The adoption of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in recruitment has witnessed a meteoric rise globally, with a new LinkedIn report stating that job postings referencing AI skills have experienced an uptick in recent months.
Findings of the Future of Work report have revealed that English-language job postings mentioning GPT or ChatGPT have increased by 21 times on the careers platform since November 2022. The report further states that skills required for various jobs across industries have changed by 25% since 2015, with that number expected to reach at least 65% by 2030 due to the rapid development of new technologies like AI.
The Middle East job market is no exception with industry experts stating that there has been a recent ‘surge in demand for skills related to AI and data analysis’ by recruiters in the region.
Changing job description
A recent research paper by global management consulting firm Bain & Company revealed that demand for top tech talent has more than doubled between 2015 and 2019. The nature of the job has also evolved with 40% of the most in-demand jobs today not even existing in 2015.
PwC’s Middle East Workforce Hopes and Fears survey 2023, released in June, also found 52% of the individuals surveyed in the region believing their jobs will change significantly in the next five years, requiring them to acquire new skills and capabilities to boost AI literacy.
“The rise of AI has brought about significant changes in the job market, particularly for employees. Technology is automating routine and repetitive tasks across many industries, potentially leading to the displacement of jobs,” said Kamal Raggad, Chief Executive Officer and Co-founder of RemotePass, a global onboarding and payroll platform for remote teams.
Raggad said: “Simultaneously, there’s a surge demand for skills related to AI and data analysis. Individuals with expertise in machine learning, data science, and AI have become highly sought after. Moreover, many businesses are deploying AI tools to bolster productivity and decision-making, which augments the capabilities of employees in their daily tasks.”
According to Raggad, the landscape is also evolving rapidly for hiring managers, with the emergence of AI paving the way for the creation of novel job roles tailored to harnessing its capabilities. “In the realm of recruitment, AI tools are revolutionising processes by automating tasks like candidate screening, skills assessment, and matching the right candidates to the appropriate roles. Furthermore, to bridge the emerging skill gaps, there’s an increasing emphasis on investment in AI-focused training and upskilling programmes,” he added.
According to a recent study by McKinsey, the MENA region is predicted to witness a significant workforce expansion of 127 million in the next decade, primarily driven by a burgeoning youth population.
As Gen Z enters the workforce, this has further led to an uptick in AI-driven resume building and job search platforms, with companies such as Bayt and GulfTalent using smart features to transform the way candidates and recruiters find, screen and shortlist opportunities.
Last month, Qureos, a UAE-based startup that specialises in personalised career matching across the MENA region, announced the launch of Iris, a recruitment platform that employs advanced AI and machine learning algorithms to aid hiring managers in candidate sourcing and evaluation.
According to the company, Iris can present an average of 47 relevant candidates per search in 26 seconds, ultimately reducing time-to-hire and slashing recruitment costs by up to 43%.
“Recognising that 30% of Middle East respondents, as per a PwC survey, are seeking new career opportunities, Iris serves as a critical catalyst for career advancement in the region,” said Alexander Epure, CEO & Co-founder of Qureos in a statement.
Industries embracing change
According to LinkedIn, industries that are seeing a shift towards AI-skilled members include Technology, Information, and Media, with the US also seeing significant movement in Education (1.2%), Professional Services (0.9%), Financial Services (0.9%), and Manufacturing (0.8%).
When looking at the speed at which members are adding AI skills to their profiles, the report states professionals in Financial Services (30x), Retail (29x), and Wholesale (24x) are pivoting toward AI faster than in Technology, Information, and Media (11x).
“The adoption of AI promises to bring profound changes to the job market. Industries built on repetitive tasks, such as manufacturing, data entry, and customer service, are more susceptible to AI-driven displacement. By contrast, fields that lean heavily on human creativity and interpersonal skills, like healthcare and the arts, might instead see evolving roles,” said Raggad.
