ManpowerGroup Report: Robots Need Not Apply: Human Solutions in the Skills Revolution

Organizations rely on communication skills and continue to place a higher value on customer service and human interactions.

After all, the robots may not be taking over our world and make humans obsolete in the workplace.

A new survey conducted by the ManpowerGroup (NYSE: MANRobots Need Not Apply: Human Solutions in the Skills Revolution collected the data of over 2,000  U.S. employers and found that 91% will maintain or increase headcount in the next two to three years as industries shift to more advanced, automated processes.

“Digitization will impact every industry in the U.S. creating new jobs that require different skills,” said Becky Frankiewicz, ManpowerGroup North America President. “Our research shows this is good news for people, provided they are ready to upskill and reskill for a world of work that is more digital and fast-paced than ever before. Savvy employers are helping workers succeed by identifying skills adjacencies – those skills that are closely connected and can be adapted to new roles – and by offering people the chance to earn and learn with shorter bursts of on-the-job, experiential training. At ManpowerGroup, we’re doing just that. Our MyPath program provides people with career guidance and opportunities to learn in-demand skills at no individual cost so they can move up and earn more. We’ve seen the proof that with the right blend of technical and soft skills, America’s workforce will augment rather than compete with technology.”

Employers believe that robots cannot provide the following traits


HUMAN STRENGTHS include traditional soft skills like communication, collaboration, and creativity, as well as uniquely human traits like empathy, relationship-building, cognitive ability, curiosity and the desire to learn. Human strengths are skills that will augment technology and reduce the threat of replacement by automation.

Communication. Collaboration.Problem Solving. Organization. Customer Service Management

As companies move from a centric to a customer-facing business model, frontline and customer-facing functions are expected to show the most growth “as organizations place a higher value on customer service and human interaction,” the report concludes.

Close second positions are the manufacturing and production functions.  On the other hand, functions with less customer interaction or that consist of repeated tasks are the most under threats,  as organizations will turn to new technology to drive efficiency.

The report concludes that the best blend of high-tech and high-touch will be the combination of human strengths with technical and digital know-how: 61% of companies say communication skills, written and verbal, are their most valued soft skill followed by customer service, collaboration and problem-solving.

Source: Manpower Group

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