Cognatio Blog

Scott Simons
Scott Simons

WILL YOUR ROLE BE AUTOMATED?

31.07.2017
WILL YOUR ROLE BE AUTOMATED?

As technology continues to re-define the way we work, will there become a time ‘traditional’ roles are replaced by machines? Whilst developments in tech have enabled better efficiency for workers across all types of industries, will this come at a cost to the UK workforce? With research from the British Chambers of Commerce suggesting ‘three-in-four businesses are facing a shortage of digital skills in their workforce’ will companies start to rely more on robotics and artificial intelligence (AI)?

Particularly in the recruitment industry this is a very hot topic. Advances in technology means certain day to day tasks can now be automated. Some employees have embraced new technologies since it has cut down on laborious tasks and means they can spend longer in client facing aspects of their role. However, as AI and cognitive technology develops many believe this could lead to some jobs being completely automated. In 2013 Oxford University examined over 700 jobs to evaluate which were at most risk of being automated. They found telemarketers, referees and tax preparers where amongst those at most risk. However, five years later these roles are still being held by humans and in the past 60 years only one role has been completely automated – elevator operators!

The nature of modern work means employees don’t do one task day in day out, their role encompasses many different activities which still need some form of human interaction. Plus, even with roles which could technically be fully automated there are many other factors such as; cost of robotic solution, return on investment, effect on staff moral and client interaction which will affect the decision to automate a role. Therefore, for many businesses automating human roles will not be possible in the foreseeable future.

The use of cognitive technology and AI should be seen as an enabler. For example, accountancy is seen as one of the ‘most likely’ roles to be automated in the future. However, rather than worry if robotics will take over their job, accountants should embrace new technologies to reduce paperwork and use the extra time to build relationships with clients. This is true for all industries, in the future if roles are replaced by robotics, this will create new jobs. In 20 years’ time people will be working in careers which are yet to have been created, which we find very exciting. Ten years ago if you told a pilot their future career could be flying a drone they wouldn’t even understand what that meant.

We frequently get asked by candidates how they can future-proof their skills to ensure their role isn’t automated. However, the simple answer is they can’t. Instead, where possible candidates should develop their current technology skills, be open to new opportunities and embrace the impact technology will have in the job market. 

If you would like to discuss more about how Cognatio Solutions can impact your business’s hiring plans or if you are a candidate looking to explore new opportunities please email scott.simons@cognatiosolutions.com. And don’t forget to follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn to hear regular industry news and find out about the projects we’re working on.