The jobs landscape is getting increasingly competitive each year, as business growth and goals are getting progressively more influenced by the latest technologies, be it the services sector or the manufacturing sector. The advent of new technologies and the emergence of new business applications of these technologies are also constantly influencing business decision making, while also transforming the nature of jobs.

With automation and intuitive technologies like machine learning taking over routine functions in enterprises, the jobs of the future will demand professionals to participate in innovation and knowledge creation. It wouldn’t be inaccurate to say, then, that machines are in fact freeing up human resources, and thus enabling them to offer innovative solutions to complex business issues.

However, the jobs being created in the present come with a caveat, i.e. they require knowledge and skills that are vastly different from those required for the jobs in the present. This means that professionals and graduates alike will need to enhance their skills in order to capitalise on the job opportunities arising in the near future. Top jobs and skills in demand in 2018 According to Mettl’s ‘State of Talent Acquisition Report 2018’, there was a 25 per cent increase in hiring volume in the organised workspace.

The top three skills that were in most demands by employers last year included analytical thinking and innovation, complex problem-solving, and critical thinking and analysis. However, in 2019, we are likely to see these trends change. It’s not just the hiring volumes or budgets that are expected to rise, but the scale of demand for specific skills will also change drastically. What to expect in terms of jobs and skills in demand from 2019?

2019 will bring better news for job-seekers, with one of the most significant trends that we might see during the year is an increase in the average hiring volumes, which is expected to go up to 31per cent this year from 25 per cent last year. An upsurge in hiring volumes will continue to be a major trend as well across key sectors like IT/ITeS, BFSI, healthcare, manufacturing, and retail. However, as per the survey results published in the ‘State of Talent Acquisition Report 2019’, the top three sectors that will do high-volume hiring would be BFSI, IT & Retail. In the BFSI sector, around 42 per cent of companies will hire more than 500employees this year. IT sectors are expected to hire around more than 500employees this year.

Furthermore, the top three functions that will see maximum hiring in 2019 are as follows: Business operations: As more and more enterprises and industries look at digitisation and increasing automation to boost their growth in 2019, number of professionals are needed who can work with technology in various ways.

From managing technology infrastructures for carrying in enterprises to reading data and applying it in the business context to achieve organisational goals, the enterprise of the future will seek professionals possessing qualities such as data literacy, software development, coding, etc. Furthermore, when looking for entry-level or mid-level talent, the skills that companies look for the most, include learning agility, advanced cognitive skills like decision making, data analytics, etc., along with advanced tech skills.

Organisations are looking for talent that can adapt to multiple roles and switch from one to another seamlessly whenever needed. According to various reports and anecdotal evidence from industry experts, learning agility will be the second most in-demand skill when hiring new talent. Sales: Sales and marketing are being transformed with technology, as digital marketing and sales automation are emerging as highly advantageous tools for companies and marketers.

While on one hand, businesses will invest in automation and new digital technologies, on the other, they are also investing towards acquiring the right talent who can work with automation and provide the human support element of sales and marketing by collaborating with machines. For instance, the role of a salesperson in delivering a technology product or a technology-enabled service will include the assurance of human support to the customer.

Hence, professionals will need to find ways through which they can gain knowledge and become experts and add value to their roles. Technology: Technology integration is no longer limited to just the IT/ITES companies, but to the business landscape in general, given the rapid pace of digitisation and digital transformation of entire industries and sectors.

Technology professionals, therefore, will need to keep up with major advances in computing, cybersecurity, and automation and acquire relevant skills to capitalise on emerging job opportunities. The rise of technology across various industries will create a flurry of new jobs and associated skills, and each industry and organisation will take a different approach to reach their own definition of success.

As we enter 2019, it’s become clear that the jobs landscape will change, and companies will seek talent with interdisciplinary knowledge who can perform multiple functions as organisational structures may see certain changes in the future as a result of technology integration and automation.

The writer is CEO, Mercer-Mettl