Łukasz Chodkowski 2022

By Łukasz Chodkowski, managing director, Déhora Poland




In November 2022, OpenAI released its flagship product, ChatGPT, completely for free. This groundbreaking tool, the first widespread application of large language models, gained a million users in just five days! This impressive pace seems to surpass even the capabilities of the most ambitious startups. The increase in the number of users was accompanied by growing concerns, a lack of understanding, and fascination. As often happens, predictions that “robots are stealing our jobs” or “this is the end for us” turned out to be unfounded. It appears that we possess the ability to quickly adapt to changes, especially technological ones that simplify and automate our lives. After several months, it is clear that language models like ChatGPT are widely used. We are also learning to distinguish content generated by artificial intelligence from that created by humans. Although this will become increasingly challenging, and language models like ChatGPT continue to self-improve, there is no rational basis to believe that “robots are stealing our jobs” again.

Considering the noticeable development of modern technologies, it’s worth focusing not only on technology itself but primarily on us as workers. And to contemplate how not to fall behind as the world advances. So, what are the key competences of the future? In seeking answers to this question, we may come across an interesting and simultaneously frightening fact: by 2025 – by next year – machines will spend as much time working as humans.

Thinking about future competences, it is essential to consider factors beyond the development of new technologies and AI that influence our work environments and businesses. Climate change takes the lead, already significantly impacting supply chain disruptions, causing new and intensifying migrations, and potentially leading to power-supply interruptions. Additionally, the mentioned technological progress forces employers to retrain workers and change business models. Economic trends, such as the ongoing struggle between China and the US to change the global economic architecture, should also be mentioned as a significant factor affecting our functioning. If we add uncertainty and aging societies to the mix, we get a fuller picture of the scale and complexity of the challenges that both employers and employees must face.

According to a World Economic Forum (WEF) report, companies predict that by 2027, a whopping 44% of key worker skills will require changes. This is because technology is advancing faster than companies can develop and implement their training programmes. Interestingly, according to the same WEF report, cognitive skills top the list of those considered most important for workers in the near future. Among them, analytical thinking and critical thinking are particularly noteworthy. Resilience, flexibility, agility, curiosity, the ability to learn throughout life, and empathy are also gaining importance. Furthermore, it is predicted that analytical thinking will increase in significance in the coming years, growing by 72% over the next five years.

Besides keeping up with changes, providing workers with knowledge, and strengthening key competences, we must also consider that the job market is undergoing a transformation. New, previously unknown professions are emerging. For example, an ethical cybersecurity specialist ensures the compliance of actions with ethical values in the cybersecurity field. Or a sustainable development analyst evaluates the impact of organisational actions on the environment and society, proposing improvement strategies. An interesting profession is also a digital well-being advisor, providing assistance to employees in maintaining a balance between work and a healthy lifestyle in the digital era. And many more.

These trends also increase pressure on HR departments in companies. It’s interesting to think about what we will call these departments in ten or 15 years’ time. Above all, HR must start proactively identifying future professions and be capable of predicting market trends and understanding which competences will be crucial. This necessitates adjusting recruitment processes to effectively identify talents with unique skills and experiences. Additionally, HR must be a leader in the change management process, supporting employees in adapting to new realities and values associated with new professions, and establishing or revising collaborations with universities and other educational institutions to align educational offerings with the needs of the future job market.

In the face of dynamic technological, social, and economic changes, key competences of the future present challenges but also open up new possibilities. Employees must develop cognitive skills, be flexible and resilient to change, and possess empathy and the ability to continuously learn. Companies, especially HR departments, must be proactive in identifying market trends, adapting to new professions, and support employees in the adaptation process.