Collaborative Automation: The Time is Now to Bridge the Talent Gap

We sat down with Ed Pederson, Vice President of Innovation & Product Development at Kelly, to discuss the transformative power of collaborative automation in today’s workforce. Ed shares insights from McKinsey’s latest report on AI adoption and the challenges organizations face in filling AI-related roles. We delve into Kelly’s 2023 Global Re:work Report, exploring how it revealed the pressing need for better talent development, and the unique approach Kelly is taking to bridge the talent gap with their innovative platform, Kelly Arc.

Hi Ed! Thanks for joining us today. Let’s dive right into it. Can you tell us why you think collaborative automation is so important in today’s workforce?

Absolutely! The world of work today is all about combining human talent with artificial intelligence and automation tools to stay competitive and productive. Collaborative automation is the key to workforce resilience. It’s about making work more meaningful and more enjoyable for employees and achieving better business outcomes.

It sounds like a crucial shift in the way we work. McKinsey’s latest report on the state of AI mentioned explosive growth in AI adoption. What’s your take on it?

McKinsey’s report is certainly an eye-opener when it comes to the speed of adoption of these tools. The report indicates that most organizations are recognizing the potential of AI. A third of them are already using generative AI in at least one business function, and even more plan to increase their AI investments. Three in four respondents expect AI to bring disruptive change to their industry in the next three years.

But what stood out to me from the report was that organizations are struggling to fill AI-related roles like machine learning engineers and data scientists. We know there are approximately 10,000 open AI and automation jobs in the U.S. on any given day. This challenge is compounded by the emergence of new roles in automation intelligence.

That’s a significant gap to bridge. Your 2023 Global Re:work Report also found some interesting insights. Can you share more about that?

Absolutely. Our report revealed that while global executives acknowledge the need for a dramatic change in skills within their organizations, they rate their ability to develop employees as poor. A quarter of them don’t even have a clear understanding of the skills available now and those they’ll need in the future. All of this points to one of the biggest hurdles to the widespread adoption of AI and automation – connecting employers with talented job seekers.

How does Kelly address this challenge?

We believe that collaborative automation is the way forward. We’ve launched Kelly Fusion Digital Workers in partnership with UiPath and introduced Kelly Arc, a talent platform for AI and automation jobs. Kelly Arc is the first app of its kind, allowing job seekers to find AI and automation positions easily and clients to connect with the talent they need. It offers a user-friendly experience similar to your favorite dating app, streaming service, or e-commerce site, connecting the best candidates with the right opportunities through advanced AI technology and recruiting expertise.

That’s innovative! How does this approach benefit businesses and employees?

Kelly Arc is brand new, but we know these types of solutions are desperately needed. Our Re:work Report identified a group of “Resilience Leaders” – companies that are navigating current challenges well. They report increased productivity, customer satisfaction, revenue, and profits over the past year. One of the factors setting them apart is their success in automating aspects of their business and developing a workforce that thrives alongside AI and automation. Six in ten Resilience Leaders successfully automate aspects of their business, compared to just three in ten of other companies.

Those results speak for themselves. It’s clear that collaborative automation has numerous benefits. How can people get involved with Kelly Arc?

If you’re interested in joining the Kelly Arc network, you can sign up now at We’re excited to bridge the talent gap in the AI and automation space and help both businesses and employees thrive in this new era of work.

Thanks, Ed, for sharing these insights with us today. It’s been a pleasure talking to you about the future of work and collaborative automation.

Thank you! It’s been a pleasure discussing this important topic with you as well.

This is a companion discussion topic, originally sent to our UiPath partners.