‘Where have all the workers gone?’ An Interview with Kate Duchene

November 9, 2021
< 1 Minute Read

RGP's CEO Kate Duchene joined the Benzinga Power Hour team to discuss the hiring landscape, the shift away from the full-time employment paradigm, and professional gig economy trends.

With today’s work economy upended by the global COVID-19 pandemic, many workers who are taking a break from their full-time roles are in the 30 to 45-year-old demographic, Kate said during the interview. These workers are reassessing what’s important in life: It’s not work-life balance. It’s “if the work aligns with you as a person and as a professional.”

“Everybody is reassessing what matters to them now,” she said. “They’re coming back, but in a different way. We have to pay attention to what talent wants—it’s a talent-driven market right now.”

The companies that think they’re going to come back full steam ahead with the behaviors of the past–I think are going to lose. We have to pay attention to what talent is telling us today.

Kate Duchene

Today’s gig economy knowledge professionals are looking to build a portfolio-oriented career, where they control what projects they want to work on, for whom they work and where they work. “It’s about flexibility, agility and control for talent,” Kate said.

COVID didn’t create these trends for reassessment. It accelerated what was already building in the marketplace: talent wanting more control, more flexibility and project-oriented deliverables.

As we enter the next Industrial Revolution of bringing human and technology capabilities together, the pace of change is speeding up—disruption is happening in every industry. Technology allows smaller players to challenge the behemoths—we have to innovate faster, embrace change faster, and focus on the skills we need to deliver on change-oriented transformations.

The paradigm of “full-time employment being the only career path for knowledge workers” is gone.

Watch the video interview below and the full Benzinga Power Hour episode on YouTube.

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Kate Duchene

Chief Executive Officer
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