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Workforce transformation and the digital talent crisis

Technology, Media and Telecommunications Futures Report

Employee Engagement |Future of Work|Talent|Total Rewards
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June 29, 2022

Observations and perspective on the risk issues related to the digital talent risk facing the TMT industry.

Talent gaps have long haunted the TMT industry, particularly when it comes to the so-called ‘digital type’. This problem is set to worsen as rapidly changing technology becomes more complex and expands to new areas of the business, and with competition from wholly unrelated industries now embracing digital, such as department stores and shipping companies, further heating up the battle for top talent.

Global events during the past 24 months have transformed the very nature of the employer-employee relationship, accelerating trends already in play and calling into question many things we took for granted before the pandemic, such as being required to work onsite.

Many employees are fundamentally reconsidering what they want from their careers and how they want to work. Employers are not only trying to determine how to support the individual needs of a diverse workforce but are also reconsidering many of the basics of how work gets done today. Employers across the world are adapting to a burst of new technologies and working to align their talent strategies with increasing demands for flexibility, personalized approaches, and remote delivery.

Facing ongoing change in 2021, TMT organizations around the world were forced to continually adapt and be resilient. Yet, while ‘uncertainty’ was the word of the year – nudging out 2020’s defining ‘unprecedented’ – one thing was clear: labour market pressures stemming from the pandemic and the ongoing shortage of talent have had a significant impact on how organizations manage to operate and will continue to do so as we go through 2022.

With the above in mind, this report is the result of our continued research around the global talent and skills race megatrend which in our view is the most important exposure facing the industry currently and a key link among the broader set of exposures facing TMT businesses.


Table of contents


  1. Foreword

    A message from Sara Benolken, WTW Global TMT Industry Leader on workforce transformation and the digital talent crisis.


  2. Executive summary

    This report examines the corporate practices shaping the workforce of the future, identifies priorities for the global talent race, and examines people-related rewards, protection, and benefits.


  3. Workforce of the future

    While there is no industrywide model for the workforce of the future, we can make certain projections: it will be increasingly digitally enabled, systematic employee reskilling will become routine, and artificial intelligence (AI) will become an embedded technology across many of the core business processes as companies embrace it to augment, but not replace, human workers.


  4. Priorities for the global talent and skills race

    Based on the 2021 research conducted with Wharton’s Mack Institute for Innovation Management, and further confirmed by additional WTW in-house expertise in 2022, we believe it is unlikely any types of business will escape digital transformation in the coming years.


  5. TMT market for people-related rewards, protection and benefits

    As talent-short TMT employers plan for a postpandemic future, they are placing big bets on their total rewards strategy in order to meet the ongoing challenges related to talent.


  6. Observations and recommended next steps

    Risks associated with the global talent and skills race spill over into every aspect of a company’s operations, including everything from business models and strategies to digitalization and operational complexity. As a result, the global talent and skills race creates new and emerging risk exposures for our TMT clients.


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