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63% HR Leaders in APAC Expect AI and Automation to Impact Organisations by 2022

February 2, 2017

Technology looks set to have a big impact on the future of workforce planning in APAC, with 63 percent of HR leaders in the region expecting Automation and Artificial Intelligence (AI) to impact their organisations in the next 5 years, whilst 26 percent report these technologies are already having an impact.

This is according to the sixth annual Harvey Nash ‘Human Resources Survey’, representing the views of more than 1,000 HR leaders internationally. Technology as a whole is revolutionising how today’s HR departments are operating, with 68 percent of APAC respondents saying the importance of technology enabled HR has increased in the past year (compared to 60 percent globally).

Over a third (37 percent) of respondents in the region reported that innovation for their organisation was ‘very important and the majority (90 percent) believe that HR has its own role in promoting and supporting innovation through workforce management.

Current levels of worldwide economic uncertainty are reflected in the decreased focus on training and HR processes as priorities.  This year training and employee education was considered a priority by four percent fewer HR leaders than last year, with HR systems and processes the drop was even greater, falling by 8 percent.

However, APAC boards have high expectations of HR to retain and develop talent in 2017 with the priorities of employee retention and motivation growing by 6 percent, culture development by 4 percent and leadership capabilities growing by 16 percent when it comes to this year’s set of priorities.

Nick Marsh, Managing Director of Harvey Nash Executive Search APAC said: “Technology is increasing its impact on the human resources function, and this year’s Harvey Nash HR Survey results show that HR leaders in Asia are further embracing tech and innovation. In light of the continuing skills shortage across the region, we are also seeing a renewed focus on the importance of retaining and developing talent, which is a directive being driven straight from the board.”

Additional APAC findings from the Harvey Nash Human Resources Survey 2017 include:

  • Streamlining the business is currently a top priority, but will be less important in the future

Being lean and cost effective is the most important activity for HR at this given moment. However, this is expected to become the least important activity in 5 years’ time, when respondents believe flexible working hours and outsourcing lower skilled work will be the top priorities.

  • Opinion is split over the progression of employee engagement efforts

46 percent of HR leaders believe employee engagement within their organisation has improved in the last 5 years and 30 percent believe it has grown worse.

  • Majority of APAC HR leaders report to the CEO and have a seat at the board reflecting the status of HR

51 percent of APAC respondents report to the CEO/Managing Director, and 61 percent sit on a board or are part of an executive management team.

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