'Simultaneous' layoffs, hiring coming amid widespread AI adoption

Tech leaders forecast a 'strategic workforce alignment' in the coming months

'Simultaneous' layoffs, hiring coming amid widespread AI adoption

Half of business leaders in the technology industry expect hiring and layoffs over the next six months as more employers adopt artificial intelligence.

This is according to the Technology Pulse Poll from Ernst & Young, which surveyed 255 business leaders in the technology industry throughout the United States.

"One thing is certain: Companies are reshaping their workforce to be more AI savvy," said Vamsi Duvvuri, EY Technology, Media and Telecommunications AI Leader, in a statement.

"With this transition, we can anticipate a continuous cycle of strategic workforce realignment, characterised by simultaneous layoffs and hiring, and not necessarily in equal volumes."

In fact, the report found that tech leaders are investing on specific roles in a hiring standpoint. These roles include:

  • Cybersecurity analysts (69%)
  • Data scientists (68%)
  • AI engineers

Impact on workplace culture

The findings come as 72% of the respondents said they are using AI at least daily in the workplace, with 85% saying the emerging technology has a positive impact on their workplace culture.

"Our recent pulse poll demonstrates that technology companies generally have a positive sentiment toward the next productivity wave," said Ken Englund, EY Americas Technology, Media and Telecommunications Leader, in a statement.

"There's a lot of excitement at these companies in terms of how they will successfully apply their own industry tools to themselves."

Despite this, there are still red flags for tech business leaders on AI, particularly on the regulation of the following:

Upskilling employees

Employers are also concerned on upskilling employees (33%), as they believe this would be critical in their organisation's success with AI.

According to the report, 64% of business leaders have put internal development programmes in place to help employees keep pace with rapidly changing generative AI.

Three out of four business leaders (76%) also said they have implemented technical certifications to help employees keep up with gen AI.

The findings are in line with predicted trends for 2024, which said upskilling employees would be at the top of mind for employers in the wake of AI tools getting more space in the workplace.


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