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FUTURE OF WORK – Talent Riding the AI Wave or Drowning in It?

The world has been buzzing about AI for some time now, but with the emergence of Gen AI, it’s not just a distant conversation; it’s knocking on our very doors. Something big is happening, and it goes by the name Gen AI. If you’re an HR professional, you’re probably wondering: is talent riding this AI wave, or are we in danger of getting swamped by it?

Gen AI has brought AI so close to us that it’s not merely a technological advancement, it’s a transformative force shaping our daily lives and work. Let’s explore how this seismic shift is impacting the landscape of talent and organizations, and how you can harness its potential.

The AI boom: what’s really going on?

Let’s start with the facts. AI is already a big deal. A 2023 McKinsey study found that 50% of organizations are already using AI in some way, and that number is set to climb to a whopping 80% by 2030. That’s a major shift in how we work.

But here’s where it gets interesting: AI is not just shaking things up; it’s also creating new opportunities. According to a report by Mckinsey, AI is on track to create 20 million to 50 million new jobs globally by 2030. So, yes, there’s disruption, but there’s also a silver lining.

Talent transformation: A necessity, not a choice

The advent of AI in the workplace is undeniably disruptive. Automation is replacing manual tasks at an unprecedented pace, leading to concerns about job displacement. Yet, the story doesn’t end there. The world economic forum’s 2022 report provides a glimmer of hope by predicting that AI will create a whopping 97 million new jobs by 2025. This paradoxical relationship between AI and employment underscores the need for a fundamental shift in how talent is managed and nurtured.

Visual representation of - 97 million new jobs by 2025

One of the most significant impacts of AI on the workforce is the redefinition of skills. Traditional job roles are evolving, and new ones are emerging. While routine, rule-based tasks are automated, the demand for skills like critical thinking, problem-solving, and creativity is skyrocketing. AI can handle the mundane; it’s up to humans to bring the innovation, emotional intelligence, and adaptability that AI cannot replicate.

How AI can supercharge talent management

So, here’s the deal: AI can be your talent management superpower. Let’s break it down!

  1. Smarter hiring
    AI can turbocharge your recruitment process. It can sift through piles of resumes in seconds and pinpoint the candidates who match your job requirements. That means quicker hiring and less bias in your choices. And, as the McKinsey study shows, it can even boost your company’s profits.
  2. Personalized growth
    No more one-size-fits-all training. AI can create personalized learning paths for your employees. It looks at their strengths and weaknesses and recommends the right courses. It’s like having a personal trainer for your skills.
  3. Predictive analytics
    AI can predict the future—well, sort of. By crunching tons of data, it can tell you which talent moves will pay off and which won’t. This means smarter, data-driven decisions that can boost your bottom line.
  4. Wellbeing support
    AI isn’t just about work; it’s about people too. Ai-powered chatbots and virtual assistants can be your workforce’s best friend. They can provide instant answers to questions, offer tips for stress management, and even spot signs of burnout.
  5. Keeping the best – retention and career mapping
    Skill-based talent management, as highlighted in Deloitte’s study, isn’t just about getting people through the door; but also, about nurturing and growing talent. AI can help map out career paths within your organization based on skills and aspirations. This keeps your employees motivated and your business thriving.

The hurdles to clear

Of course, it’s not all smooth sailing. There are challenges:

  1. Ethics
    Is AI playing fair? Imagine AI that can mimic human voices and create lifelike videos and audio clips in the blink of an eye, all without breaking the bank. This technology also leverages the power of social media to spread these fake creations to precisely targeted audiences. Even former President Donald Trump, who’s running in 2024, once shared a fake video of a CNN host that made the news.

    In another disturbing incident in China, a man was detained by police for using ChatGPT to generate fake news about a tragic train crash that claimed nine lives. The counterfeit news article rapidly spread across social media, causing widespread panic among the public.

    Using AI in talent management raises questions about privacy and fairness. It’s essential to develop and monitor AI algorithms carefully to avoid biases and respect privacy.
  2. Skills gap
    As per The World Economic Forum report, AI is phasing out some skills but ushering in new ones. By getting AI into your talent management game means making the workforce equipped with new skills.

    As AI becomes more sophisticated, it is automating tasks that were once performed by humans. This is leading to concerns that some professional skills will become redundant or no longer required in the generation of AI. some professional skills that are at risk of becoming redundant due to AI like data entry, redundant tasks, low-skilled labour.

    Your people need to get Gen AI tools-savvy to make the most of AI’s potential. Training and upskilling are key.
  3. Change management
    Introducing AI can shake up your routines. You’ll need a plan to handle this change and get your team on board.

    For instance: If a company is adding an AI-powered chatbot for customer service. It’s going to change how reps talk to customers, and the company needs to have a plan of action in place to help employees adjust to this change.

    The Guardian recently delved into the dynamic world of AI and how it’s reshaping the way we work. Employees everywhere are finding themselves on a steep learning curve, struggling to keep up with the AI revolution.
  4. Data security
    AI relies on data, and that data needs to be safe. AI-powered facial recognition software raises concerns about privacy and surveillance

    A recent piece in The New York Times pulls back the curtain on the privacy pitfalls of AI-powered facial recognition. It’s a wake-up call to the need for crystal-clear rules to govern this tech.

    Staying on the right side of regulations, like GDPR, is vital.

The balancing act: AI as an enabler, not a replacement

In a nutshell, the future of work and talent management is tied to AI. The question of whether talent rides the AI wave or gets swept away hinges on how we embrace it. AI should be your partner, not your replacement. It can automate tasks, but it can’t replace the human touch, creativity, and empathy that make your workforce unique.

As an organization shaping up for future, your job is to seize the potential of AI while keeping your people at the centre of it all. It’s an exciting time of change, and talent can thrive in this new AI-powered world.

Get into Action: Problem Solving with ex-Mckinsey Consultants

Before we wrap up, as HR professionals to navigate in this transformative landscape, it’s important to stay informed and seek opportunities for learning and collaboration.

In this spirit, we’d like to highlight an upcoming event that could be of great interest. AntWalk is hosting an event on October 7th at the Goldfinch Hotel in Mumbai, from 12 PM to 3 PM. This event will feature a problem-solving workshop led by an ex-McKinsey consultant on the topic “Demystifying Talent in the Age of AI.”

It’s an excellent opportunity to gain valuable insights and network with fellow professionals in the field. Don’t miss out on this chance to enhance your understanding of talent management in the age of AI.

Picture of Pratikhya Das
Pratikhya Das

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