Certified public accountants, mortgage brokers, legal professionals, tax specialists, and marketing researchers are the highly skilled workers who would be most vulnerable to disruption by generative artificial intelligence (AI), a new report has said.
The report published by the Society for Human Resource Management and conducted by the Burning Glass Institute said employees holding these positions will need to acquire new skill sets.
“For instance, traditional customer service roles might shift towards managing chatbots or overseeing automated processes, while data analysts could transition into AI data specialists,” the report said.
It said generative artificial intelligence takes centre stage in the workplace and that the importance of reskilling and upskilling workers will significantly grow.
“Over the next decade, GenAI will boost productivity and reshape job responsibilities. However, this transformation will come at a cost, with short-term layoffs and hiring slowdowns expected as employers adapt to the new landscape.”
The report projects that early adopters of GenAI will experience heightened productivity as roles become automated, augmented, or completely transformed.
“This surge in output is predicted to outstrip demand, resulting in overstaffing across various industries,” it said.
It noted that there will be increased profits leading to new jobs, indicating that while those disruptions will carry a high human cost, corporate profits will increase from decreased payroll costs, leading to new jobs that will replace the ones lost, along with price cuts for goods and services.
“Thus, while GenAI may initially lead to job losses in certain sectors and occupations, other sectors will grow as the economy adjusts. HR roles may be completely transformed as GenAI automates routine tasks, reorienting a smaller team of HR professionals to serve more strategic functions.”
SHRM and BGI recommended that chief human resources (HR) officers should assess their organisations’ composition.
“If your company operates within an industry prone to transformation or employs a significant number of workers in vulnerable occupations, anticipate disruptions as GenAI adoption accelerates.
“HR departments should consider how AI might automate, augment, or transform various roles and then assist in preparing workers for these changes,” they added.
The researchers advise initiating plans to capitalise on GenAI’s productivity advantages and prepare for workforce disruptions by combining investments in upskilling with reskilling initiatives to ensure that employees possess the requisite skills and training to navigate this transitional period effectively.
“This ensures that workers can stay pertinent and be reallocated to areas with more consistent demand,” the report said.