AI can augment software services to a point where a majority of HR, sales and marketing tasks will become automated in the next ten years. I’m very bullish on RPA and companies like UI Path. You can watch this video to easily learn about the prospects.
As companies like UI Path evolve, Microsoft and Salesforce will have an RPA race to automate many tasks that are done today in general administration, HR and by sales clerks, financial clerks, marketing associates and so forth. I believe human resources is likely going to be the most disrupted by this kind of automation. Additionally new AI startups will focus on certain products in the HR stack.
The Future of Work Is Easier
Robotic Process Automation (RPA) frees a department from its repetitive and redundant tasks but the special sauce is how AI and RPA will work together to improve the AI-human hybrid model of work, much of that taking place in a remote WFM environment.
We’ll be working less, likely 4-day work weeks in the 2030s and be substantially more productive. AI algorithms are already ubiquitous in HR, but with remote work and WFM, many of the location parameters are changing. WFM indirectly opens new doors for the widespread automation of HR, recruiting and talent onboarding as the nature of work itself changes.
The HR department strives to enhance employee experience, to make the company the best place to work and to enhance business performance with a people-first approach, but what happens to our companies when AI agents and automation can do this better than a human being can? That HR singularity is coming faster than you think.
RPA is a technology that can eliminate mundane tasks from an employee’s process and advance the human potential of the workforce, but combined with the AI explosion of how HR is being augmented, it will mean the HR of tomorrow will be nearly unrecognizable from what you experience today. WFM will also offer up new kinds of data on how to improve the work experience and retention of your most talented performers.
While not as well known as other forms of intelligent automation used in HR—such as chatbots routinely used to screen resumes or interact with job candidates—RPA is nonetheless receiving increased attention from HR leaders as its potential with RPA leaders like UI Path becomes better recognized in the industry. Check out this quick video if you want to learn about how RPA can improve onboarding.
The Coming Software Revolution of Intelligent Work
The true potential of RPA and AI in HR may actually be about improving the employee experience which if optimized can have a dramatic impact on a company’s bottom line. According to Gallup’s State of the Global Workplace report, 87% of employees worldwide are not engaged or are actively disengaged at work, which costs approximately $7 trillion due to lost productivity. Augmented software with AI capabilities will transform HR into a more holistic productivity tool to get the most out of each employee’s potential and talent. This won’t just have an impact on HR, but across the board, on:
- Human Resources
- Customer service
- Recruiting top talent
- Company wide retention
As RPA emerges combined with very specialized AI products, there will be a software revolution of Intelligent work. It won’t be particularly ‘artificial’, but it will introduce various aspects of automation across a company’s core functions. It will make WFM and human-AI hybrid the new normal. Thus the corporate metaverse is tied to the evolution of RPA in a way many professionals, knowledge workers, executives and even data science workers don’t quite realize yet. While the Cloud makes this all possible, RPA augmented with AI and Big Data optimization is the special sauce.
AI in HR alone will:
- Create more inclusive company cultures while reducing human bias
- Streamline and improve company onboarding
- Retain talent and create more equitable and diverse workplace meritocracies
- Enable more women and minorities to be promoted to managers and executives
- Automate job descriptions and fill in the gaps of a multitude of HR tasks (thus reducing the headcount of HR)
- Sift through resumes and applicants faster and optimize the key criteria for the role
- Save time in HR tasks further enhanced by RPA tools and smarter software
- Find the best fit with less of a demographic emphasis, thus improving the quality of candidates
At first HR tasks will be automated a lot easier than Sales and marketing tasks, but they will quickly catch up in the 2030s.
RPA and more specialized AI firms will lead to a huge reduction of repetitive tasks in the jobs of these groups of knowledge workers, thus improving the quality of their work life but also reducing the demand of these types of roles to be filled. A human-AI hybrid model of work does substantially reduce head count in certain departments and over time that will impact supply-demand in the labor force accordingly while also creating entirely new positions. Many of these new positions will be in data science, business intelligence, cloud programmers and related fields.
