Back To The Future – Looking At The Workforce of 2015 (As Predicted in 2012)

The year was 2012, Apple had released the iPhone 5, Encyclopedia Britannica had just discontinued its print edition, and a young futurist named Kevin Wheeler took the stage at the first Contingent Workforce Conference in Sydney to share his predictions on what the workforce of 2015 would look like.
He talked of the year 2015, where organisations would drive a new diverse blended workforce, one made of permanent, contractors, part-time and temporary workers, statement of work contractors, as well as consultants and experts. This push would be driven by people who chose freedom and flexibility, self management and autonomy, and wouldn’t be able to achieve this as a permanent worker in 2015. He spoke of organisations needing to adapt to the changing needs of talent, and overcome the challenges of managing a blended workforce.

Kevin’s 2012 Predictions


Flash forward to now, and we find ourselves in the very world Kevin predicted, although one much more complicated that he himself imagined. The past three years has seen dramatic technological and sociological changes, that has forever altered the way in which people live and indeed wish to work. Take a look at a few of Kevin’s key predictions made in 2012.

1. Unprecedented Population Growth – With India to exceed China

In 2012, Kevin talked of widespread population growth in Africa and India, with declining birth rates in the developed world.
Just this week the UN released reports forecasting one of the biggest population growth spurts in history, with the Earth’s population expected to jump to 8.5 billion people by 2050, driven by growth in Africa and India.

2. 40% of U.S Workers To Be Contingent By 2015

April 2015 US Government Accountability Office Report– 40.4% of the U.S. workforce is now made up of contingent workers
In terms of Australian figures, reports from the ABS state that contingent workers account for approximately 28% of Australia’s working population, just 1% short of Kevin’s 2012 prediction.

3. Increased Demand For Remote Jobs


Indeed 2015 study on job search themes

View the entire report here

4. Talent Becoming Global

Kevin spoke about talent being less about a ‘place’ and the contingent workforce going global.  At this year’s ATC, Todd Davis Director of Talent Acquisition at Amazon gave a keynote presentation on this very issue.


The HR Challenge Remains The Samechallenge

Today, meeting critical hiring needs and getting the ‘right talent at the right time’ means managing a diverse, complex and growing contingent workforce, a workforce that for many still remains decentralized, poorly managed and prone to risk.

The Future

Leading organisations recognise that having a motivated and flexible workforce is a distinct strategic advantage for any organisation, but many struggle with implement change to build the workforce of the future.
At the fourth annual Contingent Workforce Conference – Rise of the Freelancer, we will once again look at that future workforce, and determine how we can start preparing for it today.

Back To The Future

Like Marty McFly jumping around the decades, this year’s Contingent Workforce Conference will see Kevin look back at the predictions in 2012, analyse the changes some organisations made to innovate then, where they are now and what’s to expect in 2022. Kevin will also be participating in a panel session with Peter Oreb, and Simon Townsend who will all look at trends set to impact organisations, and show you how to implement changes now. You can register your ticket for the event, here.
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