Future Of Humanity Podcast with Carl Taylor
Spread the Word!

Job Seekers, Skill Gaps, and the Future of Work with Fiona Anson – Episode 9

  • July 18, 2018

Episode Summary

As technology changes, so too do jobs that have been around for decades. To help people find new jobs, as well as to analyze trends to see where jobs are headed, Fiona Anson co-founded the website Job Getter, of which she is now the co-CEO. Job Getter originated in Australia but has recently started expanding its service overseas.

On this episode, Carl welcomes Fiona to talk about the changing landscape of jobs and jobseekers. They discuss how there is a rising demand for service-based labor, and how to entice job seekers to make use of that demand. Then, Fiona reveals how some jobs are moving away from requiring a degree, instead hoping to hire people that will work well in the environment of their job. Finally, Fiona talks about what jobs will soon be done by automation, and which will remain human-run for a long time to come.

What We Covered

[03:45] – Why Fiona chose to share the title of CEO with another woman who helped her start Job Getter

[05:20] – Analyzing data to predict the changes that are coming to the workforce

[08:50] – Changing public sentiment on technology, and how it will shift society

[10:25] – The rising demand for jobs that provide a service, rather than a product

[15:10] – Making service-demanding jobs more “attractive” for people seeking employment

[18:15] – The argument of hiring well-suited vs well-educated people

[21:35] – How education is shifting to teach real world problems to students

[26:20] – Fiona’s theory of how workers develop a cluster of transferable skills when they frequently change jobs

[29:20] – Jobs that will become obsolete in the near future due to automation

[34:46] – Can VR replace human interaction?

