Learning & Development, Technology

‘Human’ Skills Top Employer Demands Even Amid AI Revolution

There is understandably a great deal of apprehension among workers over the rapid pace of advancement in AI technology. Increasingly sophisticated AI tools are able to perform myriad tasks once exclusively the realm of humans, from data entry and note taking all the way up to tasks once reserved for highly paid professionals, like contract negotiation and mammogram review.

Companies Considering AI-Driven Downsizing

Indeed, many companies are already looking to downsize their human labor force through the use of AI. According to a recent Resume Builder report, “Of companies currently using AI, 37% say workers were laid off in 2023 because they were no longer needed due to the company’s use of AI.”

At the same time, however, artificial intelligence—at least in its current manifestation—cannot fully replace humans. There are a number of uniquely human capabilities that are still highly sought after among employers. These are the types of abilities often referred to as “soft skills.”

Soft Skills in High Demand

Despite the proliferation and impact of AI-related technologies, soft skills are still in high demand. These are skills that technology can’t complete replicate—at least not yet, writes Amanda Breen in an article for Entrepreneur. “In fact, according to LinkedIn’s 2024 Most In-Demand Skills list, ‘human’ or ‘durable’ skills remain ‘business-critical’ despite the shifting technological landscape,” she says. “Some of the most sought-after soft skills are very familiar: communication, leadership, teamwork and problem-solving all appear in the top 10 included on LinkedIn’s list.”

Breen also writes that a strong work ethic is also in high demand. While computers can certainly “work hard” and theoretically plug away at their tasks 24/7, to the extent companies are looking for the kinds of soft skills mentioned above, the humans who posses such skills are that much more valuable if they can also demonstrate a strong work ethic.

Strong Work Ethic Also in Demand

Breen notes that small and medium-sized businesses are looking for employees with a strong work ethic—the most prioritized skill for SMEs, and the second highest for large companies. “However, all businesses, regardless of size, agreed that a ‘strong work ethic’ was the most difficult skill to find in new hires, per ADP’s research: 36% of small and mid-size businesses and 33% of large businesses,” she writes.

Despite advancements in AI technology, uniquely human skills remain invaluable. Soft skills like communication, leadership, teamwork, and problem-solving are highly sought after by employers. These “durable” skills are critical in the evolving job market, underscoring the enduring importance of a strong work ethic and human capabilities.

Lin Grensing-Pophal is a Contributing Editor at HR Daily Advisor.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *