Robot Workers and Human Problems: Hiring (and firing) your digital workforce

Posted: 06/07/2018 - 04:38

Picture the scene: you’re in the middle of hiring for a role in your HR department. At the interview stage, some bright young candidate takes a seat. You ask the classic question, “So why should I hire you?”

“Erm…you shouldn’t really.”

“I’m sorry?

“Well if you wait 12 months I’ll be better at the role and cheaper to hire.”

“Oh…well now I don’t want to hire you, but what about the work that needs doing now?

Whilst you’re unlikely to hear this exchange in the human world, it’s a real consideration when it comes to the Robotic Process Automation (RPA) marketWhy should I pick (‘hire’) something now when there is something better and cheaper coming down the line in two years time? At the same time, how do I meet my short-term automation needs? 

The marketplace looks as if it’s going to get more cut-throat as RPA tools become cheaper and more effective. So as the price per bot’ falls fastflexibility has a key role to play in making the best use of your RPA capabilities. 

However, this flexibility can suffer when companies insist on viewing RPA as something that can only be obtained through an IT procurement process. Whether due to perceived complexity or a fixation on short term financial incentives, treating the acquisition and management of your digital workforce in the same way you treat, for example, your CRM, could prove to be a little short-sighted. 

Making business-oriented hiring decisions is the cornerstone of human recruitment, so why should it be any different for RPA bots? Let’s look at this more as a business question and less as an IT-centric decision. Here are the two most common misconceptions that lead businesses to lump choosing RPA tools in with traditional IT procurement:

  1. ‘Our team should be trained on one tool’
    Rubbish! Tech developers in all walks of life are able to switch between languages and development environments with little or no difficulty. RPA can be seen as a development system like any other. Even if you have to invest in a couple of weeks’ extra training for your team, their increased business flexibility will pay you back with interest.   ‘We want to access volume discounts’
  2. ‘We want to access volume discounts’
    While you might be able to reduce initial costs by investing in just one tool, you are at the same time 
    significantly increasing risk by putting all your eggs in one basket, so to speak. 

It’s essential in the current market that companies have a virtual quiver of RPA tools that is kept under review on an annual basis at the very least. One of the beauties with digital workers is that you don’t feel guilty about firing them after a year when a more capable digital worker appears on the scene!

We need to let business units choose the most efficient RPA tool for them and ensure that behind it all there is an RSO (Robotic Service Orchestration) platform to provide governance and control across the entire digital workforce.



About The Author

Kit Cox's picture

Kit is an entrepreneur with over 15 years of experience in the BPO and technology industries. Kit founded Enate with a view to disrupting the shared service and BPO market via automation, AI and RPA. He has developed a robotic orchestration platform which manages end-to-end service provision process across humans and robots, ensuring the optimal journey to automation. Enate’s disruptive SaaS platform deploys within weeks, reducing time to automate by 75%, and providing cost savings upwards of 25%.
Twitter: @KitCoxEnate