Is Your Human Resources Job at Risk Due to the Rise in HR Tech?

Mar 29, 2022 · 7 mins read ·

HR Strategies & Systems

Many aspects of many industries are being automated - something which has led people in wildly differing professions wondering if they will still have a job in a few years time.

From the rise in autonomous container ships which threaten to change seafarer jobs to farming in which robots can be used to perform manual tasks such as planting weeding watering and fertilizing crops and even milking livestock.

So where does that leave Human Resources? Surely by its very definition HR needs to remain well human?

Is your Human Resources job at risk due to the rise in HR technology?

Indeed it’s hard to imagine the HR department becoming completely automated and run by robots but it is undeniable that the use of technology in office-based workplaces is on the rise.

For example research from the UK-based Office for National Statistics (ONS) shows that:

“Around 1.5 million jobs in England are at high risk of some of their duties and tasks being automated in the future.”

And the nature of some of these jobs might surprise you:

  • Waiting tables - i.e. waiters and waitresses / servers
  • Customer service and call centers (the rise of the chatbot!)
  • Shelf stackers in stores and supermarkets
  • Basic sales jobs

So if administrative and production type jobs are the most likely victims of the technology takeover it does mean that those working in those fields must be prepared to retrain or re-skill so that they can find work elsewhere.

However it’s not all doom and gloom for just as many jobs that could be lost through automation there will be new jobs created.

Take our maritime example at the beginning of this post: Yes self-driving and autonomous ships will mean there is far less need for seamen and women to physically be onboard a vessel resulting in a loss of seafarer jobs but new jobs will be created as people will be needed to control these ships from the shore.

Will jobs in Human Resources change too?

On the plus side businesses will always need a human being to create implement and adapt policies strategies and best practices.

Employment laws for example are an ever evolving beast and an automated system will not be equipped to cope with any changes these may bring.

On the other hand a McKinsey Global Institute report found that a third of the tasks that employees currently perform will be able to be automated in the not too distant future. However approximately only 5% of jobs can be automated in their entirety.

The good news therefore is that jobs in HR aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. However they could change considerably.

If we consider that the tasks that are ripe for automation are physical (wait staff and shelf stackers) and repetitive office based tasks (customer helplines call centers data processing) then it makes sense that HR departments used to dealing with people will now also be required to deal with the big data that these automated tasks produce.

HR technology will be used to analyze and use this data as well as the data produced during processes such as recruiting and hiring.

That means that anyone working in Human Resources will need to learn how to work with data and systems to implement and drive strategic business decisions.

What is HR technology?

When we think of tech and automation we tend to think of robots and Artificial Intelligence. And while some companies are using A.I. to conduct their initial interview stages and filter the first round of candidates this is not likely to affect the average small to medium-sized business for quite some time.

If you work for an organization that is on the smaller end of the scale it is more likely that HR technology will be implemented in your business in the form of a HRIS - a Human Resources Information System.

Read more: 4 Common Misconceptions About HR Information Systems

A HRIS is a software solution that centralizes certain aspects of Human Resources. They contain your employee database make hiring and onboarding more efficient and enable you to manage time off more easily.

They also act as a portal where staff can log in to access company information download forms check their holiday allowance and request vacation or sick days.

Human Resource Information Systems are ideal for small startups who may not have a dedicated HR manager yet as well as for organizations that have grown to the point that they are struggling to cope with the myriad of tasks the department is faced with in regards to its people.

HR tech can also affect the way employees view your company

Much has been made of the millennial worker’s love of technology and if you’re of an older demographic we know you might be rolling your eyes right now!

But the fact is millennials make up the majority of the workforce and they and their younger counterparts Generation Z expect companies to be utilizing tech.

And that extends from the way they search for jobs (you need to be mobile friendly to be competitive in the job market) to the application process to the way they work once you’ve employed them.

Millennials are notorious for job hopping and have few qualms about leaving a company if it’s not aligning with their ideals or not operating how they think it should. And if you’re not harnessing the power of technology you can expect fewer candidates and disengaged employees.

Read more: How to Make Sure Your Employees Love Your HRIS

All of this is suffice to say that you shouldn’t shy away from using technology in your HR department. Tech is meant to empower and enable you not replace you as a professional Human Resources person.

Is your Human Resources job at risk due to the rise in HR tech? Conclusion

Yes technology is changing the way we work - but generally speaking for the better.

Your company still needs you - and will continue to do so.

Eve Jones

Eve Jones

I'm a UK-based content writer here at Hezum. I've an interest in all things HR and company culture.

United Kingdom