for new positions.

  • Companies will invest more in recruitment, development and engagement of staff.

  • 2020 will be a year where technology and automation dominates traditional roles but the key factor for candidates will be soft skills

Key Factors


Branding is incredibly important to organisations. Recent research shows that interactions with front line employees have a strong impact on brand perception, so much so that 64% of customers have avoided brands after having a bad experience – this customer experience is just as important to internal stakeholders (employees) as external.

In a world where three out of four candidates consider a company’s brand before applying (LinkedIn Employer Brand Statistics), it becomes all that more important to put your best and most real self forward.

Culture eats everything for breakfast

Royal Commissions into the Banking and Aged Care Services brought up one common issue that organisations must address ‘culture”. Girard Dorney asked in HRM Online whether we are "headed for a future where the HR responsibility is more heavily regulated?"

The answer is "we have to be, yes".

People Skills

A PwC report stated that 73% think technology can never replace the human mind and that a small number of ‘pivotal people’ with outstanding management skills will command high rewards.

Boomer Exodus (or bye for now)

Demographers have been predicting this exodus form the workplace...but it hasn't quite happened yet. The gap left by a generation leaving a workforce will bring challenges, create jobs but also allow for a reevaluation of job design and possibility of organisational change. A key opportunity here lies in bringing different age groups together in the workplace.

Also, Interestingly, in the US more than 60 per cent of companies are currently bringing back retirees as contractors or consultants - we wrote a blog on the benefits of utilizing mature age workforce.

DIGIVATION – Digital Innovation and Automation in the Workplace

We think we have coined a new word and trend here.

A Deloitte Report found that majority of the office workers surveyed have mobile access to systems and processes, but 42% say their employer does not provide them with the digital devices that would enable them to work remotely. 29% are unable to use chat and video-conferencing technology or document management systems as collaboration tools. Is your workplace keeping up to date with the latest trends in digital innovation and automation? Probably not. We see this as a gap that must be addressed moving forwards.

A PwC report stated that Automation and Artificial Intelligence (AI) will affect every level of the business and its people. It’s too important an issue to leave to IT (or HR) alone. A depth of understanding and keen insight into the changing technology landscape is a must.

Our Predictions

  • The Digivation adoption in Adelaide is slow but steady, as is the cultural change we are seeing in the workplace. We talked about the Future of Work with our predictions 3-4 years ago and we are entering the adoption phase. We see 2020 as the year some roles are displaced by AI and automation. The follow on effect form this is a need for up skilled workers leading to an increase in new roles as the older roles are displaced.

  • Brand is at the forefront of most organisations currently which means that any reductions in the workplace must have a value add attached to it. This means companies will not make changes unless they can justify it with improvements.

  • Talent wars and the recruitment of digital natives and people with excellent leadership skills will be front and center of all organisations. Keeping employees engaged will help with retention. Organisations will need to invest more into their recruitment processes and engagement techniques.

  • South Australia’s job growth will initially consolidate and then prepare to increase in 2020 as we work on track with Deloitte’s paper to kick start South Australia’s future toward a $134 billion economy by 2027. This plan includes population growth.A South Australian population of two million by 2027 (an extra 277,000 people, or around 13,000 each year above baseline forecasts)”. This will create a need for more services and jobs. While job numbers will grow, the percentage of those in full time employment will drop.

  • The opportunity lies with companies who invest in creating a great culture that is inclusive. Attracting, developing and retaining the best talent will be the difference in creating high performing teams.

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