The increasing prominence of business process automation (BPA) is creating new opportunities for jobseekers, the results of a new study suggest.

After questioning HR professionals from more than 2,000 companies, CareerBuilder found that one third have replaced human workers with machines. Some 68 per cent of these respondents, however, said the adoption of new automation technologies has generated new positions elsewhere within their businesses.

More than a third (35 per cent) said the “de-skilling” process alone had created more positions, with companies able to hire numerous semiskilled workers to fill roles previously held by individual specialist staff members.

CareerBuilder CEO Matt Ferguson was quoted by marketwatch.com as saying: “Technological advancements have not only increased productivity, but historically have led to an expansion of employment. “While automation may eliminate some jobs, it also creates other jobs that are higher paying and lifts the standard of living for the economy as a whole.”

As part of the study, employers were asked whether they believed that automation would have a significant impact on their own industries. Overall, a third said it would, but the customer service sector is expecting to feel the greatest impact, with 35 per cent anticipating a major shift.

According to benefitspro.com, customer service was followed by information technology (33 per cent), accounting and finance (32 per cent), and assembly and production (30 per cent) in terms of anticipated automation impact.

Author: Graeme Parton