Integrating Humans With Machines

Integrating Humans With Machines

Robot workers replacing human jobs – the debate of the decade. In reality, the opposite looks true. ManpowerGroup’s report Humans Wanted: Robots Need You found that more employers than ever – 87% – plan to increase or maintain headcount as a result of automation.

ManpowerGroup surveyed 19,000 employers in 44 countries on the impact of automation on job growth in the next two years. The research found that companies that are digitising are growing, and that growth is producing more jobs – and new ones at that. Organisations that are already automating tasks and progressing their digital transformation are most confident of increasing headcount. More companies are planning to build talent than ever before, and this trend shows no sign of slowing. 84% of employers plan to upskill their workforce by 2020.

The focus on robots eliminating jobs is distracting us from the real issue. More and more robots are being added to the workforce, but humans are too. Tech is here to stay and it’s our responsibility as leaders to become Chief Learning Officers and work out how we integrate humans with machines. Learning today cannot be done as it was in the past. That’s why at ManpowerGroup we’re reskilling people from declining industries, like textiles, for jobs in high-growth industries including cyber security, advanced manufacturing and autonomous driving. If we focus on practical steps to upskill people at speed and at scale, organisations and individuals really can befriend the machines.

Human Skills: Hard To Find, Even Harder To Teach

The Humans Wanted report also found that demand for IT skills is growing significantly and with speed. 16% of companies expect to increase headcount in IT, five times more than those expecting a decrease. Production and manufacturing employers anticipate the most change in headcount; 25% say they will employ more people in the next year, while 20% say they will employ less. Growth will come in frontline and customer facing roles too – all requiring human skills such as communication, negotiation, leadership and adaptability.

Demand for tech and digital skills is growing across all functions, yet employers place increasing value on human skills, as automation scales and machines prove better at routine tasks.

While 38% of organisations say it is difficult to train in-demand technical skills, 43% said it is even harder to teach the soft skills they need, such as analytical thinking and communication. Workers who demonstrate higher cognitive skills, creativity and the ability to process complex information, together with adaptability and likeability, can expect greater success throughout their careers. By 2030, demand for human skills – social and emotional soft skills – will grow across all industries, by 26% in the U.S. and 22% in Europe.

Humans Wanted: Robots Need You provides practical recommendations and best practice examples from around the world to help organisations upskill their people and become more agile with the right combination of building, buying, borrowing and bridging talent.

To download the full report, please visit Humans Wanted: Robots Need You.

This article first appeared in the tenth edition of The Human Age Newspaper.