Technology & Automation in HR

Has the rise of data analytics in the HR field declined the skills of overall man management and understanding people that an HR should have?

No function or department is immune to technological changes. Many jobs are likely to be affected and replaced by automation and AI. Technology has been disrupting HRM, and the pace of change is accelerating in recent times with the usage of analytics and AI in the HR domain. Mundane transactional tasks like documentation management, attendance records, leave management, payroll and tasks that were performed by HR generalists have already been automated and are being done effortlessly in no time, with the help of HRIS and HR tools. Now, AI-powered recruiting, ATS, Chatbots and People analytics are transforming HR functions and adding significant value to HR in many ways by increasing efficiency and improving employee experience. Technology and automation have created a new era of HR professionals, who view their roles not as mere administrators but as strategic enablers for key business decisions. Technology doesn’t completely transform Human resource management as it involves psychology and people skills that are difficult to replace by machines. Automation doesn’t lessen the human part of HRM, but helps in developing effective people strategies to help the organizations achieve their defined objectives. Job roles that require complex social interactions are likely to be affected and replaced by automation and AI in the near future. McKinsey’s ‘Skill shift: Automation and the future of the workforce’ report says that the need for social, emotional, and higher cognitive skills will rise by 2030. Emotional needs such as engaging with employees cannot be addressed and replaced by technology.

Use of Data Analytics in various HR Role

Roles that require critical thinking skills, complex decision making, mastery skills like motivating and engaging employees, will continue to be a very human endeavour. Each individual employee is different and cannot have his/her needs met by an automated HR system. HR roles are similar to medical and creative jobs such as artists, lawyers and surgeons whose skills cannot be automated. Organizational effectiveness, change management, employee relations and many functions of HRM need skills and cannot be performed by machines.

Technology can be used for evidence-based management and taking strategic decisions. Human resource professionals can use talent analytics to identify the potential candidate more likely to succeed, predictive analytics to formulate retention and other strategies to help organizations and their people grow. With technology, human resource management will continue to evolve and reinvent itself and will look for new ways to add value and create a competitive advantage for the organizations. The ‘human’ aspect of human resources cannot be left behind, as making the hiring decisions, finding creative ways to keep employees engaged, and other emotional and strategic decisions cannot be performed by the machines and software. Technology and automation tools can give Human resource professionals more time to understand employees, organizational culture and address issues that exist. People management wisdom and experience cannot be replaced by automation and technology. Technology is merely an enabler and compliments the decision-making process in the human resource management domain.

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With  the increase in HR tools and technologies

The HR department in any company acts as the guardian for all employees, resolving conflicts and maximizing productivity. But the most important role of HR is to instil trust among employees that the company is not just interested in getting tasks executed by them, but also in their well-being, in their advancement both personally and professionally.

Naturally, such huge responsibility requires a lot of work behind it, and with the arrival of newer and faster technology in the workplace. One such method that has become abundant in HR is predictive analysis. Human resources personnel these days use employees’ personal data, to build models that help predict productivity, effect of different policies, etc. People Analytics Maturity Model by Deloitte claimed that 4% of organizations across the globe accessed and utilized HR data in 2014. This number doubled the next year and then substantially jumped to 17% in 2018, making it evident that the role of algorithm-based prediction is here to stay in the HR domain.

Automating significant aspects of HR has many claimed benefits like reduced employee turnover, increased hire success, understanding how employee engagement affects the company’s revenue, among others. Many globally leading organizations like HP (Hewlett-Packard), Google and Wikipedia have benefited greatly from predictive analysis in HR. But there are some serious issues. Some organizations turn to social media profiles of their employees to gather data about their personal interests. Though it could be accurate for some people, the majority of the people tend to be pretentious on their social media pages. And it is an accepted norm to filter out displeasing aspects of one’s life and post what remains online. So using this synthetic version of someone’s life as an input to deciding how good of an employee they are, can create a huge problem. Moreover, some organizations also try to predict an employee’s toxicity to other fellow employees using personal data. Although, it is a good effort on a company’s part to keep out maliciousness from the workplace, relying solely on data analytics for this is arguably inefficient.

If we ignore the violation of data privacy policies, the most crucial concern is that the HR department is supposed to be the ‘human’ point of contact between an employee and upper management. Just as the statistic for involvement of technology in HR field has increased over the years, many organizations over time have reported growing dissatisfaction among employees as well. High employee turnover rates is a threat to even the biggest & successful of organizations today. A major reason is the lack of soft skills & gut feeling involved in the working of HR. An HR can see massive potential in someone deemed ‘unsuitable for hiring’ by a routine prediction. It means the HR cannot be only tools and technologies, it should first and foremost be human. Just like Matt Mullenweg has said, “Technology is best when it brings people together.”

Article Corner                    Name: Mr. Rajpal Bijarnia                                    PGP 2020-22

The contemporary situation of India’s Education System?

We dream high and plan things to achieve those big goals, but we never know about upcoming uncertainties. This is the story of every student who planned everything in the year 2019. I was no different than any other. I had my own planned goals, and everything was going as planned. I was working with a big firm and preparing for MBA. Fortunately, we cleared the entrance test in Nov. 2019, and there was no COVID then, but Dec 2019 brought the news of the COVID outbreak in Wuhan. My generation of the nineties born has never seen a pandemic and thought it would end soon and then first case was detected in Kerala. We study Murphy’s law in Engineering and Management schools “Anything that can go wrong will go wrong.” That’s what happened in march 2020 when the government imposed the lockdown.

When Google map diverts you from your planned destination, we feel irritated, but it was more than that with mental trauma and a lot of confusion. A student was spending approximately 75% of the time with a laptop. Students are suffering from a headache, mental stress, insomnia, Eye-related issues, etc. The ‘Guru-Shishya’ tradition was nowhere although professors and students were trying their best to manage. The first wave ended somehow with strict lockdown, and we were ready to see the yellow light from the Sun with a new beginning. The impact on education will affect the employment level, mental health, poverty, etc. So, there is an urgent need to tackle i

The pandemic’s experience has thrown a sharp focus on educational disparities–while most well-resourced private schools were able to manage with COVID-19 but most government and low-resource schools struggled. As a result, digital capabilities and necessary infrastructure must reach the most remote and impoverished places to allow students to continue their education during pandemics. There is a need for public monies to close the internet gap & ensure that students can continue to learn online. State governments and private organizations should come up with solutions to the problem of digital education.

If the COVID-19 problem lasts longer, there is an immediate need to maximize the use of digital platforms so that students obtain their degrees this academic year and are also prepared for the future with digitally oriented environment.. Indian policies must incorporate various persons from various backgrounds for efficient education delivery, including distant locations, marginalized and minority groups. A more extensive statistical analysis may be conducted to investigate the influence of COVID-19 on India’s education system. The government has an opportunity to roll out the NEP along with other measures to combat the impact of COVID-19.

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