Future-Proof Your Teams Strategies for Upskilling, Reskilling, and Recruiting in the Age of AI

There’s no longer any doubt as to whether artificial intelligence (AI) will become central in the workforce—it’s here to stay.
A business man looking away while thinking about recruiting in the age of AI

As AI and machine learning (ML) become more widespread, many aspects of daily life are being automated, from grocery store kiosks to customer service chatbots. But what will this mean for employers and employees? Many experts agree that instead of replacing humans and eliminating jobs, the shift towards technology will result in changing the nature of many professions. Repetitive tasks will slowly become automated, creating opportunities for the development of new and enhanced skills in the workforce.


As AI develops a more permanent role within the workplace, business leaders must anticipate the need to upskill and reskill hundreds or even thousands of employees. Over time, it will become essential for employers to hire for new AI-focused roles and retain existing talent in lieu of changing roles and expectations. Continue reading to discover how you can effectively prepare your leadership and entire organisation for these upcoming transitions.


Which jobs are most likely to be impacted?


According to our LHH 2024 WorkForce Trends report, 47% of employers who have seen departments within their organisation reduce headcount (or are expected to reduce headcount in the next year) cited “AI/machine learning replacing jobs/creating efficiencies” as the top reason. So, if it hasn’t already, AI will soon start to modify many of the following roles, which means organisations should already be considering reskilling and upskilling opportunities for these specific employees.


  • Customer Service
  • Administrative Assistants & Receptionists
  • Paralegals
  • Accountants and Bookkeepers
  • Warehouse Employees
  • Coders, Programmers, & Software Engineers
  • Graphic Designers


Upskilling and reskilling: Investing in employee development


It’s clear that workers want more control over their skills—62% of employees are planning to take greater control of their skills development in 2023. Organisations, then, will need to provide tailored up/reskilling pathways to make the progression plan for their teams straightforward.


Upskilling refers to expanding the skill set of employees by providing training and education in areas that enhance their current roles.


Reskilling prepares employees for entirely new roles by providing them with the knowledge to transition into AI-powered positions.


Naturally, this process is going to take some time. To ensure a successful transition, organisations will first need to identify the most in-demand skills for AI-dominated roles. This means assessing the current and future demands of the organisation and mapping out the most in-demand technical and soft skills. Since almost everyone is going to need to learn to work differently, it’s important to recruit and retain people with specific soft skills who can be upskilled and trained to work alongside AI. Here are some of the most critical soft skills to pay attention to, moving forward:


Creativity to envision and design new applications and innovative solutions and push the boundaries of AI.


Critical thinking and problem-solving skills to navigate complex challenges and develop innovative AI development and deployment solutions.


Emotional intelligence to facilitate understanding, navigation, and effective collaboration between human workers and AI systems and enables ethical implementation of AI technology.


Relationship-building skills to foster collaboration, trust, and effective personal communication when managing others and collaborating with clients and customers.


Verbal and written communication skills to facilitate effective collaboration between technical and non-technical stakeholders and to interface with AI solutions to ensure clear and accurate outputs.


Recruiting for AI roles: Attracting the right talent


There is high demand for tech talent that can develop, implement, and optimise AI—people with the skills to train, maintain, and keep checks on this rapidly evolving technology. However, the current workforce falls short of meeting that demand. As a result, organisations must actively address this talent shortage by investing in programs to upskill existing employees and attract the right talent. Some hard skills that will become increasingly valuable include:


Computer science skills, essential for designing algorithms, creating robust software systems, and managing the complex processes necessary to power AI advancements.


Data analysis skills to collect, clean, analyse, and derive actionable insights from large datasets, driving the training and improvement of AI systems.


Data science skills to continually develop and implement AI models that produce meaningful insights for more informed decisions.


To maintain a competitive advantage, businesses should prioritise hiring professionals with this kind of expertise. These professionals will be at the core of organisational success, particularly in fields such as finance, IT/tech, HR, and healthcare. However, businesses should also invest in developing the skills of their existing employees. This way, even if AI replaces roles, these workers will still have valuable talent and experience to offer organisations that know how to assess their potential.


Retaining talent: nurturing a culture of growth and adaptability


Meaningful conversations between employers and their people are the key to retention. Per LHH's 2024 Workforce Trends report, when asked about the most significant investment companies should make to attract and retain talent, 25% of employees responded with upskilling and training opportunities. While offering educational programs is just one of the ways managers will need to adapt to retain their best employees, it’s a crucial one. Other top responses included flexible and remote work options, a strong leadership team, positive workplace culture, and generous paid time off.


Many employers make the mistake of expecting a higher salary to be the key to maintaining happy employees—a tool best used for attracting talent, not retaining. LHH’s Global Workforce of the Future report highlights one thing employees really want: “opportunities to progress.” Still, many employers fail to hit this mark, with only 17% of workers actively looking at internal job opportunities. So, what does this mean? Employers who emphasize internal mobility for employees and offer the tools to up/reskill will have a real advantage when it comes to retaining top talent and nurturing a culture of growth and adaptability.