As data scientists and AI knowledge workers in the Cloud and software services clearly there is just massive potential for the automation of repetitive tasks in customer service, HR, sales, marketing and social media management, among others. New kinds of AI startups and a bunch of BigTech B2B firms are likely to expand into RPA integrations in the Cloud. This will mean RPA automation and AI products will work together to augment how HR and other departments function significantly augmented professionals and the departments they work in on the Cloud.
Even this year in 2021, use cases that are rapidly gaining traction in RPA automation across industries are (think of drudgery being automated here):
- Sales orders
- Invoice processing
- Customer information storage
- Cybersecurity treat detection
- Processing HR information
- Processing instant refunds
- Data extraction from different sources
- Business intelligence and analytics
- Customer service
- Optimizing customer experience
You can see additional current use cases of RPA here, there are 67 listed. However the magic happens when AI startups, Cloud platforms and RPA combine their forces for very specialized results in a more data-driven environment as smarter software suites emerge. I don’t think you’ll see quite what I mean before 2025, and at first only in glimmers and fragments of business disruption. The smart capabilities of GPT-3 like inventions will also add to the exponential capabilities of such combined processes of automation.
When you think of even the early capabilities of RPA, a lot of it trends to upend how human resources works in the future. Any administrative job, whether in HR, sales or marketing will eventually be impacted by it, and it will mean higher productivity in smaller teams that are augmented with software and AI.
With AI’s impact on HR, NLP-based programs are on the verge of revolutionizing how skill-based recruiting removes biases in finding talent. Never has AI had such an opportunity to challenge human bias in HR departments and mangers with objective skill-based criteria to spot the best talent for the role before.
Robotic Process Automation (RPA) tools can help HR divisions improve the efficiency and effectiveness of their operations to operate faster and at a lower cost than other automation approaches, but AI models can progressively get better at their tasks within HR departments in a way that scales forward a company’s growth. While RPA can help with the push of automation, artificial intelligence can give meaningful insights and improve with data crunching that ultimately enables HR staff to do their jobs better.
The impact of AI on the recruiting pipeline and the war for talent means finding the touch points of every job candidate can be predicted with predictive analytics to seal the deal both from the job seeker and the company’s viewpoint. This can disrupt the talent acquisition pipeline and how it functions on a fundamental level giving AI and RPA new roles to elevate the mission statements of HR departments in companies to create a more skill based culture.
The AI for Good Aspect of AI/RPA in HR Means Augmented Job Matching & Removing Bias
Interest and activity in RPA and AI in the HR sector is growing rapidly and we are increasingly seeing deployments reaching enterprise scale and operating on processes in the HR function and across the organization.
In the corporate metaverse, HR will be a series of robots that help screen candidates smoothly out the process and improve the accuracy of finding the right match. Multiple robots can be seen as a virtual workforce – a back-office processing center but without the human resources. The irony is AI and RPA will humanize HR and remove a lot of bias, improve inclusion, diversity and celebrate a candidate’s journey thus improving their work experience, retention at a company and overall well-being in matching them with the right role.
AI and RPA thus have a place in the human resources management and recruiting of tomorrow. The ways in which artificial intelligence enhances HR performance and RPA can automate tasks in HR is only beginning to be understood and optimized today in 2021. Obviously in the years ahead machine learning, NLP, RPA and data-models around work, recruiting, skill sets matching to roles and improving the work-experience and personalizing it to the job seeker could improve exponentially each decade.
RPA and AI will fundamentally change how sales, marketing, HR and accounting clerks do their jobs. Software will get smarter slowly but surely and RPA is an emerging trend in the future of automation, but new AI suites that solve particular bottlenecks in human resources, sales, marketing and accounting cycles will compound the progress made with a significant need for programmers, Cloud specialists, datascience, business intelligence, software engineers and related knowledge workers.
This article is 1,644 words.