We’ve all walked by a self-checkout machine at the grocery store and thought, “this must’ve replaced a poor cashier.” And why wouldn’t you? The fear of technology taking over regular human jobs has been gripping us by the throat since movies of robot invasions and dystopian-era Sci-Fi’s hit the screens. Since then, we as ordinary humans began to shift into this new mentality where we believe our jobs and livelihoods are at stake. But just how much of this new outlook is realistic? Mohannad El-Barachi, the co-founder and CEO of WRK, a digital platform working to amplify the power of bots and APIs to our advantage, wants to change that perspective. An immigrant from Egypt, El-Barachi is a tech entrepreneur and business strategist living in Montreal who wants us to know a secret: The dystopian age of robots being able to perform solo open-heart surgery or judge a court case simply by being connected to Wi-Fi? Yeah, not happening.
Throughout his career, El-Barachi came across a discovery that surprised him. We as human beings are not reaching our full potential, even with access to mind-blowing technology. “There are still a lot of tasks that we do that are, frankly, just very repetitive and mundane and that can be and should be relegated to automation in some capacity, if possible,” he explains as his curious (and hungry) daughter makes her way into the shot, rightfully asking for snacks. In this case, the tech pro is talking about how we should be using automation as our primary resource to complete the mundane tasks of our workloads. From time-consuming necessities like data entry to spreadsheet organization, our human energy is spread throughout different duties to reach the levels of success we desire in our careers. Instead of wasting our human energy on B-roll work, El-Barachi believes these technologies should actually be helping us maximize our work. Simply put, while our robot friends gather the numbers and make the pivot tables, we, the humans with the brains of endless creativity, utilize this completed work to spend more time putting the puzzle pieces together and generate some genius. What we need to understand and even visualize, is that the power of these machines can help accentuate our talents; they can never actually replace the human touch that makes an experience of a product or service relatable.
When asked about how HR professionals can present this incoming reality to jobseekers, the tech entrepreneur was more than happy to give his two cents. “The first thing that I would say is, you have to frame the term right…We have come to redefine the term automation not as getting your work done, you know, by machines, but rather getting your work delivered at scale ideally with machines. Because now, 20 or 30 or 40% of what you used to do, a machine is doing it cheaper. That doesn’t mean that I’m paying you less, it just means you’re producing more.”
While this new information should be hopeful to HR pros looking to recruit talent, it’s imperative not to forget the humans we do hire, are the humans we want to work with long-term. El-Bachari went on to explain some of his dos and don’ts when it comes to words you should use on your resume to describe yourself or your profession. A golden tip: be unpretentious.
“When you step back and you ask yourself how you should be describing yourself, there are titles that are earned and titles that are sort of, you know, bestowed on to you. You can’t label yourself as a visionary. That’s very pompous of you. And what we strive for, is to try and find people that are going to be authentic, that are going to be humble.” What matters most to employers and recruiters is the authenticity and truth behind experience. Rather than puffing out their chests on their work history, jobseekers should present themselves in the most honest way they can, simultaneously implying they are going to bring their best to the table.
Reaching your full potential has never been easier. As humans, we are in the best place in time to accomplish and achieve what we are striving for. As technology continues to advance, so does our intelligence. How could we keep forgetting that we’re the ones behind its evolution? Just as we continue to create amazing job opportunities for ourselves, it’s important to use our resources to accentuate our performance. Presenting employment that is in partnership with the power of exceptional machines should no longer scare jobseekers into thinking of a dystopian future leading to their unemployment, but to a bright one in partnership with the very same technology that enriches their talents, and of course, helps to deliver at scale.