- “With automation set to increase in intensity, the number of people it hires will come down over time”
- HRs could start considering ways and means to address the march of technology and automation
One does not need any study or survey to convey the threat that automation poses to the workforce of the future. This phenomenon is not just limited to the Western shores but also is slowly edging into the Indian workforce as well.
Recently, there was a headline which caught our attention “Infosys 'Released' 9,000 Employees in the 1 Year Due to Automation”. A bit jarring isn’t it? But two words jump out strongly at you – employees and automation.
The workers within the worldwide industry have been divided into 3 categories: low skilled, medium skilled and high skilled. It is the low-skilled that stand at most risk from automation. Moreso, it is the BPO, IT, BT sector which need to watch out.
Consider the Infosys example. Speaking in an interview to Economic Times, the company's human resources head Krishnamurthy Shankar had said that with automation set to increase in intensity, the number of people it hires will come down over time. Meanwhile, these ‘released’ people were being trained in special courses to help in future assignments.
Again it calls to mind, Vishal Sikka’s (CEO and Managing Director of Infosys) New Year message for this employees this year. India's IT industry will soon be facing the challenges of better technology and Artificial Intelligence rendering manual resources useless in many departments.
An interesting example is the new Amazon Go grocery store. It is a 1800-square-foot retail space located Seattle and it lets shoppers just grab the items they want and leave; the order gets charged to their Amazon account afterwards, thus eliminating the need for cashiers in the store.
Automation will definitely affect portions of almost all jobs depending on the requirement. Since it remains in the technological ambit, it can cause a transformation in the medical, finance, banking, or any jobs that requiring data and knowledge sharing.
Hiring requisites will change in a huge way. There is no need to press the panic button yet as automation in full will take decades to come, however, it is better to be prepared. As of now one can see the effects of automation in the automobile industry and manufacturing – self-drive cars and driverless cars?
Soon as technology has become an intrinsic part of the functioning of various job sectors, it could lead to a fear of being replaced by a software, an algorithm or even computing techniques. This in turn will cause job seekers to consider switching jobs or independently pursue training and one can expect a shift in the hiring patterns and retention of industries.
In this case HRs could start considering ways and means to address the march of technology and automation. Deloitte University Press research indicates that employee education matters as much to talent as compensation. Creating a robust employee education strategy is a powerful tool for retention and recruitment efforts.
Now, look at the positive side of automation. Low-skilled workers will be forced to upgrade their skills. The others will have to take on more complex tasks, and multi-tasking and multi-domain knowledge will benefit them in the long run. So in case you want to stay relevant in your job, keep exploring new options and learn on the job.
Last Updated 31, Mar 2018, 7:03 PM