He continued: “AI’s swift ascent in the technological world has dual implications. On one hand, there’s a palpable concern over job reductions, especially in sectors like retail and finance, where AI tools like chatbots and algorithmic trading are being swiftly adopted. On the flip side, sectors rooted in creativity, complex problem-solving, and those reliant on a human touch are likely to be more resilient. Moreover, AI’s rise is birthing entirely new sectors in cybersecurity and AI research, signalling a promising horizon for novel avenues of employment.”
(Reporting by Bindu Rai, editing by Brinda Darasha)
Published by The Peninsula on 10 Aug 2023 is a Qatari official recounting how Workers are the bedrock for achieving sustainability.
The above-featured image is for illustration and is of Linkedin.
Workers are bedrock for achieving sustainability: NHRC Secretary-General
NHRC Secretary-General H E Sultan bin Hassan Al Jamali with workers during the seminar.
Doha, Qatar: Secretary-General of the National Human Rights Committee (NHRC) H E Sultan bin Hassan Al Jamali stressed that workers are one of the significant social and economic components in the Qatari society as they are an essential pillar of sustainable development, pointing to the importance of preserving, protecting, and promoting their rights.
This came during his speech at the opening of the seminar organised by the NHRC for workers from the Nepalese community within the framework of the campaign that it launched on August 1 and will continue until September 1 on the prevention of the dangers of heat stress.
Al Jamali pointed out that the workers’ attendance of such events and their interactive participation in them means their awareness and knowledge in the first place of the importance of learning about the dangers of heat stress in this summer time, which would raise the level of awareness of workers and employers to reduce these risks posed by high temperature and humidity during work.
Al Jamali praised the great efforts made by the state to protect workers from all violations that affect their rights, including working in open spaces during the summer.
He said that out of the NHRC’s educational and awareness role, we must recall these efforts and urge commitment to them on both sides of the workers and employers.
In turn, head of the Nepalese community in Qatar Ramesh Pata said that the labor-intensive communities are in dire need of such activities that raise awareness of their rights endorsed by the state.
He added that they are keen to attend such campaigns in the coming days, which confirm the keenness of the State of Qatar and its institutions, including the NHRC, to support social protection for workers.
Ramesh thanked the NHRC for its support for the Nepalese community by allocating an office for the community within the offices of the communities at its headquarters, which he considered to overcome any difficulties facing workers in communicating with them.
The Seminar witnessed a lecture by legal expert at the NHRC Hala Al Ali on the laws and decisions issued by the State of Qatar to protect workers from the dangers of heat stress in open workplaces during the summer period.
For his part, official of the Nepalese community Office at the headquarters of the NHRC gave a presentation on the most important directives for workers to avoid the dangers of working in open places during summer times and high humidity.
Today English is undoubtedly the language of communication and international exchange. The following might, for most, be taken for granted. It is about the Language of Communication and International Exchange of a maximum of people around the world today.
The above-featured image is for illustration and is of the English Channel / credit Journals of India.
It is an undeniable reality. The phenomenon is due to three essential factors: first, the relative simplicity of its grammar and spelling; second, the extent of its application corresponding to the immensity of the former British Empire and third, the US economic and military supremacy.
The English lingua took off after the Second World War with the American technological boom and its impact on aeronautics, automobiles, machinery, etc.
The American way of life was well exported and brought in a lot, and almost everyone wanted to adopt it. Add to all this the soft power, i.e. Hollywood cinema, the music of Elvis Presley and other amenities made in the USA, and you will understand the cause of the vertiginous expansion of William Chikh Zoubir’s alias Shakespeare language.
Each civilization at its peak had radiated on the world and transmitted its values to it. In Caesarean Numidia, the Berber princes sent their sons to Italy to immerse themselves in Roman culture. That said, French is still the most learned language in the world after English.
First, Locke, Newton and then Voltaire, Rousseau and Montesquieu, these actors of the Age of Enlightenment, were translated and read worldwide as avant-garde philosophers conveying the ideas of freedom and equality of peoples. These values made it possible to define new natural rights in England, France and the US.
