Together with demographics and globalisation, technology is one of the three megatrends redefining our labour markets. However, robots will not take over our world, not today, nor in the future: the human element will remain key in Human Resources. Our future will be a smart combination of 'tech and touch,' as we put it at Randstad.

Our connected world provides us with a wealth of opportunities from mining big data, using people analytics to optimise recruitment processes with much more to come. And it will happen fast.

Artificial intelligence will continue to develop

A great example is Randstad's investment via our Investment Fund in the people analytics company Crunchr. Another one is the development at Randstad Belgium of Ploy, an app that matches applicants and jobs in the hospitality sector, a kind of for the labour market.

So robotics are all around us today and artificial intelligence will continue to develop, leading to even smarter, more transparent and efficient ways of recruitment. It will also lead to new jobs appearing and old jobs disappearing. Indeed, routine jobs are already disappearing rapidly. Not just in lower and mid-level ones in manufacturing but also higher-end jobs in, for example, accountancy and the legal world, which are changing significantly because of automation.

STEM jobs will be in demand

In the future world of work, we'll see a continued need for lower-level service jobs, the ones that can't be automated and are not routine tasks - ones like hairdressers, lifeguards and concierges. At the higher end, there will be a continued, large demand for all STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) related jobs.

All future jobs will call for a combination of hard and soft skills with creativity, analytical and critical thinking all core soft skills that will be in huge demand. Along with empathy, the ability to be service-oriented and work in and with changing teams will also be a priority.

Employees will want jobs to adjust to their lives

In the future, employees will seek challenge and stimulation, respect and recognition. While their parents adjusted their lives to their jobs, future talent - who are anticipated to hold many more jobs than their parents - will be looking for jobs and tasks that adjust to their lives, not the other way round.

Talent will be king and queen in the future and getting work-life balance right will prove important. They want to make an impact, be relevant, do meaningful work while continuously developing their skills and capabilities.

Will everything change? No. Future talent will also want a solid financial reward for the job they perform and income stability will remain important in the changing world of work.