Tag: job loss

43% of HR managers fear job losses as more HR functions are automated

New data reveals business leaders recognise the potential of AI and automation in terms of  revolutionising HR – however, businesses will only thrive if they keep HR’s human touch.

HR software company Personio surveyed 500 C-suite level executives and 1000 HR decision makers at SMEs in the UK and Ireland. The data reveals 74% of business leaders reporting there is a need for their business to become more efficient and productive and 66% believe AI and automation have potential to deliver this within the HR department.

Key findings include;

43% of HR managers are worried they’ll lose their job as more of the HR function is automated.
73% of business leaders say HR will be more important to the business in the future.
60% of UK business leaders intend to incorporate more AI and automation into their HR department in the next 5 years.

In light of recent technological advances with generative AI, like Chat GPT, 61% believe HR will be taken over by AI in the future. However, these statements about the future of HR may be a symptom of a misunderstanding of the value that HR teams deliver to organisations. The survey uncovered a clear knowledge gap, with 67% of business leaders admitting they’d like to have a better understanding about what their HR team does.

Ross Seychell, Chief People Officer at Personio, said: “Emerging technologies such as generative AI tools, like Chat GPT, have the potential to revolutionise workplaces, and the HR department is no exception. But will HR be ‘replaced’ one day by AI? I certainly don’t believe so, and the business leaders that say it is possible are short sighted and worryingly misinformed about the role that effective HR plays in businesses. Instead we can expect to see AI make HR more important, by allowing a hard-pressed department to focus more on business critical issues like building a great culture or solving retention challenges, while new technology will make admin tasks more efficient.”

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APAC employees optimistic about AI adoption

According to Microsoft’s 2023 Work Trend Index, employees from the Asia Pacific (APAC) region are showing optimism about artificial intelligence (AI). Despite the anxiety of getting replaced, many believe that bots can help ease their heavy workloads. The study includes responses from 14 markets in APAC such as Australia, Mainland China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam.

The report found that 78% of employees in APAC would delegate work to AI to reduce their workloads, including analytical and creative tasks, in addition to administrative tasks. The findings come as the majority of employees in APAC are overwhelmed by the volume of data, emails, and chats they need to process in a day. For 72% of APAC respondents, they do not have enough time and energy to complete their work, and they are three times more likely to say they struggle with innovation.

However, the findings also arrived amid growing concerns that AI could replace employees soon. A recent report from Goldman Sachs found that generative AI, such as Chat GPT, DALL-E, and LaMDA, could put at risk 300 million full-time jobs. Majority (86%) of HR professionals are also concerned that their roles could be automated in the future, according to a 2021 SkyNova research. Fears that they could be replaced are reflected in Microsoft’s report – as 58% said they are worried that AI would replace their jobs. Nonetheless, leaders surveyed were not as concerned about this happening and were 1.9 times more likely to say AI is most helpful in boosting productivity instead of cutting headcount.

According to the report, employees will need to develop skills in emerging AI tech, where 85% of leaders surveyed said staff will need new skills in the AI era. “The most pressing opportunity and responsibility for every leader is to understand how to leverage AI to remove the drudgery of work, unleash creativity, and build AI aptitude,” said Vinod Muralidharan, general manager Modern Work, Microsoft Asia, in a media release.

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