The Potential Impact of Automation on the Talent Market

Gartner predicts that by 2025, about one-third of all jobs will be replaced by software or robots. Further to this point, CIO recently highlighted a range of jobs that can be taken over by robots. We looked at hiring demand, supply, and recruiting difficulty for some of the jobs listed that you may be recruiting.

Delivery Drivers

When comparing the past 30 days to the same 30-day period last year, the number of job ads posted online for Delivery Drivers decreased 20%, according to data from WANTED Analytics. However, during the past 4 years, demand increased 133%. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projected this occupation to grow just 9% from 2012 to 2022. CIO suggests that drones and self-driving cars may reduce demand for Drivers. Amazon and Google have been testing delivery drones to quickly fulfill customer purchases. BLS had mentioned that GPS technology may make Drivers more productive and decrease the need for additional Drivers. However, deliveries may continue to increase as e-commerce grows and the economy improves. And regulatory issues with drone use may prevent the proliferation of this technology.

The hiring outlook for this position doesn't look too challenging. Shorter work hours make this driving job more attractive to candidates. Delivery Drivers score as less difficult to fill on our Hiring Scale, scoring a 32. Our Hiring Scales measures a range of factors to determine a score from 1 to 99, with 99 meaning hardest-to-fill. Despite having less difficult recruiting conditions, Delivery Drivers have the smallest candidate pool of the jobs listed. On average, throughout the US, there are about 20 candidates per job opening.

Hiring Scale for Delivery Drivers in the US


Library Technicians

Some universities have installed robotic book delivery systems that also automate the process of shelving and retrieving books. There is currently light demand for Library Technicians throughout the US, with about 419 job ads appearing online over the past 30 days. However, demand experienced growth since the worst of the recession. There are 149% more job ads posted online for this profession than there were 4 years ago. In the past year alone, demand increased 33%. The BLS projects this profession to increase 8% over the 10 year period between 2012 and 2022. Library Technicians are replacing Librarians in some settings because of lower wages associated with the former position.

Supply of Library Technicians outweighs demand for this job. There are about 490 qualified candidates per unique Library Technician job opening. This position scores low on our Hiring Scale, scoring a 10, meaning that this position isn't likely to be hard-to-fill.

Demand Pressure for Library Technicians



Robots in some places are counting, preparing, tracking and dispensing medications. There were about 12,000 job openings for Pharmacists posted online during the past 30 days. This is 13% more job ads than what appeared online during this time last year. Pharmacists also have a low score on our Hiring Scale, a 15. However the candidate supply is somewhat smaller with about 23 candidates per job ad.

Candidate Supply and Job Openings for Pharmacists


Pharmacists are projected to grow by 14% across a variety of healthcare industries because of the increasing need for prescription medications due to an aging population, higher rates of chronic diseases, and more people having access to healthcare, according to the BLS. This is on point with the average for all occupations. BLS also suggests that Pharmacists will increasingly need to consult patients on how to use their medicine safely and effectively. Will robots be able to do that?

Fast Food Worker / Food Preparation Workers

There's a company that produces a line cook robot that can churn out 400 burgers per hour. Automating food production doesn't help the current Food Workers wage debate. Food line robots may save companies money in the long run, but that's only if this technology catches on and if restaurants invest in the technology over manual labor. The BLS Outlook Handbook expects these jobs to grow 4% between 2012 and 2022, which would be slower than the average for all occupations. They also predict job opportunities for Food Preparation Workers to be very good because a number of workers leave the occupation each year.

Of the jobs we examined so far, Food Preparation Workers are the least difficult to fill, scoring a 9 on our Hiring Scale. There are about 79 qualified candidates in the US workforce for each current job opening.


Some fear that automation will eliminate positions and this may be partly true. However, it can also create opportunities. Employees will be needed to monitor the devices, ensure quality, and fix and repair the technology. Automation can also speed up processes in one area, which may lead to greater demands in another area. For example, if one company automates production, it may need more employees to sell their products or services.

Automation can also create problems. When the technology fails, it may slow down the process. Also, it may impact the quality of a company's services. Another CIO article cites a situation experienced by Toyota. Toyota is replacing some of their robots with people at their Japanese factories because they encountered quality problems resulting in lots of recalls. CIO states, "For Toyota, quality problems aren't just bad for business, they are bad for its culture, which is built on a sense of pride in the quality that it historically has been able to maintain. Simply focusing on efficiency, and automating everything, can get in the way of quality in the long-term because you don't have the distinctive perspective of the human craft worker. It went too far, too quickly, and lost something important."

When considering automation, companies should not only consider the cost of acquiring, maintaining, and repairing the technology versus the cost of human labor, but also the cost on the business of comprising quality by not exercising human cognitive abilities.

Are you recruiting for any of these jobs? Have you noticed any changes in the market?

This article originally appeared on an Analysis, a WANTED Analytics blog. ________________________________________________________________

Ashley Zito Rowe writes for the WANTED Analytics blog, Analysis, and her wine blog, NJ Wine with Me. Ashley’s articles and insight have been featured on or cited by Forbes,, ERE, American Staffing Association,, GetOutsideNJ, and Hometown Quarterly. She is also a Marketing Manager for WANTED Analytics, focusing on customer and social media engagement. When Ashley isn’t researching hiring trends or drinking NJ wines, she’s likely to be adventuring somewhere in NJ, painting something, or watching Disney movies.

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