[38:40] – How Job Getter is unique among other job seeking websites

[42:00] – How the new job seekers give Fiona hope for the future


Links Mentioned

Job Getter Website


Read Full Transcript

Fiona: If you've got people working for you, then offer [inaudible 00:00:03] there are courses or send them on courses that they can do to continually upskill because you're the beneficiary of that upskilling.
Fiona: The other thing is to inspire those people to always look for new and interesting things to do.
Auto Male: A wise man once said ...
Auto Female: A wise man once said ...
Auto Male: The best way to predict the future ...
Auto Female: Is to create it.
Auto Female: You're about to experience [inaudible 00:00:32]. Scientists, entrepreneurs, thought leaders. You're listening to The Future of Humanity Podcast.
Kyle: Welcome to the show. I am your host Kyle Taylor and this is Future of Humanity Podcast where we discuss just what the future for humanity may hold.
Kyle: Now, welcome back. If you've been listening along to all or even just some of our previous episodes, I'm so glad you've chosen to join us again for today's episode and, if this is your first time tuning in well, you are in for a fantastic episode so, stick around.
Kyle: And after listening to this one, I highly encourage you to go back to some of our previous episodes where we've covered a broad range of topics and spoken to amazing individuals who are creating yours and my future. So you do want to check those out.
Kyle: Today, however, we are joined by an incredible woman who I've had the privilege to know since about 2012. Her name is Fiona Anson and Fiona is the Co-Founder and Co-CEO of JobGetter and JobGetter is Australia's premiere job seeker focused, jobs marketplace. They're also in the middle of a soft launch in the U.S. and, they'll be launching soon in New Zealand.
Kyle: The reason I invited Fiona to join me for this episode is because JobGetter is also Australia's leader in workforce data and analytics and they regularly are consulting to education, industry, government and communities as to what's happening in the world of work. The changing future of work and just what's needed to get and keep people in jobs which kind of drives economies globally in the current system that we live in.
Kyle: Fiona is also a mentor at The University of Technology, Sydney through their entrepreneurs Hatchery Plus program and she's an industry partner for their Bachelor of Technology and innovation undergraduate degree. There's many more amazing facts that I could tell you about Fiona but, I think the most important one is that she's passionate about entrepreneurship, she's passionate about supporting youth, she's passionate about millennials in the workforce, she's passionate about women in business, social responsibility and just helping others to be the best that they can be.
Kyle: So, in other words, she's just really genuine, she has a great heart and she's super, super smart.
Kyle: In this episode we discuss if the robots are really coming for all our jobs. We discuss the impact of technology in the workforce and, what skills the workforce of the future is going to need to have and where can we learn these skills. And that's just a very small part of what today's episode is all about. It's all about ultimately what is the future of work going to look like?
Kyle: So, let's get started.
Kyle: So, thank you so much for joining us, Fiona, I am excited to have you here.
Kyle: My first question is, I noticed that you're the Co-CEO of JobGetter and that's really interesting because, that's not a standard thing. I mean, I know that has, there's a number of companies that do this but it's not a regular approach to business to have a Co-CEO. Talk me about this. How did that come about?
Fiona: Yeah, look, it's not typical and it's interesting, we've had a number of people question whether or not that's even possible and certainly, it is for us. So, when we started our business seven and a bit years ago, it was always on the basis that everything was equal and we both had, I guess, a very similar way of operating and a way that we knew that we could drive the business together so we don't pull rank on one another, we both decided that we are Co-CEO's and works for us.
Fiona: I know that the guys that head up Atlassian so, Mike Cannon-Brookes and Scott Farquhar are also Co-CEO's at Atlassian and there's another couple of organizations that I know of that do the same thing.
Fiona: And, whilst it's not typical, if it works, there's nothing wrong with it. You've got a partnership where you understand that you're both on the same page, you can make decisions together without conflict then, you just need to do what works and so for us it works really well.
Kyle: I'm guessing you have like a clear delineation between what you make decisions on or, is it kind of just up for grabs?
Fiona: No, look, it's pretty much we make decisions together but, both of us, because we understand each other so well and because we work well, we know that if, you know, if I'm not around or Allie's not around and a decision needs to be made, both of us know that the decision will be made in the best interest of the business and so I'm comfortable for her to make a decision if she needs to, she's comfortable for me to make one and, you know, it just works.
Kyle: Fantastic, no, I love that. And, I mean, that's probably a great Segway into our topic where we're talking about the future of work.
Kyle: You know, your company, JobGetter, I know your mandate is to turn job seekers into job getters and help people get into the work that they want but you also, you're a leader in workforce data and analytics and you consult to education, industry, government about what work is and where it's going.
Kyle: So, talk to us. Where is the world of work going?
Fiona: Look, that's a really interesting question and because none of us have a crystal ball it's really hard to say with any certainty where work is going to go and there's a whole bunch of theories out there, you know, the machines are coming and the robots are going to take everything and we're all going to be on a universal basic of wages. The only thing that we can go on is the evidence that we see.
Fiona: Through the analytics and data that we do so, we actually pull workforce data every single day from every publicly available source and we analyze that data across 220,000 different data points and that's everything from flexibility to salaries to what work job titles to the skills required to do those jobs, qualifications, languages that you might have to speak, even personal attributes. And so, we look at all of these different data points and say, what are the trends that we can see? And they're the things we make decision on.
Fiona: But, because we also run a job's marketplace, we also put the human view on data as well so, whilst there's a lot of discussion around, you know, that the rise of the machines and that everybody is going to lose their job to automation, what we have to remember is that we are still in control at this point in time, anyway, and for this foreseeable future. Whether or not we want automation to affect every part of our life is something that is still very much in our control.
