"Automation In HR Paves Way For Bespoke Work Experiences"

Nancy Hauge, Chief People Officer at Automation Anywhere, believes that the paradigm shift towards automation in HR helps redirect their focus towards strategic initiatives, particularly in the realms of workforce training, employee counselling, and the overall enhancement of employee well-being


In an era defined by rapid technological advancements and evolving workforce dynamics, the role of Human Resources (HR) is undergoing a profound transformation. Nancy Hauge, chief people officer at Automation Anywhere, shares the key HR technology trends shaping talent management, challenges posed by compliance with labor laws, and the delicate balance between technology and the human touch in HR processes.

How has the role of HR evolved over the years, and in what ways has HR technology played a significant part in this evolution? 

In recent years, the HR industry has undergone a substantial transformation, marked by a significant shift toward remote work, with a central emphasis on prioritising employee well-being. Presently, the integration of automation and AI has revolutionised traditional HR tasks, such as onboarding, payroll administration, and talent screening, thereby liberating HR professionals from mundane and routine responsibilities.

This paradigm shift has created an opportunity for HR professionals to redirect their focus towards strategic initiatives, particularly in the realms of workforce training, employee counselling, and the overall enhancement of employee well-being. By leveraging the capabilities of AI and intelligent automation to handle routine functions, HR can now assume a more strategic role within organisations, functioning as a vital business partner. This approach significantly paves the way for the creation of bespoke work experiences, that is solely driven by optimising task assignments, flexible work hours and personalised training programmes. Therefore, fostering to a work experience that aligns with the individual strengths and aspirations of each employee. This strategic alignment allows HR to harness existing resources and talent effectively, thereby contributing to the sustained growth and stability of the organisation.

As organisations continue to integrate AI into their operations, there exists a unique prospect to introduce novel ideas and innovations that have the potential to drive transformative change. It is widely acknowledged that the workforce constitutes the backbone of any organisation. Consequently, the imperative for evolving technologies, such as AI and intelligent automation, to become integral components of HR functions is paramount for future organisational success.

What key HR technology trends do you believe are shaping the future of talent management, and why? 

The “future of work” continues to be synonymous with hybrid workforce while rapidly adapting to a personalised and customised experience for each employee, driven by technological advancements. Employers are increasingly recognising the unique needs, skills, and preferences of their workforce, leading to the implementation of tailored bespoke experiences. While this shift is a foundational change for many organisations, it is only part of the equation. Workforce planning, anticipating future talent needs, is at epicentre and a top priority for HR leaders.  

In the recent past, several trends have emerged that are quickly shaping the future of today’s talent. 

  • One prominent trend that we are witnessing is the adoption of AI and machine learning in talent management systems. AI is being used to automate the process of screening candidates and analysing their skills, qualifications and performance that ensures that equal opportunities to candidates by removing unconscious bias and prejudice. Moreover, deploying these technologies enable organisations to analyse large amounts of data to make more informed decisions regarding recruitment, performance management, and employee development.  
  • Another trend that is rising is the use of intelligent automation with the help of virtual assistants or chatbots. Intelligent automation frees human resources staff from everyday administrative tasks so that they can focus more on individuals and their needs. For example, at automation anywhere, based on the recent employee feedback with the help of Intelligent automation, we were able to increase our support for parental leave, in vitro fertilization, and bereavement, to name a few areas.
  • The challenge of bridging the skill gap is not new, it is a widespread issue that has led many business leaders to re-evaluate their training and development strategies. By investing in workforce upskilling, businesses are not just addressing immediate skills gaps but are laying the foundation for a more adaptive, engaged, and future-ready organisation.  Thus, fostering a culture of continuous learning is critical for both employee engagement and workforce resilience.   

Focusing on employees as people, empowering them to do more higher-value work, and giving them more time to serve customers and coworkers is where intelligent automation can produce immediate results. By embracing these trends and developing strategies to support navigating these challenges, HR leaders can drive innovation, agility, and growth in the years to come.

As HR tech evolves rapidly, what challenges do you foresee in terms of ensuring compliance with changing labor laws and data privacy regulations? 

With the help of technology like automation, HR are now able to streamline the flow of information and its retention. Moreover, authorities have also employed algorithms to detect non-compliance and issue notices. It also ensures prompt updates, easy data access, and instant availability of forms. Thus, eliminating the need for physical visits for submissions that are now replaced by online processes. This allows for knowledge sharing across regions is seamless, significantly reducing individual dependency.

How can leaders strike a balance between the use of technology and maintaining the human touch in HR processes, such as employee feedback and performance reviews? 

The rise of artificial intelligence has undoubtedly revolutionised the field of HR management. With its ability to automate repetitive tasks, analyse large volumes of data, and provide insights for decision-making, AI brings unprecedented efficiency to HR processes.  However, this does not replace the core function of an HR, that is to create an equitable employee experience. 

While leaders continue to seek balance when it comes to technology and the human touch, HR processes must employ strategic approaches to ensure the effective integration of both elements. While AI can handle repetitive tasks and crunch large amounts of data with precision and speed, it lacks the emotional intelligence. At its core, the primary function of any HR leader revolves around employee branding and to create a holistic work environment. While key functions like employee feedback and performance review are critical, this can only be executed by an HR leader as it ensures continuity in the employee experience and to the businesses. 

Human connections foster trust and collaboration amongst employee and an organisation, which cannot be replaced or replicated. Striking the right balance between AI-driven efficiency and human-centric methods will create an HR ecosystem that empowers and supports employees while leveraging the advantages of AI and automation. Organisations that successfully combine the best of both worlds will pave the way for a successful future HR ecosystem. 

Training and upskilling have become increasingly important for employee development. What role does HR tech play in facilitating continuous learning within organisations? 

In this ever-evolving job landscape, organisations are finding new ways to ensure continuous reskilling and upskilling of their employees. In this digital era, it is no longer imperative for employees be only skilled when it comes to technology, but to equally give importance to their soft skills. To stay agile and adapt to external market challenges, it is integral for organisations to ensure continuous upskilling in employees through employee training, fostering new skill sets and early adoption of technology that enables them to focus on key decision making. 

A report by Deloitte states that 56  per cent of HR leaders are investing in AI to improve the efficiency of their recruitment process. AI-powered tools, such as applicant tracking systems (ATS) and chatbots, help HR teams screen candidates, and schedule interviews more efficiently than ever before. This lays emphasis on the fact that going forward, implementation of HR technologies like AI and automation are poised to grow in tandem with India’s need for digital workforce.  

Developing training programmes with the help of digital bots can enable employees to navigate real life scenarios and problems as part of their training, thus fostering a solution driven mindset. AI can also help in identifying skill gaps that are required for future jobs, thus enabling organisations to ensure business continuity. To drive towards a future ready workforce, adoption of HR technologies like automation and AI will be a key element towards achieving a continuous learning curve for employees.


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