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AI and the workforce: what skills will your organisation need?

AI and the workforce: what skills will your organisation need?

We are on the brink of yet another technological revolution; self-driving vehicles will dominate the roads, artificial intelligence (AI) will diagnose medical conditions or find the perfect property, and half-hour long rocket rides from London to New York will (supposedly) be available from 2022 onwards.

Our workforce will be a part of this transformation, with machine learning and AI innovation improving workplace productivity, accuracy and output across the board.

Of course, this also means a number of key responsibilities and roles are under threat – a harsh reality that is of concern to 79% of UK workers, according to our recent Talent Trends research. 

In theory, most roles follow a similar process: first you gather data, then you analyse it and interpret the results; finally you recommend a course of action and implement it.

Automation and AI technology will have a significant impact on the gathering and analysing of data – but making thoughtful interpretations, determining practical solutions and delivering results through to completion is where the human element comes into play.

Going forward, organisations will need to attract and retain the right talent to cope with this looming technological transformation - here’s what attributes you should keep an eye out for:

Look for willing learners

AI won’t replace today’s workforce (well, not any time soon), but it will have a major impact on how we go about doing our jobs. 

The vast majority of today’s workforce (85%) believe their jobs won’t be impacted by AI and automation technology for at least the next three to five years, according to our research.

However, most people are willing to learn and adapt - a PwC report released earlier this year found almost three quarters of office workers are ready to learn new skills or retrain to remain employable in the future.

And, as AI technology will have an impact on most roles in some capacity, the race is on for organisations to find problem-solving individuals that are not only willing to learn new skills and abilities, but to drive results to an entirely new level of performance.

Look for innovative and thought-leading individuals that regularly incorporate new technologies or approaches into their day-to-day tasks in order to drive success.

Value emotional intelligence over artificial intelligence

Empathy, persuasion, social understanding – valuable social skills like these often take a backseat during the hiring process in favour of technical or experience-based capabilities.

But as a great number of technical tasks will soon be replaced by AI, social skills such as the ability to build relationships with clients and colleagues will soon take precedence.

What humans can do better than any machine is form a connection with other people – individuals that empathise, motivate, inspire, and coach colleagues will be of huge value to organisations in years to come. 

Seek out individuals that are equally committed and passionate about enhancing their social skills as they are about learning new technical skills.

Agile and collaborative talent

To stay afloat in today’s unpredictable and ever-changing business environment, organisations are adopting more agile policies, routines and processes – giving them the ability to overcome challenges in real-time, rather than being bogged down by hierarchy and bureaucracy. 

Organisations are doing away with more traditional workplace hierarchies in favour of flatter structures and virtual team working practices, encouraging a more collaborative approach to leadership and speeding up decision-making.

In fact, 94% of organisations say that ‘agility and collaboration’ are critical to their organisation’s success, according to Deloitte Insights. Therefore, it’s crucial that organisations find agile and collaborative talent to match. This need enables them to build a culture which fosters success.

And as AI helps drive decision-making and organisations become more agile, decisions are increasingly being made at lower levels. Therefore, organisations need to redefine what they mean by “leadership” and consider how they support decision-makers at all levels. 

For instance, Morgan Philips group research led it to develop its Leadership Blueprint model, which reflects the characteristics and profiles of leaders at every level, enabling organisations to select and develop individuals for the new world of work.

Aligned with the skills required, an individual’s mindset will also be a critical enabler of both individual and organisational success. 

Employers should make use of psychometric testing tools, such as PULSE MINDSET™, which are useful in revealing a worker’s motivational influences, preferred working style, and approach to problem-solving.

Those organisations that take the time to invest in an emotionally intelligent and agile team of problem-solving individuals will succeed in the new world of work. Those that don’t will fail.

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