Posted: 05 Jun. 2019 05 min. read

More time, less privacy and different jobs

The future of Human Resources in a data driven workplace

Data is everywhere: 90% of the world’s data has been created in the past two years helping organisations to create valuable insights, never before accessible. So what does this mean for HR? 

More data = more time? 

The world has become too complex for humans to even try to know everything. Automation presents an opportunity to augment and improve the work we do by enabling individuals to rise to different levels of capabilities. Since 2014, has employed only four human workers to service robots who organise, pack, and ship 200,000 orders a day in a near autonomous warehouse. JD claims its purpose is not to eliminate workers, but to become faster and more reliable, matching similar automated workforce tech giants such as Facebook, Apple, Tencent, Baidu and Alibaba.

HR can help organisations harness the benefits of automation. HR can redesign work to allow workers to embrace the more human aspects of their jobs, encouraging creativity, emotion and allowing workers to focus on developing trustworthy relationships with customers. 

More data = less privacy? 

Alongside the rise of robots, there are increased number of data breaches both in Australia and internationally, which impacts the way business is done. Deep insights through analytics are unlocked through data, but with a heightened emphasis on privacy and awareness of rights such as the GDPR’s ‘right to be forgotten’, we may start to see workers pushing back.

Future HR’s potential role in management of this is three-fold: they can  be custodians of the ever-changing regulations by maintaining internal policies and procedures; they can develop a deep understanding of how people data is being used; and – perhaps most importantly - they can take responsibility for driving initiatives that boost workers’ trust that their organisation is using their data correctly.  

More data = different jobs? 

Large north American telco, Verizon builds tech fluency among its workers through ‘Incubation Teams’ made up of Data Scientists, Data Incubators, Data Engineers and Data Translators to tackle customer problems. The role of the Data Translator, in particular focuses on making sense of the data ‘language’ produced by Data Scientists, and translating this into business outcomes, an insight into the type of roles that will become critical in the future augmented workforce.

HR has an opportunity to design new and emerging roles which are in turn managed as an agile pool of resources. To support designing these roles, HR can look at running learning and development initiatives to bolster tech fluency across the organisation.  

William Gibson, an American-Canadian writer famously said “The future is already here — it's just not very evenly distributed.” Some businesses and their HR functions are already realising this digitalisation in their workforce. Is your organisation ready for the digitalisation of the workforce? How is HR tackling these new challenges?

  1. More data, more time – is your organisation open to investing in the automation of the less human aspects of employee roles?
  2. More data, less privacy – is your organisation actively seeking to prevent data breaches and manage the safe storage of employee data? Is there a high level of employee trust in your treatment of their personal data? 
  3. More data, different jobs – is your organisation encouraging a growth mindset and investing in building a tech fluent workforce? 



Meet our authors

Mark Bowden

Mark Bowden

Director, HR Technology and Transformation

 Mark leads the Australian HR Advisory team within HR Transformation and Technology. Mark has been in Australia since the beginning of 2017 having joined from Deloitte UK where he worked in HR Transformation for nine years. He regularly researches and speaks at conferences about the future world of work. Mark is a co-author for Deloitte’s High Impact HR Model which sets out the key principles and framework for the HR organisation. Mark’s experience is across the full remit of HR transformation, he has led programmes that have: defined the HR strategy; developed business cases for transformation; designed future HR functions; built and implemented Shared Services, CoEs and Business Partners. In HR technology, Mark has selected HR core and enabling technologies and implemented cloud based HCM and enabling technology solutions. As part of the Australian team Mark has led the HR Operating Model and HCM System Selection work at Australia Post, Rio Tinto, Western Power, Cabrini, NAB, Imdex and HBF where Mark has been the Lead Client Service Director. Mark was MCA HR Consultant of the Year for his work at RWE n power and HSBC.

Fiona McClure

Fiona McClure

Manager, HR Technology and Transformation

Fiona is a Manager in Deloitte Australia's HR Technology and Transformation practice where she works with senior HR teams to provide strategic advice during a wide range of HR transformations.  Fiona has worked on large-scale SuccessFactors, Workday and Oracle implementations focusing on System Integration Testing, Operating Model and Process Re-design, and Change Management.  Fiona has broad sector experience and has worked internationally in Asia Pacific, Europe and Latin America. She has industry experience from her time as a junior HR Business Partner at the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC).  Fiona is Associate CIPD qualified (equivalent to Professional Member of the Australian Human Resources Institute) with diverse experience across all HR disciplines. With Deloitte, clients included are ANZ, Qantas, Medibank, British American Tobacco and UK Public Sector.