Fiona: So, I think, the future of work, to generalize, is going to be very much technology based but I think what we will see is the rise of empathy and empathy in making business decisions and also in the roles that require that sort of empathetic behavior.
Fiona: So, for example, could we walk into a five star hotel and check in the same way as we do in an airport? Absolutely, we can do that now. Do we? No, we don't because people want a different experience.
Fiona: Similarly, could a robot serve food to my child in a childcare center? Yes. Do I want it to? You know, if my child falls over and hurts their knee or bumps their head in a childcare center, I don't want a robot consoling them, I want a person consoling them.
Fiona: So I think we have to remember that we still have a lot of control over what's going to happen in the workplace and I think there will be a real division between the empathetic roles and the human centered roles and then the machine based, you know, automated roles as we move forward.
Kyle: I'm really glad you said that because, it's something I've thought about a number of times is going, I mean, there is a lot of technology already in existence today that could automate out a lot of jobs and, at the end of the day, it's up to us and whether we choose and, the market, I think a lot of people when they're having this discussion around will this happen or won't it happen, they look at it purely from a technology standpoint and they don't take into account the human psychology of it.
Kyle: I mean, a perfect example I think about is the Google Glass, you know, that came out it was amazing technology but the market rejected it, they didn't like it. I think that that's really important for us all to remember that, in all of these things we have a choice as to whether we accept it.
Kyle: I do wonder, though, over multiple generations, while we might go we have, you know, we don't want that to happen, I don't want my child being consoled by a robot, I wonder if after multiple generations of this being around will the public sentiment change and they'll actually be okay with that?
Fiona: Kyle, that's a really good point, I'm glad you brought that up, it's something that I've thought of, certainly as a mother. I've got a 23 year old son and there's certain things that he will only do on a technology basis. So, for example, he wouldn't even consider reading a book because he's used an iPad, pretty much, you know, from when he can remember and so, I think we do have to ask ourselves those questions, are we going to get more and, insensitive is not the right word but, are we going to start to or future generations start to use things that they've only ever known and therefore, you know, will they have a problem putting their child in a childcare center with robots, maybe they won't because that's all they've ever known.
Fiona: You know, the juries out at the moment, it's an interesting thing to think about.
Kyle: I think that's it like, the wisdom of the generations before us, if we can pass that idea of what existed before but I think also not to think that the way that we thought the world was is going to be better.
Kyle: I mean, you gave an example of books, I also think about phone calls, I mean, even my generation, I'm a millennial and, well, I personally hate phone calls and, most of the generation who are like me and younger would far prefer live chat, interactions than picking up the phone and calling a business most of the time. That's an example of technology we just got used to being able to text people and that was our preferred medium of communication now.
Fiona: That's true, my sons exactly the same.
Kyle: Exactly.
Kyle: So, okay, you say that the robots possibly aren't coming for our jobs or, at least, you know, maybe not the empathetic ones. What is going on right now in terms of people seeking jobs? I mean, that's very much the space that you're in, right? You're helping people who are seeking jobs find jobs that they love and, are we seeing a trend of those kind of empathetic jobs on the rise and the technology ones as well or, is it still early days? Like, is that trend already started or, do you think we're still years away from seeing that?
Fiona: No, no, the trend is definitely already started. So we're seeing a huge demand for jobs in age care, childcare and the services sector so, 50 years ago we used to spend half of our wages on goods and half of our consumable wages on services across the board. That's totally changed. So it's now 70% of our consumable income in Australia goes towards services and only 30% going towards goods and so, not only have we got automation taking over things like the automating of the delivery of goods but, we've got this trend to seeing people absolving services in record numbers.
Fiona: And then, when you add to that things like the aging population and a mini baby boom that we've had recently and people having to cope with an incredibly high cost of living in Australia, especially in Sydney where, you know, when you have children typically parents will go back to work because they still have to then the demand for those sorts of services is growing.
Fiona: So, you've got the trends just the growth because of the demographics which makes is really difficult. We are seeing a huge influx of the need for service based jobs and that's everything from retail, hospitality, age care, childcare, as I've said, those sorts of services but, we are not seeing the demand from the job seeker side for those particular jobs.
Fiona: What we are seeing is a demand for more security from job seekers so, we're looking also at this casualization in the workforce. When we stared our business seven years ago part-time jobs were growing at twice the rate of full-time, they're now growing at three times the rate of full-time. Underemployment which is people not having the hours they want is at record levels and growing at record levels so, people are looking for more than one job now to be able to get the income that they need and so, there's all of these different things that are affecting the future of work and job seekers are still looking for stability but, they're looking for increased income and they're also looking for a job that will give them the hours that they need.
Fiona: You know, sometimes the service sector jobs often are jobs that are not necessarily full-time and don't necessarily offer that security. We're not seeing a demand from job seekers to go into those areas but we're certainly seeing a demand from employers and the jobs available that is growing at a rate of knots.
Fiona: On the technology side, again that's also growing in a huge way but, we are behind the apron in terms of skills. So the skills that are being developed by companies such as Facebook and Google, the coding languages, the, you know, sudden need for cyber security, all of those things is growing exponentially and yet we can't educate people quickly enough in those areas.
