Why automation shouldn’t be feared

Franck Fogliaresi

As humans, we like to be comfortable. We are happiest when things are consistent and familiar. We like our world to not change too dramatically. This is an extension of our evolutionary bias that anything unknown may be a potential danger. Unfortunately this jars with the fast-paced business world we now live in. The tremendous acceleration of technological progress in the last decade means that our working environments are constantly changing, and if you are not looking forward, you are already behind. For those wanting to succeed, this means being comfortable with change.

The trend of automation

The automation of manual process is occurring with increasing frequency across all industries. The HR and recruiting industries are particularly optimal for such an automation in recruitment change due to the significant amount of manual administrative processes. According to a recent article posted by SRM, digital transformation ranks number one in 7 Critical Strategies to Prepare for the Future of Human Resources. According to a global report by Resource Solutions, 81% of businesses plan to invest more in technology over the coming years.

Fear of the unknown

New technologies take time to gain our trust. Particularly when our understanding of them is generally fuelled by fiction rather than fact. Science-fiction movies and popular culture sensationalise technological advances and exploit them to create great dramatic stories. In reality, automation is nothing like the sci-fi dystopian worlds where humans are first replaced and soon thereafter deemed unnecessary and eliminated. When the fear mongering driven by Hollywood is mixed with our natural tendency to resist the unknown, we can throw up many self-inflicted obstacles to adopting new automated solutions. Regrettably, this can hinder us from increasing our productivity and negatively impacting our success.

Avoiding risk

Another natural human trait is risk avoidance. We are far less likely to take action for fear of potential losses rather than taking it for potential gains. The psychology of this tendency is rooted in our reluctance to give up something we already have. What we have now is far more tangible than potential future gains, therefore we are far more likely to act to protect what we already have.

Accordingly, our fear of adopting new ways of working can also be driven by a fear of making a mistake and damaging or hindering processes that have run smoothly up until now. In reality, this is just another variation of fear of the unknown. So armed with the correct information there is no reason to let fear hinder progress.

Why we should embrace automation

Automation will become widespread irrelevant to fears. A recent study of Deloitte states that 42% of companies plan to have processes fully automated within five years. Instead of replacing humans, it will simply empower people to provided more value, work more efficiently and generate more business growth.

Find out how you can automate manual processes in your recruitment agency with minimal disruption.