Let’s take a moment to argue against the overhyped automation anxiety

A valid case for automating human resource management

Automation is something of a dirty word in today’s fearful climate within the jobs market. There’s a consensus that machines will become intuitive and powerful enough to make many human-based job roles obsolete.

For instance, a recent YouGov survey found that 23% of workers in the UK feared that automation will ultimately render their job role obsolete, while 37% feared that machines will change their jobs for the worse, let alone the overall fear of AI.


Image Source: ZDNet

Does such a sizeable portion of the country’s workforce have a case to be concerned at the prospect of an automated future? Or will the workforce adapt to such exponential changes to the world around us?

Let’s take a look at how modern developments in artificial intelligence and machine learning can actually carry huge benefits in keeping people in work.

Recruitment free of human error

What would a world look like if machines took the ‘human’ nature out of Human Resources? The very name makes the thought seem like a tautology, but errors and oversights in the recruitment process leads to widespread losses in productivity and job satisfaction.

The process of hiring applicants who apply for roles within companies has always been subject to human judgement, but recruiters often fail to carry the foresight needed to successfully determine whether a prospective employee will be a success within a working environment.

But through machine learning and Artificial Intelligence, technology will be in a position to efficiently and intuitively study applications based on a series of algorithms that can determine suitability for the role, applicable skills, a fitting employment history and even through the personality conveyed in the written language a job seeker uses.

For example, Vlad Dobrynin, CEO of Humans, a company that created a proprietary search engine and an interactive matching system to find fitting workers for all sorts jobs, said that the future of AI matching can literally “find a mathematics professor in Paris who can teach you how to play poker or a pet lover who can walk with your crocodile.”

According to a Conference Board report, some 53% of employees are ‘unhappy’ in their current job roles, couple this with the 33% of workers who leave their job within three months of joining and it’s clear to see that traditional recruitment is failing to keep a large number of working-age citizens happy.

While technology news focuses on the negative implications of automation and the jobs that it may replace, there’s a valid case for the efficiency that it can show in finding workers their ideal job role in a way that encourages long-term motivation and productivity, as opposed to human misjudgements and bias that are prone to installing employees who are a poor fit in the workplace.

Recruiter bias can be a sub-conscious, or conscious foible that clouds the judgement of a decision maker in HR — whether it’s based on seeing that an applicant studied at the same university or another was previously employed at a personally unfavourable company, it can sometimes have a resounding effect on a job application.

A more automated jobs market will remove bias in its entirety from the recruitment process, ensuring that the right workers fill their vacancies — which in turn will help to curb employee turnover and higher unemployment as a result.

Increase in demand for AI and machine learning jobs

The thought of an intuitive, automated jobs market may not offer much solace to employees who are already in work and fearful for their position over the coming years of further advancements.

It remains an inevitability that modern machinery will assume roles that are currently occupied by human workers. But with forecasters like Accenture predicting that AI will double economic growth by 2035, it’s evident that technology remains primed to create more job opportunities than there are available today.

Image Source: Accenture

With the sheer growth potential that smart machines will bring, there will be plenty more job opportunities entering the market. The key difference will be that the jobs of tomorrow will be created with AI in mind and will pertain to the development and maintenance of these technologies.

As Mikaela Berman of Growth Acceleration Partners explained, “new technology requires new skill sets, and new types of employment will be created.”

Evidence of businesses riding this new wave of employment can be seen in Amazon’s Mechanical Turk — a program developed for businesses to utilise human workers to do jobs that machines are incapable of completing automatically, like adding descriptions for images or supplying the right photographs to accompany products in an online marketplace.

Modern machinery may be set to revolutionise many of our working lives, but there’s no need to fear the future — it promises to be one of prosperity and opportunity.


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