A recent article in The Recruiting Times* caught our eye, claiming accounts as one of the most likely skills to be replaced by robots following research from Oxford University.

Are we one step away from creepy channel 4 drama ‘humans’, with ‘Synths’ running our lives, managing company accounts and driving UK business forward?

*“The researchers examined 702 jobs, picking out skills essential to roles such as creativity and dexterity, to work out whether humans could be replaced by robots.

The jobs most likely to be replaced by robots are accounts, insurance underwriters and telemarketers, with up to a 99 per cent certainty…..The job prospects for waiters and waitresses don’t look great either, as they have a 94 per cent chance of being replaced by robots. The process of moving to automated service has already started, with robotic waitresses serving diners in cafes in China.

Whilst the study didn’t suggest a timeline for an A.I takeover, it suggested that jobs in office administration and production will be first to be completed by robots. Service, sales and construction jobs will probably be taken over next.

Michael Osborne, one of the researchers on the Oxford University study said:

“I think we can almost guarantee that technology will continue to progress and will ultimately render almost all the jobs that humans do today automatable.””

Recruitment consultants must also be on the list for a ‘Synth’ replacement programme? Recruitment has experienced a phenomenal rise in online recruitment services, social media and job boards. How we successfully fill jobs has undoubtedly experienced huge change. Are our days also numbered?                        

We are not so sure, as online technology has exploded in the industry, it has brought a need for even more ‘human’ guidance through the recruitment process and a personal approach to recruitment campaigns to enable successful, long term placements. The human element can help to make sense of mass online applications which can reveal little about an individual’s character, reliability and cultural fit.

Accounts departments will undoubtedly have already experienced extreme IT automations over the years but personal account management, credit control, customer relationships, business strategy and future planning are all key to commercial success, accounts are not just numbers on a screen.

We all want a person, importantly a personality at the end of the phone or at a meeting to help us make key decisions in our life and for our business. Maybe we are all safe for a while longer before the A.I takeover?

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*For the full article in The Recruiting Times click here.