With the acceleration of technology adoption, new business models, and increased demand for certain skills and roles within organizations, the pandemic has changed much about the way we work, but it has also changed the very jobs we’re doing.
One example is the effect of remote work on the roles needed. As Stephanie Vozza recently wrote for Fast Company, more companies are hiring a director of remote work—as a senior position that oversees the needs of remote workers, which have skyrocketed during the pandemic. The role isn’t entirely new, but the level of seniority and a wide range of responsibilities for such leaders, including one recently advertised by Facebook, shows emerging need.
But that’s not the only role that’s emerging. Here are some of the roles we’ll see emerge in 2021 and beyond.
Roles to facilitate the new way of work
The pandemic led to somewhat of a mobility boom. City dwellers cooped up in small apartments made their way to the suburbs. Some took advantage of remote work to make a long-wanted move. Indeed has seen a 600% growth in the listing for “relocation assistant” from 2017 to 2020. Before the pandemic, growth was fueled by company moves to secondary cities, mostly for tax savings and a lower cost of living. However, in 2020, local governments sought relocation assistants to help low-income people who were facing eviction or homelessness, an Indeed report found.
In addition, new roles will emerge for the way we work now and the tools we use, says Jeanne Meister, founding partner of Future Workplace, a workplace consultancy, which coauthored 21 HR Jobs of the Future, an e-book about emerging jobs in human resources. Roles such as virtual reality immersion counselor and future of work leader will also help people navigate a changing workplace.
Logistics and warehouse professionals
The pandemic put enormous strain on the supply chain and spurred the growth of companies that deliver products, supplies, and materials. At Monster, the job platform is seeing an increase in all manner of logistics professionals, ranging from logistics specialists and coordinators to supply chain analysts. Even as the overall job market shed 140,000 jobs in December, employment in transportation and warehousing rose by 47,000. Monster’s data also confirm that logistics, warehouse, and supply chain professional demand is growing across the board.
Environmental sector jobs
Monster also predicts hiring will be up across the board in the environmental sector, primarily because of the priorities of new leadership in Washington, D.C. “Trends we anticipate seeing in the new year are a continuation of the crisis as it extends into this year. In addition, growth in environmental jobs is based on what happens in the new Congress. The environmental jobs are based on the Biden administration’s commitment to green jobs,” the company said in a statement.
Look for growth in titles ranging from environmental engineers and scientists to energy auditors and solar sales representatives and assessors, the company predicts. In 21 HR Jobs of the Future, researchers predict that chief climate response officers will be needed, especially at larger organizations.
The pandemic put particular pressure on e-commerce roles as companies looked for safe ways to conduct business. “There were short-term changes from the COVID crisis in the e-commerce world because so much shopping has moved into that space,” says Andrew Chamberlain, chief economist at career and company information website Glassdoor.
When a sector is booming, more division of labor happens. As a result, jobs are emerging in social media, search engine optimization, and digital marketing specifically related to e-commerce functions. So, instead of a SEO generalist, the role is more specifically tailored to drive e-commerce sales.
The past year also brought renewed attention to the importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) roles within organizations. Chamberlain says there is an increasing demand for those professionals, especially chief diversity officers. “DEI has grown pretty dramatically in the last few years. Partly it’s because of social-political trends. But partly, it’s because there’s a growing awareness among executives, about the research about the business case for diversity and inclusion,” he says. “Today, there’s pretty clear academic work, showing companies make better decisions and enjoy better financial performance when they have more diverse voices.”
The authors of 21 HR Jobs of the Future predict that more roles for dealing with bias will emerge within the next five years, including algorithm bias auditor and human bias officer. And director of people is a six-figure gig that has grown more than 100% in the past few years, according to Indeed. It’s an upper-level human resources role that oversees company culture and helps ensure a fairer and more engaging workplace, according to a recent report.
So, what other types of roles are emerging from the pandemic? Look for areas such as remote work that have seen high levels of growth or demand. “As a market grows and gets richer and deeper, more profitable, you start to see splitting out and the things that used to be combined in the same role,” Chamberlain says. As roles become more in-demand and more is required of them, job responsibilities splinter and create new roles, he says.