Human resources challenges for the 21st century

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Researchers predict that, in the next decade, significant changes will dominate the labor market. On the on hand, new jobs will be created by employers, while others will be displaced. The World Economic Forum recently estimated that 65% of the children entering primary school today will work in completely new jobs when they will enter the labor market, while many in-demand occupations or specialties are less than 10 years old. Employers start to have as a major objective to increase labor productivity, and innovation. They look for new skills, that are scarce, willing to attract, engage and retain in their organizations people that demonstrate attitudes like resilience, responsiveness to change, entrepreneurial mindset, willingness to innovate. While corporations, in their attempt to increase productivity, restructure and lay off people, entrepreneurship becomes a hope for a better living. On the other hand, the human resources market will start soon to be dominated by millennials, having to work together with people from X generation, who will retire later or not at all. Women will be more and more present in the labor force, as well as immigrants. All these phenomena will change the characteristics of the working places. In the digital world, the border between the work life and the professional life will become blurred. Wellbeing, meant at enhancing both professional and personal life, will be crucial. HR departments and leaders will have new challenges. In this paper, based on relevant literature review, attempts to identify challenging changes encountered in the labor markets, as well as actions that might improve knowledge, skills, and attitudes, necessary in the present society. Another goal is to create a model depicting the factors and flows that motivate, satisfy, and engage employees. The paper might be of interest for government, educators, training providers, employers, and workers.

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