New technologies have a positive impact on job creation going into 2020, latest Robert Half international survey reveals

Independent research by specialised recruiter Robert Half shows that new technologies are expected to create more jobs going into 2020. While a McKinsey & Company report indicates that new technologies are expected to automate 25% to 46% of existing Australian workforce activities by 2030 , the survey findings indicate that the rise of machines isn’t simply taking away jobs, but rather changing the definition of existing roles and creating new ones.

  • 69% of Australian business leaders think technology will create permanent jobs in their teams throughout 2020, 5% above the international average.
  • Top IT skills in high to urgent demand include cloud technologies, database management, DevOps business intelligence and reporting services and CRM technologies.
  • Top 5 emerging roles include artificial intelligence specialists, cyber-security specialists, marketing automation specialists, robotics engineers, and site reliability engineers.

Australia, Sydney, 28 January 2020 - Independent research by specialised recruiter Robert Half shows that new technologies are expected to create more jobs going into 2020. While a McKinsey & Company report indicates that new technologies are expected to automate 25% to 46% of existing Australian workforce activities by 20301, the survey findings indicate that the rise of machines isn’t simply taking away jobs, but rather changing the definition of existing roles and creating new ones.

New technology and job creation in 2020

Australian business leaders are more optimistic about the impact of technology on job creation compared to their global counterparts. According to the Robert Half Survey, almost seven in 10 (69%) Australian business leaders think technology will create permanent jobs in their teams throughout 2020.

Across the thirteen markets recently surveyed by Robert Half, 64% of business leaders expect new technology to create permanent roles across their teams in 2020.

Australian business leaders are marginally less optimistic about temporary and contract roles, with almost half (48%) foreseeing that technology will create new temporary and contract roles, above the global average (42%). Additionally, fewer Australian business leaders (15%) believe that new technologies will reduce the number of temporary and contract roles than their global peers (23%).

Business leaders in Australia and globally were asked “How will new technologies affect the net number of jobs across your team in 2020?”

  Permanent (Australia) Temporary (Australia) Permanent (Global) Temporary (Global)
Significantly more jobs created than lost 38% 11% 30% 13%
Some more jobs created than lost 31% 37% 34% 29%
No net change in jobs 19% 27% 22% 30%
Some more jobs lost than created 9% 12% 10% 18%
Significantly more jobs lost than created 3% 3% 3% 5%

Source: Independent survey commissioned by Robert Half among 5,165 international business leaders, including 501 from Australia.

Ability to attract suitable talent and business confidence

While automation will continue to disrupt workplaces and contribute to job loss in some sectors, jobs for technically skilled professionals are set to increase by 10.2% by 20232.

New technological developments across high-speed mobile internet, artificial intelligence, big data analytics, and cloud technology require additional skilled professionals to develop and implement them, which in turn, creates and will continue to create more job opportunities for professionals with an agile mindset and appetite to develop emerging technical skills.

Business leaders in Australia and globally were asked to indicate tech specialisms experiencing “high to urgent demand” in their IT departments. Here are the top 5 skills:

  Australian CIOs Global CIOs
Cloud technologies (AWS/Azure) 80% 86%
Database management (Oracle, Microsoft SQL Server) 80% 75%
DevOps 78% 76%
Business intelligence and reporting services (Power BI, SSAS, SSIS) 76% 79%
CRM Technologies 76% 76%

Source: Independent survey commissioned by Robert Half among 1,177 international CIOs, including 150 from Australia.

Many of the jobs forecast to experience growth in the wake of new technologies will be tech-centric, while calling on a range of soft and strategic skills to complement the tech functionality. According to LinkedIn’s 2020 Emerging Jobs Report3, the top emerging roles in Australia rely on AI or automation skills and include artificial intelligence specialists, cyber-security specialists, marketing automation specialists, robotics engineers, and site reliability engineers.

“The introduction of new technology is not only viewed as very positive by the majority of our C-suite respondents but continues to be an important catalyst for job creation, skills development and staff retention,” comments Nicole Gorton, Director of Robert Half Australia in announcing Robert Half’s latest survey results.

“While some existing job functions are likely to be reallocated to automated processes, particularly manual or back-end processing, candidates who adopt a mindset of constant learning and embrace the potential of new technologies will bolster their employment prospects and are primed to succeed in a period of rapid technological change,” comments Gorton.

“Some of the fastest growing job opportunities across all industries hold technology at their core, include those based on new technology, such as software development, specialist roles that leverage emerging technology, such as cyber-security, and those that rely on distinctly ‘human’ skills which sit alongside technology, such as change management and strategic-thinking skills.”

About the research

Robert Half commissioned research from 5,165 business leaders across the world using an online data collection methodology during November 2019. This was comprised of 501 interviews in Australia; 200 in New Zealand; 228 in Singapore; 227 in Hong Kong; 602 in Belgium; 603 in France; 601 in Germany; 300 in Switzerland; 403 in The Netherlands; 600 in the United Kingdom; 275 in the United Arab Emirates; 400 in Brazil; and 425 in Chile.

1McKinsey & Company, 2019, Australia’s Automation Opportunity.

2Department of jobs and small business, 2018, Australian Jobs 2019 Report.

3LinkedIn, 2020, Emerging Jobs Report Australia 2020.

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