3 April 2017
Nobody is safe, according to many scientists and technology gurus. Artificial Intelligence (AI) and robots will soon to be able to do almost everything better than humans and will take over most jobs, including that of a doctor, lawyer and other professionals.
Professor Stephen Hawking has said that, “the development of full artificial intelligence could spell the end of the human race.” Likewise, the Bank of England Governor, Mark Carney, has claimed that “up to 15 million of current jobs in Britain” could be replaced by robots over the coming years as livelihoods are “mercilessly destroyed” by the technological revolution.
The upheavals could be immense – and if it is inevitable, governments should start thinking now about such concepts as a Universal Basic Income. However, perhaps after all the hype and alarmist talk, a reality check is needed.
Is the long-term outlook for jobs really as simple as increased automation leading to growing unemployment? What kind of timescale are we are really talking about and will we just sit back and watch it happen anyway?
Inevitably, scientists disagree as to when superhuman AI will change our lives forever. But many believe it won’t be this century, despite the huge rise of AI applications now emerging. So while robots are scalable, audit compliant, cost-competitive and easy to integrate with many network environments, they will still need humans to apply creativity, intuition and strategic thinking for a long time yet.
Among the many professionals wondering if AI will take over their jobs are HR directors and managers, especially as already some aspects of their work can already be automated.
However, HR will also have an important role in shaping the workforce of the future, to optimise the value of both artificial and human intelligence – this increased automation frees them up to spend more time on this vital, strategic task. It is possible that, before AI takes over, we could use our human intelligence to find ways to prevent job loss and subsequent hardship and to do this, we need HR at the frontline.
It is true that many organisations that have automated core processes have been able to complete repetitive tasks more quickly and have achieved enhanced operational efficiency as a result. They have been able to achieve more accurate end results by reducing the likely human error count and reduced costs through completing the same tasks more quickly and with fewer resources than if carrying them out manually.
Robotics and automation may be useful interventions for work that is repeatable and scalable. In a payroll context, for example, robotic process automation (RPA) can operate at the user interface layer of applications and work between existing systems to mimic tasks that payroll administrators have historically done. The intention is to reduce total cost of operation while improving service quality and “calming the noise” of payroll errors.
But this enhanced efficiency does not necessarily mean that there will be less of a role for humans to play in the future, merely that their role is likely to change over time in order to adapt to rapidly evolving powers of technology.
The HR department will have a pivotal role to play in helping staff ‘skill up’ to take up these new roles and responsibilities and ensure that a company’s talent meets the needs of the organisation as a whole. That core function makes the interface between robotics and HR particularly significant.
Training staff has to be key to success in this area, according to Carney: “The commitment to reskilling all workers must be continual. Lifelong learning, ever-greening skills and cooperative training will become more important than ever as technology evolves.”
Much of this training will be technical. IT departments will have a key role to play there of course but once again HR will also be critical in shaping the future, putting in place an approach in which intuitive technology helps older workers who may be less comfortable with upskilling themselves to share their knowledge with the younger generation.
Reverse mentoring, through which younger employees pass on their digital knowledge to older employees, is another useful technique. Together, these kinds of approaches can be key in building the understanding and awareness of employees and helping them strengthen their standing within the business in a new robotics and automation-focused future.
So while it would be foolish not to heed the growing importance of AI, it would be equally so to ignore its advantages.
We need a future where robots don’t replace humans, but complement their work, freeing them from the more repetitive onerous tasks. There’s a window now when HR could take the lead and help achieve this vision.
Autonomous Vehicles And Smart Warehouses Are So Last Year – 2018 Is All About Digitising Your HR Function.
