Office for National Statistics (ONS)

More than half of HR admin jobs at risk due to Automation

Analysis from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) suggests there will be vast automation across the HR board.

Unsurprisingly, those most at risk are at HR admin levels. But the good news is if you can get the experience you need, at HR Manager or HR Director level, more than 7 in 10 will be protected from automation.

As another study is released on the shift in skills within the sector, our founder Julie Cook FCIPD reflects on the future of HR .

I’ve seen this shift in demand for skills since I started my first HR Administration job many years ago. The automation of work is nothing new and is not confined to HR. With the ONS also telling us that 31% of graduates are over qualified for the jobs they’re in it makes sense to replace lower skilled roles wherever possible.

Brexit will of course compound the need to increase automation as employers find it increasingly difficult to recruit high quality people to fill entry level positions. The ONS gives no idea of timescales for this level of automation. Although larger companies are more likely to be making investment sooner to achieve economies of scale.

This is not much comfort for those just starting out in their HR careers.

The ONS report makes comparisons based on age with 20-24 year olds most likely to be replaced. And those aged between 35-39 least likely to be replaced. This matches with our experience of delivering CIPD qualifications.

We are seeing more younger students skip the foundation course and move straight to CIPD Level 5. This may well protect them from a certain amount of automation as they are developing key management skills. As an employer, this does make me worry that the focus on management can be to the detriment of the high-quality practical skills the HR profession is built upon.

The CIPD are planning to revise their HR and learning and development qualifications for September 2020. It will be interesting to discover how they respond to existing and predicted changes in the field of HR in the update of their qualifications.

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