Human Resources

How to prepare for the jobs that don't exist yet

“There is a huge IT skills shortage,” newspaper headlines across the globe tell us. “Discover the 20 coolest jobs that don’t exist yet!” promise listicles all over the internet. And then there are the endless industry events which see a ceaseless round of senior managers discuss all the challenges associated with hiring tomorrow’s shadowy workforce.

But what can we really do to prepare organizations for uncertain future jobs? Well firstly, it is important to stress there has always been an ebb and flow of different roles. Last year Deloitte analysts published a paper “Technology and people: The great job-creating machine” [PDF] which examined UK census results since 1871 in conjunction with Labour Force Surveys (LFS) since 1992.

This showed the gradual change in roles over the last 150 odd years and revealed that in the time the role of telegraph operator entirely came and went. While the hairdresser – despite remaining a consistent employment – was counted at one for every 1,793 citizens in 1871 and now stands at one for every 287. You can almost guarantee that few nineteenth century barbers went by the title Senior Stylist.

“There definitely is a taste of hype around this [jobs] issue,” Kristine de Valck, academic director of the HEC Paris Executive MBA advanced certificate in Leading Digital Transformation tells us, “although all hype holds a fraction of truth at its core.”

James Smith, managing director at Networkers, Technology Recruitment seconds this point because as he puts it “disruptive technologies have always been part of life. Think how steam engine trains were replaced by their electronic equivalent.”

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