top of page

RoboHR: The Future of HR… Now (Embracing the HRTech Imperative) | ロボHR:HRの未来のために今こそ (HR技術の要請を受け止める)

Originally written in English

The future of work is here, and it continues to supercharge toward a more tech-oriented direction. Are you ready for the future of HRTech today?

In the 1980s, “RoboCop” blasted its way into Hollywood screens and made box office killings. This sci-fi movie tells the story of Michigan policeman Alex Murphy, shot to death by a gang of criminals and later resurrected – after an evil and greedy corporation replaced all his damaged body parts with robotic or technology-enabled substitutes.

In essence, it was a modern version of Mary Shelly’s “Frankenstein.”Only this time, the hero was reconstructed not with a hodgepodge of organic human parts but with cold metal and cutting-edge science and technology, radically transforming an ordinary person into a high-tech crime-fighting machine.

HRTech Defined

After three decades since the release of the movie, the same can be said to be happening in the field of human resources management. Today, the use of technology in HR processes continues to become increasingly popular, widespread, and more of an imperative rather than a choice.

We even have a new term for this practice: HRTech. Loosely defined, HRTech is the application of technology in partially or completely carrying out traditional HR services such as recruiting, performance management, rewards and remuneration, learning and development, career and succession planning, and employee engagement, retention, and exit.

The 3Ms and the New Normal: Ingredients for HRTech

In his latest book entitled “Thank You for Being Late: An Optimist's Guide to Thriving in the Age of Acceleration,” Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and best-selling author Thomas Friedman argues that three biggest forces on the planet today are moving full-speed ahead, all at the same time. These forces are also called the three Ms: Moore’s law (technology), the Market (globalization), and Mother Nature (climate change and biodiversity loss).

As a result of these three-way accelerations, the realms of the workplace, politics, geopolitics, ethics and community are all being transformed at a dizzying pace and to a shape and form that can only be called as “the new normal.”

If Friedman’s assertions are correct (and it seems that they are), then it is no wonder that we are now seeing the advent of HRTech in the workplace and in the process also transforming the practice of HR itself.

The 5 Trends Shaping the Future of Work

The Rise of the RoboHRs

Indeed, it’s an exciting time to be in HR or to be an HR professional now as this age arguably marks the dawn of a new breed of HR professionals… the RoboHRs.

However, you might argue that you don’t want to become a RoboHR as the term connotes a somewhat negative meaning: an HR professional who acts like a robot devoid of independent thinking, creativity and innovative capacities.

Hence, I’d like to define RoboHR as an HR professional who leverages technology to deliver HR services faster, cheaper and more accurately while at the same time executing its “prime directive” to deliver business results through people. That is, by leveraging technology, HR professionals should be able to free up their time from mundane, administrative or transactional HR activities and redirect their energies to more strategic roles such as being an organizational coach, advisor, mentor and business partner.

As such, the more relevant question that HR professionals should be asking ourselves is not whether technology will make us like robots but rather, “How can HR ‘humanize’ technology itself so we can best serve the needs of the workforce?”

That question can lead us toward a direction much like the ending of the original “RoboCop” movie, where Officer Alex Murphy, after going through a series of internal struggles, adjustments, and fine tuning, eventually became successful in infusing some of his humanity underneath his high-tech armor.

In this issue of The HR Agenda, we are truly privileged and honored to once again bring together subject matter experts and key opinion leaders in HRTech to share their latest thoughts and thinking on the topic. Get ready to read articles on how automation, robotics, artificial intelligence (AI), augmented reality (AR), cloud computing, and other related developments are transforming and shaping the future of the world of work, the workforce and consequently that of HR, not at some distant future but literally… now.

The Workforce of the Future - are you ready?

It is our sincere hope that this issue of The HR Agenda will give you some insights on how you as an HR professional can respond, adapt and even transform to become a RoboHR by embracing the HRTech imperative rather than trying to delay or worse, denying the need for technology-enabled HR solutions.

Suggested Reading

What's Hot in Technology 2017” by Futurist and Global Futures and Foresight CEO, David Smith and take a special read on the sections on Robo-bosses, Workforce (HR) analytics, and Neuroscience and brainhacking.










ピュリッツァー賞受賞ジャーナリストであり、ベストセラー作家であるトマス・フリードマン氏は、その著『遅れてくれて、ありがとう。 加速する時代に成功するための楽観主義者の手引書』のなかで、今日地球で3つの最大の力が、同時に、全速力で動いていると言う。この3つの力は3つのMとも呼ばれる。すなわち、ムーアの法則(Moor’s law、技術)、マーケット(Market、グローバリゼーション)、母なる自然(Mother Nature、気候変動と生物多様性の喪失)。










The HR Agendaは本号で、名誉なことにもHRテックの専門家・オピニオンリーダーに引き受けていただき、彼らの最新の考え、トピックに関する考えを披露していただくことができた。自動化、ロボット工学、人工知能、拡張現実(AR)、クラウドコンピューティング、その他関連の開発が、どのように仕事の世界、労働力、結果としてHRを、遠い未来ではなく、まさに今変えて行き、形作っていっているかに関する記事を読む準備はいいだろうか。


 The HR Agendaは本号で、HRプロの1人であるあなたが技術が可能とするHRソリューションのニーズを遅らせたり、もっと悪いことには否定するのではなく、HRテックの要請を受け止め、どう対応し、順応し、ロボHRに変身さえしていくうえでの洞察をあなたに示すことができればと真摯に願っている。


未来派で、Global Futures and Foresight のCEOであるディヴィット・スミス氏による“What's Hot in Technology 2017”のなかの特に、ロボ上司(Robo-boses)、労働力HR分析(Workforce (HR) analytics)、神経科学と脳ハッキング(Neuroscience and brainhacking)の項を読むことをお勧めする。

Featured Posts
Recent Posts
Search By Tags
Follow Us
  • Facebook Classic
  • Twitter Classic
  • Google Classic
bottom of page