Every industry will in some way be effected by artificial intelligence; however, the dooms day scenario of a jobless future will not be how this plays out. Instead, the vast majority of jobs will be enhanced and improved through the application of this technology alongside human workers. The coming symbiosis of man and machine will define work in industry 4.0, allowing us to reach production thresholds previously thought of as impossible.
All companies will look to augment their workforce in order to become more efficient and compete in this new age of the augmented organization. However, the biggest impact of the augmented organization will occur with the people working directly alongside these intelligent machines, the workers. But what will determine a successful worker in this new environment and what should organizations be looking for when hiring?
In a recent Center for the Future of Work study, Relearning How We Learn, we found that demand for “hard” skills such as mathematics, engineering, etc. will begin to decline, and instead the focus will shift to human, and business focused skills. On the business side, project planning and project management will continue to be sought after in the augmented organization.
As Ryan Stewman of Hardcore Closer LLC said, “I'm a firm believer that I can train anyone at any time to do any job. All I need is the right personality and I feel like I can train someone from my experience and make it theirs.” Whilst this might not be true for all positions, there is an element of truth in this statement. Therefore, we need to identify what skills and behaviours will be critical in the augmented organization. In a recent study, Humans Plus Machines Mastering the Future of Machines in Asia Pacific, we identified that the top skill requirements for the augmented workforce were: leadership, innovation, interpersonal ability, and communication.
Now it does need to be said that the need for “hard” skills will of course remain. Ultimately, we still need the “builders” with the programming and engineering skills to make our new machines tick. However, the center of mass in the skills market is beginning to shift as machines play a greater role in our working lives. Therefore, our hiring practices need to reflect this and criteria for successful candidates need to include an ever greater degree of behavioural assessment to make sure we have the right types of people, not just skills, within our augmented organization.