Not sure what you want to be when you grow up? It doesn’t matter, that job probably won’t exist forever anyways.

According to research by Manpower Group, 65% of the jobs GenZ will perform do not even exist yet. As a result, one of the most important skills and talents that will be valued in workplaces of the future will be the ability to learn and gain new skills. And organizations have an increased need to upskill their workforce quickly, and repeatedly.

Human Resources teams can best prepare for this skill-based evolution in talent with planning. HR leaders have led succession planning for years based in people and roles, but leading into the future will require HR to use talent planning models with a new lens; one that anticipates and plans for what skills need to be acquired by their workforce.

HR leaders, let’s start looking one, three, and five years into the future. What skills will your organization need in order to accomplish the strategic plan of the company? What roadblocks do you need to clear now so that you can deliver those skills with mostly the workforce you have? You will likely need to be clearing those roadblocks now (or, well, last week) to then build skills to be ready by the time you need them. And time flies when it comes to this type of work – one year is but a blink of an eye.


In order to be successful at this, HR teams need some support, including:

  • Funding: Plan and approve budgets that support the amount of time and attention upskilling requires. In the past, learning and development budgets have been cut during crunch time, and that will be required to fund if you want to survive the future.
  • A seat at the table: HR needs a true voice and place in the strategic planning of the company to share what people-related challenges they foresee, and to understand the operational strategies of the company that their team will support. Do not discount this function or exclude them from the C-suite.
  • Infrastructure: Having a culture and learning infrastructure to support upskilling will be the way to make skill learning a way of life. This will result in training up your current employees regularly rather than having to tap an expensive and talent-barren market to “buy” new skills.


The number one resource we will have in the future in an age of AI will be our humanity. Let’s take care of our people and begin planning for how to deploy resources with intention.

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