The new job market: Working side by side with machines

Jeremy Market Trends, Products & Technology, Staffing

The robots are here! But they're not replacing humans; they're working side by side with them. While automated machines may be able to perform some tasks and take the place of traditional staffing in certain fields, it seems most industries are more interested in how smart machines can assist current employees.

A recent report titled "The Futures of Work" by Foresight Alliance and the Rockefeller Foundation detailed how companies implement smart manufacturing machines, connected devices, wearable monitors and mobile devices. The goal is to make data intelligence ubiquitous, while also benefiting from the unique insight human thinking brings to the picture.

As industries change, so do the requirement for staffing agencies. More robots in the business world means candidates need new skills, altered expectations and an employment partner armed with the same technology workers will find in the modern office.

Robot coworkers
When holding on to old biases, people may think manufacturing robots are big, clunky machines built into factories. The truth is modern production equipment can walk, roll and even fly around a space. The Robotics Industries Association reported robotic orders saw a 14 percent growth in 2014 and should hit $1.8 billion by 2018, according to Plant Engineering.

Modern machines can do delicate work.Modern machines can do delicate work.

Collaborative robots play a big part in this growth. Even smaller manufacturers can invest in automated machines to perform a number of simple tasks while working with production employees. Modern manufacturing workers may need more creative skills as factories implement flexible machines and drones to perform basic tasks.

It's not just the manufacturing industry, however. Motherboard reported businesses in multiple countries introduce intelligent machines to work with consumers in a variety of spaces. A robot on wheels may answers shopper questions or direct customers to staff members referencing the same data on mobile devices.

The Internet of Things
Consumers are also buying robots – or at least products that were a lot smarter than they were in the past. The Internet of Things refers to the fact that many objects in the future will be connected online. Televisions, major appliances and clothing could all provide information on use, and could let providers know when the customer has problems or needs service.

Sometimes connected devices can also report the progress of consumers themselves. The Business Journal described how wearable devices for senior citizens help healthcare companies monitor a group that needs constant attention. This process may also benefit companies that need to keep an eye on physical tasks assigned to employees.

Artificial intelligence advises decision-makers
With more data than ever available to employees and managers, information systems become vital to daily operations. Smarter software solutions become commonplace due to their ability to automatically process input and provide answers for decision-makers.

Another Business Journal article explained how many companies use artificial intelligence to help manage people and select staff members. Predictive analytics can help managers recognize when employees may become dissatisfied or how to recognize the candidates best suited for certain positions. Managers need to know how to use data, automated answers and their own opinions when making decisions in the modern workplace.

"Workers don't have to be tethered to their desks."

Mobile computers
To speak with machines and learn from real-time data, employees now perform tasks with mobile devices. Inc. illustrated the benefits tablets and smartphones have over traditional business computing assets and when it's best to implement flexible technology. Basically, workers don't have to be tethered to their desks and modern mobile tools mean they can access data on the go without sacrificing digital performance.

Another reason mobile devices are popular in offices is they're popular everywhere else. More candidates should expect to be placed in positions that let them use the same devices to perform their jobs as they did to find work.

What machines can't do
Robots are popular but people aren't going anywhere soon. The Foresight Alliance and Rockefeller Foundation report stated most industries discover numerous tasks humans are still best at even when machines are there to simplify things. For example, artificial intelligence can't catch all signs of fraud but can highlight red flags for decision-makers.

Talent Management said this trend of robotic cooperation will create an increased demand for new skills. While there should be a greater call for technical expertise, the ability to learn quickly is a much more desirable trait. Technology is always changing, so industries need flexible workers who can creatively use hard numbers.

Staffing agency expectations
The staffing industry needs smarter solutions to keep up with automated industries. Not only will automated workflows for building talent profiles help people update their resumes as demand changes, but mobile recruiting solutions are necessary for communicating in real-time.

A staffing agency should help new candidates acclimate to the existing world and what's coming next. This means having staffing software solutions that work with innovative communication platforms and facilitate rapid data exchange.