Appcast, the global leader in programmatic recruitment advertising technology and services, today announced the final findings from the 2021 “Decoding Global Talent” study compiled by Boston Consulting Group (BCG), The Network and Appcast. The third study, “Decoding Global Reskilling and Career Paths,” reveals how economic uncertainty and a shifting labor market impacts workers’ willingness and preferences for reskilling for new jobs.

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Workers are Interested in Reskilling

COVID-19 disrupted nearly every industry in 2020, resulting in massive layoffs and corporate downsizings. As a result of economic uncertainty, the findings unveiled today reveal that 89% of U.S. workers are willing to retrain to a different job role. Of that total, 39% said they would retrain if their job depended on it. The report finds that mid-senior workers (ages 31-40) and those with a master’s degree and above are most willing to reskill.

Digging deeper, the study explores respondents’ willingness to retrain for a completely different job function to stay competitive. Out of the 15 industries provided, respondents within telecommunications (68%) topped the list with respondents most willing to retrain. Travel and tourism (61%) came in second, followed closely by financial institutions (60%) and consumer products and services (58%).

Reskill…But Not For All In-Demand Jobs

With the rise in digital transformation – and the benefits of working from home during a global pandemic – the study finds that for workers, job roles within IT and tech are now the most sought-after, with the majority of U.S. respondents willing to retrain for these highly coveted positions. Additional white-collar jobs such as consulting, digitalization and automation, and engineering and tech followed in the rankings.

However, jobs that require workers to show up in-person – including service sector, manual labor and manufacturing – are least desirable across all respondents. Workers who currently fill these roles have a desire to pivot away from in-person and front-line roles and into roles that can be done remotely, such as engineering (25%) and IT and tech (19%). This poses an added layer of challenge for organizations who are looking to fill their service roles or manual labor roles, many of which saw significant growth in jobs in March and as such, are in high demand from an employer perspective.

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Creating a War for Talent
Successful COVID-19 vaccination rollouts and optimistic predictions around significant economic growth are leading organizations to ramp up hiring efforts at a rapid pace. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics recently reported nearly a million new jobs in March 2021 alone, double the number of jobs added in February. While there is now a surplus in job openings, recent Appcast data finds significant reductions in job seeker activity over the same time period. The surging demand for candidates, due to an increase in open positions, combined with a decrease in the supply of willing and active job seekers, has intensified the war for top talent.

“Over the last few months, we witnessed an unprecedented surge in open positions across many industries, creating fierce competition for talent among organizations of all sizes,” said Heather Salerno, senior vice president of marketing, Appcast. “As the U.S. economy begins to reopen, this trend will only accelerate, and employers – particularly those within the services sector or that require workers on-site – must adapt quickly to attract and retain workers. We’re pleased to work with BCG on this important study and share the final round of insights to support hiring organizations as they prepare for a post-pandemic environment.”

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