How HR robotics can be good for people

By SA Mathieson

Organisations can use software-based robotic process automation (RPA) to make staffing cuts, but this is not the style favoured by Norwegian hairdressing chain Cutters.

The company, which started with one salon in Bergen in December 2015, had 92 in five countries by the end of 2019. It offers 15-minute haircuts at a fixed price of NOK299 (about £25) in Norway, about half the usual price. This means taking a buzz-cut to overheads, with just 25 of the company’s nearly 500 staff not working as hairdressers.

Cutters initially got the manager of each salon to work out shift patterns. “It was OK for the first 30 salons,” says chief digital officer Bård Strøm, but the company reckoned it could do better centrally. “We saw that we could use RPA to add capacity,” said Strøm.

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