Global Talent Is Ready to Embrace Reskilling Amid GenAI Advances

  • A New Report from BCG, The Network, and The Stepstone Group Based on a Survey of More Than 150,000 Respondents in 188 Countries Reveals Shifting Workplace Priorities and Preferences

  • Three-Quarters of Respondents Believe GenAI Will Create Some Level of Disruption, and 57% Are Willing to Reskill

  •  Workers Report Confidence in Navigating the Changing Labor Market

Three-quarters of workers around the world believe GenAI will bring some level of disruption to the workplace. But despite uncertain times, they remain confident about their place in the labor market: 57% of them are ready to retrain into new roles to stay ahead in their careers, and 64% feel they hold the upper hand when negotiating for jobs.

These are among the findings of a new report published today by Boston Consulting Group (BCG), The Network, and The Stepstone Group. Titled How Work Preferences Are Shifting in the Age of GenAI, the study is based on survey data from more than 150,000 workers from 188 countries and is the second installment in the 2024 edition of the Decoding Global Talent series, the previous editions having been published in 2014, 2018, and 2021.

The findings of the study underscore the proactive approach workers are taking in response to the potential impacts of GenAI. By prioritizing reskilling and development, they are not only preparing to adapt to technological changes but also expressing confidence in their ability to thrive in an evolving labor market. This adaptability is key to maintaining a robust and resilient workforce in the face of ongoing technological advances.

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“We are seeing a rapid evolution and maturing of employee views toward AI, and a crucial recognition that a commitment to continuous reskilling will ensure long-term employability,” said Jens Baier, managing director and senior partner at BCG and leader of the firm’s work in HR excellence.

Globally, workers are also clear about what they don’t want—54% would refuse an attractive job offer if they had a bad experience during the interview process. The importance of the recruitment process is underscored by the fact that a negative experience during recruitment is the second-most-significant dealbreaker in North America and Europe. Additionally, 40% of workers say they won’t work for companies that don’t offer mental health support or that have a perceived negative impact on society.

“AI offers a unique opportunity to transform recruitment through innovative, technology-driven processes. Moreover, AI has the potential to substantially enhance skill development and foster a genuinely human-centric workplace,” said Sebastian Dettmers, CEO of The Stepstone Group. “This evolution will streamline operations, removing redundant tasks and significantly aiding individuals in securing the ideal job.”

Interestingly, the impact of AI disruption is evident in what global talent desires in an ideal workplace. Job security was the most important factor for workers in East Asia and South Asia, particularly among those who perceived AI to have a greater impact on their future work. Learning and development topped the list for the Middle East and North Africa, sub-Saharan Africa, and Latin America, highlighting a strong desire to adapt, progress, and upskill in an evolving landscape. The highly competitive labor markets of recent years and the strong bargaining position of workers are reflected in financial compensation being the top priority for North Americans and work-life balance for Europeans.

“In a tight labor market where talent remains a critical and scarce resource, it is important that employers attract talent from various sources and channels,” said Sacha Knorr, co-managing director at The Network. “Reskilling existing employees, recruiting internationally, or looking at talent with unusual backgrounds are all solutions they should increasingly consider.”

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