Executive Insights, MARCH 2023

The skills-based organization and AI skills



As AI advances, it will support or replace many tasks, impacting job structures, skill development, and work procedures. CEOs and HR teams must address these changes, focusing on the combination of human and AI skills. “AI skills” refers to software solutions that mimic specific human skills in various job roles. Managers and HR professionals must effectively adapt to manage this new combination as AI replaces more human skills.

HR has been shifting towards skill-based hiring rather than focusing on job descriptions. A strong understanding of organizational skills enables better learning and development programs and accurate hiring profiles. Employees also benefit from focusing on improving their unique skills for career development. With AI increasingly replacing tasks and skills, managing this shift becomes even more critical.

CEOs and CHROs should prioritize AI’s influence on skills instead of job replacement. Although AI may eventually replace some jobs, it will first replace specific skills within various professions. As job requirements can differ between organizations, AI will excel in replicating and enhancing particular skills rather than entire jobs.

Strategically managing skills involve understanding future requirements from both human and AI perspectives. CHROs must monitor AI’s evolution to know where it can replace or augment human skills. People managers must manage human and AI skills jointly, anticipating changes in their balance over time.

When evaluating AI’s effect on skill-focused initiatives, CHROs should consider some key factors:

Evolving AI skills:

AI skills constantly change as algorithms advance and more data is available, improving faster than humans. For instance, paralegal AI software will quickly adapt with better data and fine-tuning, and improve its results. This would eventually result in humans needing to change how they work. When some skills in a job improve faster than others, it shifts the balance and requires humans to develop their skills and adapt quickly.

AI skill endurance:

AI doesn’t need a break and can work 24/7, addressing productivity issues, location independence, etc. Business leaders must adapt their planning due to the differences between AI and human skills. For example, if AI can analyze X-rays more accurately than a nurse, the analysis may be scheduled for nighttime, letting humans handle the results during the day. A constant alignment of AI and human skills is crucial in this rapidly changing landscape.

Revamping the skills-based workforce model:

Organizations are quickly adopting skills-based workforce planning but often overlook integrating AI skills. HR executives should monitor AI skill advancements and adapt the company’s workforce model accordingly, collaborating with business and IT leaders.

Managing and leading an organization with AI skills:

Managers and executives need to combine and manage human and AI skills effectively. Develop leadership capabilities to comprehend Data and AI using tools like the methodology and survey tool created by DI2X. Success in blending human and AI talent offers increased results, urging CHROs to develop digital capabilities at all management levels.

CEOs and executives must reevaluate organizational skills strategically, integrating AI with human expertise. Although widespread AI adoption may take time, it’s crucial to build a combined human-AI approach now for effective growth.

Peter Soendergaard

Peter Soendergaard


Peter is Chairman of the Board at 2021.AI and the Owner of Executive Advisory company, the Sondergaard Group. Before this, Peter worked as the Executive VP and member of Gartner’s operating committee for 15 years. Peter is a well-known and sought out speaker covering many topics within IT, AI & ML.

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