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Stories by Yohei Shibasaki & Aya Shimada, Navigating Talent Acquisition and Skills Development in the Age of Globalization & GenAI - June 19th Sketch Summer 2024 Preview Article Part 2

View of Tokyo Tower from an office building window

Welcome to Sketch Summer 2024, an enterprise Chief Officers' discussion party hosted by Culturelabs, where leaders come together to share their stories and spark ideas in a flat, inclusive small-group setting. This time, we will feature a series of compelling narratives from CXO Storytellers. These profiles offer a glimpse into the experiences of leaders who have navigated the complexities of the corporate world, championed diversity and inclusion, and harnessed the digital and transformative power of people. Dive into these profiles and get a taste of the thought-provoking discussions to take place at Sketch Summer 2024.(Click here for more information on Sketch Summer 2024)

Over the next three weeks, we will provide excerpts from stories by our CXO Storytellers. This week, we begin with stories about navigating talent acquisition and skills development in an age of globalization and AI.

The Global Movement of Top Talent: My Impact on Shaping the Future

Profile photo of Yohei Shibasaki, CEO, Fourth Valley Concierge

Yohei Shibasaki, CEO, Fourth Valley Concierge


Yohei Shibasaki, CEO of Fourth Valley Concierge, emphasizes strategic, data-driven talent sourcing from over 200 countries and highlights the enduring importance of management, leadership when looking for top talent. He underscores the need for in-house expertise and continuous learning to keep pace with technological advancements. Shibasaki envisions a future where his company pioneers a global job search platform to precisely talent matches. His approach focuses on adapting quickly and prioritizing employee development to succeed in a globalized, AI-driven market.

Essential Human Skills for Transforming Employment, Work Styles in a Future with AI

Aya Shimada, Founder, Culturelabs

Profile photo of Aya Shimada, Founder, Culturelabs

Aya Shimada shares her insights on the impact of generative AI on employment, predicting significant changes for white-collar workers as tasks like office work become more automated.  She stresses the importance of workers to develop skills to collaborate with AI, and the value of human skills such as empathy, and leadership in complementing AI technologies. Shimada believes AI's rise presents an opportunity to reevaluate how society values different types of work, potentially empowering blue-collar work and unpaid work such as caring work and household work. She is concerned about transition of roles predominantly held by women that may be at risk of automation.


The Global Movement of Top Talent: My Impact on Shaping the Future

Yohei Shibasaki, CEO, Fourth Valley Concierge

Profile photo of Yohei Shibasaki, CEO, Fourth Valley Concierge

Q: How can you attract and retain top talent in today's competitive job market?

A: "Attracting and retaining top talent requires a strategic approach," Shibasaki began. "There are over 200 countries and regions in the world, and the process of scientifically examining and determining which countries to accept talent from is crucial”. This means using data and analytics to understand where the best talent pools are and what specific skills and attributes are in demand.

The importance of creating a compelling employer brand and a positive candidate experience cannot be overstated. Companies need to showcase their culture, career development opportunities, and unique benefits. Additionally, providing a seamless and engaging recruitment process, from initial contact to onboarding, is essential for attracting and retaining top talent.

Q: In your opinion, what are the key skills and competencies that will be essential for your future workforce success?

A: "Regardless of the era, I believe that management and leadership are universally essential skills," Shibasaki noted. Indeed as technology evolves and industries change, these foundational skills remain critical. Effective leaders can inspire, guide, and adapt to new challenges, ensuring their teams stay motivated and aligned with the company's goals.

Q: What challenges do you face when adapting to the rapidly evolving technological landscape, and how do you plan to overcome these challenges?

A: “One of the biggest challenges is that my own abilities and qualities may not be able to keep up with the evolution of technology," Shibasaki said, even though he recognizes the importance of digital literacy. "To address this, it is crucial to always have experts in the field within the team.”  By bringing in specialized knowledge and staying updated with the latest trends and innovations, he suggests we can ensure that our strategies and operations remain cutting-edge.

Fostering a culture of continuous improvement and innovation is essential for organizational success. Encouraging employees to stay curious and invest in their professional development is key. Providing access to training programs, workshops, and learning resources helps teams stay ahead of technological advancements.

Q: How do you see the role of talent acquisition evolving in the future of your work?

A: "There still isn't a platform that allows people to easily search for jobs across countries," Shibasaki explained. "We believe that we will be the first company to release such a digital platform globally.”  This is certain to  revolutionize the way talent acquisition operates, making it easier for individuals to find opportunities regardless of geographical boundaries." Shibazaki envisions a future where digital platforms seamlessly connect employers and job seekers worldwide. 

(Article written as interpreted by writer based on Q&A)


Essential Human Skills for Transforming Employment, Work Styles in a Future with AI

Aya Shimada, Founder, Culturelabs

Profile photo of Aya Shimada, Founder, Culturelabs

Q: With the increasing integration of generative AI in society, how do you anticipate employment and work styles will change?

A: As generative AI becomes more prevalent, it's expected to have a larger impact on white-collar employment dynamics than on blue-collar workers. Industries heavily reliant on data and administrative work, like information and finance, will likely feel the brunt of this change the most. Interestingly, some white-collar jobs will evolve into a more cooperative relationship with AI, enhancing productivity and income for highly skilled professionals. However, routine tasks such as basic programming and administrative work might be replaced. According to the IBM Institute for Business Value, about 40% of workers may need skills redevelopment in the next three years. Japanese companies are already adapting their employment models, moving towards role-based systems that demand higher expertise and clearer responsibilities.

Q: What human skills do you believe will be most valuable in complementing AI technologies?

A:  By valuable, I am assuming you mean employable. To stay employable, one needs to learn how to interact with AI effectively, with prompting, interpreting and making decisions. As AI continues to shape our work landscape, certain human skills will become increasingly valuable/employable. Skills like empathy, critical thinking, teamwork, communication, adaptability, and leadership will be essential for workers to thrive alongside AI. Thought leadership and the ability to form and guide with a distinct perspective can also complement AI's capabilities effectively.

Q: How will you be approaching the emergence of AI in our society?

A: At Culturelabs, we're involved in helping client organizations implement AI as part of our work. Because of that, I feel a strong sense of social responsibility. I believe we have an opportunity as a society to rethink how we value human work, especially in light of AI's impact. For instance, considering AI's potential to replace certain jobs, particularly those predominantly held by women, we need to reassess how we value different types of work. In Japan, the majority of administrative workers are women (source: Hokkaido University research) – a job type that is subject to substitution by GenAI. Also 48.4% of working women aged 35-44 are non-full time workers – a status that is prone to job cuts when companies cut costs to justify efficiency by introducing AI. So, on the surface it looks like women lose again in the survival-food-chain against the wave of AI substitution.

However this could also open up discussions about and re-evaluate the importance of caring work, physical labor, and unpaid family work, which AI cannot replace. Historically, white-collar work has usually earned more, both in monetary terms and perhaps in dignity, compared to service work, caring work, unpaid family work at home, and physical labor like factory and construction jobs. The idea of who “brought home the bread” has traditionally favored outside-the-home work over household and family-care work.

Yet today, we find that it is these caring and physical jobs that cannot be automated by AI (yet). If these are the human “jobs” of the near future, we should perhaps value those whose “job” is to “hug your child” more than those who build simple software, spreadsheets or presentation slides which can be done by AI.

So, I'm committed to being part of this conversation and advocating for a more inclusive approach to the integration of AI in our society.


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