Will robotics take over HR?

How worried should HR professionals be about automation and its effect on the landscape for jobs?

As technology advances, automation and robotics increasingly threaten to replace the workforce.

Recent research has done little to soothe the worries of workers – including a report by Deloitte and the University of Oxford, which claimed 10 million jobs would be lost to robots or computers within the next two decades.

But how worried should HR professionals be about automation and its effect on the landscape for jobs?

Not very, according to the latest report from recruitment firm Hays, which says that human roles, and especially HR, will evolve alongside technological change.

“The very nature of human resources, that of people management and employee interaction, suggests that the core of HR will still lie with people and not automation,” Lynne Roeder, managing director, Hays in Singapore told HRD.

In fact, automated technology may actually benefit HR by providing the ability to make processes more streamlined and painless, she said.

For example: “Recruitment processes may potentially benefit from automation, such as a more user-friendly computerised system, or gamification of the interview and selection progress.

“Instead of Skype or video calls, 3D virtual technology may be adopted, allowing companies to assess candidates across the globe within a virtual assessment room.

“In day to day operations, having a central HR system would greatly improve productivity allowing easy access to all personnel information, payroll and taxes etc,” Roeder said.

Ultimately, HR stands to benefit from using technology to help increase efficiency.

“Automation is useful in taking on mundane and routine tasks, which in turn reduces chances of human error and improve efficiency when performing such tasks,” Roeder said.

“HR should view automation as a tool that can improve efficiency and help one work better within the HR function.”
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