Robots won’t replace you: here’s how to future-proof your HR position

Written by Simon Collins

94 percent of corporate leaders in seven countries are looking to use automation to increase business efficiency, according to a survey by Business Wire. As an HR manager, it’s important to find unique ways to maintain value and keep ahead of the game.

So, what can you do to protect your job? You can ‘always be prepared’, as the scouts say, but what does being prepared look like?

In this blog post, we’ll give you the advice you need to future-proof your HR career.

Focus on human skills

One way to strengthen your role in HR is to focus on human-to-human skills. Machines aren’t going to develop empathy any time soon. According to delivery manager, Valerie Wasch of the tech recruitment firm Montreal Associates:

“The future will see a huge increase in demand for human-to-human roles, creative industries, and of course, IT.”

HR is often seen as a paperwork industry, where employees spend time filling out time sheets and new-hire forms. However, the more you can develop your skills around human-to-human HR roles like recruitment and employee relations, the more you can protect your role from automation.

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Build the automation tools yourself

Another way to future-proof your role in HR is to learn how to program so that you can create the HR software that companies are craving. Marrying your experience with skills in technology will enable you to develop high-value HR tools, and will help you secure your role. This is the most straightforward advice Wasch offers:

In short, learn programming.”

Udemy and Skillshare are great starting points for building your new skills. And they’re free, too.

If learning to program sounds too tricky, sourcing and implementing new HR software can be just as valuable. Building a business case and deploying new tools at your company will help increase efficiencies and strengthen your job security (so long as it doesn’t replace you, of course).

Never stop learning

To stay relevant in the age of automation, it’s also important to adopt a mindset of continuous learning. What the future holds is tough to say. But if you have the right mindset to learning, you can stay ahead of advances in automation. Carol Dweck, author of the book Mindset, outlines two distinct mindsets: fixed and growth.

The fixed mindset believes that we are essentially static in our learning and development. We are born with strengths and weaknesses and we must accept them. The growth mindset focuses on development, and believes that new skills can be taught.

If you have five minutes, we recommend you read the cliff notes.

Get the recognition you deserve

Another way to protect your role in the age of automation is to ensure your work is recognised. According to Talent Intelligence:

“Leadership has to understand what your department’s work entails.”

Only then can you be appreciated and protected in your role. Small conversations to boost morale with colleagues can go under-the-radar, so be mindful of the value you’re providing. Make your achievements known at the relevant time with those in a leadership position.

Becoming more aware of the impact of automation on HR positions is also important. It’s important to develop your understanding, consider your options and refine your career strategy. As HR Director, Robert Potter says:

“It’s like any epoch change. You have to read around it, you have to read the reports and studies, you have to attend the conferences. You have to display awareness and apply strategic thinking.”

To further strengthen your HR skillset (and make your job safe long-term), read our book Bureaucracy Must Die. It’s an introduction to automating purchases, admin and much more.

Got any other tips or tricks that we’ve missed? Leave your comments below!

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Admin automation , Bureaucracy , workplace automation