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Is your job safe from automation

At present, a robot is incapable of the creation of a strategic plan or the resolution of a conflict between two employees, despite its ability to emit data. It was the resounding message of a 2016 McKinsey report on job automation.

The issue of job automation remains a sensitive one for HR leaders, who are growing increasingly concerned not only about the impact of automation on the broader workforce but also about its potential to irreparably alter their own employment, two years later.

According to McKinsey’s report, “Where Machines Could Replace Humans,” specific categories of tasks are more susceptible to automation than others. It is probable that robots will affect “mundane, repetitive” positions, while those that necessitate creativity, problem-solving, decision-making, or interpersonal skills are less susceptible to disruption.

By 2035, HR administrative duties are expected to be automated by 90%, according to a concurrent study conducted by Michael Osborne and Carl Frey of Oxford University. Nevertheless, the likelihood of robotics replacing HR manager, director, and officer positions is significantly lower.

Marie Moynihan, Dell’s SVP of global talent procurement, has observed automation infiltrate her field of expertise. Nevertheless, she stated in an interview with HR Tech News that it is not a cause for concern, but rather a force to be welcomed.

“One of the HR functions that has been an early adopter of machine learning and AI technologies is talent acquisition.” I perceive a significant opportunity for technology to assist in direct the most pertinent talent toward opportunities within my organization. She stated to HR Tech News that this will subsequently diminish the sourcing component of the recruiting function.

Moynihan anticipates that technology will necessitate the evolution of talent acquisition specialists, who will become more strategic in their roles and resemble account managers.

“They will concentrate on the initial qualification of roles, the provision of expertise during the selection process, and the management of the customer experience for both hiring managers and candidates.” She stated that technology will alleviate some of the administrative burden that consumes time.

What are the other HR roles that may be at risk of becoming obsolete or that require adaptation in order to remain relevant? The following duties are at the core of the roles that Rowan Tonkin, senior director of HR transformation at Oracle, suggested might be targeted:

Data acquisition and processing. The majority of algorithms in the workplace are currently engaged in data processing. Automation of timesheets is the most prevalent implementation of this.

Responding to inquiries from the human resources department. At present, bots are mostly employed to address simple inquiries from employees. However, with the application of machine learning, they will be capable of addressing increasingly intricate queries and scenarios. Tonkin stated, “You may be inquiring about your payslip or verifying the amount of annual leave you have.” “It is a query-based tool, but it is akin to a conversation; you are either typing it into a computer and asking a question or sending it as a text message.”

Recruitment. As Moynihan has already indicated, AI can assist HR in sifting through vast amounts of data, including social media profiles and CVs, to identify the most suitable candidate for the position. Unconscious bias in recruitment may also be eliminated by AI.

Tonkin encouraged HR professionals who are concerned about their future job security to consider the roles that will “never go out of style” because it is challenging to replicate distinctive human characteristics or characteristics. “Those are the humanistic or human-oriented roles that robotics will never be able to replace, at least not in my lifetime,” he stated.

According to McKinsey’s research, the most challenging work activity to automate is the management and development of staff, closely followed by those that necessitate skills such as negotiation, collaboration, communication, mediation, and empathy. The report also suggested that these skills and characteristics are all imminently “transferrable” to other roles.