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Article | Beyond Data

Is your compensation plan designed for the digital economy?

Willis Towers Watson’s new survey offers a consistent benchmark for digital jobs

Compensation Strategy & Design
Beyond Data

By Michiel Klompen and Jaap Scholten | April 9, 2018

Over the next three years, 54% of organizations around the world plan to integrate more digital technologies into their existing workforce design, further intensifying the war for digital talent.

Today, 84% of businesses from various industries are already challenged to attract and retain digital professionals. A global study of the AI talent pool confirmed that this is largely due to scarcity.* For example, AI professionals currently number just a little over 22,000 globally, of which fewer than 14% are in the market for new job opportunities.

The elusiveness of critical skills has inspired many organizations to disrupt traditional practices around recruitment and retention. Non-monetary incentives such as continuous learning, new and exciting challenges, and flexible work arrangements, are proving to be more interesting and highly effective with digital natives. Also, to close talents gaps within their workforce, many businesses are turning to online talent platforms – where work can be deconstructed and accomplished through an agile skills-based ecosystem of contingent digital professionals. The use of non-traditional talent is expected to grow by 25% globally over the next three years.

However, evolving business demands and increasing competition over these limited resources has also allowed a new problem to emerge. Our research has found inconsistent practices in the pay and rewards of digital talents, especially around pay positioning, incentives, and market premiums. A review of crowdsourced pay data also reveals varying descriptions and levelling for digital roles, which suggests that there are myriad descriptions today for what makes a job or a skillset ‘digital’.

Furthermore, many countries and sectors still have not established sufficient policies and regulations for employing, compensating, and protecting contingent workers. Discrepancies persist in the definition alone of a ‘contingent’ worker.

These information gaps and disparities create a huge unevenness in the competition over digital talents in the global marketplace. With the upcoming 2018 Artificial Intelligence and Digital Talent Compensation Survey, Willis Towers Watson aims to create and provide a consistent benchmark to assist organizations in identifying digital skills requirements and appropriately compensating digital workers. Equipping businesses with this vital data resource can help close crucial information and policy gaps, and thus build a truly fair and effective engagement model for digital talent.

The 2018 Artificial Intelligence and Digital Talent Compensation Survey will cover approximately 50 digital roles under the categories of Artificial Intelligence; Big Data; Cyber Security; Design and Creative; Digital Marketing; Digital Strategy; IT and Networking; Program Management; and Web, Mobile and Application Development. The survey will examine the compensation data, digital transformation practices and contingent work skills premium rankings in 20 countries across North America, Latin America, Europe and Asia.


2017 IT Skills Pulse Survey Report
*Global AI Talent Report 2018
Attraction, retention and engagement of digital talent. What really makes them tick?
Preparing for the future of work – are your pay plans ready?
2016 Global Talent Management & Rewards and Global Workforce Studies

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