Transmuting Human Resource through AI

Over the past few years, artificial intelligence has matured into a collection of powerful technologies that are delivering competitive advantage to business across industries. Artificial intelligence in HR will make organizations better because these applications can analyse, predict and diagnose to help HR teams make better decisions.  It creates a better future if it is clearly understood, utilized in different ways to streamline processes and improve efficiency. It is very important to understand the way AI is shaping the HR industry. 

There are numerous applications of AI in human resources; some of them that HR is using are into recruitment, onboarding, employee mobility, L&D and retention. Let’s dive in and see how it is being used and impacting the function.

Recruitment: One of the most talked-about trends in HR and recruitment is AI. We all know HR gives that human touch to connect organizations and employees (current & future). When there are high numbers to be achieved HR leverages AI technology. It is well known that organizations traditionally require new applicants to re-enter the same information over multiple steps on the new-hire journey. This repetitive task often leaves a poor impression on job applicants. To alleviate the monotony AI helps the candidate to transfer the information from their resumes onto digital forms and more efficiently completing the application.  Also, fifty per cent of candidates do not receive any communication or have any interaction with the employer once they apply for a role.  AI also helps in candidate engagement i.e. with AI in place it can send real-time and unique messages to individual candidates not just driven by tags, positions or locations. While using the engagement opportunity it reflects new positions or skill update requirement that the candidate might have acquired since the last time they applied for an open position.

It also plays an important role in candidate rediscovery which means by maintaining a database of past applicants, AI technology analyses the existing pool of candidates and identify who would fit for the new role. Rather than spending much time and resources searching for fresh talent, AI is used to identify qualified candidate more quickly.

New Hire Onboarding: AI is also helping in new hire Onboarding when the hiring manager finds the best fit for open position the onboarding process begins. While new hire orientation is effective at introducing new hires to the organization’s culture, processes and policies. AI helps to answers to the common questions and provides new hires with information and resources. It is not restricted to standard business hours or locations, chatbots can be used and remote support applications. This reduces administrative burden and results in faster integration.

Employee Mobility and retention: Artificial intelligence is utilized for employee mobility (global/internal) and employee retention. Employee mobility (global) plays a key role in attracting and retaining top talent. Increasing globalization and new business opportunities across emerging markets have risen as key demand driver of global mobility.  AI helps organizations to look beyond traditional ways of managing global workforce by using intelligent system to identify, predict and mitigate the risk associated with relocating their employees around the world. Though chatbots might not completely replace humans in the mobility department, but will surely streamline workforce enabling the mobility function to become more agile while improving the overall employee experience. It also predicts who on a team is likely to quit, having this knowledge as soon as allow HR to deploy retention efforts before it’s too late and thus it also reduces attrition.

Learning & Development: L&D plays a major in enhancing the skills of an employee or taking the current knowledge to the next level and thereby helping business to achieve its new goals. Earlier every employee needed to learn the same course content. Now the content is personalized to meet the learner’s need, focusing on weaker areas and recommend suitable content based on past learning (largely seen in Google and YouTube recommendation based on searches). AI also provides insights based on enormous amount of data it has collected and analysed, which facilitates L&D leaders to create customized learning programs, unravel key cost structuring, learner progress and retention faster than before. This helps to assess the gaps in the program and redesign it.

With AI in all its application many HR professionals may not spent much time on program development but the reality is AI is not a magic wand and will not be able to fix everything. It will not fix garbage content. AI can improve employee training experience and provide feedback on the areas to improve.

Impact of AI on the future workforce and job Market:  When people are asked about the impact of AI in the job market the answer is generally pessimistic view, AI will replace humans while AI in business is fuelling massive change. So will it lead to massive unemployment?

We have seen how software revolutionized the business and made it easy to deal with massive data used by businesses. Similarly, ATMs made it cheaper for banks to operate, so banks have increased their number of offices.

Tasks that are monotonous can be easily automated; this can gradually make certain roles go obsolete. There is a surge in companies pushing for automation and AI in the workforce does not mean that a large number of people is going to lose their jobs. Employers must assess which technology is best for them and incorporate them in company culture.  

Any job losses from automation are likely to be broadly offset in the long run by new jobs created as a result of the larger and wealthier economy which is made possible by these new technologies. In other words the workforce needs to develop skills to work alongside these technologies.

AI & Future of HR

The future of HR is in terms of the changes and advancements that are currently taking place.  Another way to think about where HR is going is to consider what all advancements will ultimately lead to – HR departments that are more human and how these trends allow HR teams to focus more on people and less on processes and paperwork. 

Artificial intelligence is the simulation of human intelligence by machines.  The combination redefines how man and machine work together to reduce “busy work”, create scalability in HR processes and improves the integrity of HR data. These technologies automate basic, repetitive tasks, tackling them faster and potentially with greater accuracy than if a human performed them. 

Perhaps the biggest benefit of HR automation is the ability to offload many of the small, repetitive tasks that those in the HR space perform on a daily basis. HR professionals can take on tasks that are more interesting and fulfilling such as strategy or interactions with others (employees/business stakeholders) in the organization more often. When HR enjoys their work and is more engaged, it helps to set the tone for the entire organization improving overall engagement and enriching culture. This enables HR from a Transactional to Transformational department with greater emphasis on strategy and cross-department knowledge. Automation gives HR ample time needed to pursue initiatives by eliminating many redundant tasks that would otherwise occupy their time.

Conclusion: With AI rapidly reaching the mainstream that has resulted in the way people across the world interact with technology and their teams. There is no one-size-fits all approach to successfully managing change, instead, organizations need to partner with their HR to personalize the approach to implement AI at work in order to meet the changing expectations of their teams around the world.

Author – Moumita Ray

Moumita Ray is a human resource leader with rich experience in designing & developing strategies, processes, enhancing capabilities, and building culture to help businesses achieve its excellence.

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