Friday Five: Human and Non-Human Resources

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Human resources is an increasingly data and technology-driven field. Recruiting now makes good use of machine intelligence, improving candidate search and diversity outcomes. Strategic HR requires smart, big data analytics. And employer branding is more and more driven by candidate and worker technology preferences: texting, social media and more. So this week I thought we’d look at HR and technology (as opposed to HR tech) and the intersection of human and not so human resources. What will HR look like in years to come, in our increasingly technologically mediated lives?

Here is your Friday Five:

Even Artificial Intelligence Robots Face Stereotypical Sexism in the Workplace

As if dealing with harassment and discrimination in the workplace isn’t tough enough, now we have to think about the ways that bigotry and abuse might apply to artificial intelligences and robots. It’s not so much that the robots are so advanced that their feelings are getting hurt, as it is that allowing nasty behaviour of any kind in the workplace, regardless of whether there’s a marginalized group that can be hurt but such behaviour, breeds toxicity. Motherboard looks at recent research into sexism against robots and AIs today — something worth thinking about now, before we do get the point of truly intelligent artificial intelligences.

Wearables at Work: Data Privacy and Employment Law Implications

Wearables are a pretty hot topic in the HR blogosphere. Because wearables like FitBit have made such an impact on our daily lives, the idea of operating workplace health and safety or wellness programs aided by wearables is enticing. Instead of relying on occasional training sessions or free lunches, we could be having a sustained daily impact on employee lives! Sounds great — but are there privacy or legal implications? Lexology explores some of the legal questions that you have to answer before setting up a wearables at work program.

How The Internet Of Things Will Impact HR

So you integrate wearables at work. And then you add various sensors around the office. You’re tracking attendance, wellness, productivity and happiness. What do you do with all this data? Who analyzes it and what uses do you put it to? And perhaps most importantly, what kinds of data will you decline to collect and analyze?

Like It or Not, “Smart Drugs” Are Coming to the Office

Performance-enhanced workers — dream or nightmare? Whatever some managers might think (hope? dream), as far as HR is concerned, I’m pretty sure this is a nightmare. The use of concentration-enhancing drugs is rife in postsecondary education and internship programs, and cocaine, that old confidence-booster, has a place in the legends of every risky business. Well, studies now show that ADHD and narcolepsy medications — the most common “smart drugs” — can actually improve cognitive performance, and with their increasing normalization, will this be your next big HR problem?

How HR Can Bridge the Tech Inequality Gap

HR tech is a hugely booming industry, but HR departments still aren’t often at the top of the list for enterprise technology purchases. Being an early adopter when it comes to improvements in employee analytics can give your HR and recruiting efforts a competitive advantage. But how can you convince your HR department to welcome and look forward to change? And how can you convince the bosses you’re worth the buy?

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