Who Will Train Whom in HR?


Professional training for the HR professional has always been required, and traditionally, they’ve had to keep up their professional development on the following topics, which were always changing:

  • employment laws
  • leadership and organizational trends
  • economic trends around employee recruitment and retention

The Fourth Industrial Revolution, also known as the digital and Artificial Intelligence (AI) revolution, however, is here and transforming the workplace drastically. How much will workplaces change, and how fast? Many are afraid that AI, deep learning, and robotics will eliminate all human work. Although it is true that many jobs—and even whole industries—will change, and possibly even disappear, not all human workers will.

It is interesting to ponder what the role of the HR professional will be in this Fourth Industrial Revolution. Richard Baldwin, in his book The Globotics Upheaval: Globalization, Robotics, and the Future of Work, outlines a key insight of what HR professionals could do: “Realize that humanity is a competitive edge, not a handicap.” This is a very powerful statement, which should inform the fundamental goal of all HR professionals and HR departments—seeing where workers can do their best work with the greatest impact.

Perhaps it is now time in the HR world to take the often-administrative tasks of job design and analysis and make them strategically important to ensure human skills are used to their full potential. Marty Neumeier, in his HR article, discusses key human skills and their innately human qualities, such as:

  • creativity
  • intuition
  • system thinking

Click here to read in greater detail about the human skills required in future workplaces.

The Fourth Industrial Revolution will certainly disrupt current workplaces, jobs, and even entire industries, but by combining the thoughts of Richard Baldwin and Marty Neumeier, HR professionals may be able to create more engaging and meaningful work for the new workplace reality.

Discussion Questions:

1. Research and review a Job Analysis (JA) process. From that research, develop a process and create a JA form that takes into account the key human skills required in the future workplace, as outlined by Marty Neumeier and Richard Baldwin.

2. Once your new JA process is complete, prepare a five-minute presentation that would convince your VP of HR that they should adopt your new system of Job Analysis.