Post-Pandemic Workforce Dynamics, Pt. 2: Adapting to Permanent Change

With the ongoing transformation of our future workforce, modernization and analytics will be key to addressing and mastering its challenges.

The post-pandemic global workforce is now in a permanent state of transformation. Employees are changing and will continue to evolve. Technology's rapid development will persist indefinitely. The skills needed to manage these shifts will keep changing too.

Are today's enterprise ready to adapt as well?


Global Workforce Dynamics: Challenges and Developments

The COVID-19 pandemic changed the workforce because it changed people. Societal shifts fundamentally transformed labor dynamics worldwide. We've organized the most impactful challenges to Optimizing an Adaptable Workforce into four themes: Human Capital Strategy, Talent Management, Workforce Modernization, and Workforce Analytics.

In the second part of this two-part series, we examine Workforce Modernization and Workforce Analytics.

Workforce Modernization

Whether due to labor shortages or budget constraints, many organizations must attempt to fill necessary roles without access to qualified talent. The public sector faces an uphill battle filling jobs with qualified talent.1 In fact, 51% of state and local governments reported frequently needing to reopen a recruitment after an insufficient number of qualified applicants applied for a job, according to a 2023 survey.2

Employers are often left looking for candidates internally — qualified or otherwise. An existing employee who shares 75% of the competencies with an open role might be trainable on the additional 25% of the skills necessary. Detail workforce skill data — increasingly available as a result of the Maximizing Data Megatrend — can help employers identify internal candidates for a growth opportunity.

Hiring adaptable workers for all positions is therefore an increasingly important priority for employers. It is particularly critical in the technology space, given the dynamics of the Accelerating Innovation and Tech megatrend. The rapid pace of technology development often results in tech workers' tenures outlasting their specialty. As the half-life of skills continues to shorten, organizations must target candidates with an aperture toward learning.

Workforce Analytics

The Maximizing Data Megatrend plays a prominent role in Optimizing an Adaptable Workforce. As leaders across the public and private sectors know, workforce data has long been collected on employees, productivity, hiring, and more. However, an emerging need exists to manage and collect workforce data more strategically.

The increasing sophistication of labor management technology and an influx of pandemic-era employee surveys have left many organizations with more data than they can meaningfully use. An organization with plenty of recruitment data may have insufficient or missing data across the entire employee life cycle due to lack of ownership over key systems used for hiring or payroll.

Organizations also may have data that cannot be analyzed in its current-state, such as thousands of open-text survey responses. Advanced analytics can empower an enterprise to comprehensively analyze their data, extracting valuable insights from the entire dataset.


Opportunities to Optimize an Adaptable Workforce

These challenges are manageable with the right strategies, programming, and technology, and present key opportunities within Workforce Transformation and Workforce Analytics.

Workforce Transformation

Organizations should engage in workforce planning that considers evolving skill needs and future labor scenarios. This should include human capital technology and the IT workforce needed to continually modernize.

Workforce Analytics

Maximizing workforce data potential requires supply, demand, and workload modeling; workforce data analytics and visualization; and survey design and analysis to understand whether talent interventions are achieving intended outcomes.


The Megatrends Landscape

While the megatrends of Accelerating Innovation and Tech and Preserving Security have clear intersection points with Optimizing an Adaptable Workforce, it interconnects with all of our identified megatrends.

Reimagining Resilient Communities

The proliferation of global investment in infrastructure resilience and communities requires specialized workers and the talent to design and build new infrastructure.

Maximizing Data

HR departments are often flooded with data but have gaps throughout the employee life cycle. Managing and optimizing workforce data analytics to produce meaningful insights is also challenging.

This intricately interconnected megatrend requires vigilance, proactive strategies, and government-industry collaboration. Neither innovation nor regulation is enough to tackle the upheaval involved.

To succeed, both public and private sector leaders must leverage integrated and comprehensive insights spanning the corporate and governmental spheres. Implementing responses based on deep insights and a bigger, more inclusive vision will result in a happier, more adaptable workforce, not to mention economic growth, security gains, increased efficiency, and improved equity and sustainability.



1. Lydia DePillis, “Jobs Sit Empty in the Public Sector, So Unions Pitch In to Recruit,” New York Times, July 27, 2023.

2. Gerald Young, “State and Local Workforce 2023 Survey Findings,” Mission Square Research Institute, June 2023.


Let Us Help Guide You

Complexity demands a trusted guide with the unique expertise and cross-sector versatility to deliver unwavering success. We work with organizations across regulated commercial and public sectors to catalyze transformation and pioneer new directions for the future.

Stay ahead of the curve with news, insights and updates from Guidehouse about issues relevant to your organization and its work.