Scientists at Hovnaar University in Sweden have been working with industry representatives over the past two years to develop more cost efficient ways of working. The study, which looked at 273 different job types across 14 industries has identified areas of work that can be automated by computers, or performed by animals.
In particular, the study identified HR roles, in particular recruitment and recruitment agents, as areas that require little or no human input. Dr Sven Greerson who headed up the animal section of the study said;
‘the process of recruitment is very much hit and miss. People can be trained to interview well or complete assessment centres. What is needed is an instinct about whether someone is a good person. We have identified through our study that cats are a far more reliable indicator of suitable employees than humans. We sit the candidates in the ‘interview room’ with some cats and wait to see who they sit on. It really is remarkable’.
Other roles that could be replaced include advertising and social media. General marketing duties can be performed by high functioning chimps.
‘They can be trained through rewarding good decisions with food. If a product advertising campaign receives a good response, we increase the chimps food quality – offering fresh fruit and favoured dishes such as spaghetti carbonara. If there are no clicks on web campaigns or sales drop, the chimp is given 2 day old fish pie.’
Social media has clear algorithms according to the study. By including trending terms on twitter, pictures of celebrities in compromising positions and young animals, it is possible to maintain a strong social media presence without actually having to touch a computer. You can skew the content somewhat by repeating a few uplifting phrases, but changing the background picture slightly to a different waterfall and incorporating your company logo in prominent positions.
The study has huge ramifications for students thinking about future career plans and advice from Dr Greerson is to think long and hard about whether a chosen career path could be made obsolete by a hamster.