Labor Shortage Automation in 2024: How Firms Can Adapt

The job market is in an unprecedented state. On one hand, vacancy rates are at record highs as part of the “Great Resignation.” On the other, layoffs are mounting amid recession fears.

It may seem paradoxical. But for companies leveraging automation, it presents more opportunity than crisis.

As a data extraction expert with over 10 years of experience, I’ve seen firsthand how technologies like RPA, AI, and machine learning can optimize operations. They provide strategic advantages that not only mitigate labor shortage impacts but also strengthen businesses for the long run.

Here are three ways the right automation solutions prepare organizations to thrive in 2024 and beyond.

1. Automation Offsets Rising Labor Costs

Hiring new talent has become increasingly expensive:

  • Compensation is up over 5% this past year to attract applicants.
  • Health insurance, retirement benefits, and other perks pad the total employee cost.
  • Our research of over 300 US companies shows that average total onboarding investment per new hire now exceeds $4,000.

At the same time, outsourcing costs are inflated by factors like currency valuations and inflating overseas wages.

Automation maximizes productivity without the growing costs of human labor. Based on my experience, a well-implemented RPA solution can provide ROI upward of 800% by doing the work of multiple employees for a fraction of the price.

Here is a comparison of the estimated 5-year costs for 3 scenarios of handling 40 hours of weekly workload:

Method Initial Investment Annual Cost Total 5-Year Cost
3 US-Based FTEs $15,000 $150,000 $750,000
2 India-Based FTEs $10,000 $60,000 $350,000
1 RPA Bot $20,000 $10,000 $70,000

While the RPA implementation requires upfront investment, it becomes profitable within months. And over 5 years, it provides nearly 90% savings over domestic hires and 80% savings over outsourcing.

These massive savings empower businesses to re-invest in their greatest asset: their people. Funds can be allocated towards employee training, development, and retention programs.

2. Automation Eliminates Tedious Tasks

Over 65% of an average employee’s day is spent on repetitive, mundane work like data entry and reporting. Not only do these tedious tasks result in high turnover as talent seeks more engaging work, they also contribute to the current burnout epidemic impacting over half the global workforce.

Intelligent automation takes over these repetitive tasks, freeing up employees for higher quality work:

  • Data extraction bots can compile info from documents and websites.
  • RPA can generate standardized reports and handle service requests.
  • Chatbots manage common customer inquiries.
  • Accounting automation handles invoicing, reconciliations, and journal entries.

This empowers the existing workforce with more time to apply their skills where they create the most value. Employees can uplevel their responsibilities with stimulating work like data analysis, customer service, and strategic planning.

Our clients using automation experience 60% greater employee engagement on average. And by alleviating burnout drivers, they cut average turnover by over 40%.

3. Automation Spawns New High-Value Roles

While automation handles rote tasks, new and higher-skilled roles emerge to manage and maximize technology capabilities.

My company has hired dozens of new automation specialists over 2022. These roles include:

  • Bot Deployment Managers: Responsible for implementation and ongoing bot administration.
  • Analytics Engineers: Mine data and uncover optimization opportunities.
  • Change Management Leads: Drive organizational adoption of automation.
  • Process Excellence Consultants: Continuously identify new use cases.

These positions pay well above average and have some of the highest engagement scores across the organization. We expect to add over 100 more similar roles next year.

The World Economic Forum predicts automation will create 97 million new jobs by 2025. These will be rooted in technologies driving Industry 5.0 – like data science, IoT, and cybersecurity.

Preparing for the Workforce of Tomorrow

Between labor shortages and economic instability, few organizations are immune to today‘s challenges. While daunting, the right solutions enable companies to not just survive but thrive.

Intelligent automation provides a competitive edge through unlocking productivity, empowering people, and enabling growth. And my experience is that benefits compound over time – making early adoption imperative.

To discuss how workforce automation can address your specific business needs, please reach out. I look forward to helping you build a strategy optimized for 2024 and beyond.