Organisations not sufficiently prepared for robotisation

Published on 19 June 2018

Technological developments, such as automation and robotisation, have a drastic impact on work processes and the job market. Jobs are disappearing, new ones are appearing and staff requires different skills. Yet, the Robotisation theme only ranks in 21st place on the HR priority list. This is one of the findings of the HR Trends 2018-2019, the largest survey conducted among HR professionals by Berenschot in cooperation with Performa and Talentsoft.

The impact of robotisation is already making itself strongly felt

No less than 90% of HR professionals today are noticing the impact of robotisation. In 40% of the cases, the changes due to technological developments are significant to highly significant. For example, in 41% of the cases robotisation is directly responsible for the loss of jobs. Almost three quarters of the jobs is changing substantively and one third of the surveyed HR professionals observes that new jobs are being created as a result of robotisation.

'Technological developments have a major impact on staff. Jobs are disappearing in 41% of the organisations. And in 71% of the organisations employee responsibilities are changing.'

Impact of robotisation on staff not clear for HR

Yet, only 18% of survey participants knows what the specific consequences of robotisation are for staff and what the potential impact is on staffing levels, competencies, recruitment, training needs and work processes. For 80% of HR professionals the impact of robotisation is not or insufficiently clear.

It is as if HR is caught in a dilemma in this area: the impact is recognised, yet people are unwilling or unable to give it priority. "Our salary surveys show that employees too are well-aware of the impact of further digitisation and robotisation," says Hans van der Spek, who is responsible for the survey on behalf of Berenschot. "They are worried about their ability to keep up in terms of knowledge and skills. At the same time they are disappointed about the minimal support they receive from within the organisation in terms of advice and facilities."

Robotisation is more top of mind in the industry sector

Only in the Industry sector is there some urgency among HR officers in relation to the consequences of robotisation and automation. In 2019, the theme here rises to 12th place, while it remains stuck at roughly 20th place in other sectors.

About HR Trends

In the HR Trends survey, not only HR officers in salaried employment were interviewed, but also directors of HR service agencies and self-employed HR advisers. Over 900 HR officers participated in the survey. The results of the survey will be presented during the HR Trends Conference on 28 June.


Hans van der Spek

Hans van der Spek

Senior managing consultant

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