Friday, May 29, 2020

2018 Is the Year of the Chief Automation Officer

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According to recruitment firm Hays, due to new technologies, there will be increased demand for chief automation officers (CAOs).

Hays CEO, Alistair Cox said that across the boardroom table, business leaders may also start seeing more CAOs have a say as businesses recognise AI’s revolutionary potential, but remain alert to the unforeseen impact it could have on their business model.

Meanwhile, there will also be a fierce battle to innovate quicker than competitors. This will result in an increase in demand for chief innovation officers, whose role is primarily responsible for managing the process of innovation and change management in an organisation. Cox added that there will also be a demand for leaders who can ensure the security of a business’s systems.

Data is also driving demand in a number of sector specific roles, including marketing jobs such as marketing automation, performance marketers, customer analytics and CRM specialists. The demand has been created by businesses as they seek to target customers in more sophisticated ways.

“Digital information mountains have grown, and the rise in the Internet of Things technology is likely to accelerate this. However, data without insight is of no value, which explains why we are seeing a sharp rise in data scientist, data analyst, data artists and data visualiser vacancies, around the world,” he said.

He added: “These professionals make sense of a business’ data, helping to turn zeros and ones into actionable insights, whether that’s changes in customer behaviour or new opportunities which haven’t yet been spotted by human eyes.”

Businesses will continue to seek AI developers, especially those that can apply AI technology in a consumer context. In addition, AI candidates with an understanding of the wider business opportunities will be in high demand, along with developers who can enhance an organisation and optimise business processes. As such, there will be increase in data-related roles.

Traditional roles still matter

Despite the emergence of new technologies and related roles, more traditional tech and non-tech specific roles will continue to be relevant. The report explained that skilled software developers are in high demand, particularly those with front-end user interface experience, as organisations evolve their digital offering to meet changing consumer expectations. Java and scalable programming languages remain preferred, although there is still a need for C++ fluency despite increasing migration from legacy systems.”

Moreover, preparation for regulatory changes across several industries, as well as a continued focus on digital transformation, will create 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.

Cox said, “Despite the more sensationalist headlines predicting the demise of the human worker, at Hays, we simply don’t see this happening. We are, in fact, seeing an explosion in new roles around AI and data and a relentless 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.”

Human skills for a tech driven world

Alongside technical skills, soft skills will continue to be in demand. Cox said, “While the best technical skills and qualifications in the world can be taught, they will have limited impact unless your business is equipped with managers who understand what motivates their employees, can communicate with their team effectively and listen. Those organisations who can marry the best technology and ‘technical’ skills with teams who have an abundance of emotional intelligence will win.”

Employers will need to actively look for creativity, collaboration, human interpretation and communication skills, in candidates. The jobseekers to stand out from their peers will be those who are not only able to provide solutions to challenges but communicate how and why to implement them.

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