Fiona: So, we're still seeing a shortage of talent in those areas as well and then, when you throw in on top of that the development of curriculum for education isn't fast enough to keep up, then you've got people coming out of universities that have got the computer science degrees and those sorts of things but, they still don't have the right technical skills to get into those jobs.
Fiona: You know, it's a bit of a mismatch at the moment of supply and demand, it's one of the certainly hot topics of conversation between industry, education and government as to how we fill these growing gaps.
Kyle: I mean, that's an interesting point that you bring up about the jobs that the employers are looking to fill, these more service based jobs and then the demand from the job seekers aren't there because either it's they don't like, there's not enough security there or maybe it's not sexy enough for some of the younger people coming out of university, they think that they'd like to go into something more tech based.
Kyle: That's really interesting and, so if we think about that challenge, I mean, as a business owner myself, if I'm struggling to get people to work, I'm going to turn to automation, I'm going to turn to different ways to fill those roles. I mean obviously I can look at globally and leveraging the global workforce but I am going to turn, maybe because I'm a techie but, I'm going to turn to automation which is interesting though because, then as we just talked about, the market may not want automation in those more service based roles.
Kyle: I can see this potentially leading us to an interesting situation. So, I mean, what can we do as, as business owners and, there's a number of business owners who listen to this podcast, we're pretty popular with the entrepreneur crowd so, if you're a business owner out there listening especially in the service based industry, what would you suggest we do to better make the jobs that we're offering attractive to those job seekers out there in the service space?
Fiona: Yeah, look, it's all about people at the end of the day and we talk a lot to employers about why you have to be an employer of choice. For us as employers, one of the things I think we need to offer is the ability for people to see a past so see continual skill's development certainly in the environment where the whole skill thing is becoming or, the whole workforce is becoming skill driven. So, if an employer can offer that continuous skill development.
Fiona: So for example, if you've got people working for you, then offer to [inaudible 00:15:48] courses or, send them on courses that they can do to continual upskill because you're the beneficiary of that upskilling. The other thing is to inspire those people to always look for new and interesting things to do. So, for example we often we'll get our team involved in brainstorming about, you know, new features or new concepts or new ways of doing things and, you know, I think that keeps them really interested in what they're doing here in the workplace rather than saying, we sit down, you do the same thing day in day out and you should be grateful that you've got a salary.
Fiona: I think people are looking for more than that now and certainly, Kyle, the millennial generation, your generation, they are more savvy than they've ever been. They're more informed than any generation before them and they're super, super smart, looking for that level of fulfillment. You know, if there's a war for talent which is a common phrase that's thrown around in the recruitment and HR sectors, there's a war for talent, you know, it's always been that there's sort of the idea that companies are fighting for people but, it's actually, it's changed and the people have won the war. They're the ones that will say, actually, I want to work for that company because I believe in its social values, I believe in what it can offer me, i believe in the career paths, I believe in the stability, I believe in the goal of the organization and I'm part of that and that's what I think we need to offer. The best people, we need to have the best environments for them.
Kyle: I agree with that, I mean, even in my own business I've definitely done that. We've spent a lot of effort to make it collaborative. Like I always tell my team all the time that, you know, this is not a dictatorship, you're welcome to challenge any ideas that I have and throw your own ideas in the ring and I very much try to make it a collaborative environment and I think that's worked very well for the culture of our company.
Kyle: For a long time I was the oldest person in my company so, I don't think that's true anymore but, that gives you an indication, I'm 32 so for me to be the oldest person in the company means that we're generally working with younger people.
Kyle: I agree with you that, and definitely I've done the same thing of offering to pay for courses and continuous training. It's not just about how you did your course and you're done its like, no, we need to keep educating.
Kyle: In fact, I would argue, and I don't know if you agree with this but, a lot of the time I think the people who come out of university, college, wherever they've come from with their tertiary piece of paper, I just want them to throw away all that information, I want them to unlearn it to be honest. Most of the time I feel like what they've learned, at least in my industry, is completely useless and I need to retrain them from the beginning.
Fiona: Couldn't agree with you more Kyle.
Fiona: We have, last year we actually did a big survey around education and, asked job seekers whether they felt it had been relevant and, whether or not they felt it was beneficial to them in terms of what they were looking for and, it's really interesting, I mean, there's a lot of discussion in the education sector at the moment around whether or not tertiary qualifications are giving students what employers are looking for.
Fiona: And, there's a lot of change happening in the education sector which is not before time but, there is certainly this renewed thinking that, you know, a degree isn't everything anymore, a degree isn't your ticket to everything. Employers are now saying, and big employers like the big advisory firms, companies like EY and Deloitte, most if not all of the major banks are now saying, we don't care what degree you have, we actually don't even care, in some cases, whether you've got a degree. We're looking for certain kinds of people and I know EY are piloting a program in the U.K. at the moment where they're taking people directly out of high school and looking for people that are enthusiastic and want to learn because they say, we can teach them what they need to learn, we're looking for certain kinds of people.
Fiona: IBM are using that a month ago and now it's you no longer need a degree to work at IBM. The world is changing and this thought of formal education that takes four years to complete, by the time you get to the end of the fourth year, what you learnt in the first three is no longer relevant and certainly the speed definitely isn't.
