Five HR trends in the digital age

May 31, 2018 | 15:14 PM

Finding the right people and skills is one of the top challenges that businesses face in digital transformation, according to Forrester Research. How does a digital giant like Microsoft deal with that challenge?

Microsoft’s Country HR Lead for Switzerland, Caroline Rogge, outlined five trends in the digital working world, where artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML) and robotics are changing jobs and skills. Rogge was speaking at “The Future of Digital Transformation”, the recent annual conference of Women in Digital Switzerland.

Brave new digital working world
Brave new digital working world Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

1. War for talent

There will be an increasing scarcity of critical talent in the digital era. IBM, for instance, has coined the term “new collar jobs” to refer to positions in non-traditional areas such as cloud, cognitive computing and digital design.

2. Rise of AI and automated work

We are experiencing a rapid transformation of work and key skills. The ones who thrive will be those who are able to solve problems and provide business solutions using automation, AI and data.

3. Diversity and inclusion

This will increasingly be required for business success. On its part, Microsoft runs an ongoing campaign to attract young females to pursue IT careers in traditionally male-dominated areas.

4. Purpose and culture as currency

These will be the leading differentiators in the world of work. Digital transformation is not just a matter of technology, but above all, of culture. As Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella says: “Every company is a software company. You have to start thinking and operating like a digital company. It’s no longer just about procuring one solution and deploying one. It’s not about one simple software solution. It’s really you yourself thinking of your own future as a digital company.”

5. Fluid and flexible

We are seeing a shift from formal to dynamic leadership and teams. Succeeding in the digital age calls for speed and constant change. Asked about leadership principles, Rogge advised those managing agile teams to create clarity, generate energy and celebrate success, as means of engaging team members.

Despite the common fear that jobs will disappear, Rogge said that there was ground for optimism: digital transformation will disrupt job roles as we know them, but will also create new ones.

A study entitled ‘Tomorrow’s Jobs”, conducted by Microsoft Surface and The Future Laboratory, sketched out 10 new jobs that are predicted to exist in 2025 and beyond. That’s just seven years away, so here’s to the age of the digital cultural commentator, IoT data creative, personal content curator and other exciting jobs.

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

Magnolia is a sponsor of Women in Digital Switzerland.