Skip to Main Content
Filter By +
Topic +

HR Myths: Automation Takes the “Human” out of HR

The year is 2035. In line with projections from Oxford University’s Martin School, 90% of HR administrative jobs are now automated. Efficiency is at an all-time high. Redundant tasks have been eradicated. And as for the HR professionals? Let’s just say they’re … thriving?

While it might take the sting out of bleak, opening sci-fi monologues like the one above, HR automation isn’t quite the double-edged sword some make it out to be.

But if HR pros don’t need to worry about losing their livelihoods to some yet-to-be-invented super machines, then why did Oxford’s study specify “HR administrative jobs”? (And why did I just waste three weeks building an anti-robot suit out of aluminum foil in my garage?)

It’s a good question on its surface, but it fundamentally misses what HR is really about. Getting to the heart of this misguided fear requires us to break down two myths — a debunking double-feature, if you will — starting with:

Automation makes us less human

Exceptional tech allows us to offload a lot of work. Like, a lot of work. For instance, when was the last time you:

  • used a pen to write a quarterly business report
  • visited multiple movie rental stores to find the flick you wanted
  • solved “357,865,200,416 divided by 525,600” by hand

Inventions like word processors, streaming services and calculators definitely changed things, like how much we’re capable of with the right tools! And they certainly didn’t kick human ingenuity out the door.

According to Deloitte, as technology grows more effective, “jobs and roles, talent and skills, and organizational structures will evolve.”

After all, the scope of what we’re capable of isn’t limited to the things we do right now, but the things we’ll eventually accomplish. And it might be hard to imagine what those great things will be, but that’s the point; we don’t know until technology empowers us to consider them.

HR is no different.

Automation will eliminate HR

Yes, versatile learning management systems and self-service payroll tools reduce the need for time-consuming tasks and data reentry, but they by no means pull the “human” out of “human resources.” According to HR Daily Advisor:

“A robot can spit out data, but it can’t create a strategic plan or mediate a conflict between two employees.”

Again, there are some things automation simply can’t do. According to research from KPMG, an international professional services network, these tasks include:

  • change management
  • maintaining employee relations
  • implementing HR and business strategy

Automation may reduce or eliminate tedious tasks — such as tracking a general ledger or calculating time and attendance — but it doesn’t detract from HR; it transforms it.

Per a separate study, KPMG explains by “automating high-volume, repetitive, rules-based tasks,” HR is allowed to focus on initiatives “more strategic and of higher value to the overall business.” This also means “less supervision and oversight,” so managers may enhance their focus on “efficiency, performance and competitiveness.”

HR is about elevating employees and guiding organizations to success well into the future. A future free of robotic overlords.

Watch our YouTube series to bust open even more HR myths! And explore Paycom’s comprehensive, single software, including our tools for automating redundant processes so HR can focus on higher-level, human-only endeavors.


DISCLAIMER: The information provided herein does not constitute the provision of legal advice, tax advice, accounting services or professional consulting of any kind. The information provided herein should not be used as a substitute for consultation with professional legal, tax, accounting or other professional advisers. Before making any decision or taking any action, you should consult a professional adviser who has been provided with all pertinent facts relevant to your particular situation and for your particular state(s) of operation.