The Power Of Talent

Albert Ellis, CEO of Harvey Nash Group, discusses the future of work on CNBC

Albert Ellis, the CEO of Harvey Nash Group, was interviewed by Carolin Roth of CNBC regarding the future of work.

You can watch the video on CNBC's website here

Below you will find a transcript of the 2.36 minute interview.

Albert: Well it's the development of big data, software engineering that can really take machines now and give them some sort of artificial intelligence and of course we've seen Google's DeepMind leading the way a couple of years ago on that. Most technology companies now are really making significant investments in machines, in computers that can replicate what humans do right now.

Carolin: Whenever I have a discussion about how disruptive AI, machine learning will be for the jobs market, it's usually a tale of two stories. Some say that it will create millions more jobs, others say that millions of jobs will be erased from this planet. Where do you stand, because you've really got some skin in the game given that you run a staffing company? You don't want to see all these jobs being lost and you want to still play a very important role as an intermediary.

Albert: Correct. And if you look at the University of Oxford study two years ago which said 47% of the current jobs in the US will probably be obsolete in the next 10 or 20 years. Maybe that's a bit on the toppy side, but this is the sort of trend, this is what's happening. Technology is really moving jobs from one sector to another, so the beneficiaries are really the tech companies. Companies like Amazon, Google, Apple, even GE which was and is one of the world's most successful industrial giants. In the last 10 years, they have hired 30,000 software engineers to help their business become a digital business. So businesses are transforming. Unemployment still remains relatively small, I mean 4.3% this morning we're seeing the job figures in the US. So whilst there's a lot of change it seems to me unemployment is still falling and jobs are being created.

Carolin: So what does it mean for a recruitment company like yours? Will you have to adapt by catering to the technology companies where the jobs are being created? Will you all have to become tech focussed?

Albert: Definitely candidates have to be digitally literate, so companies are not hiring people who can't operate in a digital environment and don't understand how social media, how business, how commerces all reacting and converging, so candidates need to be very digital. Of course what's happening is whilst that digital experience is so important, companies are also looking for creativity. In the past they were outsourcing a lot of their work, now they are bringing a lot of that IP and that creativity back into the company because they are under pressure; competitive pressure, digital pressure... it's all creating new roles, new jobs and that's where recruitment companies like ourselves need to be on the ball. We need to be ahead of the curve.