Labor market in Chile during 2017
Opinion 3 minute read

Labor market in Chile during 2017

10 January 2018

2017 was a year in which I noticed important changes in the labor market in relation to previous years, especially in decisions related to human capital.

For better or worse, companies have increasingly reduced their workforce, mostly related to senior and management positions. Many human resources and administration and finance managers in various organizations and industries have been dismissed and, in some cases, it takes more than 7 months for them to get a new job.

Occasionally, these high-performing executives find it difficult to enter the labor market again, even much more difficult than middle and junior management professionals. That is the reason why many of them are motivated to start their own businesses. It´s important to highlight that since they are active people either at work and at a personal level, they are high-performance professionals willing to stay up to date and adapt to changes. In fact, the study Zoom al Trabajo Edición 2017 (Zoom to Work 2017 Edition, in English) carried out by the consulting firm together with the School of Psychology of the Adolfo Ibañez University ensures that the vast majority of workers expect to be able to continue working after retirement or postpone their retirement, since working is essential in their lives.

Organizations have limited the number of workers, not only at a management level, but also in the operations area, although to a minor extent. Companies have reallocated tasks among the people that remain in the organization instead of creating new workforce, with the aim of streamlining resources and processes. This increased the uncertainty of the chance to lose jobs in comparison to 2016.

Many companies require flexible professionals, especially young people who can take on different functions and learn different tasks; people to whom companies can provide development. Training their own experienced talent has become a priority.

Perhaps this may also be related to the new ways of organization, such as the Redarquía, which is based on the interactions between people within an organization and sharing their talent and knowledge in an open and transparent way. This new approach, compared to the traditional hierarchical organizational model in which directives are imposed exclusively from top to bottom, works in different directions; it is more dynamic and according to talent and the nature of the task. Decisions and solutions arise naturally and spontaneously from collective intelligence and not necessarily from management.

My perspective is that both junior and senior professionals need to learn from each other. Seniors should learn to flex their learned knowledge and the ways of doing things to incorporate new practices that allow them to adapt to the strategic changes of organizations, which go hand in hand with the changes that arise from innovation and technology. The less experienced professionals must take advantage of the bases already established and build, modify or eliminate practices. Organizations can then take advantage of their talents at a cross-level. The investment can bring a return that is mostly reflected in top executives or those who make the strategic decisions of the company.

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