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How Can HR Adapt to Remain Relevant in the Changing Workforce?

I was having dinner with a close friend of mine one day when the topic of technology and robots popped up, and this was what he shared with me: “Do you know why robots are so fast and efficient? It is because they only do one thing, but they do that one thing very well. So, if we want to stay relevant in the long-term and not get retrenched, we need to find a career that doesn’t require us to do the same thing over and over again, we need to find something dynamic and changing every day.”

The role of HR now

If you ask any ordinary Singaporean on the street what a HR professional does, I am almost certain that the most popular response you would get is “Admin work lah!”. Administrative work generally refers to routine, repetitive work such as managing company records or photocopying documents, among many others. But what do these tasks have in common? These tasks, even though essential to the company as a support function of their core business, create little value to the company in the strategic sense. Gradually, these duties are being replaced or eliminated by technology. If we don’t take any action to remain relevant in the workplace, HR professionals who merely perform administrative tasks for the firm will soon see themselves being dismissed from their firms.

The role of HR in the future

So, what should HR professionals do? HR needs to move towards a more strategic role in the firm, one where they are capable of making business decisions to enable the firm to be more efficient in their daily processes, hence increasing productivity and their overall capabilities. This can be done by leveraging technology to streamline business processes. Hence, daily operations or “administrative duties” can be processed and completed by software and our machines by just the click of a few buttons.

Technology such as Roubler, for example, fully automates menial HR processes. Time wasted on data entry, or sifting through inappropriate resumes is eliminated. This saves time, resources, and money.

With this, HR professionals can then direct their efforts into attracting, motivating and retaining their talents, which will boost the company’s profitability and capabilities. With an average millennials’ tenure of 2 to 3 years, it is important that HR professionals develop systems and tools that can build teams where talents can work effectively with each other despite frequent changes in team members. By attracting the best talents for the company and ensuring that talents are motivated and driven, HR professionals can then ensure that the company is performing at its best, maximising profits for growth and value for the society.

Ultimately, we can’t run away from the fact that technology and robots are going adapt many jobs. But we can prepare ourselves to stay relevant and harness the power of technology to make our lives quicker and more convenient, creating a win-win situation for us all. With technology evolving and developing at such a rapid rate, we should all act now to increase our value to society and ensure that we are always one step ahead.


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