So is digitalization not costing jobs after all?

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Robots are assuming tasks in the workplace, not replacing people. At least not in this country anyway. This latest insight stems from a worldwide survey of employers. But it also appears leadership qualities are going out of fashion.

Despite digitalization, the number of jobs remains steady and in some cases it’s even growing. That at least is the projection of 86% of employers worldwide; in Germany, it’s even 91%. However, this holds true for just the next two years. Only 8% have seen jobs disappear. Many companies expect that for every position that disappears another one could materialize. These are the conclusions of the study “Skills Revolution 2.0” undertaken by the employment-placement agency ManpowerGroup, which surveyed around 20,000 employers in 42 countries.

Asia’s dwindling job market

Employers in the United States gauge the situation exactly the same way as their German counterparts. Among the big economies, the only employers to express more optimism are the British (96%). The numbers coming out of East Asia tell a different story, however: In Japan, only 76% of managers share this “Western” opinion; in China, it’s only 73%. One place behind third-place Germany in terms of automation is Japan, where the majority of employers assume people will be replaced by robots. Today Japan meets 52% of the world’s demand for automation.

Manufacturing: the great migration

A digital revolution is taking place in manufacturing and production This is an area where employers worldwide anticipate the biggest fluctuation of people with 24% expect to hire new employees and 19% having to downsize. In Germany, Austria and Switzerland, 14% anticipate hiring new employees and 11% downsizing. The triumph of Industry 4.0 is the decisive motor powering a new era in industrial manufacturing. Manufacturing companies adjust their workforces to address these developments, in the process experimenting to find the digital skills and qualifications they need. Other sectors will soon follow this example.

Skills revolution favors communications talent

Skills Revolution
The digital transformation also fuels the “Skills Revolution”. (Image: Manpower Group).

The digital transformation also fuels the “Skills Revolution.” The study shows that communication and organization abilities are enjoying more popularity: 88% of German employers seek employees who work well in a team. Verbal and written communication skills are valued (79%) as is the ability to work independently (73%).

In return, leadership qualities are increasingly falling behind (28%). Similarly, applicants who fit this qualifications profile are the hardest to find in the job market: 36% of managers say applicants don’t have the necessary expertise to resolve certain issues while 31% are of the opinion that candidates lack the skills to effectively organize themselves on the job.

In times of digital transformation, an applicant’s existing knowledge and abilities doesn’t count anymore as decisive hiring factors. Relationship-building and teamwork skills are much more in demand.


The results of the study can be found here.


Skills revolution (Image: pixabay/Gerd Altmann)

Communication and organization abilities are enjoying more popularity. (Image: Gerd Altmann pixabay).