The use of bots in HR isn't about replacing humans with tech.
A BBC documentary aired last month, Ford's Dagenham Dream, told the story of the rise and fall of Ford's Dagenham-based manufacturing plant. The programme included an interesting consideration of the impact of mass production in car manufacturing on the people working within the production line.
What toll does repetitive, monotonous activity take on the human psyche?
For Ford, it resulted in mass disengagement in the 60's and 70's, with workers clocking in "like the living dead" (Keith Dover, former Ford factory worker). The narrator explains how "Those who stayed on the production line too long could be driven crazy by the repetitive tasks they had to perform" and "The line-worker always seemed to be angry about something and it was because of the nature of the work".
The bad rep of automation, mechanisation, robotic processes
Discussions around process automation, mechanisation, bots, etc. often set people on edge, particularly in the HR world. But actually, some of these discussions are around getting our 'humanness' back - taking away the tasks that turn us into robots and freeing us up to concentrate on our human skills.
At HR Tech London, MHR's Director of Research Mark Williams presented MHR's 'people first Chatbot' - an app designed to get rid of admin tasks and other distractions in order to allow to HR professionals to concentrate on their more valuable human skills.
It's not about putting tech first as a replacement for humans...
...It's about putting 'humanness' at the centre of tech.
It is inevitable that, in some cases, robots will be used to wholly replace a human worker. But for HR, they can be viewed and used as an augmentation that strengthens the quality of human interactions.