HR 4.0 – What is It?

Industry 4.0 represents a major transformation in the way businesses approach manufacturing. This fourth industrial revolution has already reduced the human resources requirements of many businesses through automation. Similarly, the exchange of data among disparate systems has dramatically enhanced efficiency and decision-making processes.

Although the world will see even more changes in coming years, much of the required technology is already in place to replace half of all current work-related activities. Meanwhile, industries such as defense and aerospace could approach total digitization as early as 2020.

No one can know for sure what will happen when companies need fewer human resources to operate. However, one thing we do know is that your job as an HR professional will look dramatically different as a result. Here are a few samples of the changes that you should expect.

1. People

Without a doubt, much of the significance of Industry 4.0 lies with its impact on people. For starters, a growing number of workers are discovering that their knowledge, skills, and other capabilities are no longer needed. Meanwhile, people who remain employable have evolving expectations about their terms of employment and working conditions.

In the corporate setting, these automation and other evolving technologies are changing the needs of organizations. For starters, business owners and managers will need to reassess their structure and redefine what tasks they have that require human involvement. As a result, they may find that they need to dramatically adjust their hiring practices.

Industry 4.0 also affects HR professionals. For starters, they need to work closely with businesses to help them identify their staffing needs and then find and hire the necessary people. In the process, HR departments and agencies must themselves embrace new technologies to stay competitive in their field.

To put it differently, as you grapple with the re-invention of the human resources industry, you must deal with employers, employees, and peers who also are experiencing upheaval in their professional lives. However, by consistently prioritizing the needs of people over processes and other considerations, you can thrive during the present revolution.

2. Recruiting

Industry 4.0 is affecting every industry at every level. This disruption now affects every aspect of HR, including recruiting processes. If in-house HR teams and agencies fail to adapt, they will lose their competitive edge. So, to continue matching the best talent to available jobs, you will need to embrace this evolution.

For example, the availability of new data will help agencies understand what makes a company appealing to job candidates. Consequently, HR will have the ability to take a primary role in shaping corporate culture and values. Likewise, HR professionals will potentially learn more about where and how to connect with qualified prospects for any particular job opening.

Technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and euro-linguistic programming (NLP) will help you sift through mountains of resumes. Similarly, you will have the ability to glean from the historical performance of past job holders to refine your recruiting parameters.

As you become more proficient in pairing organizations with appropriate human resources, you will become instrumental in reducing recruiting costs. In other words, HR 4.0 gives you an opportunity to create sustainable competitive advantages for you and your firm.

3. Teamwork

In the past, all HR tasks within an organization were performed by in-house teams or outside agencies. Now, Industry 4.0 is making available technologies that include practically every area of a firm in the hiring process.

To help various departments coordinate their activities with HR teams and agencies, HR professionals will need to learn about digital technologies and use them to work more efficiently. This involves the use of collaboration and communication tools as well as digital record keeping and business analytics.

The job of the HR professional includes more than finding and hiring the right talent. It also involves other tasks such as onboarding and training. To begin with, you can automate and personalize the initial experience of new employees.

Ongoing training and development programs can also benefit from digital technologies. For example, tactics such as gamification can motivate workers to maintain a high level of competence. Also, many online learning technologies exist that allow workers to study to learn new skills on their own schedule using their mobile device.


In summary, Industry 4.0 has already brought many changes to the business world, and many changes are on the way. As an HR professional, you need to search for and embrace the disruptive technologies that will help you work smarter and more efficiently as an agency or HR team.

Needless to say, part of your job will involve discovering and meeting the changing needs and expectations of your clients and recruits. Also, you can expect the new industrial revolution to open new opportunities for you to provide ongoing performance management and training that will help you stay relevant to the employers and employees that you serve every day.

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