Kyle: If my mother is listening to this right now, you have made her very happy because, things have changed recently but, you know, I never graduated university, I never went to university and I know for a long time my mother was always very distressed. This business, entrepreneurial journey I went on at the age of 15 was not the right path to go on and, what will happen and, I don't have a degree to fall on and no-one would employ me, not that I'm out looking for work, I'm doing pretty well in business but, I can tell, mum, if you're listening right now, guess what, if this business thing doesn't work for me, it looks like I could get a job if I needed to anywhere.
Fiona: That's the other trend that we actually see with the data. So, it's not just me saying this anecdotal from conversations, we look at the data around what employers are demanding now and it's very, very, what we call, soft skill centric. So you mentioned collaboration before I mean that is number one on everybody's hit list. Good communication skills, good presentation skills, the ability to work as part of a team, the ability to think critically and solve problems.
Fiona: So, we are looking at people that can solve problems whether it's a business problem, whether it's an environmental problem, whether it's a scientific problem, whatever it is, you know, we're in the business of solving problems. And so, those, and I'll say in air quotes, soft skills where the focus is turning to and employers are increasingly looking for those kind of people, not necessarily the piece of paper that you've got.
Kyle: I mean, I know you work a lot with like education as well so, would you say that the education system, at least in Australia, since we're both Australian, would you say that it is creating job seekers who have those soft skills or, is this something they're needing to develop in their home and outside in the broader community? Where do they get these skills from?
Fiona: Well I actually think it starts at a really young age. I mean I think some of these behaviors are grounded in what you learn or do as a really, you know, in kind of primary school and infant school.
Fiona: Certainly, I think, we have been, up until recently seeing people that come out of university that still don't have these skills, they still don't know how to put a presentation together, they're still not comfortable standing up in a room making a presentation, maybe don't have the greatest communication skills. One of the big things that I'm dead against is a move to total online learning because I just think you lose the ability to interact with people and look, I know there are people in regional areas of the country, or people that perhaps have a disability that makes it difficult for them to get into a classroom environment and, online learning is awesome for that but, there's nothing that beats human interaction for most of us.
Fiona: And so, I am absolutely opposed to going down this road of absolute everything's online. I think we are going to lose a lot of the human side of what we need to learn as part of our education but, I think, going back to your question where did these skills get developed? I think we need to start really, really early on. We are seeing that tertiary education is starting to look at how do we incorporate this in the programs that we deliver so, how do we make sure that we have collaborative environments for the students to work together, how do we make sure that we are giving them a real world problems to deal with not just hypothetical case studies?
Fiona: We were recently, and still are, a partner of UTS in Sydney, The University of Technology and we partnered with them on a new degree that they've just released called, The Bachelor of Technology and Innovation which, is a trans-disciplinary degree where thy kind of throw students in with real world problems and look at technology and innovation to solve them. It's a phenomenal degree. We worked with their first year students, we basically opened the doors to our business and said, knock yourselves out and, they came up with just some incredible ideas and these were, as I said, first year university students.
Fiona: And so I think the benefit of what you were saying before about being a collaborative boss, I think that's the way that companies need to look at the future is that, you know, we've got a whole bunch of problems staring us down the face and, we need to bring the troops in to solve those together and nobody has a license on bright ideas or right ideas and, the more people that you can get involved, the more gold that you will find by being collaborative.
Fiona: So, education needs to teach those collaboration skills and to me, as I said, it starts right off in kindergarten.
Kyle: Yeah, it's really interesting.
Kyle: I mean, the word that comes to mind when I think about, I say to my team is like, well, I don't have the arrogance to think that I'm the smartest person in the world, I am open to debate and challenge, I am open to new ideas. At the end of the day I'm the boss and I can overrule you but, I'm open to the discussion so we can have that.
Kyle: And it's really interesting, actually, because just last night I was having dinner with a high school teacher and we were talking about how things have changed. He was roughly my age and so we talked about how things had changed from when we were at school learning where we had to memorize facts because, Google didn't exist yet.
Kyle: Now though, it's like, the students don't need to learn how to memorize facts. In my opinion, to be prepared for the jobs of tomorrow, kids need to know how to problem solve, how to think about a problem numerous times, how to find data but more importantly, I think especially in today's world, they need to know how to do fact checking to decide whether what they found online is true or not because there's so much junk out there online. They need the skills to be able to think through a problem find the information they need, fact check and decide whether they believe the data that they found and to be able to teamwork and work with people. They don't necessarily need to remember that in 19 whatever something happened. They can ask Google. I mean, I've got a Google home, I can just be like, hey, in 1958, what happened and it will probably tell me some great facts of what happened.
Kyle: This is really interesting and I think it's important that if you're a boss or entrepreneur or employer listening right now and you're involved with the people that you're bringing into the company, I think that's an important thing to keep in mind with who you're looking for.
