The Robots Are Coming

By Irina Nagy

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Although the existence of robots has been impacting our lives for a while, more and more people are now wondering if these machines will soon take on mental tasks and eventually dominate the work world. There is no denying that Artificial Intelligence is handling more jobs than ever.

A former McDonald’s CEO, recently said that ‘buying highly skilled robotics is a cheaper alternative than employing people on minimum wage to work in the company’s worldwide restaurants.’ This statement seems to be backed up by recent studies and reports which suggest that as many as 35% of jobs will be automated over the next 20 years.

The Robot Factory

The first robot-only factory, owned by Sehnzhen Evenwin Precision Technology, aims to reduce the current workforce of 1,800 by 90% and the Bank of England believes that machines might take over 80 million American and 15 million British jobs over the next 10 to 20 years (around 50% of the workforce in each of the two countries).

The skilled jobs set to be at higher risk are those at middle level, rather than the higher and lower ends of the spectrum. In addition, those in the lower pay scale will be more at risk to be replaced by robots. The leisure industry will be particularly vulnerable, along with food preparation and transport also likely to see advancements in automation. High volume, repetitive jobs, are arguably the most suited to robots due to the mundane, monotonous nature of such roles, which can often lead to human error.

At the opposite end of the scale, creative jobs and those that require emotional intelligence are least likely to be taken over by machines, due to the essential human input of these jobs.

How Will Robots Affect Recruitment?

Recruiter’s will need to adjust as their jobs become more automated. Administrative tasks will almost certainly become entirely automated resulting in recruiters having more time to focus on the consultative element of their role. There will be more time to spend with candidates and clients, nurturing relationships, managing accounts, providing advice and preparing interviews.

The rise of artificial intelligence will potentially create a new stream of roles that need to be recruited for. As mentioned, for every robot implemented there will always be the need for emotional intelligence in any working environment – unless we become a world of robots that is.

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