Top 11 Predictions That We See Impacting HR and Talent For 2017 – Prediction 11


Research Report Bersin by Deloitte


AI, robotics, and cognitive systems are augmenting and changing jobs, professions, and careers. HR needs to learn about the future of work and help to redesign the organization faster than ever.


Prediction 11: The Future of Work Is Here and HR Is in the Hot Seat

For the final prediction, I would like to address the issue of the “future of work.” Last I checked, more than 68,000 articles have been written on this topic; a new book on global income inequality, the rise of robots and AI, and the need to reinvent our social policies seems to come out every few days.

I was recently asked to research this topic, and develop a point of view and speech which you can read about here.53 The essential issue we face in 2017 is the rapid commoditization of AI technology (speech recognition, natural language processing, sensors, and robotics) and the impact that could have on almost every job.

  • Healthcare workers and X-ray technicians are now aided by smart software that can help to diagnose disease, read X-rays, and recommend drugs with high degrees of accuracy.54
  • Manufacturing plants are rapidly installing robots (China is purchasing more than 260,000 robots this year, and is likely to become the number one market for robotics55) and these robots can see better than the human eye.
  • Most mobile phones have more than six smart sensors (e.g., audio, GPS, accelerometer, temperature, camera, humidity), and are now able to listen to our voice and identify stress. In fact, new research by Stanford56 shows that voice recognition is three times more accurate at typing than our hands.
  • New software which integrates mobility, drone sensors, and weather patterns is revolutionizing farming and farm machines,57 the way we decide which road to take, and how insurance is priced. Insurance companies now have tools that can scan photos of your accident and almost immediately size your claim.58

These new tools are becoming commonplace; they are entering the workforce at a time when jobs themselves are becoming more dynamic, more than 40 percent of workers are contingent,59 and the gap between the “haves” and “have-nots” has increased. So we, as HR leaders, are in the hot seat to figure out what all of this means.

If you read the article I mentioned above, you will see that the future of work is not simply about using technology to replace people. The real “future of work” issue is all about making jobs “more human”—redesigning jobs, redesigning work, and redesigning organizations so that the “people side” of work has even more importance and focus than ever.


Other Prediction:

Prediction 1: Organizational Design Will Be Challenged Everywhere
Prediction 2: Culture and Engagement Will Remain Top Priorities
Prediction 3: Real-Time Feedback and Analytics Will Explode in Maturity
Prediction 4: A New Generation of Performance Management Tools Will Emerge
Prediction 5: A Focus on “Human Performance” and Wellbeing Will Become a Critical Part of HR, Talent, and Leadership 
Prediction 6: Focus on Employee Experience Will Overcome Process Design in HR
Prediction 7: Digital HR and Learning Will Help Us to Reinvent L&D and HR Systems
Prediction 8: The Leadership Market Will Start a Steady Process of Reinvention
Prediction 9: Diversity, Inclusion, and Unconscious Bias Will Become a Top Priority
Prediction 10: The L&D Function Will Continue to Struggle


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