Tag: digital transformation

New research reveals which jobs are at risk

According to new research, 37% of employees believe that their current job is threatened by automation and digital transformation. Based on survey results of over 1,000 UK workers, HR software provider CIPHR has released a list of the occupations that are the most and least likely to be replaced by technology or machines.

In the survey, respondents were asked to rate the likelihood that their occupation could become automated. Thirty-three percent of women and 43% of men believe that it is very likely that automation could replace their jobs. Further findings revealed that 54% of respondents aged 18 – 24 believe that their jobs may not exist in the future compared to 27% of those over 45.

To measure how closely people’s perceptions were to the likelihood of automation making people’s jobs redundant, CIPHR compared the survey results to a report Office for National Statistics (ONS). Across all the occupations included in the study, the findings showed a notable difference between workers’ perceptions and ONS researchers’ predictions.

A significant number of people vastly underestimated or overestimated the probability of their work becoming automated, suggesting a misconception about which jobs and associated tasks are susceptible to automation.

According to the research, 60% or more of jobs such as kitchen and catering assistants, cleaners, and sales and retail assistants are at risk of automation. Still, many people in these roles believe that the likelihood of this happening is relatively low.

Of the jobs considered to have a low risk of automation (30% or less), such as nursing, IT directors, and accounting, many people doing these jobs fear that their roles are at risk.

The research showed that, on average, people in more labour-intensive, non-desk based roles are more likely to underestimate the impact of automation (69%) than desk-based workers (49%).

There were similar results findings when looking at salaries. Many more people earning over £40,000 a year are more likely to overestimate the likelihood of automation taking over their jobs compared to employees earning under £31,285 (76% vs 29%).

The occupations with the smallest difference between perception and probability included:

  • Human resource managers and directors (29% think their job is likely to be automated)
  • IT user support technicians (27%)
  • Programmers and software development professionals (27%)
  • Restaurant and catering managers and proprietors (38%)
  • Bookkeepers, payroll managers and wages clerks (55%)

Claire Williams, Chief People Officer at CIPHR, comments: “Almost every industry has been transformed in some way by technology. And while digitalisation and automation have brought many positive benefits to organisations, such as improved efficiencies and productivity, streamlined processes, and reduced costs and timesaving, there is still much uncertainty about how it will impact people’s jobs in the long term.

“The challenge is to get the right balance of technology and people. Employees need to feel valued, that their roles have been enhanced by technology rather displaced by it. People often underestimate the human skills that they bring to their roles – the many parts of their jobs that can’t easily be replaced by algorithms and AI. The workplace and job roles will continue to evolve with technology, so employers need to consider the best ways to upskill and reskill their existing employees to keep up with these changes – making sure that they have the capacity, skills and capabilities to do their jobs and progress in their careers.”

Based on the survey results, many employees are unprepared for the changes ahead in their working lives. But even if occupations can become fully automated, it doesn’t mean they will. Instead, more than likely, roles will evolve, and new roles will be created.

 

 

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Side has 300,000 active candidates

Randstad NV has announced that Randstad France will acquire Side, a leading end-to-end digital staffing platform in the region. It’s said that the acquisition strengthens Randstad’s offering and market position through increased digital presence and capabilities.

Side was founded in 2016b and are specialists in online recruitment that offers digital staffing solutions to over 2,000 customers. With 300,000 active candidates on their books, they operate primarily in the logistics, trade and service sectors.

The acquisition of Side would lead Randstad towards a strong extension of Randstad’s current portfolio as well as enable them access to new opportunities for existing and potential clients.

Sander van’t Noordende, CEO at Randstad made comment: “The role of technology is becoming increasingly important in the world of HR services. In a tightening labour market, this acquisition would allow us to offer customers and talent a new solution to those looking for a fully digital experience. However, it is our shared values and the belief in the crucial role of the ‘human touch’ underpinned by technology which makes me excited to welcome their great people to our team.”

Pierre Mugnier, Co-founder and CEO, Side also commented: “This acquisition fuels our ambition to offer the best online staffing experience to candidates and businesses. It’s a great recognition of the strength of our team and our unique approach mixing cutting-edge technologies with high quality human touches. We’re looking forward to joining forces with the Randstad Group’s talented teams and combining our online user experience expertise with the world’s largest HR services provider.”

The transaction has been presented to the applicable employee representative bodies and is expected to close in the coming weeks.

 

 

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But how diverse is the tech industry?  

According to data released by UCAS, IT courses at UK universities have seen a record number of women applicants, a freedom of information request has revealed.   

The UCAS-sourced data and collated by IT security solutions providers Cheeky Munkey was sought to identify the increasing diversity of demographics entering the UK tech industry, taking into account the specific courses being applied for, as well as the age and gender of the applicants. 

During the last 10 years the number of female applicants to IT courses has increased by 82%.  

Also, since 2019, there has been an increase of 10% in women applying to computer science roles while applications by men to the same courses rose by 52% in the UK. Since 2019 the increase in male applications stands at a mere 2%.  

The news comes as figures from the Office for National Statistics showed that the tech industry was the third-fastest growing sector for job growth in the UK between July and September 2021, with women representing 71% of professionals placed during this period. 

Diversity in the tech industry: how much more needs to be done?  

Overall, the UK is seeing a growing surge in applicants studying to enter the tech industry — a 57% increase compared to a decade ago. With the pandemic highlighting the importance of digital transformations, it’s crucial that the UK is able to produce graduate tech talent to serve the growing need – especially in light of skills shortages.  

Analysing the most recent data, courses in AI have the highest number of women applying, although the data shows that the figure is only just over one in five (21%). Software engineering courses have seen the largest increase in the share of women applying – just 8% of applicants were women in 2010, this rose to 14% in 2020, a 66% increase. 

While great strides have been made to increase the number of women in tech, there is still work to be done to encourage women to join the sector. The data has revealed that computer science courses attracted 24,020 women applicants in 2021, compared to 117,295 male applicants. This equates to just 17% being female applicants, although it is higher than the 13% figure in 2013 – the lowest point in the last decade. 

Graham Lane, Director of Cheeky Munkey, commented: “Demand for IT professionals is as strong as ever, especially with disciplines like artificial intelligence set to grow rapidly in the coming years. Failure to meet demand, by shutting certain groups out, and the UK could be left behind in an industry that’s crucial to the economy. 

“Graduates provide fresh thinking and come to businesses equipped with the latest in IT theory. The more graduates – whether they’re men or women – entering the industry, the better the pool of talent available.” 

Danielle Keegan, Head of Permanent Recruitment at VIQU commented: “Universities are now very aware of the lack of women in technology and are actively putting initiatives in place to attract women to study tech-focused courses. [According to] a PwC UK research report titled ‘Women in Tech – Time to Close the Gender Gap’, 78% of students could not name a famous female working in tech. I believe companies need to be actively working with schools and universities in order to highlight the achievements and work of women in tech.  

Amit Kapoor, Director of Mindful Contract, a recruitment consultancy that focuses on interim resourcing for major digital transformation programmes, also made comment: “Many employers aren’t comfortable acknowledging, let alone declaring, that they have a representation problem. Language in a job description needs to be tempered to give assurance that the workload is manageable without requiring lifestyle sacrifices. 

“We recently launched a campaign for a banking client that had identified women as an underrepresented category. We stated this position as-is on our job advertisement, explicitly encouraging application from women. This yielded a higher-than-usual rate of applications from women.” 

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