Fixer: Should I be scared of my chatbot colleague?

24 Jan 2019 By PM Editorial

I'm concerned my company's new automated employee will take over my role

My business has bought a chatbot solution, which is going to handle a lot of standard HR requests regarding pay and holidays. We’ve been told it’s all about freeing up our time, but as an HR administrator, I am worried about what it means longer term – I spend a lot of time on queries like that. How do I future-proof myself?

If I were you, I’d see this chatbot as a positive development. When HR systems first came in many years ago, we were all told they would decimate HR departments. In fact, the opposite has happened. And if both individual HR professionals and leaders grasp the opportunity afforded by new technology, artificial intelligence (AI) is not at all bad news.

There are plenty of aspects of an HR admin role – such as dealing with holiday and leave issues – which can be automated and undoubtedly that will reshape the way we do things. But the amount of data AI-enabled systems will generate is an opportunity for HR to analyse, innovate and answer strategic questions about workforce planning, OD and culture rather than dealing with simple queries.

We all need to get better at proactively planning our careers and remember our current roles are not the entirety of what we can do. Use the performance management processes in your business to look at areas you can strengthen, ask your manager what the strategic vision is for HR and how you can be part of it and work with tools such as the CIPD Profession Map to review how and where you can grow in the future. Your job won’t disappear overnight, and by starting now you have time to plan for any eventuality.

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