Hear from our CEO Steven Van Hoorebeke during an interview with The Business Debate.18 April 2018
The initial challenge of recruiting can be divided into two important parts - first is the step of sourcing, and second is evaluating whether they're a good fit. HR offices everywhere are looking for new, innovative strategies for improving in both of those areas. But is corporate recruiting via social media a worthwhile use of your time?11 August 2015
Welcome to the future! I am back with a new blog, this time I look at 6 technology predictions over the next 5 years that will impact the world of HR & Payroll. Who knows where we’ll be in 2020? My predictions are based on detailed research, analysis of past and current technology trends, and consumer purchasing behaviour.11 January 2016
Everyone remembers the technology from their youth, in my case the 80’s and 90’s. I grew up with mobile phones becoming a must have commodity, with the accompanying generation of speed texters. I also grew up with the emergence of the first affordable home PC, allowing me and my friends the opportunity to explore that new ‘thing’ called the internet.13 February 2019
The terms artificial intelligence and robotics are often used synonymously but are quite different, albeit complementary, in their application. Robotics, in simple terms, means process automation - using technology to remove human intervention in some of the lower value add activities such as information keying, data analysis and performing complex calculations. Artificial intelligence is a somewhat different concept13 November 2017
Our recent report looking at The Workforce of the Future reveals enlightening predictions from senior industry professionals on the social and economic shifts organisations will need to embrace by 2025.1 October 2019
HR Tech World Congress, the UK’s biggest annual HR technology show, took place at the ExCel in London last week with the theme of "The Future of Work". It was a fantastic two-day event attended by more than 3,500 exhibitors and delegates, with plenty of interesting speakers! Read our highlights from the event...30 March 2017
The 14th and 15th June marked the Human Resources Software Show (HRSS) hosted by CIPD. Whilst some of us were making our way to the beaches and ice cream parlours, HR professionals were flocking to Olympia in Kensington for updates in HR technology and ice-cold slush puppies!19 June 2017
Technology is moving at such a pace, I wonder if Usain Bolt could even keep up with the advancements?! The truth though is that if you don't embrace the changes, you are impacting the success of your organisation. Customers want it and employees want it and the last thing you want is for them to be ahead of you.30 June 2015
Digital transformation has led to an overhaul of the current workforce, with the Covid-19 pandemic compounding the need for change. But a skills gap in key areas could leave some businesses trailing behind.12 October 2020
In this blog, our Head of Solutions, Rick Norgate, looks at the pros and cons of the cloud to really understand its impact in the future of business and GDPR.10 April 2017
Two thousand and seventeen; another major year of technological advancements. Technology evolution has been at its fastest pace and for ‘Millennials’, technology has become an important part of their daily routine. For the purpose of this blog, we specifically refer to mobile technologies and pair ‘mobile’ with ‘cloud’ as we can hardly talk about mobile unless we associate it with its equally important partner, the cloud.16 October 2017
The global cloud-based payroll market is growing and will post an impressive compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of almost 7% by 2020, according to analyst, Technavio, which finds that the benefit of “cloud over on-premises solutions is a key factor leading to the moderate growth of this market over the next four years.”13 March 2017
Social media presents great opportunities for businesses of all sizes, and it has created a step change in the way we communicate with employees and customers. Read about our own experiences with rolling out social media in the workplace...1 June 2015
Businesses are failing to recognise the importance of data managed by HR teams. Equally HR professionals are not yet skilled enough in data to harness its power and help secure their future strategic function within an organisation. Something has to change.1 May 2019
Welcome to the fourth industrial revolution, hailed by many as an era of change in which industries and organisations adapt to rapidly developing smart technology that automate working processes which would previously have been undertaken by humans. But is this something to celebrate when we consider the potential upheaval or individuals and businesses?
1 August 2017
Technology in the workplace is not a new phenomenon but a continuous drive towards automation which has been taking place to varying degrees since the rise of Manchester Capitalism and the Industrial Revolution. As such, there is much we can learn from history regarding the nature of work...16 February 2017
With the aim to build a model employee experience, HR departments are compelled to rewrite the rules by revolutionising talent practices. Human resource management is designed to maximise staff performance, and the HR department should be a key component in an organisation’s digital transformation.10 January 2018
With the upcoming referendum later this month, which will decide whether Britain should leave or remain in the European Union, UK businesses – employing EU workers – will need to contemplate how “Bexit” might potentially influence their future hiring, talent management and overall workforce management best practices. Currently, millions of highly skilled EU immigrants work in the UK. The following article examines a few possible scenarios and outcomes of Brexit and its potential impact to the UK – and increasingly global workforce. I will also review how human capital management technology can help businesses comply with the current and future new world of work.20 June 2016
As we have seen in the news this week robotics and AI are quickly becoming a real thing in both business and the home. In the next few years we will see more and more of this type of technology taking on more and more of the administrative type roles in businesses around the world. In this blog, I share my thoughts on this trend and some of my very own personal experiences...19 December 2016
Millennials: entitled, lazy job hoppers. Gen X: cynical and poor team players. Baby Boomers: out of touch, independent, money-driven workaholics. And what about the iGen: those house-bound, tech-obsessed kids who were born with a smartphone in their hand? These stereotypes are bandied around regularly, but is there really any truth in them? And do different generations expect to be treated differently by their employers?5 March 2018
Technology is the wheel that never stops turning. If Moore’s Law is to be believed, the sheer power of processing units will have doubled within two years – and that means plenty of new pieces of tech that could shake up HR and payroll processes. With that in mind, here are three technological trends that could significantly alter your industry.10 January 2018
More than anything, this year’s data highlights the need for a new and more agile approach to HR. Conservative strategies simply aren’t going to cut it going forwards, because by the time the ink is dry, things will have moved on. Increasing business agility is now the #2 business driver for 86% of HR professionals, second only to increasing performance and profitability.28 November 2018
This article covers all aspects of T&A functionality ranging from how to create effective workload plans, building rosters, collecting and validating variable time information, implementing business and legislative validation, and finally ensuring correct payments to employees by integrating with an industry-leading payroll solution.