Although AI, Robotics and Automation have all been around for a while in certain sectors, only recently has their true potential has been shown in the media.

Whether it’s a new robot development to aid a manufacturing process, or an AI bot to speed up customer service inquiries, questions have been raised, primarily — “What will happen to the jobs that they’re taking?

In short, and although it’s hard to estimate, not a lot. What we’re seeing is a future shift in demand for certain types of candidates.

For each company that replaces a customer service team with an army of AI Bots, another company will be hiring developers and engineers to both create, support, and maintain said bots. For every manufacturing firm that replaces staff with state of the art assembly robots, another company will be sending out employees to create, support, maintain, and install said bots.

Headline: “By 2030, 25 percent of travel through Dubai will be automated.

Headline: “1.3 million industrial robots to enter service by 2018”

Reverse engineering the process

Changes and innovations within any sector will cause changes and shifts in the markets in their supply chain. Adaptation within these markets will mean the demand for certain types of candidates shifts.

The questions being posted throughout social media shouldn’t say, “Why are robots taking our jobs and leaving us unemployed“, but rather, “For each job lost through a new product innovation, how many other jobs are being created?”

By calculating this answer (which will take a lot of time, guesstimation, and extrapolation!), not only will there be a greater confidence in the current employment trends, but we may avoid a situation in which technology has advanced at a rate that is quicker than we can supply skills to maintain it. And, we can understand and start to implement processes that’ll ensure we can provide the talent to feed the shift.

When understanding the impact that Robotics, AI and Automation will have, ironically, we will simply need to think (which will soon be done for us!), and reverse engineer the process we’re expecting to see over the next 20-30 years.

Ensuring a smoothly-running operation

Cast your imagination to a manufacturing plant festering with autonomous robots and AI software. Now, overlook the operation, and understand what needs to be done in order to ensure things run smoothly.

First of all, we’d look at QC — Quality Control. Robots may run millions of products off in a year, but can they look at the detail and quality level of a finished product, and either discard, suggest improvements within a process, or adjust? Probably not without human intervention, aka,“QC Manager(s)”

How about we look at Operations Management? The chances are, the robots in mind will be working as part of a chain. They’ll be automated to keep churning products.

Now, let’s say that a malfunction occurs within one robot. The chain is now broken, meaning that any further process implemented by a robot thereafter is obsolete. Now, the operation has to stop for processes to improve.

Something needs to hit the big red STOP button, and to think of a new strategy. How? Human intervention — aka, the “Operations Manager(s)”

Now that the Operations Manager has identified a fault within one of the robots, said robot will need to be fixed and tested. How? Human intervention., aka, “Maintenance Engineer(s)”

Should the robot be beyond repair, a new robot will have to be built and installed in its place. This, in turn, enables the supply chain, and in turn, generates a requirement for candidates for such jobs, aka, “Installation Engineer(s),” “Robot Design & Developer(s),” “Robot Production Line Engineer(s).”

There are so many layers when creating a service or a product, if one layer has had a robotic invasion of the workforce, another layer, either within the organization itself, or within the supply chain has prospered. Why have they prospered? They’ve identified and anticipated the future requirements for certain automation, and have implemented processes in which they’re easily able to obtain the relevant talent in order to provide such a change.

4 steps to prepare for the automation talent shift

Now, you may be asking, how do we prepare for the apparent apocalyptic (it’s not that bad, is it?) talent shift? For such a large-scale, technological topic, the answer is surprisingly simple!

  • Step 1 — Liaise with your R&D/Tech team to distinguish whether or not your organization will be rolling out or engaging with any form of Machine Learning, Automation, Robotics or AI. This’ll give you an understanding of the future required talent shift within your company.
  • Step 2 — Understand the guidelines required in order to support the AI, Robotics or Automation process, and gather information through numerous channels of what your future candidate will be tasked with, when engaging with, and maintaining the autonomous process your company has implemented. From this, create your candidate profile.
  • Step 3 — Discover and partner with numerous local education bodies, universities and colleges to place your employer brand in front of the people with the freshest, most recent knowledge within the topic; Graduates. It’s no secret that technology moves at a rate of knots. Due to this, you’ll risk talent becoming outdated should training not be provided, or you’ll simply be looking for candidates that may have obsolete skills. Graduates will have the most recent knowledge of up to date technologies surrounding AI, Automation & Robotics, and the chances are, can offer a significant injection of knowledge within your organization.

Once the partnership is in place, and you’re the center of attention as an employer of choice for recent graduates, you can enjoy a steady flow of applications from candidates with direct knowledge in line with the most recent technologies you’ll be using as a company.

So, next time you hurt the feelings of a robot and assume it’s “taken a load of our jobs,” thank him/her instead.

The robot has created a few other jobs for humans too. They’re not all that bad, are they?

Cameron Briggs

Cameron Briggs is the Founder and Managing Director of, the UK Job Advertising site, listing currently over 350,000 vacancies. You can follow Select Jobs on Twitter @SelectJobsLtd or you can connect with Cameron on LinkedIn.