In the eighteenth century, speaking the language of Molière in the royal or princely courts of Europe gave these monarchical circles a vernissage of distinction like Versailles of the Sun King. French also remains the reference in classical literature, poetry and belles lettres. English is a popular and straightforward language; French is academic and complicated. In the end, borrowing from the French half of its vocabulary, English now gives him a middle finger as a thank you and snubs him from the top of his globalized linguistic pedestal.
The quality of a language would be its ability to convey thoughts, ideas, and data, by voice or writing, as clearly and faithfully as possible. In short, it is the art of communicating with one’s neighbour. In light of these opinions, French has therefore sinned by its propensity to complicate grammar and spelling rules, making them almost inaccessible to the layman.
On the other hand, by its simplicity and widespread nature, English has found itself within everyone’s reach with the mini of means and time. Moreover, there are two types of language in this world, the beautiful and the good. (The bad ones are more a matter of psychology).
The beautiful ones are spoken around the big blue on the Mediterranean north shore with Spanish, French, Italian, and Greek. As for the good ones, the rest of the world speaks them, following the example of Chinese, Indo-European (except Greco-Latin) and African idioms. Nevertheless, we must mention the two major and mythical languages that have modified the history of humanity to close this paragraph. I am thinking of Hebrew and Arabic.
Significant changes are occurring in nearly every industry as technology advances and attitudes surrounding work and leadership evolve. Project management is no exception, and the styles and strategies for managing both the technical and human aspects of team projects are being adapted to accommodate the new workplace landscape emerging in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Here are the 2023 project management trends that we anticipate growing in the year to come.
A Continued Shift Towards Digital and Remote Work
In our post-pandemic world, fully remote and hybrid work options are here to stay. Gallup reports approximately 56% of full-time employees can fulfill job requirements entirely from home. The transition to fully remote work during the pandemic further illustrated productivity and effectiveness in the workplace could be maintained, even when a majority of employees were working from home.
Pros and Cons
From a project management standpoint, this transition has its pros and cons. Working in the same physical location as other team members promotes team-building and spontaneous collaboration that can be otherwise limited in a virtual workspace. Despite the perks of in-person collaboration, however, remote employees enjoy the flexible nature of working from home and report increased satisfaction with their work. When given the choice, many remote employees would prefer to remain remote or partially remote instead of returning full-time to the office.
As we move into 2023, project managers are challenged with navigating team dynamics and productivity in an increasingly digital environment.
Preference for Cloud-Based Operations
The transition to more remote working environments has created reliance on cloud-based computing solutions and communication networks. Cloud-based systems can provide cost-effective alternatives to traditional operations without surrendering performance and function. The ability for employees to access cloud-based networks from any location has made them the new standard for modern companies.
The Changing Responsibilities of a Project Manager
The scope of a project manager’s responsibilities is shifting, with more emphasis placed on flexibility, team dynamics and contributions outside of the project requirements.
Project Management and Change Management
In recent years, companies have enacted increasing numbers of change initiatives to organizations and the structures within. Project managers are learning to integrate the requirements of these change initiatives into project management strategies and plans. It is crucial to create a flexible methodology for integrating change initiatives with specific steps and protocols that your team can follow. These skills will continue to be relevant in coming years as companies grow and conform to the ever-evolving workplace standards.
Project success strategies have traditionally relied upon adherence to a single project management methodology. Recently, an increasing number of companies have merged multiple approaches to project management in an effort to increase flexibility and create a style that’s adapted to the needs of the individual project. Hybrid approaches also work well when faced with the task of integrating the expectations of new change initiatives presented by company leaders.
Increasing Connection Between Projects and Strategy
Project managers increasingly are asked to expand the scope and scale of strategies in growing workplaces. Rather than simply focusing on individual projects in isolation, project managers are being tasked with learning how individual projects relate to one another and how they work together to advance the goals of the company. This type of understanding can promote the strategic use of a project manager’s skills and help them to consistently make decisions that align closely with the company’s vision.
