Systems have played a key role in businesses for decades; supporting, reporting and calculating key actions and movements. As a finance recruiter and former finance professional, I have seen systems evolve and modernise through the years, and witnessed their roles within organisations grow significantly.

With more and more organisations turning to automation and artificial intelligence to streamline processes and identify trends and opportunities, tasks once carried out by humans are quickly being taken over. We are currently experiencing a period of rapid transformation in the way we work and this is only expected to increase in the near future. The skill sets that are sought after now are changing and by 2030 it is expected that new requisite skills will be required to start a career in the financial sector. 
So how do we prepare the future workforce? In the debate between artificial intelligence vs human intelligence, how can we ensure that our workforce stays ahead of the curve while maximising the benefits of both? 
Research conducted by PageGroup in partnership with futurologists The Foresight Factory, has found that by 2030 increased automation will spur new innovation, which will see a completely new landscape of jobs emerge as a result. Many entry-level roles will be absorbed by AI capabilities and the workplace as we know it will be a blurred mix of physical offices and virtual spaces. Working closely with both employers and professionals in finance, I have already seen the impact that automation and AI have had on some junior and clerical finance positions; many of the tasks and processes that form these roles have been automated by systems. Our research has found that 30% of current jobs are at risk of automation in the UK alone. For example, the role of an accountant is one that has already seen significant change. With new technology emerging faster than ever before, flexibility is now a fundamental skill for candidates. The ability to adapt to new systems and meet changing demands means that professionals are constantly learning, adapting and developing new skills in line with business needs and evolving processes. 

What do these trends mean for the future workforce?

Our research has found that 64% of people believe that those who are not skilled in technology will find it more difficult to find a job in the future. Just as there is high pressure on today’s professionals to constantly upskill and learn quickly, so too is the expectation for employers to ensure that the necessary resources are available. Those organisations at the front of the AI transformation, moving forward, should be looking at ways to up-skill their employees and facilitate the development of new skills. In order to do so, a range of training platforms need to be considered, with online videos and gamification appealing to some and open courses to others.
What this means, for both employers and employees alike, is that flexibility and the ability to adapt will be key skills in the workplace of the future. As a financial recruiter, it is important that my candidates and clients are aware of this. Technology will have a significant impact on every industry and will change the skills required to excel in each profession. Our research on the future workforce has found that while the jobs we know and work in today may change or be absorbed by AI by 2030. Human skills are and will continue to be irreplaceable. The key is to learn quickly and adapt to the evolving marketplace.
Career coach, author and MD of Personal Career Management, Corinne Mills had this to say about the topic: 
“Clearly, continuous learning and career agility are going to be essential. Jobs are changing quickly, as technology starts to complement, redefine and potentially replace many existing jobs. Individuals will need to keep their eyes on potential career options and work proactively to develop the new skills and knowledge required; on-going proactive career management is likely to be essential for continued employability.”
Professionals must demonstrate their adaptability, ability to learn quickly and efficiently, and have a flexible approach to new opportunities. Accepting and demonstrating this skill is key to ensuring that you secure the best opportunities. Employers must demonstrate their commitment to the learning and development of their teams through investing in platforms to support the skills professionals need to thrive in this ever-changing AI environment. As well as identifying where natural intelligence supports artificial intelligence in their organisation and their strategy for this moving forward.
The organisations that will attract and retain the top talent within the financial services industry will be those that support their people. Providing the necessary working environment to enable professionals to continuously develop their skills and build working cultures. Ones that are flexible and readily adaptable in this rapidly evolving digital world.
If you would like any further information on how to manage this change in your career or organisation, please do not hesitate to contact me.
Emma Conroy
T: +44 114 263 6005