Will AI Take Over Our Jobs? What To Know About The Future of AI in the Workforce

By: Heather Moyer, March 13th, 2024

The worry over AI taking over jobs, though present, is not overwhelming the workforce. Moreso, it’s an anxiety about the uncertainty of how AI will affect jobs. Further intensifying those concerns are the perceived rate and scale of change.

And change is absolutely happening and expected to continue. McKinsey’s “Generative AI and the Future of Work in America” report says, “11.8 million workers currently in occupations with shrinking demand may need to move into different lines of work by 2030.” Tasks represented in nearly 30% of hours currently worked could be automated. 

But people are far from powerless in the face of all this change. Global AI and Innovation Technology lead at PwC Scott Likens explains, “Technology advancements have shown us that, yes, technology has the potential to automate or streamline work processes. However, with the right set of skills, individuals are often able to progress alongside these advancements.”

How Will AI Affect the Job Market?

As new and advanced technologies are adopted in personal and professional lives, there are a few clear impacts on the future of work we can foresee and prepare for. As employees learn and apply those new ways of working and companies continue to identify new needs and priorities, here are a few key considerations for how the market will be affected.

AI Will Change Our Job Roles

This is not a simple “Will it or won’t it?” question. “How much?” is the better question. Depending on how much a role’s most important activities are impacted by AI, the vast majority of roles can expected to be impacted to some degree. 

A study conducted by MIT examined ChatGPT’s effect on productivity, finding a 37% improvement that not only sped up the work but also increased the quality of work lower-skilled workers produced. So while automation and Generative AI may make some work obsolete, it also has the power to enhance work and augment skills.

Employees will benefit from those tasks that are repetitive and often mundane being automated, allowing them to not only reduce human error and inconsistency but also impact job satisfaction. “This creates new opportunities for employees to focus on meaningful, high-value activities. The result is jobs with more specific, nuanced requirements. At the same time, these positions won’t be bogged down with simple, time-consuming minutiae.”

AI Will Create New Jobs and Opportunities

And as in past periods of major innovation and technological advancement, new jobs will be created that can offset the AI automation job loss. Studies have even shown that despite some jobs becoming obsolete as these advances happen, new and often unforeseen jobs are introduced. “One study found that 0.56% of new jobs in the United States each year are in new occupations.”

The increased focus on and investment in issues like climate and infrastructure will drive demand for much of this new job growth. The World Economic Forum’s Future of Jobs Report: 2023 says, “According to a recent estimate by the International Energy Agency (IEA), a green-recovery scenario could lead to close to 3.5% of additional GDP growth globally, as well as a net employment impact of 9 million new jobs created each year.40 Globally, the green transition could create 30 million jobs in clean energy, efficiency, and low-emissions technologies by 2030.”

But despite the influx of new jobs, companies will continue to be pressured by economic challenges, meaning they will need to look inward to fill gaps to address new demands. Upskilling and reskilling will be the focus for these companies as a means to stay agile as well as keep their workforce engaged.

AI Will Change the Ways We Recruit New Talent

Staying competitive in an ever-evolving and innovation-driven environment will require that employers keep their employees agile and well-trained. In addition to providing internal opportunities for development, they will need to move to skills-based and even AI recruiting, emphasizing abilities and potential over education and experience.

This shift trickles down to hiring managers as well, as they consider how the indicators of success for each role have changed and could change in the future, which is in itself a new skill for many. “The reality is that hiring managers are not talent assessment experts. So it’s important for recruiters to guide hiring managers along the journey and help them understand the ‘why’ of skills-based hiring: that it will get them highly qualified talent in the role when they need it,” according to Emily Field, a partner at McKinsey & Co.

The “how” of hiring will also be impacted, in addition to the “who.” LinkedIn’s “2024 Future of Recruiting” report shows that 57% of recruiters are already using Generative AI tools when writing job descriptions, among other activities. “Talent leaders expect adoption to accelerate in the coming year and beyond as recruiting teams gain a better understanding of how Gen AI can be leveraged in multiple ways, from sourcing candidates to personalizing outreach, to matching internal candidates with open positions.”

Which Jobs Are Threatened By AI and Automation?

In their study of how much and which types of jobs are threatened by AI and automation, Pew Research Center assessed jobs as “more exposed” if their most important activities could be performed or helped by AI. Based on the proportion of automatable tasks, the risk for replacement or obsolete skill sets is able to be identified.

AI job automation is anticipated to have the greatest disruption in roles with routine or repetitive tasks, like clerks, credit authorizers, telemarketers, and receptionists. By 2030, McKinsey estimates 12 million workers will potentially be displaced by this kind of automation, requiring occupational shifts, especially those that tend to be lower-wage jobs. In fact, they anticipate lower-wage jobs are up to 14 times more likely to be eliminated than the highest-wage positions.

As roles evolve, employers can keep those positions impactful and productive by creating and offering opportunities for upskilling and reskilling. Upskilling allows employees to learn new skills that optimize their performance in their current roles, reskilling will enable them to take on an entirely new role. The Society for Human Resource Management says these kinds of opportunities are important in an AI-driven workplace for four key reasons:

  • Staying competitive
  • Increasing job satisfaction
  • Improving productivity
  • Reducing the risk of job displacement.

How Can HNM Systems Assist With My Job Search?

Matching the right talent with the right opportunity is especially challenging amidst all of this change, especially in the telecommunications, utilities, and IT sectors. Reach out to HNM Systems and tap into our proven custom-tailored approach for your staffing and job search needs.