Kyle: And, one of the things I thought was really interesting, I, in your, the JobGetter white paper that you have, the 2018, the exact name of the paper escapes me right now but the 2018 basically the JobGetter, white paper you put out. One of the things you talked about was this idea of skill clusters and I thought that was really interesting, the idea of in the past it was kind of seen negatively that my generation, in particular, would often go and work in a place, maybe for a year or two and then they'd leave and they'd go to another one and that, from an employers point of view, looked like you were flaky, looked like you weren't someone who was serious. And, in this white paper you talked about how that could actually be seen from an employer point of view as a benefit of how they gained skills along the way.
Kyle: Can you talk a bit about this skill cluster idea?
Fiona: We've done a whole bunch of research and a number of organizations have, including the foundation fee on Australians as well, they did a really great piece of research around skills and the skills that are required to get people into work. What both we and they talk about regularly are these clusters of skills that you keep up. Not necessarily in an industry per se but, as part of your working life.
Fiona: And then they fit into categories. So, for example, the skills to be resilient and adaptable which are two skills that we see are growing into man but also like going to be absolutely necessary as the world speeds up or, continues to speed up and get faster, the ability to bounce back from things. So, the ability to say, I had this idea yesterday but today it doesn't apply anymore because something has changed and not be defeated by the fact that, oh God, you know, nobody liked my great idea.
Fiona: Or the ability to work on a project for three months and then someone to turn around and say, actually, we're not doing that anymore, we're going to do this. And to not then be totally overcome and go, oh, what a waste of my time. You know, it's about being able to ebb and flow and be adaptable to what's going on all of the time.
Fiona: Those sorts of skills are skills that you learn in, say, a retail environment where, you've got customers coming in and they're complaining about something they bought or, they've lost their receipt and your policy is you can't give a refund without a receipt and they're arguing with you and so you've got to learn to be adaptable and to get on with all sorts of people and to be able to look at a problem, think critically about it and then solve it.
Fiona: And so, these sorts of groups of skill clusters where we see it being developed in all sorts of different organizations and all sorts of different industry's and so, the ability for you to take that cluster of skills that you've developed in one job and transport it to another job without actually having to be trained in that job, on those skills, is really, really important.
Fiona: And each different industry, obviously, has different skills they want developed so, if you're an auditor, for example, skill that you might develop is the ability to be incredibly accurate and detailed about things. And so you can take that job, sorry, that skill and you can take it to another job that requires the same level of detail and complexity.
Fiona: So, it's basically, what we're calling them is transferable skills. So, you take these groups of skills and you just transfer them from job to job.
Kyle: I think that's very true and, to me like that was a mind shift of going well, what people were negatively looking at my generation in particular having these, going form job to job could actually be seen as an asset by looking at well what did they learn at each of those jobs? What did they pick up that, as you say, become transferable skills that don't need to be trained? Because the hardest part, in any business, I know this whenever we bring on a new team member, is the training time and, the more you can get someone who already has the skills and has less training, that's helpful.
Kyle: But, at the same time, there's a big attitude shift and it's more about, can you find someone who has the ability to have that skill set developed? Not necessarily if they already have that skill set.
Kyle: I want to project into the future for a second because we talked a bit about well, the robots aren't coming for our jobs. Some are so, let's talk about that. What are some of the jobs right now? I mean, I think about this, that there are people studying right now, building up a big debt for their education and they're going to move into the workforce and the job that they thought they were going to move into won't exist. And, I think lawyers is one of them. Like, what are some of these jobs that are potentially on the chopping block?
Fiona: Lawyers and accountants. So, professional services unless they're advisory are probably going to be some of those jobs that are going to be fazed out. I know a number of the big accounting firms are already looking at these [inaudible 00:29:51] will be redundant people and how to repurpose those people. So those professional services, I think, absolutely.
Fiona: I actually also think that, down the track, some software development jobs are going to be at risk as well and, I know that's, when we're all focused on STEM at the moment and how much we need to get people into the I.T. sector. I actually think we're going to get to the point where you'll be able to tell a machine what you want it to do without actually having, necessarily having coding skills.
Fiona: So, those sorts of jobs, I think down the track will be at threat, which is interesting because at the moment they're all in demand. Things like, taxi drivers, Uber drivers, you know, whilst Uber's, yeah, they've all been, you know, Uber has been hailed as being, you know, an absolute Godsend for people that are underemployed or can't find a job and, oh isn't it great, you can work for yourself. It's going to be a different story when driverless cars become a thing and, all of those people who are currently using that to supplement their income or ene have it as their main source of income, are going to be out of work.
Kyle: If you're an Uber driver right now and you're thinking this is your career for the rest of your life ...
Fiona: Have a plan B.
Kyle: Yeah, you're deluding yourself. Take advantage of it, absolutely. I have this conversation with Uber drivers all the time when I get in the car. I'm like, hey, you know, did you know about this and I'm always like, take advantage of it, it's great but don't expect it to be here in 10 years time.
Fiona: No, exactly right, yeah.
Fiona: So again, I think it's the jobs where there's no predictable outcomes are going to be the ones that hang around. The ones where you can predict things so, you know, jobs where there's a automation can actually make those decision, they're the ones that are going to be at risk.
Fiona: But, jobs that require human thinking, empathetic skills and the ability to solve problems and where no two problems are necessarily exactly the same, they're the jobs that are going to stick around.
