How the job market is evolving in the age of AI and automation

The integration of digital and cognitive technologies is pushing enterprises to attract those who possess such scarce skills, according to HR executives.

illustration of a robotic arm spilling alphabetic tiles that spell 'jobs'

According to industry experts, digital transformation is impacting the job market like never before.

The rising skills gap in relation to technological change, along with the rise of AI and automation is making hiring a challenging process for enterprises. It's challenging for both employees, who have to upskill with fast-changing technology, as well as for the employers who need to find the right and potentially scarce talent to fill in the job roles.

Rapid technological change has created a giant skills gap 

As we move ahead in time, a good number of tech positions are going unfilled. While organizations need employees with advanced technology skills, they are finding it challenging to attract such talent. 

The staggering demand for the talent has made it highly problematic for organizations to create the right teams for undertaking certain projects. 

The skills gap is estimated to keep climbing throughout the coming years. The 2017 Global Information Security Workforce Study (GISWS) predicts as much as 1.8 million IT positions would go unfilled by 2022. Here, we look at the current trends in the skills marketplace from some of the leading HR professionals in the country. 

To keep up with high-speed technological advancement, schools and colleges seemed to have been lagging for some years. The corporate world at the same time has taken many initiatives to help employees learn, and this trend is set to continue. 

Manish Bahl, Director- Center for Future of Work at Cognizant, explains how the current scenario in the history of jobs is very critical. "Every job is emerging at a time when the commercial value of human skills is being radically reassessed. Some old skills are losing their power in the market today, while many new skills are the source of outsized advantage. In this scenario, corporates and academia must redefine the construct of learning and skills," he says. 

Cognitive skills at the center of technology hiring

Artificial intelligence and other cognitive technologies are not just a fad. With each passing year, cognitive is rapidly getting adopted across many industry verticals.

The adoption and integration of digital with cognitive is pushing enterprises to hunt for those who possess related skills, especially in the technology side. In addition, to strengthen the power of AI, experts believe that enterprises are looking to hire people who have skills not just in cognitive technologies, but also have capabilities in problem-solving, creativity and inter-personal communication. 

While technology aptitude will remain the key benchmark, there will be more focus to hire people who have multi-dimensional capabilities in arts, sciences, business, innovation, creativity, design and so on to meet future role requirements, says Srikanth NR, Lead - Human Resources, Accenture Advanced Technology Centres in India. 

"With artificial intelligence becoming the operative word in 2019, enhanced cognitive thinking, social and emotional intelligence combined with deep technological skills will be prominent for tech professionals to hone. This will result in an inevitable shift in demand to recruit professionals with higher cognitive skills such as creativity, critical thinking, decision making and complex problem solving combined with basic technical and programming skills," points out Visweswara Rao, SVP & Chief HR Officer at CSS Corp. 

Creating an effective HR strategy to find the 'right talent'

The advent of the fourth industrial revolution is making enterprises hire employees skilled at everything digital. The focus is on finding new age skills and reinventing the hiring approach to suit the strategy of the company. Strategy hiring and employee experience are other focus areas around which new corporate culture is being built. 

"As businesses are evolving, we are definitely seeing organizations employing a major shift the policies like employer branding, strategy hiring, social media recruiting, utilization of data-driven/analytical tools and above all candidate experience to drive future hiring," tells Tanveer Saulat, Co-founder & General Manager, Synechron.

It's not just about tech skills as learning and re-learning is the only constant in the digital space. Companies are giving more importance to human skills, creativity and domain expertise, which cannot be replicated with artificial intelligence in the current scenario. 

Srikanth NR throws light on how recruitment in the IT services industry will evolve. According to him, the industry will continue to evolve in parallel with the rapid change in the technology landscape, and there are two trends that are key in the short-term in this regard. 

"First, the industry is moving away from just skills in technologies to adding more weightage to specialist domain knowledge, reflecting the reality where technology is increasingly driving the business and there is a greater need to build domain expertise. Second, while technology aptitude will remain the key benchmark, there will be more focus to hire people who have multi-dimensional capabilities in arts, sciences, business, innovation, creativity, design and so on to meet future role requirements," states Srikanth NR. 

Copyright © 2019 IDG Communications, Inc.

7 inconvenient truths about the hybrid work trend
Shop Tech Products at Amazon