How Technology is Changing HR

Monica Lochrie

Technology impacts every market at different rates and in different ways.

As recruiters we have a unique overview to how technology is influencing each sector at large; role availability is increasingly subject to replacement by tech and this can be seen in our day to day. Job vacancies are becoming more specialised and for less-skilled and repetitive roles, automation has, and is continuing to, take over.

Consider a supermarket check-out cashier role 25 years ago in comparison to today. Not only has the self-checkout made the role less available, but it’s also complexified the role. We now have several customers being serviced by numerous machines, all being managed and overseen by a single employee. Machines have not directly replaced the cashier but they have certainly decreased the number of them. And as a result, your typical supermarket cashier must have more than just the ability to scan your shopping, the best and most hirable ones have the quasi-engineering skill to manage and fix broken self-service machines too.

Although it’s slower, less obvious and less drastic, in our experience, this is likely to be how technology will impact HR. The management of such technology is likely to become more of a required skill in job specifications, with new compliance systems becoming increasingly sophisticated and efficient, businesses will likely strive towards making small cost efficiencies in departments like HR – because for many organisations, it is simply a necessary but undervalued department.

So what does this mean for HR administrators?

To put it briefly, if you haven’t already, you should probably familiarise yourself with the systems and technologies that are bringing new efficiencies to HR. Much like supermarket cashiers, it’s unlikely that technology will replace HR administrators in the near future, but it could make roles less available, more complex and make it a harder sector to break into. Because although the technology is definitely in its infancy, it’s already changing HR across its many disciplines.

Take recruitment for example, as an HR function, it is increasingly supported by technology. Artificial Intelligence is already outperforming humans when it comes to evaluating hard skills, such as for instance, the mathematical performance of an engineer. This, in turn, means that hiring teams are now freed up to focus on soft skills and culture fit. And we are already seeing video interview technology as a means to filter viable candidate pools prior to any scrupulous human involvement.

In many respects, the technology has already taken over. Gone are the days when piles of compliance paperwork and the filing of sensitive employee information dominated HR. Cloud computing and technology has all but removed the administrative duties of the modern HR professional and turned the role into more of a strategic one, and one that is as a result, harder to hire for. In our experience, the future of HR is likely to continue along that trajectory, meaning that your career might hinge on being well informed about the latest compliance, recruitment and payroll technology. Working with an organisation that is forward-thinking with their HR department could help your career in the long run because many new technologies will become industry standard in the years to come. It’s best to learn now before it becomes a requirement.

We have a range of HR roles on offer with innovative and forward-thinking organisations using the latest technologies. If you are interested in exploring new HR roles, get in touch with me here.

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