The Future Of HR?
(Reposted from my column In ‘Employment Today’ magazine Feb 2015)
I misread the topic suggestions from my editor. Apparently one of the themes of this month’s issue is ‘HR 2015’ and not, as I read it in a hurry, ‘HR 2115.’ It’s not a great excuse but it’s the best one John Key could give me in a hurry. I was in a hurry and I misunderstood the question!!! So, integrity issues aside, stand by for an indepth and scarily prescient overview of HR in the next century. Although, HR will have to take a step back to make room for the next genuinely flourishing corporate department RR (Robot Resources.) And no, the robots don’t like being referred to as resources either. They prefer ‘Cybernetic Capability and Development.’
They won’t all be biped, terminator-type robots (although your boss probably will be – seriously, who is going to beat a terminator for any job, except perhaps another even more aggressive terminator?) The terminator managers won’t be doing the heavy lifting but they will be exponents of MBWA – management by wandering around (albeit wandering around heavily crushing human skulls underfoot.)
Robots are a very broad church. Churches themselves are very open to new technology and were one of the early adopters of wireless EFTPOS in their collection plates. I’ll always remember smiling as one parishener took the EFTPOS handset out of the collection plate as it was passed to him, holding it so he could enter in his PIN, then using his other hand to shield the entry of his PIN. First from the side, then from above as if he was attempting to prevent God spotting his PIN. A lovely disconnect between archaic belief systems and modern realities.
I have one client today who even makes robots. I was MCing their conference, had a bit of time on my hands and was perusing their brochure to see if I could customise a joke or three. The index promised me robots on page 64 but what page 64 delivered was more of an ATM. It was for people who take so many meds that they can’t keep track of them over time or even within a given day. The robot / ATM was 300% more productive than a pharmacy assistant and 100% accurate. These will be things I’ll be looking for from my med supplier in 2115 when I’m 148. I’ll still be working as the retirement age will be 167 by then. You’ll be able to retire at 165 but the weekly amount will be proportinately less accordingly. You’ll still be able to ask Peter Dunne about it. He’s already a robot.
The term robot is short for robotnik, from the original Czech meaning ‘slave.’ Humans won’t be wage slaves in the future. Mere monetary remuneration will have expanded to include other more valuable credit such as life-units. You can treat yourself on payday by going to KFC and ordering a sugary thickshake with extra cookies crumbled up into it. They won’t be all nanny state up in your grill with patronising nutritional information. They’ll treat you like an adult. They’ll charge you ninety seven united earth dollars and take seven hours off your lifespan (as will the thickshake.)
I read recently of an HR / recruitment expert / consultant who dramatically reckoned that you only need to ask a single question in any job interview. “Walk me through your professional career from the very beginning until now.” I get what he’s saying and I think it’s a strong point. By 2115 though, the makers of the casual sex hook-up app ‘Tinder’ will have monopolised the world’s HR industry with their recruitment app based on Tinder. For those of you who don’t know, the GPS in the app can sense that there is someone else in the neighbourhood who has made themselves available and you are presented with a pic and mini-bio of various potential hook-ups. You swipe left to reject them and swipe right to accept. Very, very few people are murdered as a result of hook-ups using this app. Common sense and morals aside, you can see the obvious use for filtering CVs. Gone will be the three piles of paper CVs – yes, no, maybe. (Yes, we all know you print them out. The complete absence of trees in 2115 is mostly your fault.) Gone is the kidding yourself that anyone in the ‘maybe’ pile will ever get a chance, or even acknowledgement of their existence. Lots of swiping left will mean lots of HR folks will develop repetitive strain juries but they can have that arm replaced with a robotic one, although the marketing team will refer to them as “bionic arms.” While they recuperate in private day clinics, they can watch the top holo-tv show of the day in which young people battle for the 6 entry level jobs a year still available to humans. One of which will be writing this column for Employment Today magazine. There will be a televised fight to the death. I’m quietly confident; You don’t get to 148 without being able to win televised fights to the death.
So, yeah, good times.
###END### (Reposted from my column In ‘Employment Today’ magazine Feb 2015)