Automating processes has had a huge impact on the manufacturing sector. In 1913, Ford Motor Company was the first to introduce the assembly line for car production – boosting production rates and profits. While industrial automation is the norm in manufacturing industries, the adoption of automation in the HR has been slow, as 72% of HR professionals say, a lack of automation is hindering their business success. However, with an increased emphasis on automation across various functions, it is poised to be a game changer.
Automation has been introduced to automate repetitive processes or complex tasks that otherwise cannot be performed by humans. When it comes to HR, automation has helped in increasing productivity. For e.g.: HR used to spend days manually scouring through paper resumes to shortlist candidates for a specific job description. Sourcing candidates is relatively easier today with platforms like LinkedIn, Naukri, Monster etc. Tools are developed, that rely on machine learning/artificial intelligence to collate data, fact check, pre-screen candidates and set up interviews. Automation has also made it easier to source passive candidates. Online tools scrape information from various social media platforms and target potential employees. To perform these activities manually is time consuming and doesn’t yield the same results as compared to that of a bot.
Pre-screening candidates through online tests has seen a significant impact on HR. Automating the process has helped in filtering the crème de la crème of talent, especially when it comes to mass hiring. Online assessment platforms like Versant, by Pearson TalentLens, are built to assess large number of candidates without having to deal with the logistics of setting up assessment centers. Apart from screening of candidates, automating assessment procedures is an effective method to assess employee in a company. Employee performance assessment based on performance metrics would be a fast, effective and iterative process that can be performed throughout an employee life cycle. The process would aid in directing employees towards necessary career goals and provide training in skills that are missing.
The negative impact of automation is employee lay-offs. As per People Strong’s latest report, by 2021, a quarter of the jobs would be lost due to automation in India. Technology helps in creating an efficient process, with minimal human intervention. However the positives of automation far outweigh the negatives. HR automation would eliminate the common tasks and give professionals time to concentrate on core competencies of an organization and other aspects like leadership development, increased face-to-face time with employees etc., which cannot be replaced by bots. Automation is to be seen as an aid tool, making the HR team more efficient and effective.