Introducing automation properly from the leadership level downwards, for a better reception

October 11, 2018

This week we browsed an article coming from an SAP Human Capital Management (HCM) specialist, featured on ITProPortal. It brings forward an important phenomenon in the workforce environment – the way people take in the perspective of increased automation inside organizations across the world.

From the HR angle, with the way automation hold the potential of replacing certain human activities, the reception of the hiring automation is not what one would have hoped for. Moreover, the impact of automation in general on existing and potential employees is a non-negligible issue, since it will not go away and it may demand mitigation.
The source article approaches this distrust of hiring automation, as well as its psychological implications. Although the solution may not be this time one of the SAP tools, it is nevertheless interesting to see how a specialist from this leading-edge brand sees things, current and future.


Numbers point out there is an automation-related problem, and it’s an explainable one

Based on the Pew Research Center’s 2017 “Automation in Everyday Life” survey, it seems that only 22 percent of the respondents were fine with being hired following a process where machines and algorithms make the decisions. On the opposite side, 76 percent of the respondents revealed that they would not be happy nor go for a hiring process during which the selection of the candidates is entrusted to automation.

To gain a certain perspective, we may see how 33 percent of the respondents are fine with machines and robots performing previously human tasks/jobs. An even bigger 44 percent agrees with the idea of robot caregivers for older people.

It results that people are indeed not happy at all with the idea of a machine deciding whether they are suited or not for a certain job.

The outcome? Business leaders are faced with yet another problem they have to address. And the SAP specialist also provides a couple of recommendations.


What can business leaders do to alleviate this hiring automation reaction?

SAP, one of the automation and analytics pioneers in its software solutions, seems to think that it’s not automation which is at fault, but more likely the way leaders understand to include it in the bigger picture. Instead of an automation-related problem, we are more likely dealing with a human problem.

Therefore, the key in changing the perception regarding automation in the workplace – and especially in the HR department – resides in the way business leaders understand its role and make use of its advantages.

The three recommendations we’ve extracted from the source article are:

1. Seeing (and presenting) technology as an aid to people, part of a people first formula and general strategy

2. Analyzing and setting aside those area that need to remain under to human control and human decision making process

3. Making it clear that automation remains under human supervision and acts as an instrument, not as a mindless, unstoppable machinery

The topic, as we mentioned, is an interesting one, and it’s bound to be showing up again and again on the business leaders’ agenda. For details, you may browse directly the source article here.

How are you making use of automation in the hiring process of your organization? How are you planning to do this, if you have not yet adopted it? Feel free to write us your insights or contact us for questions.


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