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Upwork survey: Businesses will hire more as a result of generative AI

28 Jun 2023

Remote-first and medium-size companies are most likely to embrace generative AI tools, according to Upwork.

A study by freelancing platform Upwork on generative AI and hiring trends found that 64pc of business leaders surveyed believe they will hire more as a result of generative AI.

Upwork commissioned independent research firm ClearlyRated to poll 1,400 US business leaders in May of this year. While the results indicate the majority of respondents will hire more thanks to generative AI, the findings also show that there is a disconnect between C-suite leaders and those lower down the ranks regarding successful AI adoption. Only 53pc of senior managers believe their organisation is fully embracing generative AI compared to 73pc of C-suite execs.

Kelly Monahan, managing director at Upwork Research Institute, attributed this gap to “a lack of training and understanding of how this technology will impact work”.

One survey respondent said, “With technology like AI, it is making people very nervous about the future of their jobs, especially anything to do with IT because they don’t want to go to college for a job that will be taken over by a computer soon.”

Other leaders said they were sceptical or unsure of the benefits their business would reap after investing in generative AI.

However, the survey revealed that the majority (59pc) of respondents said they were actively using generative AI tools such as Midjourney and ChatGPT. Just 6pc said they disagreed with the statement: ‘I am personally embracing generative AI’. Medium-sized companies are leading the adoption of generative AI, with 62pc of those with 501-5,000 employees saying they are using generative AI, compared to 41pc of larger companies (more 5,000 employees) and 56pc of small companies (250-500 employees).

Remote-first companies are also more likely to embrace generative AI, with 68pc of fully remote companies actively embracing generative AI, compared to 53pc of companies that are full-time in the office.

According to Monahan, businesses that want to bridge any gaps regarding generative AI adoption “should roll out a change-management strategy that includes communicating the expected outcomes for their workforce in relation to generative AI adoption and clear policies”.

“It’s important that leaders address fear and uncertainty and, perhaps most critically, encourage their teams to adopt a learning orientation,” she added.

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Blathnaid O’Dea
By Blathnaid O’Dea

Blathnaid O’Dea worked as a Careers reporter until 2024, coming from a background in the Humanities. She likes people, pranking, pictures of puffins – and apparently alliteration.

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