Technological advancement across multiple sectors and functions over the past decade has raised the worry of job displacement and a major shift in the skills being sought after. Will technological advancement in the HR function render the most important factor in this function, the ‘H’ in HR obsolete?
Over the past decade, we have seen venture capitalist and huge tech firms dishing out incubation programs and fundings to budding tech entrepreneurs in an attempt to discover the next Facebook or Instagram, innovations that will hopefully revolutionise the industry and take the world by storm.
Thankfully or not, the HR function has not been spared from these. In 2016 alone, there has been more than 350 funding deals and more than USD$1.96 Billion invested in US HR tech startups alone. And that figure is only the tip of the iceberg. Individual functions in HR like Payroll, time attendance, employee benefits, recruitment, employee background screening, employee engagement just to name a few have been taking off at such exponential speed that one might wonder that in the near future would there even be a need for a human to be directly involved in the entire HR process.
A survey conducted with more than 800 human capital leaders by Randstad has shown that there are still a few key functions that would require human interactions. Even though the talent leaders believe that the initial screening of candidates should mostly be automated, the screening of candidates after the initial screening requires a personal touch to help keep candidates engaged and evaluate a candidate’s soft skills. Apart from that, the implementation of employee benefits and the structural implementation of an employee’s progression throughout multiple different industries are the two major factors that simply cannot be automated.
It is inevitable that the division between tech versus human touch will only grow in the years to come, but we cannot deny that continued technological advancement in HR will bring about a positive experience for both potential candidates and HR employees. Employees in the HR function will then be able to free themselves to focus more on knowledge-intensive work, bringing about a positive change in the entire company structure.
Technology itself not utilised the right way will not give you an edge, but how you view and implement technology can support the productivity of your employees and improve the health of your business.
Happy mid-week everyone!