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The Future of Jobs

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There has been a lot of discussion regarding the Future of Work and what the impact of robots, algorithms and AI will have on the number of jobs in the future.  According to Forbes in September 2018, Robots Will Take Our Jobs And We Need A Plan, however, separately according to Forbes and in the same month no less, Artificial Intelligence To Create 58 Million New Jobs By 2022.  It’s clearly a grey area, but what we do know is that there will be huge upheaval to the way we work in the years and decades to come.  Today, however, I want to take a break from Covid19 and look at the impact of AI and robots on jobs, and more specifically on Human Resources jobs.


Will There Be Any Jobs?

First up, will there still be jobs in the future?  Well, actually yes.  Since the doom and gloom dystopian predications of a couple of years ago when it looked like an army of Skynet robots would take over all our jobs, the overriding sentiment has been much more positive, that technological developments will actually increase the number of jobs in the future.  Thankfully, according to McKinsey very few occupations consist of activities that can be fully automated – 5% only according to their study, although they say in the majority of occupations (60%) a third of activities could be automated, implying there will be substantial change on the horizon for most of us.  Indeed, although there will be more jobs created due to technological advancement than made obsolete, McKinsey estimate that between 75 million to 375 million people may need to switch occupations and learn new skills by 2030.


Where Will the Jobs Be?

The World Economic Forum has outlined seven emerging professional clusters with significant opportunities for jobs growth - Product Development; Sales, Marketing and Content; Data and AI; Engineering and Cloud Computing; People and Culture (human resources); the Care Economy (including medical care and fitness); and the Green Economy.  Some of the jobs they name are familiar and are what you would probably expect - such as Data Scientists, Cloud Engineers and Solar Energy Installation Managers, while others are less familiar such as Medical Transcriptionists and Green Marketers.  Also of note, areas of growth in jobs are Orderlies/Medical Assistants, Recreation Workers and Fitness Trainers.  Meanwhile a recent story in Bloomberg suggests that following the Covid19 crisis there will be an uptake in the previously little known jobs of thermal scanners, cart sanitisers and contact screeners.  Unsurprisingly, the World Economic Forum predicts the greatest jobs growth to come from the Data & AI and Engineering & Cloud Computing sectors.  However, they also predict that the Green Economy will have annual jobs growth of between 30 and 40% per annum.  


What Will the Jobs of the Future Look Like?

In the future Deloitte expects that machines will take over a lot of the mundane, routine tasks leaving the worker to focus on more creative or value added work and utilising “human” skills in areas such as problem-solving, communication, listening, interpretation, and design.  Jason Seng, Executive Director, Human Capital Consulting, Deloitte Southeast Asia added that “the repeatable job activities that are primarily transactional and operational in nature will continue to be automated, while value-added, human-centred work will continue to consolidate. Traditional jobs will evolve into what we call ‘superjobs’, where humans work alongside AI and technology in an efficient harmonic blend.” 


What Will HR Jobs of the Future Look Like?

I recently sat down with Raj Kasi, pioneer in AI Chatbot Software for Recruiting and HR, and all round good guy, and asked him what he thought HR jobs would like in the future.  He confirmed that HR roles won’t disappear in the future instead, they will just be different.  Raj predicts that HR jobs will have more technology and analytical components while he also stressed the importance of innovation.  One specific skillset he thinks will be important will be “digital readiness” - the ability of an individual to adapt to an inclusive digital economy.  Additionally, Raj reflected that "predictive/ prescriptive analytics" and "inferring insights from big-data" competencies are now expected of all HR professionals as part of their normal routine accountabilities.


What Are the HR Skills of the Future?

Interesting, what Raj shared is reflected very nicely by the World Economic Forum’s predictions for HR.  They looked at what the priorities will be for additional learning among online learners in People and Culture and they listed People Analytics as being the second most important topic, behind only Human Resources Management.  The third most important topic was Recruiting, Hiring and On-boarding Employees.


Similarly, the World Economic Forum listed the top 10 skills in People and Culture.  The top three skills were Recruiting, Human Resources and Business Management with Digital Awareness coming in at number 6.  While digital awareness was not as high a priority as recruiting and human resources, it still came above more traditional HR skills such as people management (number 8) and compensation & benefits (number 9).  What was significant is that business acumen skills are rated so highly, something that we are seeing more and more of in the demand for jobs here at Elliott Scott HR.


What Are the HR Jobs of the Future?

So what exactly are the jobs of the future? Well, the roles of the future aren’t really too different from what we are seeing today.  Indeed the top three emerging People and Culture jobs of the future according to the World Economic Forum are -


  1. Information Technology Recruiter
  2. Human Resources Partner
  3. Talent Acquisition Specialist


This list reflects the top three skills in People and Culture (Recruiting, Human Resources and Business Management) as well as what training is needed (#1 Human Resource Management and #3 Recruiting, Hiring and On-boarding).  So it appears that the future really is upon us already and it’s up to us as individuals to be prepared for it and make sure we have the necessary skills.  Similarly, when I spoke with Steven Poon, SVP Talent Acquisition at DBS, he reflected that it was critical that people need to start thinking about the technological disruptions that are already impacting our daily roles. He said that DBS is not only looking to embrace the technological changes, they’re trying to change the way their people think by nurturing a growth mindset, encouraging experimentation, voicing opinions, stepping outside of comfort zones. 


Indeed, more than ever, what we can be sure of is that change will happen and we need to change with it.   


Where Do I Find an HR Job of the Future?

Simple, contact me at vr@elliottscotthr.com or keep an eye on the Elliott Scott Job Board!


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