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Hire Purpose

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Hire Purpose

How Smart Companies Can Close the Skills Gap

Columbia Business School Publishing,

15 min read
8 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

The public and the private sectors must prepare workers for the future.

Editorial Rating



  • Applicable
  • Concrete Examples
  • Insider's Take


Disruptive technologies transform industries, society and the workplace. As many Americans have too much debt to invest in their futures, Deanna Mulligan and Greg Shaw urge business leaders to work with the private and public sector to help address critical skills gaps. Leaders, they say, should incorporate ongoing learning into their companies’ cultures and focus hiring efforts on workers with demonstrable skills and stackable credentials. Hire Purpose aims to inspire leaders to work together to benefit the economy by strengthening America’s workforce.


Technological advances won’t make humans obsolete.

Three major shifts are shaping the future of work:

  1. Today’s organizations aren’t simply profit-driven – they also embrace higher purposes.
  2. Remote opportunities are changing the ways people work together. 
  3. Technological changes, such as advancements in AI, big data, automation and mixed reality are disrupting industries. 

People often worry that evolutions in technology will make human work redundant and will result in job losses, but AI will likely augment – rather than replace – human skills. While some jobs might become obsolete, most occupations will evolve instead. McKinsey estimates that 8%-9% of labor demand in 2030 will stem from jobs that don’t yet exist – meaning as many as 375 million people will need to invest in learning new skills.

Many industries have already seen rapid changes due to innovation: For example, when Uber launched its ridesharing app in 2011, it disrupted the transportation industry, replacing almost 100 years of taxi monopolies in cities like New York. Such changes will continue. Experts...

About the Authors

Deanna M. Mulligan was the CEO of The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America between 2011 and 2020, and now serves as a Board Chair for Guardian. Writer and publisher Greg Shaw worked as a communications executive at Microsoft and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and is the founding investor in Clyde Hill Publishing.

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