RPA and AI undoubtedly create efficiencies, but with those efficiencies comes an added human responsibility: monitoring results and ejecting, if not preventing, biases. It is clear that 2020 will bring forth a tipping point in enterprise adoption of smart automation – artificially intelligent software bots that work with human workers to automate manual, repetitive tasks. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, more than half of U.S. businesses were already using this technology in daily operations. As businesses and governments continue to respond to the pandemic and the economic aftermath, automation will be even more pivotal as the pace of maturity accelerates, and the global economy reacts to it. According to the McKinsey Global Institute, automation and advances in artificial intelligence (AI) will lead as many as 375 million workers, or roughly 14 percent of the global workforce, to reskill themselves by 2030 – more applicable than before as industries look to speed their recovery.
In the next five years, half of all workers will require some upskilling or reskilling to prepare for changing and new jobs, according to the World Economic Forum. The rapid pace of technological change requires new models for training that prepare employees for an AI-based future. True upskilling requires a citizen-led approach focused on applying new knowledge to develop an AI-ready mindset. Employers should view upskilling and reskilling as an investment in the future of their organization, not an expense.
In the never-ending race to find top talent, recruiters are often faced with a hard truth: job seekers are looking for more than just the "right" job. That's because the "right" job in today's landscape means more than a reasonable salary and a couple of weeks of vacation. Even extra perks like free snacks, cold brew on tap, ping pong tables, and work lounges are not working to attract potential hires. So, what is it that today's prospective employees are looking for in terms of perks and benefits? According to survey data referenced in a recent BCG report about the "Reskilling Revolution," upskilling and educational opportunities are higher than ever on job seekers' minds.
Research by the World Economic Forum (WEF) has found that COVID-19 has caused the labour market to change faster than expected, and that by 2025, automation and a new division of labour between humans and machines will disrupt 85 million jobs globally spanning 15 industry sectors and 26 economies. The Future of Jobs 2020 report also found that roles in areas such as data entry, accounting and administrative support are decreasing in demand as automation and digitization in the workplace increases. "More than 80% of business executives are accelerating plans to digitize work processes and deploy new technologies; and 50% of employers are expecting to accelerate the automation of some roles in their companies." "COVID-19 has accelerated the arrival of the future of work," said Saadia Zahidi, Manging Director at the WEF. "It's a double disruption scenario that presents another hurdle for workers in this difficult time. The window of opportunity for proactive management of this change is closing fast. Businesses, governments and workers must plan to urgently work together to implement a new vision for the global workforce."
Access to skilled workers is already a key factor that sets successful companies apart from failing ones. In an increasingly data-driven future - the European Commission believes there could be as many as 756,000 unfilled jobs in the European ICT sector by 2020 - this difference will become even more acute. Skills gaps across all industries are poised to grow in the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Rapid advances in artificial intelligence (AI), robotics and other emerging technologies are happening in ever shorter cycles, changing the very nature of the jobs that need to be done - and the skills needed to do them - faster than ever before. At least 133 million new roles generated as a result of the new division of labour between humans, machines and algorithms may emerge globally by 2022, according to the World Economic Forum.