In the digital era, there is much hype on automation replacing jobs. According to a recent poll by CareerBuilder, 55% of HR managers believe that artificial intelligence (AI) will be a regular part of HR in the next five years, though majority do not feel threatened by the thought of robots replacing humans. Only 7% of HR managers see the possibility of robots actually assuming their roles, as reflected in the findings culled from a poll of 231 human resource managers across industries and company sizes in the US private sector.
“What robots and AI can’t replace is the human element of HR that shapes the company culture, provides an environment for employees built on IQ and EQ, works hand in hand with company leaders to meet business goals and ensures employees have the training and support to thrive,” said CareerBuilder’s chief HR officer, Rosemary Haefner.
“You need living, dynamic people who can navigate the ‘grey’ to do that, not robots that can quickly work through black and white.”
However, Haefner believes that automation can help fuel HR efficiency in transactional services such as the recording of candidate and employee data and the maintenance of records and reports. This would save HR managers at least an average of 14 hours a week.
“We always say, ‘I wish I had more time to plan, to think, to keep up on new trends, to strategize.’ To have 14 hours back in a week, the majority of that would be well spent planning for the future instead of reacting to the present,” said Haefner.
“Time would also be spent connecting with the business, with employees. That may mean catchups with company leaders, educating yourself on the company’s products/services, learning the industry, and networking outside the walls of your office.”
In a recent survey of 1,379 CEOs across 79 countries by Pricewaterhouse Coopers (PwC), about 52% of CEOs are exploring the benefits of robots and humans complementing each other, and some 39% are looking at the impact of artificial intelligence on future skills needs.
“Getting people strategy right in a world where humans and machines work alongside each other will be the biggest challenge leaders will ever face. No one can be sure how the world of work will evolve, so organisations must prepare for any scenario – and if the events of 2016 have taught us anything, it’s that no scenario can be dismissed as too unlikely,” said Jon Williams, chief of PwC’s global People and Organisation practice.