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5 Important Job Skills AI Can't Replace

Last updated on: December 19, 2023 17:38 IST

What humans have -- that no machine can mimic -- is the ability to foster positive and authentic relationships with coworkers, managers and clients, says Job Van Der Voort, CEO and co-founder of Remote, a firm that builds, manages and supports globally distributed workforces.

Non-AI skills that will help you get a job

Kindly note the image has been posted only for representational purposes. Photograph: Kind courtesy RDNE/

Artificial intelligence is the latest buzzword at workplaces.

AI's unprecedented growth and success is leading us further into the fourth industrial revolution.

While we all know AI is good at completing tasks, we need to stress the reality that they are not good at all jobs.

This means that AI should be seen as a helpful tool that complements what we humans can do, rather than as a replacement.

Love it or hate it, embracing AI is essential for our progress. It can drive innovation, efficiency and improvements in many fields.

Essentially, we should stop fearing AI as this fear can hinder progress and opportunities for positive change.

AI is not here to take anything away.

The skills we have as individuals are invaluable and cannot be replaced by AI.

Even the most basic jobs today require skills that are currently beyond the expertise of AI.

Irrespective of what career you choose, here are some non-AI skills humans possess that can get you hired:

1. Emotional Capacity

Empathy and compassion underscore a human being's ability to understand and share the feelings of colleagues, clients and other stakeholders.

It's a critical interpersonal skill that can have a profound impact on workplace culture, teamwork and overall success.

While some of you will turn to ChatGPT for solace, you will soon realise that AI will only mimic compassionate responses set by algorithms and rules.

What humans have -- that no machine can mimic -- is the ability to foster positive and authentic relationships with coworkers, managers and clients. When you demonstrate empathy, you create an atmosphere of trust and understanding.

Employees build a passion for their work, which reflects engagement with the underlying objectives.

Teams that cultivate empathy tend to work more cohesively.

Members are more likely to support each other, share ideas and collaborate effectively.

2. Complex Decision-Making Skills

AI can make decisions based on data and algorithms but it often struggles with complex, nuanced decision-making that requires judgment, ethics and situational awareness.

In fields like human resources and management, human judgment is irreplaceable.

3. Social Sensitivity Skills

AI is not intuitive or culturally sensitive as these are human characteristics. No matter how precisely it is programmed to perform a task, it lacks the human ability to adjust to the 'algorithm' of human intelligence.

Even though technology advances, AI will always lack emotional intelligence -- the skill that allows humans to recognise a sensitive situation that needs to be handled with utmost care and consideration.

Consider the difference between dealing with an automated computerised customer service hotline and a human interaction where the staffer can pick up on your tone of voice and other cues to understand your needs and help you better.

4. Leadership Skills

Whether or not you hold a formal position, the art of leading and managing is essential in the workplace.

It is not every day we see employees feeling inspired by AI. It is the underlying qualities of leaders in the workforce that help individuals and teams achieve their goals, foster a positive work environment and drive organisational success. 

It is crucial for career advancement and often involves problem-solving, insight about company culture, mentoring and team management.

While AI can provide an estimate of an individual’s productivity, a team leader can see the overall output without the need to look at the data.

5. Creativity, Critical Thinking And Communication Skills

The 3Cs in the world of work generally refer to creativity, critical thinking and communication skills.

These are key skills and attributes that are highly valued in the modern workplace.

Creativity involves thinking outside the box, generating new ideas and finding innovative solutions to problems.

It can apply to a wide range of roles, from marketing and design to problem-solving in technical fields.

Creative thinking is essential for adapting to change, identifying new opportunities and staying ahead in competitive industries.

It's a skill that sets you apart from others who rely solely on routine or traditional methods.

Critical thinking involves analysing information, evaluating arguments and making reasoned judgments. It's valuable in decision-making and problem-solving.

Employers rely on critical thinkers to make informed choices, identify potential pitfalls and come up with effective strategies. It's particularly important in roles that require complex decision-making.

Communication encompasses written, verbal and non-verbal skills. It's relevant in nearly every job -- from sales and marketing to project management and customer service.

Clear communication fosters collaboration, prevents misunderstandings and enhances customer and client relationships. It's essential for conveying ideas and information effectively.

The true antidote to any fear related to ever-changing market demands is to harness the full potential of lifelong learning with AI.

Individuals and organisations should prioritise continuous education and create a culture where they use AI to enhance their skills, but not always rely on it.

This involves accessing educational resources, encouraging employees to explore new skills and knowledge and recognising the value of adaptability and growth in the world of AI.

As we enter a future in which human and machine intelligence increasingly cohabit and collaborate, building these skills has never been more important.

The fear of jobs being replaceable by AI is unfounded and should be viewed in the context where AI is our ally, helping us lead towards a more technologically advanced future.

Embracing the future of work means recognising that AI can augment our skills and make us more productive and innovative.

It's not a matter of humans versus AI but a collaboration that empowers us to achieve new heights in our endeavours.