The working world has experienced a bit of an upheaval over the past couple of years. What’s become known as the “Great Resignation” has seen millions leave their jobs, a substantial number of which are leaving the workforce entirely. More than 48 million quit their jobs last year, with resignations up 23 percent over pre-pandemic levels. But while the statistics show a growing labor shortage, the Great Resignation is also bringing with it a massive opportunity. Workers whose skills are in demand can now pull in higher wages, but it’s also an opportunity for companies to incorporate AI, robotic process automation (RPA), and DevOps into their organizations to stay competitive in spite of the labor shortage.
Tapping New Tech Talent Pools
Dealing with the labor shortage is going to require unconventional approaches to hiring and retaining talent. Some companies are even relaxing their hiring standards to find the workers they need. Financial services giant JPMorgan Chase, for example, has stopped asking questions about applicants’ criminal backgrounds on the bank's initial job applications. The goal is to tap into talent pools that have traditionally been left behind. Those who have formerly been incarcerated have found it hard to lock down a job, but now the changing job market has opened up new opportunities for them and for employers.
Letting Customers Help Themselves
Some companies are rolling out new creative strategies to meet customer demands even when they can’t fill their job openings. Pizza chain Domino’s, for example, is encouraging customers to “do it themselves” by tipping the customer $3 if they order their pizza online and choose takeout over delivery. The credit can be used on any future order, and by using a tech-driven ordering app, it reduces the need for workers to answer the phones to take and fill an order. The program is also helping to reduce costs in the wake of an unprecedented rise in food prices.
Automating Human Functions With Intelligent AI
The labor shortage is opening up a window of opportunity for companies to deploy advanced technologies like AI to streamline and speed operations that are traditionally performed by people. AI technologies span a number of key segments that can help companies to more with less:
- Predictive Call Routing: AI recognizes behavioral profiles to give it a comprehensive understanding of customer persona and the ideal buying journey. AI can then match call center customers to the right service rep to handle an issue, giving them a highly personalized experience.
- Interactive Voice Response (IVR): AI-powered IVR asks recorded questions like what a customer’s name is, account number, language spoken, and other revealing details. This information is used to provide answers to routine, pre-service questions such as hours, eligibility, copays, statement information – all things that don’t require a human rep to spend time on.
- Conversational AI: Also known as chatbots, it has become one of the most popular channels for customer service issues. Customers can easily engage in the service process and use live self-service to resolve their request without human intervention. Chatbots reduce call volume to alleviate the need for human agents to answer simple questions and focus on more complex requests.
- Emotional Intelligence AI: Used to track customer sentiment during a service call, emotional intelligence AI can identify when a customer is frustrated, for example, by reading a raised voice or a long pause in conversation. It analyzes tone of voice, cadence, and even language and cultural nuances to detect a caller’s mood.
Using RPA for Workflow Improvement
Another key area that is filling the void in the era of the Great Resignation is robotic process automation, or RPA. RPA can effectively augment employee capabilities and make them more efficient on the job. For example, in human resources, RPA can help sort through hundreds or thousands of candidates’ resumes, send out communications, and streamline onboarding of new employees. With customer support teams, RPA can juggle multiple tickets at the same time and resolve service requests even faster than its human counterparts. In marketing and sales, RPA makes email campaigns, analysis and routine selling tasks much faster. The added benefit is to reduce employee workload and provide a more enjoyable work experience.
The Role of DevOps and Low-Code/No-Code
With software developers in shorter supply, the role of DevOps is helping to bridge the gap between the labor shortage and available software developers by making the delivery process more efficient. Engineering and DevOps teams are now excelling at providing low-code and no-code solutions to develop apps with fewer resources. Project managers, for example, with the right knowledge of platforms like SQL, can more easily complete application rollout by connecting APIs to their back-end systems. Less code (or no code) on the development side means easier rollout on the operations side (Dev+Ops). Gartner reports that 41 percent of employees outside the IT group now customize or build their own tech solutions, and by the end of 2025, half of low-code platform clients will come from business buyers outside the IT organization.
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Solving the Tech Talent Gap With Upskilling
While some companies are turning to unique ways of getting new candidates for open jobs (such as offering cash just to interview), the most viable long-term solution is to enhance the skillsets of existing employees to fill needed capabilities. Demand for roles in AI, RPA, and DevOps has never been higher, and the resources to upskill continue to get better and better.
At the top of the resource list are digital bootcamp programs that combine applied learning (live virtual classrooms, online hands-on labs and projects, flexible scheduling, 24/7 support) with industry-aligned learning paths for key job roles. Simplilearn offers digital bootcamp programs both independently and with university partners, such as the Introduction to RPA, AI and Machine Learning PGP, and DevOps PGP. Take the time now to investigate the courses that will improve any desired career path.