This week on Blogging4Jobs, we are focusing on the theme Man Versus Machine sponsored by 1 Page Proposal. Automation versus cognitive thought. Within this world of social media, social recruiting and HR technology, it’s easy to get caught up in the cool, the fads and the next big thing. But, at the end of the day, we cannot forgot that it’s people that really make social media initiatives kick ass. To follow the entire series make sure to bookmark our Man vs. Machine category for all the latest blog posts. 

We have gotten used to having computers around us. As I sit here writing this on a laptop, I have my smart phone to my left and my iPad to my right. At lunch I will stop by a restaurant where the “cash register” is actually a computer. The car I drive is controlled by computer technology though it is older technology that deals with the engine and not the passenger experience. This technology, for the most part, requires me to start the interaction. However, the day of computers initiating conversations and interactions is close at hand. I was wondering what the HR department might look like in that world.

HR as “the” computer

Writer Peter Nowak, in his article We live inside the machine now: The arrival of ubiquitous computing, tells us that computing power is working its way into our everyday existence to a great extent than we know. We are embracing technology that can alert us when someone has broken into our house, or the temperature on our wind cellar has gotten to warm. He mentions that in Japan this technology is very widespread and there machines and walls initiate conversations with people and expect a response. So with that thought in mind here are some ways I see the HR department changing:

  • Identification “tags” that recognize the person that walks into the room and instantly bring up the file on that individual along with any current issues. The room greets the person and asks how they may be helped. If the person is just there for a form, or some other “interaction”, the room handles it. This could even work for payroll problems.
  • The HR representative, probably the only person in HR, can talk to her desk or the wall and dictate any document, such as “Hal please produce Form a nondisclosure for new employee Robert Smith. The parameters are, include this in the new employee packet.” Because the room can produce these documents and information there will be no need for administrative employees in HR. The HR person will be there to make decisions not produce things.
  • The HR person will wear some device, such as Google Glass, as they interact with employees. Facial recognition software will produce a file on each employee the HR person approaches. Notes will be recorded based upon the conversation.
  • Employees will all be tagged with GPS devices, perhaps sewn into a company uniform, which will allow the HR computer to know the location of the individual at all times. The device will allow any messages to be immediately transmitted to the employee, either as an individual or as part of a group.
  • “Smart” uniforms will recognize if an injury has occurred and records the data surrounding the injury. Sensing such an injury the uniform device can summon help immediately and begin a first report of injury and accident investigation.
  • Devices will record time actually worked versus non-work time to provide extremely accurate time recording. Based upon body posture and movement the AI can make the determination if the employee is “relaxing” or working for recording breaks times.
  • There will be no desk top computer. You will use the wall or the air space over a table to bring up a screen such as found in The Minority Report. And of course all meetings will be virtual.

These are just some of my ideas how artificial intelligence will change the way HR works. There is no statement here of whether they are good or bad, just what might be. What do you foresee? Have a wish list? Have a “must avoid” list?


Special thanks to this week’s theme sponsor, 1 Page Proposal. Learn more about their revolution of Human vs. Machine by clicking here or by visiting the hash tag on Twitter #humanvsmachine.

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Mike Haberman

Michael (Mike) D. Haberman, SPHR is a consultant, speaker, writer of HR Observations, and co-founder of Omega HR Solutions, Inc. After over 30 years in HR he got tired of the past and focuses here on the Future of HR. Connect with Mike.

Reader Interactions


  1. FirstCallCS says

    This could happen in the not so distant future, technology has a huge presence in the recruitment world and seems to be dominating certain aspects e.g. job boards.

    Although, I don’t think machines can ever replace head hunters and interviewers – human interaction is necessary with these. But there is likely to be a lot of mixing with the modern tech and traditional methods.


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