Automation for Good in Talent: How Technology Can Make Work Better for Everyone

05/19/2021

Ed Pederson

Vice President, Product

Automation is one of those buzzwords that looks great in a presentation and sounds awesome in a meeting but often fails to be implemented practically inside a business. Organizations can feel overwhelmed by the sheer amount and complexity of tech on the market. It’s nearly impossible for one person or company to have a constant grasp on what’s best-in-class, what the interdependencies are between tools, and how every automation solution might interplay with their systems.

There also seems to be a distinct divide between consumer tech and business tech. In our day-to-day life, we want to be able to pick up an app and run with it in a very intuitive way – we just expect things to work. Yet, inside a business environment, we still accept archaic environments and that every tool will require a significant amount of training. It’s something we’ve addressed through our proprietary tech stack – Helix. There, we’ve stripped away complexity to create a consumer-style, easy-to-use interface that provides access to a wealth of talent technology, including automation in a highly intuitive way.

What’s more, there is a nagging, underlying worry that automation is inherently bad for people. That it removes jobs and opportunities and sends us towards some robot dystopia. I don’t think this is the case. I believe automation has a huge capacity for good in all parts of the workforce and can provide the space for us to focus on inherently human skills and attributes. In this blog, I take a closer look at some of the benefits automation can bring to businesses and their people.

Automation can remove soul-crushing work

Copy data from spreadsheet A. Open spreadsheet B. Copy data to spreadsheet B. Rinse and repeat. Most of us have had to deal with these repetitive, swivel-chair tasks at one time or another, and when much of your role is tied up in this type of work, it can get soul-crushing, real fast. Automation allows us to remove the mundane from roles and free us up to focus on value-added tasks. There’s a supercomputer in our heads and it makes sense to make the most of it. Removing many of these repetitive tasks also gives us more time to interact with others – increasing everything from the time leaders and managers have to develop their teams to time spent focused on innovation.

Automation can help to support diverse talent

One of the most exciting aspects of automation is the way it can help people with diverse abilities to find and access work in a meaningful way. From filtering and streamlining opportunities so that neuro-diverse talent can connect to roles that are a great fit for their unique abilities, to ensuring bias is reduced in the hiring process, there are a number of ways that automation can improve access to work. It can also help businesses to build processes that help diverse individuals excel. For example, creating personalized processes for completing timecards, to ensuring that neuro-diverse individuals can access and process the data more effectively.  

Automation can introduce a fourth labor channel

Full-time workers. Contingent workers. Contract workers. Digital workers. We could be moving toward a world where automation is not just a tool, it’s a whole labor class. We’ve been working with customers to identify and discover opportunities to introduce digital workers to take over their mundane and repetitive tasks that humans don’t like to do. This could transform the way we think about workforce planning, and we’re already working on our first live opportunity in this space. Results look incredibly promising right now and I believe this could transform how we think about getting work done.

Where do you start your automation journey?

The great news is that you don’t have to have a higher degree in computer programming to make automation work for you. There is a whole generation of talent-focused automation products with it baked right in. It’s something we were incredibly passionate about when creating Helix; we believe that to make automation more than a buzzword, we need to move beyond visionary concepts and put people on a practical path to achieving tangible goals.  

For organizations, the automation journey always starts with identifying an opportunity. Often, this means working with a talent partner or technology expert to understand where automation can have the most impact. It’s then about implementing and maintaining a solution with an eye for not only addressing this challenge today but an understanding of how this solution will support your business in the future. Being an early adopter in the talent automation space can also help you to stand out in a competitive marketplace or ensure that your business is better prepared for unexpected obstacles.

Want to talk automation or find out more about our proprietary tech stack, Helix? Drop me a line to talk about your workforce challenges and discover more about the future of automation at work.

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