The Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) is described as the bridge of various technologies including physical, biological and digital sectors. Many major technological innovations within biotechnology, robotics, nanotechnology, and internet of things coupled with artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, and digitalization lead to very fast implementation of technological advancements to our lives. Considering the above, many new jobs will be created within this novel ‘’machine age’’.
For example, 60% of India’s GDP will be generated by AI and automation (ref). However, there is one major question: what will be the role of human skills, most importantly soft skills and competencies?
In an insightful masterclass at TechHR Singapore 2019, panelists threw light on these questions. Pymetrics presented greatly how the rise of new technologies will affect the human resources approach by highlighting the importance of soft skills for maintaining a successful, and sustainable company, based on productive, motivated and happy employees.
It is still early, and relatively challenging to predict which hard skills set will be needed within 10, 20 or 30 years from now. However, human soft skills such as emotional intelligence, empathy, social skills, and creative thinking are definitely traits that will define future top talents and leaders.
“In the near future, when robots will be mainstream ‘’advanced products’’, individuals need to stand out.”
Soft skills including consciousness and awareness will differentiate an individual from a robot. Jobs that require certain regular repetitive tasks will be automated, while jobs that require creativity and critical thinking will only be managed by the best human talents portrayed by these traits. Competencies are divided into knowledge, skills and abilities. The future focus should be in our abilities and traits. These will make an individual to stand out, and become a leader.
The use of technologies such as data analytics can better identify talents. And, motivate them to ‘’stick’’ with the company which is one of the current major challenges; how a company can recruit and keep top talents.
Investing in people’s soft skills is a life investment
Thinking of numbers, only the selection and recruitment market size is US$200 Bn. The talent management and development market worth are US$400 Bn. There are huge businesses and investment opportunities ranging from cloud solutions and cyber security to data analytics and gaming. The whole human resources field will be the epicenter to identify these top talents. That can only happen by embracing a holistic approach including both hard and soft skills.
In a more in-depth analysis, it is a continuous life quest to better understand ourselves, who we are, what we do and, how we can train our traits. The better understanding of ourselves can only result in a better version of ourselves. Investing in people’s soft skills is a life investment for your employees and your business. Human behavior is a defined behavior by our nurture (social environment such as family, friends and colleagues) and our nature (genetic background such as certain predispositions).
The better understanding of our traits shall result in better personal and professional decisions. In a human resources context, understanding people’s behaviors will enable you to identify, manage and develop top talents.
The use of the right tools will enable human resources to find and manage these talents. Data-driven decisions will increase predictability and matching power. All these are validated by metrics involving retention and performance. Additionally, diversity is a key factor to be innovative. Objective data-driven solutions will streamline the top-of-funnel selection process, resulting in the identification of the right candidate to the right position, not only based on hard skills but through an overall analysis.
To sum up, why do you need to better manage competencies and talents? The answer is pretty simple and straight forward. Humans will drive the future but if you do not manage properly people’s talents and competencies, you will not be able to identify these people. This is where startups like Pymetrics can help businesses to make an impact by embracing, managing and analyzing human soft skills.
(This article is based on a panel discussion at TechHR Singapore 2019 which comprised of Benjamin Roberts, Vice President, Talent Management, APAC, Essence, Grace Kerrison, Managing Director, APAC & Vice President Global Accounts, Pymetrics, and Michelle Hancic, Lead Psychologist, APAC, Pymetrics.)