Fiona: The other thing is, as you quite rightly pointed out, access to technology. So, to recap for a second about education, you know, we're learning, we're still learning in the way that we were 200 years ago when there were no records so, the reason we had to learn when Captain Cook landed and all of that sort thing is because, well I mean, we had text books but, you know, 100 years before that, they didn't, it was, stories were passed down from generation to generation to remember what went on and, for some stupid reason, thousands of years or, hundreds of years later we're still learning in exactly the same.
Fiona: But in terms of jobs, the jobs that currently require us to know things won't exist. So, for example, lawyers, you brought up, a really good point. There's just data bases and data bases of legal precedent now. Back in the day, and I actually worked in the legal profession about, I'll cover my mouth and say it, within eight years ago, before, pre-Google, you know, we had article clerks that would come in and do all the research for court cases, we don't have to do that anymore because you just Google it and, you've got all of the precedents that you would ever want.
Fiona: Medical is being affected as well so, you've got IBM's Watson is doing a lot of work in the medical sector and I don't know, I'm sure you would have heard this story Kyle but, I don't know if some of your listeners would have. I think it was back in August last year, IBM's Watson was able to diagnose a Japanese woman who had a very rare form of leukemia that she had been to every doctor under the sun for the previous six to 12 months and no-one could work out what was wrong with her and Watson worked it out in 10 minutes because it's got access to every piece of knowledge.
Fiona: So, my thought is that, you know, perhaps down the not so distant future, track that we'll see machines replace triage nurses. Where if you go into an emergency department and you say I've got this, this, this, this and this wrong with me, a machine is so much more accurately able to say, this is what could be going on as opposed to a person who can only access what's in their mind or what's in their, you know, what they've learned.
Kyle: Absolutely and I, it's interesting, I think about a lot of these things too and, even with the human side of it, which I agree with you, I think, at least in the short term that's the place where we're not going to be replaced.
Kyle: I mean, if you're very much involved with the elderly and, but it's something like that, a triage nurse, you would think, well, that needs to have a human to kind of be caring and yeah, there might be a human who needs to be there to be the emotional support but, they'll be working hand-in-hand with the AI, the robot that does the harder work.
Kyle: But, one of the things I wonder about is if we then combine it with say, virtual reality and this idea you talked about earlier about not wanting to do education online because it misses the human element but, if VR gets to the level of quality which could be 50 years before that happens, but like if it got to that level of quality that the question I wonder is, what makes a human interaction innately that human interaction? Can it be simulated through an online world? Can another human talk to another human through and then if that happens well then it's only a matter of time before a machine can start to convince a human that it's a human interaction.
Fiona: A really interesting question and I don think that if we can ... My son got a HTC Vibe a couple of weeks ago and so I was jumping around the lunge room with him fighting fake aliens so, I've had kind of an experience with VR but, I do think it's interesting that those technologies can be very enabling so, they are able to enable us to interact where we perhaps aren't in the same room with other humans and so, I definitely think that that's, you've got a very valid point that we could use those technologies to have that sort of benefit in those environments.
Fiona: And I do think that there is the potential for those machines to learn and to interact. You know, I still, I mean I see that, is it Sophie or Sophia, that robot head that they've had ...
Kyle: Yeah, that can talk.
Fiona: It just freaks me out when I look at it, it's just, you know, it's still not quite right and there is still no, you know, at the risk of sounding a bit herbal, there's still no energy and a lot of the communication that we have with other people is non-verbal, you know, it's body language, it's feelings, call it what you like but, intuition. It's going to be really interesting to see whether or not we can replace.
Kyle: Can we bottle that? Can we simulate that?
Fiona: Can we teach that or make a robot do that or, do we even want it to do that?
Kyle: Well exactly, I think that's a really important part and, I may have said this on an earlier episode, I can't remember but, I'm always reminded of the quote from Jurassic Park, it's one of my favorite quotes about Dr Ian Malcolm says, "You're so preoccupied worrying about whether you could, you never stopped to think if you should." And, I think that that's the case of what we just talked about there.
Kyle: Could we do that? Possibly and I'm sure scientists will work on it. The question is, will they stop and ask whether they should bother trying to do this?
Fiona: Look, I'm sure there will be some things that happen that we don't want to or, that, you know, shouldn't or wouldn't if we had more human intervention. I think, you know, everything's a combination of good and bad. You know, we've seen certainly in my life, seen some amazing technology developments, you know, over, gosh, my lifetime, you know, just can't fathom how far we've come and that, you know, devices are just part of our everyday life for everything so, who knows what it's going to be like in another 50 years time.
Fiona: But, I would hope that we still value human interaction and I go back to your point right at the beginning where you said that your generation doesn't like to talk on the phone and it's really true and I think that is something that we have to be mindful of is, that generational change as things evolve, there will be that behavior changes that come about because technology has enabled it.
Fiona: But, I do think that, and who knows, you know, don't have a crystal ball but, I do think we are a long way off having the machines take over.
Fiona: We're a long way off by a robot.
Kyle: Yes, well exactly, I mean, I think we'll see trends and we'll see starts of it but I'm not necessarily a believer of those who say we are going to have like an almost overnight mass unemployment, I think it will be far more transitional than that but definitely, if you're a truck driver right now, you know, or an Uber driver, you should be looking at how you're going to upskill, how you're going to make yourself more relevant.
Kyle: And maybe the thing to focus on guys, if that's you or there's someone in your family right now who potentially is at risk of automation and frankly, all of us, even me as an entrepreneur, there is a risk for CEO's and all of us to kind of potentially be automated out. Think about the human elements of what you're doing, can you build those soft skills like Fiona was talking about?
Kyle: And, I think it's a good Segway because I want to bring it back to JobGetter and what you're doing.
