Is Automation Really Threatening HR Professionals?

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It might sound like something out of a sci-fi movie or a crazy conspiracy. But did you know that most workers see automation in their respective fields as something to be worried about? Who could blame them? After all, the mere idea of a robot leaving you without a job is nothing short of terrifying. And don’t be fooled, automation in HR is happening as we speak!

The main reason people are so afraid of robots taking over their jobs is the lack of information. It’s only natural to fear what we don’t know or understand, it’s actually instinctive.

Defining Automation

Automation is the process of creating a system that can perform a certain action by itself. Depending on the type of task, the variables or exceptions that may arise, the system may require more refining and care. An artificial intelligence, or AI, is the “brain” behind these automated tasks. It’s the part of the system that receives and understands the instructions given by the programmer.

We already live in a world where many aspects of our daily lives are automated and we don’t even realize it. Netflix users will probably recognize a section called Recommended for You filled with movies and series that are somewhat similar to content you’ve seen before. How do you think Netflix knows what videos to put there? It is thanks to the AI that sees what types of shows you watch and, based on that data, it can guess what other content may interest you.

Surely a person could also do that, but imagine going through the watch history of all Netflix users in the world and assigning recommendations to every single one of them based on what they’ve seen. It would be an impossible task for anyone, even if they worked in teams.

Real Robots in HR

Now, let’s picture how automation can be applied to the field of HR and recruiting. With a big enough budget, any company could completely automize their recruitment process and change their HR departments with robots. Any executive could simply type a list of skills and other characteristics into a computer and it could publish these job postings on different job boards and search engines. When candidates submit their applications, the computer could simply match their résumés with the desired profile and automatically contact, and even hire, the best match.

Thinking of switching careers? Don’t worry, you won’t have to in the perceivable future, at least not on account of a robot uprising.

While it would theoretically be possible for robots to perform these tasks, it is very unlikely that it will happen. The human part of Human Resources is still a key factor. Imagine that the entire process of contacting, interviewing, and hiring was conducted by a cold machine. Very few people would like to work in a place like that.

Besides, while an AI may be able to identify and match specific skills, it isn’t capable of judging character and other human characteristics that are too subjective for any program to understand. Any HR Recruiter knows that there’s more than just skills to an applicant, and that’s where humans are at an advantage.

What robots can do is help humans. Whenever a company grows, it will require more and more personnel and sometimes the HR department may be over their heads unable to handle the amount of work. AI can help recruiters by taking care of the tedious and repetitive tasks that recruiting involves.

An AI can monitor the performance of a job posting. It can see how many visits it’s getting and create statistics and data that are quantifiable. Robots can also help organize meetings and interviews, sorting incoming résumés and applications based on any criteria desired by the team of recruiters.

Robots aren’t here to steal your job, they’re here to do what they do best: increase efficiency.

Together, humans and AI can achieve great things. The key is to find the balance between the two and work in tandem, taking advantage of the best aspects of each.

Edu Rojas/NEUVOO
Content Marketing Editor