A Chief People Officer’s Insights on Automation, Employee Engagement, and Neurodiversity

UiPath Chief People Officer’s insights on automation

UiPath FORWARD 5 gathered thousands of like-minded partners, automation experts, and practitioners to introduce new insights to reimagine how automation accelerates human achievement.

This was my first FORWARD conference after joining UiPath as Chief People Officer. I was excited to moderate a session on talent and automation because they are closely tied to the UiPath purpose of accelerating human achievement. It’s a purpose at the heart of all people-related initiatives.

During the IT Leadership Summit at FORWARD 5, UiPath customers Manpower Group and dentsu, and partner CAI, shared insights on the transformative power of automation. They discussed how they’re using automation to drive greater business outcomes and improve how employees experience work.

There is a massive shortage of talent

Ron Needham, Senior Vice President North America Sales & Marketing at Manpower Group, shared striking data that illuminates the talent shortage we are facing, including:

  • In the United States (U.S.), there are two jobs for every person looking for a job

  • That ratio is even worse for high-skill jobs (which are in greater demand)

  • In Japan, over one-third of the 68 million working population will retire over the next ten years and there isn’t a younger population to backfill their jobs

  • In North America, 1.8 million women have not reentered the workforce since COVID-19 and 21% of the working population will retire in the next seven years

“There is a massive dearth of talent... It’s a pretty remarkable moment in our history,” said Needham.

Automation improves employee experience and provides new career paths

As Flo Ye, Director of Engineering/Development at dentsu, explained, “At dentsu, automation is focused on elevating human potential—our goal is never to reduce headcount, but rather bringing people together.”

To decrease employee tedium and increase time to innovate, dentsu rolled out a citizen development program, enabling people to build robots to automate their own tasks. Dentsu trained employees on UiPath StudioX, a no-code, drag-and-drop way to build robots. Dentsu further enabled innovation by bringing together developers from 17 markets and creating new career paths. These changes helped dentsu manage automation priorities more effectively, empower their workforce to provide solutions, and improve employee wellbeing.

Tapping into untapped talent

Anthony Pacilio is the Vice President of Neurodiverse Solutions at CAI. CAI Neurodiverse Solutions is “an end-to-end neurodiversity employment program” that brings neurodiversity to the enterprise by recruiting, training, and supporting neurodivergent adults. Pacilio shared multiple sources estimate that there are over one billion people who identify as being neurodivergent. In the next ten years, one million individuals with autism spectrum disorder will enter the workforce. This is an untapped and massive pool of talent.

According to Pacilio, the term “neurodiversity” refers to differences in brain functions and behavioral traits that are part of the normal variation in the human population. Much of the neurodiverse talent is left behind despite having valuable skills such as attention to detail and focus. Employing neurodivergent adults delivers a big ROI to organizations, and neurodivergent individuals and their parents. Meaningful employment provides purpose. As Pacilio said, “The first step is planning and talking to executive sponsors or even trailblazers that want to do it.”

Actioning these insights fast

Most of the 1,500 people that Manpower puts to work daily to test games are neurodivergent. Testing can be mundane and repetitive so, Manpower automated tasks and eliminated the monotony for these testers. Manpower also coached these workers around conflict resolution and communication. This program was so successful that Manpower touted it to its Board of Directors.

Dentsu is using UiPath Automation Hub to host automation use cases and prioritize resourcing. Dentsu assigns developers to high-complexity automations and citizen developers to low-complexity automations. Developers are happier because they maximize their skills, and citizen developers are more engaged because they avoid boring tasks. “We’re so proud to use automation to embody this goal of teaming without borders and limits.” said Ye.

CAI ran a robotic process automation (RPA) pilot with neurodivergent and neurotypical individuals. The neurodivergent individuals “blasted it out of the park,” said Pacilio. CAI wants to encourage more individuals to work with them to use UiPath Academy and increase job readiness.

I knew there is a talent shortage, but hearing the true reality means we all need to act with a talent strategy that leverages automation as a driver to attract, develop, and engage talent. Take action today!

For a limited time, you can watch the full replay of “Let’s Talk About Digital Talent in IT” at FORWARD 5 by registering for ‘The Best Bits.’

Brigette McInnis-Day
Brigette McInnis-Day

Chief People Officer, UiPath

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