Will AI Be Your Next Manager?

ChatGPT can handle 70% of skills most management roles require, according to a recent study. Is a human boss really necessary?

It hasn’t been a great time for middle managers. Nearly half say they’re burnt-out. Organizations have been cutting their salaries and asking them to transition to individual-contributor roles. But all that is nothing compared to a new worry: Will ChatGPT or another AI platform take their jobs?

Every job is potentially exposed to disruption from generative artificial-intelligence technology—but the AI tools currently making a big splash turn out to be particularly good at the skills required for most management jobs. AI is either “good” or “excellent” at 70% of the skills mentioned in management-job postings, according to an analysis from the job-search website Indeed. If the study isn’t an alarm signaling that managers should immediately update their résumés, experts say, it should be a reminder that managers should use AI tools to automate simple tasks to free up human workers for higher-value projects.

“In management, there’s often so much wasted time on mundane or repetitive tasks,” says Chris Cantarella, a Korn Ferry senior client partner in the firm’s Global Technology Markets practice.

For its study, Indeed identified more than 2,600 individual skills across more than 55 million of its job postings over the last year. The company organized those into 48 skill families, such as technology, business operations, or communications, and asked ChatGPT, the most well-known generative-AI tool, to rate its ability —poor, fair, good, or excellent—for each. Broadly, ChatGPT rated itself poorly on a majority of skills related to driving, beauty and wellness, and nursing. But the AI platform gave itself good or excellent scores in at least 80% of the skills required in software, mathematics, legal, and accounting roles. 

Prompted to list the management-related skills for which it rates itself “good” or “excellent,” ChatGPT lists five: communication, problem-solving, information synthesis, continuous learning, and team collaboration. The AI platform does issue a caveat, however: “Of course, there are areas where I lack, such as emotional intelligence and hands-on experience. But I'm here to assist and complement human skills rather than replace them!” 

Whether that is solace to existing managers is unclear. Experts say AI will, at a minimum, raise the bar for what’s expected of managers, says Deepali Vyas, a senior client partner and global head of the FinTech, Payments, and Crypto practice at Korn Ferry. Enough existing tools can help managers write job postings, summarize meetings, automate routine tasks and other functions they perform each day. “With AI, managers should be asking themselves, ‘How can I use it to operate at the top of my license?’” she says.


Learn more about Korn Ferry’s Future of Work capabilities.