Future workforce | The future of HR: why it'll always be people

The future of HR: why it'll always be people
Promoted by The future of HR: why it'll always be people

It’s one of the top questions in every industry as we progress through the latest industrial revolution – will technology spell the end for some jobs?

Innovation is everywhere, with advancements such as automation, the Internet of Things, artificial intelligence and robotics in the pipeline, designed to make both manual and digital processes faster and more efficient.

But, for some people, this shift isn’t necessarily a positive one.

PwC estimates that 30% of all job roles could be automated by 2030, while some estimates are putting that figure as high as 50%. In the UK, the search phrase “will robots take my job?” grew from 1,600 hits per month in 2016 to almost 198,000 hits per month in 2017. Clearly, this is a spiralling concern for many employees throughout industries.

But is this a concern for the HR industry? And how likely are we to see these technological advancements actually replace HR roles?

Assessing the threat

In a recent eBook, we explored whether experts felt that the growing presence of these technologies in the workplace was a threat to traditional HR job roles.

Of our respondents, 28% agreed that it was a threat – but 55% said no.

And, on balance, we think they’re right.

We need to stop thinking of technologies such as AI and IoT as a threat to traditional HR – and instead think about the opportunities they present us. This tech has the potential to make employee relations far easier.

At its most basic, this technology could help your HR team move away from spending the bulk of their time on simple, repetitive, transactional HR processes. Scheduling interviews, writing up case notes, filing forms, all the kinds of tasks that are vital to your HR function, but take up far too much time out of the working day.

Freedom for HR practitioners

Let’s explore an example: these days, the average HR practitioner is spending around 40% of their time answering the same basic questions from the workforce. And that’s time that could definitely be better spent elsewhere.

By implementing a chatbot to answer these repetitive, transactional queries, you’ll free up significant amounts of your team’s time to work on higher-value tasks, and deliver more hands-on ER support.

Depending on how sophisticated your chatbot is – if you choose an assistant that has AI-enabled conversational capabilities built in, for example – you can rely on it to handle even more complex requests. It can direct employees to download HR forms, help new hires get up to speed, and even make and cancel appointments.

Think of these technologies as an enabler: giving your people more time to do the strategic HR and ER work that AI will never be able to take over. Interviewing, mentoring, reaching out to talent personally – the things that really require a human touch.

Keeping the ‘human’ in Human Resources

The future of HR is – and always will be – people.

What you need to do is focus on their requirements, what would make their working lives easier, and improve the experience for your employees in turn.

Once of the most important things to remember is that you don’t have to adopt new technologies if they don’t suit your team or your business. Though the ever-widening window into the unique culture of Silicon Valley’s startup businesses is changing the way many view HR, no one understands your business quite like you do. And that means it’s vital to choose the tech that will enable your HR function to work as effectively as possible.

To learn more about the future of HR, and how technology is likely to influence it, explore our infographic now and, if you have any questions about the impact of this shift on your own department, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our friendly experts.

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