Kyle: We've talked bout, you know, the problem that is potentially going to exist. Not potentially, I think it is going to exist and, where things might go into the future but, lets bring it back to today. We're not there yet but there is a huge amount of people, as you said, who are underemployed. So, it's not that they're unemployed, they're just underemployed and not getting enough income to survive and they need multiple jobs and there are a lot of people out there still looking for work and there are employers looking for jobs. So, JobGetter, you know, there are plenty of job sites out there. What is it, why does it exist and, how is it different?
Fiona: So, we exist for the job seeker. There's a whole bunch of, you know, employment platforms, there's places you can go and find out about jobs, there's, you know, countless out there and obviously dominated by some really big players.
Fiona: What we try and do is we keep an eye on the job seeker or, we exist for the job seeker. So, because we're on top of the trends, because we know what HR people are looking for or hiring managers are looking for, because we understand the companies that we work with and, because we understand the data around jobs, we can tell a job seeker how to put their best foot forward every single time. Probably about four or five years ago, now, we did a survey of job seekers which we now run every year and it's Australia's largest survey of job seekers and we do it every year and, the first one we did, we asked the question which we always ask, what's the hardest part of looking for a job? And, overwhelmingly we were told nobody ever gives me any feedback so, how do I know what I should be doing if nobody ever tells me where I went wrong in the fist place.
Fiona: And, so we took that to heart and said, okay, how do we help these people? And we built a part of our system to help employers make it much easier to give job seekers feedback and unfortunately, we thought it was fabulous, they said, no, we don't particularly want to use that because we don't want liability issues or, we don't want to encourage further discussion with candidates that we have said are unsuitable which, brings up the whole employee experience thing but, I won't go off on that tangent.
Fiona: So, we actually spent quite a bit of time investing in our technology and was basically, it was the start of building this massive database that we have to be able to say, well if we can match people to jobs, surely we can look at what doesn't match and then give people feedback on, here's how they compared not only to the job ad but, to the candidates that were shortlisted for the role.
Fiona: And so we call that a skill's gap analysis. As far as we know, we're the only company in the world that can do it and it's individualized and personalized to every single job application. So, on JobGetter you will get individualized personalized feedback every time you apply for a job to help you put your best foot forward next time you apply. But, we've also got all sorts of tools and templates and advice and support and all sorts of things to help people get into the jobs that they really want.
Fiona: So, as well as providing them with data around what's going on in the world of jobs and where the job demand is and what the skills are that you need for those sorts of jobs.
Kyle: That's fantastic.
Kyle: And so you're in Australia. Are you anywhere else in the world yet?
Fiona: Yes, in the U.S. Got a program happening in North Carolina at the moment and then jut about to go into New Zealand as well.
Kyle: Fantastic well, all you U.S. and New Zealanders listening, make sure you take a look on JobGetter and obviously, Aussie's listening, definitely JobGetter sounds like, if you're looking for a job, it sounds like the place to go and start so, that's fantastic.
Kyle: Thanks so much for coming on.
Kyle: My final question for you Fiona is, and we'll make sure there's link's and things to JobGetter on the show notes so, if you're like wondering how do I find it, check out the show notes, we'll have links there.
Kyle: My final question to you is, when you think about the future, are you optimistic, pessimistic? Where do you fall and why?
Fiona: Oh hugely optimistic. I mean I just think, as I said earlier, the generation coming through, I'm so excited about the people that are coming through. Not only are they incredibly savvy, incredibly smart but, they have a social conscience as well and I think that they're problem solvers. You've only got to look what's happened in the U.S. with the unfortunate school shootings and the way the young people have stood up and said, we are going to make a difference here, we're going to make a change, we see that all the time. I don't buy into the whole millennials are entitled and all that, I just don't buy into it. I just think that we've got huge amounts of potential in this coming generation or the generation that's kind of coming into the workforce and has been for a few years as coming in and I find the world such an exciting place, I mean there's so many amazing things going on.
Fiona: I think as a whole we're more socially conscious than we've ever been, as well, which can only be a good thing. I think it's an exciting place, I mean, I don't live in the past, I don't kind of say, well back in my day it was so much better, I just think the world is jut a hot bed of opportunity and, I think we just have to grab it with both hands and, you know, will we make the right decisions every time? Maybe not but, that's called life, it's just a wonderful experience.
Kyle: Fantastic, I love that.
Kyle: I ask this to everyone on the show and, it's overwhelmingly optimistic. I love hearing the reasons why you're feeling optimistic about it.
Kyle: Thank you so much for coming on. Fiona, it's been amazing. We'll make sure there's links in the show notes to people who want to find you on social media, also find JobGetter and, I'll make sure there's also a link to the white paper because I found that really interesting to read that white paper that you release every year. So, thank you.
Fiona: Thanks Kyle and it's been an absolute pleasure to talk to you again.
Kyle: Thanks for listening to The Future of Humanity Podcast. To download the latest episode and find the transcript and various resources mentioned in today's episode, visit our website at, foh.show. That's F-O-H as in, Future of Humanity and show as in S-H-O-W.
Kyle: You can also, via our website, contact me with any feedback or suggestions for any future episodes so please do reach out.
Kyle: Now, if you haven't already subscribed you can find the links to subscribe on all your favorite platforms, @foh.show/subscribe. That's foh.show/subscribe. And, more importantly, if you'd like to continue the conversation from today's episode and connect with other listeners then you can join our free community @foh.show/community, foh.show/community.
Kyle: I look forward to seeing you there.

Podcast production and marketing provided by Fullcast.
Website: http://fullcast.co/