Will Technology Replace HR In 2016?
We’ve been hearing about technology replacing humans in HR for more than five years. Algorithms, Talent Analytics, and Predictive Behavior Technology are certainly having a significant impact on HR, and making it much more of a science. Yet there’s an issue because technology is fallible too. What about the other side of the argument – that HR is an art because, at its heart, it’s about people?
Which is it? Art? Or science?
I say both. Today’s human resources professional resides somewhere between the warmth of personal relationships and the cold truth of data. For years, we’ve watched HR change before our eyes: technology has seeped into our interactions in the workplace, from recruiting and training, to performance management, leaving many wondering how—and if—HR still has a place in modern organizations.
My answer? It still does. And here’s why.
From analytics to algorithms, technology’s new tools help us use data to be more efficient, effective, and scalable. Data can drive business decisions, provide insights into the workforce, predict future requirements, quickly match talent to needs, and measure traits and results critical to an organization’s success.
“Experts predict the Internet will become ‘like electricity’ — less visible, yet more deeply embedded in people’s lives for good and ill,” according to the Pew Research Center’s Digital Life in 2025. Yet, technology is not yet ready to replace the HR department. Dealing with people is, not surprisingly, inherently human: adaptable, always changing, and full of possibility. HR is more than data-driven science, it’s an art—and despite the many benefits, it isn’t ready for a hands-off approach.
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