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Do We Still Need Humans for Human Resources?

Do We Still Need Humans for Human Resources?Human resources departments typically cover a broad range of roles, but their core responsibilities fall into three main categories: 

  • Recruitment and staffing
  • On-the-job training
  • Employee termination 

Professionals in this field often have backgrounds in business administration or psychology. They’re selected using a number of characteristics such as compassion, approachability and interpersonal communication skills — i.e., areas that long have been the sole purview of humans. 

But with the rise of artificial intelligence and machine learning, robots could eventually replace us in any number of disciplines — including human resources. 

Machines Are Already Better at Recruiting

Want to find the most qualified candidate for the job? You may be better off outsourcing this task to a robot. 

Computers can already analyze thousands of applications in the blink of an eye. They can also verify each applicant’s employment history, criminal record and social media profile in milliseconds. These are processes that would take a human being hours — if not days — to complete. 

Machines can even schedule interviews with candidates. And all of this is already possible with today’s technology. 

Then there’s the interview … 

Would you trust a financial advisor powered by AI?

Poker Faces Don’t Work on Robots

Conventional wisdom says you need face-to-face contact to assess each candidate’s aptitude, personality and skill set. In other words, you need a human being present. But is that really true? 

Chatbots that can simulate conversations with users already exist. In fact, these interactions are so realistic that some people have started to develop empathetic connections with these AI messaging platforms. 

From pupil dilation to blushing to facial tics, machines can detect those imperceptible tells that even an experienced poker player might miss. 

Training Machines to Train People

Customized learning. Iterative tutorials. Real-time questionnaires. These exist through online courses such as PEAK and Wowzers. 

The days of group classes and workshops are quickly fading as students across the globe embrace personalized e-learning. Bringing this concept into the HR world seems like a no-brainer. 

Getting the Pink Slip from a Robot

No one enjoys being fired or laid off — and earning the bad news through a text message or email isn’t very “humane.” But with enough data crunching and time, computers could potentially outperform humans when it comes to firing employees. 

It seems counterintuitive, but a machine can analyze all past terminations in its database and customize the optimal: 

  • Compensation package to lessen the sting
  • Time of day to reduce negative reactions
  • Wording and phrasing to soften the blow 

Again, it can process this in milliseconds. 

HR 2.0: A Golden Opportunity for ISVs and VARs

Will robots eventually replace human HR staff? Possibly. However, the shift won’t happen overnight. 

Granted, we’re in the early days of artificial intelligence. But the general trend seems to suggest that, piece by piece, many of the functions performed by human actors ultimately will be assumed by cheaper, faster and more efficient digital ones. 

As an independent software vendor (ISV) or value added reseller (VAR), this is very encouraging. 

Whether the transition is gradual or fast, traditional HR infrastructure will be phased out with better applications and programs. At each stage of this inevitable process, companies will need experts to help build, customize and manage these increasingly complex platforms. 

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Topics: Small Business Tips, ISV/VAR

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