Technology is everywhere. It has been integrated into basically every facet of day-to-day life, and has greatly improved our standard of living. Technology has led to the automation of once tedious processes, enhanced productivity rates, and streamlined business operations. Its rapid and constant evolution, has led to the delivery of more efficient and effective outcomes, with each revision or upgrade. With the advancement of technology, employment in various industries has seen major shifts to the composition of the workplace, when work is conducted, where it takes place and how work is executed. Technology has also had a major impact on jobs itself, in terms of the jobs that are becoming extinct, the new roles emerging in different industries, and the way the entire hiring process is conducted.

There has been a considerable shift away from low-skilled jobs, to higher-skilled jobs, as technology makes more and more 'routine' jobs redundant. The need for up-skilling is becoming more and more pronounced. This has significantly contributed to the increasing rates of participation in tertiary education, as emerging future job opportunities skew towards the utilisation and harnessing of technology, rather than more manual occupations.

Technology has been inserted into almost every aspect and will continue to be a catalyst for change across all industries. Often the jobs that are the most routine, dangerous, and/or the least paid, are the ones that get replaced by software or machinery first. Technology has been a major source of anxiety for workers, with fears that their jobs will be taken from them by a machine or a piece of code. Though this may be true for simpler jobs that can easily be automated, technology has also created entirely new job opportunities and roles, that will help society progress and meet new and emerging forms of demand. Advancement comes at a cost, with the future of many blue-collar jobs being threatened. However, the key to a successful transition will lie in the ability to redeploy these workers  and prepare them for a world becoming heavily reliant on technology, rather than just retrenching them.

Technology is moving at astronomical rates, with computer processing capabilities doubling every two years. The emergence and rise of Artificial Intelligence has made a significant impact on jobs. AI has been used to improve the way that the business procedures are carried out.  Automation of processes and operations is not new, but the industries where automation is having an impact has changed. For instance, during the 1950's Agriculture was the main industry that was experiencing job loss due to technology, with tasks such as the manual harvesting of crops, being done by combine harvesters. Now, automation has spread far and wide, impacting industries such as, the service sector, construction, manufacturing, health, and mining.

The need to keep up with theses technological changes has seen a shift towards more continuous training, education, and the acquisition of new skills throughout the duration of a worker's professional life. More regular education and training will help ensure that the workforce is better able to adapt to the fluctuating jobs in the market. Education and training can help safeguard workers from obsolete roles, and open them up to new job opportunities that they may not have been eligible for without the necessary up-skilling.

Technology can bring entire industries to their knees, whilst simultaneously paving the path for new sectors and innovative business models to crop up. Its temperamental nature often stirs up both anxiety and wonderment surrounding what the next 'big thing' will be, and how their current position and future job prospects will be affected. The growing prominence of technology and its impact on the workforce is inevitable, so its presence should be embraced rather than fought. Technology is the future, and although progress may come at the price of job loss in certain fields, it will lead to significant improvements in productivity and efficiency, and create a variety of new opportunities in a range of industries.


Current and Future Technology Trends in Recruitment & Labour Hire

On Demand technology is expected to continue to be a source of competitive advantage for Australian companies, in particular, start-ups looking to make their mark on the existing labour hire market. As the technology rapidly evolves, so too will jobs and the way employment is conducted. The labour hire industry in Australia is a prime example of where technology has been, and can be, effectively integrated to benefit businesses, and improve relations and services delivered to both clients and workers.

Virtual Interviews
With technology effectively diminishing the once prominent boundaries of time and place, interviews can now be conducted virtually. This means that rather than figuring out a time that will be suitable for the schedules of all parties involved, or finding a convenient place for everyone to meet, interviews can take place on a shared online platform. So, even if you live in Sydney, you can easily apply for a position in Melbourne, Brisbane, Hobart, etc. A person's geography is no longer a significant factor preventing them from being eligible for a role, as they will be able to go through the application process regardless of where they are. Technology has essentially diminished the prominence of physical boundaries, and have allowed labour hire agencies to widen their candidate pool to cover all of Australia. This will help to greatly improve the likelihood of the labour hire agency finding someone that will be the best fit for the role.

Working Out of Office
Technology has also enabled certain roles to be conducted outside of the traditional office space. The ability to work out of office, has opened up more job opportunities for Australians constrained by their location, such as single or stay-at-home parents, students, and those living in regional areas in Australia. Since, the internet and cloud technologies have enabled people to conduct their work from home, it has made a worker's physical presence in the office redundant. Working out of the office can even have a positive impact on productivity. According to a survey conducted by ConnectSolutions, around 30% of workers stated that, out of the office, they completed more work in less time, and 24% of the workers surveyed expressed that they got more tasks done in the same amount of time. This may be attributed to the fact that travel time is essentially eliminated, and they won't be interrupted by their fellow colleagues. Technology has re-shaped how and where work is being conducted in Australia. This has resulted in a shift away from traditional work structures and towards greater job flexibility, with approximately 1 in 3 people already working regularly from home (Australian Bureau of Statistics 2015). Flexibility is predicted to only become more influential in a worker's decision to apply for, or accept a position.

AR & VR Integration
Augmented Reality, commonly known as AR, refers to the enhancement of reality through the superimposition of computer-generated elements onto the 'real world', effectively altering the viewer's perception of reality. Whereas, virtual reality (VR) is a simulation of an artificial environment that the viewer can interact with. The integration of Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality in Australia's labour hire industry is currently quite minimal, as they are fairly new technologies that businesses are learning to harness. Presently, the application of AR and VR in the Australian labour hire and recruitment industry is mostly theorised. In the field of labour hire there are two key areas that augmented reality and virtual reality would be most suited to: employer branding, and training.

EMPLOYER BRANDING
Employer branding will be a key area for the application of virtual reality in Australia's labour hire industry. Virtual reality would be beneficial for employer branding, as it would allow employers to give potential employees a taste for a typical day in the available role, a tour of the office space/job site, a glimpse into the company culture, and so on. VR will help immerse the candidate in the position/workplace that they are applying for and allow them to determine much earlier on, whether or not they would be a good fit for the role. This has the potential to save valuable time and money for the employer, candidate, and the labour hire agency, as they won't be funnelling resources into a candidate that won't be there for very long. Effectively, improving the quality of the service that the labour hire agency provides.

labour hire on demand virtual reality VR technology future Australia

TRAINING
Using augmented reality would also be beneficial for the training of workers. AR technology would allow employers to set up interactive simulations where they can assess the current skills of the worker, and build or augment an environment where the employer can teach them the necessary skills to successfully carry out the role. For example, if you have a labourer lined up to work at a construction site, in the future you may be able to use an AR app to conduct a site induction. This AR app could be designed to highlight the potential risks around the site when the phone is pointed in its direction, and provide a pop-up of the rules and procedures in place to help minimise the risk to the worker's health. AR technology has huge potential in the realm of training and development for labour hire workers, and its integration may help to greatly improve the communication of important information.

Are you an employer looking for a labour hire agency to take care of all your recruitment needs? Workfast has a large database of quality workers, with a range of skills, qualifications and experiences, from all across Australia (Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide, Gold Coast, Newcastle, Canberra)!  Visit the Workfast website or call 1300 824 403 today!

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