Advanced Project Management Tools, Solutions and Software
Technological advancements and improvements in software and automation have made their way into nearly every industry, project management included. Digital tools can help make the job of a project manager more efficient.
Increased Prevalence of AI and Automation
Artificial intelligence, automation, machine learning and data collection and analysis are rapidly becoming critical elements in project management strategies. According to PwC, 77% of high-performing projects utilize project management software to help streamline their work and meet their goals.
AI has the capacity to evaluate outcomes and provide insights into performance strengths and weaknesses, provide organized data to guide important decisions, predict outcomes, estimate timelines, analyze risk and optimize resource distribution. Project management tools and software can also automate time-consuming administrative tasks normally performed by the project manager, leaving the project manager free to focus time and energy on more critical or more nuanced tasks.
Project managers who take the time to understand how the AI and automation processes in their organization can complement their role will be well-prepared to take advantage of this resource.
Increased Focus on Data
Project management and data go hand in hand. A project manager who successfully uses available data to gain insight into key metrics can craft a targeted strategy to improve existing processes and further the goals of their business. Project management software can assist with both data collection and analysis, and provide concise evaluations and visualization tools for project managers to refer to in team building, productivity and time management efforts.
Emphasis on Soft Skills and Emotional Intelligence
As AI and automation take over aspects of the more technical side of project management, more emphasis is placed on the soft skills a project manager needs to effectively connect with, motivate and manage teams. These skills include emotional intelligence, communication, conflict resolution, mentoring and training, adaptability, time and risk management, leadership, team building and decision making.
Choosing the Best Project Management Software
Project management software can make a tremendous difference in the effectiveness and efficiency of a team and its leaders. With so many options to choose from, it may be challenging to know which software best fits the needs of your team. We’ve reviewed many of the available options and created a list of our picks for the best project management software based on ease of use, cost and fees, features and functionality, customer support and customer reviews.
Here is Gilgamesh Nabeel in MENA Region Digital Transformation Can Create More Jobs as per a recent report that says so.
Over 230 students attend a workshop held by the Elaf Center and the Earthlink Telecommunications at Diyala University, northeast of Baghdad, to be better prepared for the labour market. (Photo Courtesy: Elaf Center for Media Training, 2021).
Lack of digital infrastructure contributes to high rates of youth unemployment in the MENA region, a new report says.
The report, “COVID-19 and Internet Accessibility in the MENA Region”, was published in mid-December by the U.S.-based Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. It assesses the readiness of the MENA region countries to shift employment online, both in terms of Internet availability and digital literacy among the populace.
Its authors, Alexander Farley and Manuel Langendorf, argue that increasing internet accessibility and investing in digital infrastructure development can help governments’ efforts to form a digitally-enabled economic recovery strategy.
While the MENA region is projected to have 160 million potential digital users by 2025, the paper draws a bleak image of its internet infrastructure and accessibility.
Last year, 34 percent of the population in Arab states was not using the Internet, according to ITU data. In 2019, the GSMA, which represent the interests of mobile network operators worldwide, found that almost half the people in countries such as Egypt and Lebanon, which have a mobile broadband network, are not using the Internet. Around 60 million people in the MENA region were not covered by a mobile network.
“Studies have shown that broadband development leads to increased GDP and has a positive impact on employment in the short term – part of the picture are newly created jobs to build new digital infrastructure,”
Manuel Langendorf A researcher focusing on digital transformation in the MENA region and co-author of the report
Furthermore, with the exception of the UAE and Qatar, which cover about 80 percent of households directly with fiber, only nine out of 100 inhabitants in Arab states used fixed broadband subscriptions, the second-lowest rate of all world regions, after Africa.
The paper says the development of digital infrastructure overall continues to lag behind the rest of the world. This holds back the region’s digital transformation and deprives it of the benefits of investment in improving national core networks.
