Despite fears of the demise of the human worker due to the booming artificial intelligence (AI) and big data trend, Hays CEO Alistair Cox is optimistic that this rapid evolution of technology would be able to create new demand for professionals.
In a blog post, Cox said there would be an explosion of new roles around the areas of AI and data and a robust demand for specific soft skills such as adaptability, creativity and collaboration.
"After all, and as I've said before, we're yet to see an algorithm that can read things like humour, temperament or enthusiasm as effectively as a person can," he said.
Cox said firms will be on the prowl for AI developers, especially those who can apply the technology in a consumer context. Data-related roles will also be in demand with the rise of the Internet of Things technology. Posts such as data scientists, data analysts, data artists, and data visualisers will see a sharp rise in demand, especially for firms relying on their data to gain insights.
With the said technologies driving job creation in the few years to come, Cox said there will be an increased demand for leaders who can ensure the security of the firms' systems. Cybersecurity officers and automation officers will be the new entrants to the boardroom of firms.
It is important, however, for firms to still take into consideration the more traditional roles. Cox explained that despite the emergence of new technologies, such roles will still be relevant.
"Preparation for regulatory changes across several industries, as well as a continued focus on digital transformation, are creating large-scale projects. This will see increasing demand for project and change management professionals, particularly those needed to fill project manager and business analyst roles," he explained.
Cox stated that employers should be able to future-proof their talent pipelines for firms to remain competitive. For job seekers, the best course of action is keeping their skills relevant to the demands of firms.
"Disruption in the world of work is indiscriminate and everyone must take the time to stay relevant. This change shouldn't be feared though. It comes with a host of new opportunities for both businesses and candidates, and I believe 2018's jobs market will generate far more excitement than concern," he said.