Is Automated HR In Our Near Future? (Part I)

In a recent article featured on TLNT, Laurie Ruettimann, an HR professional and blogger and founder of the HR/lifestyle blog, The Cyncial Girl, issued a call to arms on behalf of the HR community.

In the post, Ruettimann argues that the world of HR is changing, and that sooner (rather than later), people in HR will be replaced by technology that will automate and streamline the processes that was once carried out by humans.

The reason, according to her? Ruettimann believes that HR currently follows the “1 percent/99 percent division.”

In short, only 1 percent of human resources is performing at their best while the rest underperforms–meaning 99 percent can be easily replaced.

Ruettimann lists a few causes:

  • Too many guys in leadership roles. Not enough women running the show.
  • Too many white people in positions of power. Lots of black women who are in charge of diversity because, you know, they are black.
  • For all the whining about compliance and bureaucracy, nobody in HR seems to have solved for compliance and bureaucracy conundrums.
  • Most HR departments aren’t likable.
  • Recruiting is a pain and they use LinkedIn.com and Facebook.com like it’s Monster.com in the ’90s.
  • HR mistakes proximity to power for power itself.

And, according to her, “Nobody needs the BS that comes with human resources.”

In fact, Ruettimann argues that as technology advances, companies will probably take the opportunity to do away with HR regardless–and that’s much more likely if they don’t really see a reason to keep them around anyways.

“If they can automate and streamline people-related processes, they will,” she says.

Not surprisingly, Ruettimann’s post elicited quite a few responses from a number of HR professionals who cited their own experience on the matter–you can see the debate in the comments section below her post.

It seems that the automation of HR is inevitable, but how does Ruettimann think you can keep your job (or at least get closer to the 1 percent)? Here is her take:

  1. I don’t think social media is the key differentiator.
  2. You won’t wow anyone with another set of HR-related credentials.

You might want to think about understand the technology that’s about to upset your apple cart. If you know your enemy, you can destroy it.

If you ask us, all of this means a few things:

  • Having a proper understanding of what technology can do for you is essential
  • You need to take full advantage of technology instead of letting it take over your job
  • You need to make sure that you, as a person, are still the key to the whole recruiting process

We don’t wholeheartedly agree with everything Ruettimann says, but we do think with HR changing so fast, it’s always good to keep an open mind and consider all of the perspectives.

Tomorrow, we’ll give you another perspective on automated HR–one that argues that automation might actually take longer than we anticipate. In the meantime, what are your thoughts on the state of HR? Do you think that it will be automated some time soon? If so, are the issues outlined above actually the root of the problem? Let us know your thoughts by connecting with us in the comments, or on Facebook or Twitter.