Digital Infrastructure Development Boosts Jobs
Overall, unemployment in the MENA region stood at 11.6 percent with the “the low-skilled, the young, women, and migrant workers were affected the most” by the pandemic, the report says. In 2019, youth unemployment was over 25 percent, with further decline in youth employment by an additional 10 percent in 2020.
Manuel Langendorf, a researcher focusing on digital transformation in the MENA region and co-author of the report, argued that proper investment in digital infrastructure can help government confront unemployment.
“Digital transformation is not a silver bullet to solve the MENA region’s protracted unemployment problem, but it can create new job opportunities, especially for the large young and relatively tech-savvy population,” Langendorf told Al-Fanar Media.
“Studies have shown that broadband development leads to increased GDP and has a positive impact on employment in the short term – part of the picture are newly created jobs to build new digital infrastructure,” he added.
While the longer term effects seem less clear, Langendorf thinks a country-wide improvement to digital infrastructure can bring new economic opportunities, including for disadvantaged populations and rural areas.
“These include the expansion of remote working, as an employee or freelance worker, and also allows workers to search for employment opportunities more widely,” he added. “An improved digital infrastructure also opens up new job opportunities in online education.”
Citing the installation of ten submarine internet cables between Europe and Africa, he said: “We found a significant and large relative increase in the employment rate in connected areas when fast internet becomes available.”
Do We Need More IT Graduates?
In the Internet era, when many traditional jobs might disappear, students see IT-related courses as a route to secure jobs.
However, the report highlighted that some countries, like Jordan, graduate around 5,000 students in IT-related fields each year, yet less than 2,000 are hired. Still, some see an opportunity for ICT graduates from the region to fill the shortage of skilled IT workers in Western countries.
“University curricula in most MENA countries are slow to update, thus creating a situation where many fresh graduates hold a diploma but are not ready to start working in the IT sector as their knowledge is outdated,” he wrote to Al-Fanar Media.
“Nevertheless, many MENA startups have had great success in the past years. In 2021, MENA-based startups raised close to $3 billion, a new record for the region.”
He called on the education and the private sectors to collaborate to improve the university-job pipeline and close the skills gap. “Both sides should make sure that the latest IT knowledge is integrated into curricula and set up internship opportunities for students and graduates,” he said. “Beyond universities, the private sector and educational institutions can hold more workshops to bring people up to speed.”
The report also identified management skills as one of the biggest challenges to expanding potential of IT in the MENA region. “The lack of management skills affects the scalability of projects and businesses that can make use of the surplus of advanced IT skills,” said Farley.
Moreover, the authors said the MENA region lacks truly innovative IT ventures, and is focused instead on adapting ideas created elsewhere.
“In this context, the region is often described as a consumer rather than a creator of technology,” said Farley. “Nevertheless, many MENA startups have had great success in the past years. In 2021, MENA-based startups raised close to $3 billion, a new record for the region.”
Fruitful Digital Transformation Tips
Governments and other stakeholders need to ensure that the expansion of digital infrastructure focuses not just on connectivity (areas covered by Internet), but accessibility, the authors went on.
“Is using the Internet affordable? Do people have access to devices to use the Internet?” wondered Langendorf. “Mobile industry body GSMA estimated those living in areas with a mobile broadband network but not using mobile internet increased from 41 percent to 48 percent between 2014 and 2020.”
To enable investments in digital infrastructure to tackle unemployment, Langendorf calls on governments to support entrepreneurship. “They need to facilitate starting a business and obtaining loans, and decriminalizing bankruptcy,” he said.
“Besides, they should enable cross-border trade and the movement of skilled people between countries.”
Earth has been used as a building material for at least the last 12,000 years. Ethnographic research into earth being used as an element of Aboriginal architecture in Australia suggests its use probably goes back much further.
Traditional construction methods were no match for the earthquake that rocked Morocco on Friday night, an engineering expert says, and the area will continue to see such devastation unless updated building techniques are adopted.
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