Despite two thirds of HR leaders expecting to manage artificial talent within the next five years, less than one in five employees in the region fear that automation will take their jobs away.
According to Randstad’s Employer Brand Research, an average of 17.3% employees in Singapore, Hong Kong and Malaysia feared that automation will take their jobs away.
In Malaysia, of the over 4,500 employees and job-seekers between the ages of 18-65 surveyed, only 13% thought automation will take their jobs away.
While employees in Singapore and Hong Kong held the highest fears of losing their jobs to automation – of the over 5,000 surveyed in each market, 19% and 20% feared their jobs will be lost to automation respectively.
A further one in five across the three regions stated that they could not imagine technology taking away their jobs – 21% in Malaysia, 17% in Singapore, and 26% in Hong Kong.
This might be because a large group of employees felt that automation will in fact make their jobs better.
Malaysian employees were found to be the most optimistic – 51% thought that automation will make their jobs better.
On the other hand, staff in Hong Kong were the most pessimistic – only 39% thought their jobs would be improved by automation. While 45% of employees in Singapore had the same sentiment.
That said, on average, a third of all employees in each market felt indifference towards automation and stated that they felt it would have no effect on their jobs – 33% of those in Malaysia, 30% of those in Singapore, and 37% of those in Hong Kong.
Michael Smith, managing director, Randstad Singapore, Hong Kong and Malaysia noted: “Through discussions with senior leaders from varying industries, we’ve seen that many organisations are in the midst of executing digital strategies incorporating automation into their daily business operations – including Randstad. With many employees are already experiencing some level of automation being integrated into their daily work lives, it’s clear why nearly half of employees in the region feel that automation will make their jobs easier.”
Interestingly, over six in ten employees said they would be happy to retrain into a new role provided that their salaries would remain the same or higher than before.
Malaysian and Singaporean employees were the most open to retraining with 70% and 72% stating so respectively, whereas only 52% of Hongkongers felt the same way.
On the opposite end, one in ten said they would rather move a different company than retrain – 6% of those in Malaysia, 8% of those in Singapore, and 17% of those in Hong Kong.
“Automation is a polarising subject; our Randstad Employer Brand Research findings clearly reinforce that. The results further highlight the need for organisations to pay even more attention to the sentiments of their employees and potential talent to understand what they need to focus on to be an employer of choice,” added Smith.
Photo / 123RF