Why Human Resources must Leverage the Power of AI

Original article was published on Artificial Intelligence on Medium

When it comes to the world of business, technology is no recent entrant. It may not always have been explicit or visible, but technology has always contributed to the achievement of business outcomes, improving efficiency, and optimizing operations. And with 🔗artificial intelligence (AI) coming in, the way humans interact with technology is set to transform and improve by leaps and bounds.

Sample this:

· In 2018, 32% of workers used AI in some form at work; this went up to 50% in 2019

· The usage of AI by workers in some countries is double that in others

👉Expectations from HR have evolved.

There was a time not long ago when HR was considered a clerical, administrative domain. Record-keeping was the main focus, and strategy was alien to its functioning. Now, however, HR practices have evolved to help take organizations toward their strategic goals — hence the nomenclature ‘strategic HR’. The focus is on performance management, teamwork, and other high-performance HR practices, the domains of talent management professionals.

👉Finding the right talent can be challenging!

Effective talent acquisition is key to growing an organization and helping it contribute to its industry. Several issues come in the way, though. The process is time-consuming, with 26 days on an average spent on approval, screening, and decision-making. Interviews are highly subjective, often biased, quite predictable, and ineffective in hiring the right persons. And while proactivity would help to strategically stay ahead of the curve, recruitment tends to only react to past events. Bad hires can be costly — financially (up to 30% of first-year earnings), as well as by dragging down productivity and morale.

🔗Talent management professionals also face challenges in engaging and retaining employees. The workforce comprises different generations, and their career development expectations differ, as do their expectations from and requirements for learning. Skill acquisition is especially critical given the onward march of technology and the need to adapt to stay relevant. Inadequate succession planning leaves the organization in the lurch when an employee makes an exit, and tricky compensation expectations have workers continuing to look for better offers.

👉AI can be very helpful

HR leaders deal with a number of challenges on a daily basis, and AI can be their ally for a smoother ride.

AI facilitates talent acquisition by finding candidates who best match the job requirements with their skills and experience, using machine learning (ML) algorithms to learn common keywords in resumes. AI-based solutions could put out better job posts and reach more diverse candidates. Prospective candidates can be alerted to newly-open job positions, and AI can predict their likelihood of acceptance, their performance, and expected tenure. Reminders and resource review suggestions make for better interviewing, while AI and benchmarked data help individualize job offers and band roles. Administrative burdens of onboarding could also be eased, useful when considering 75% of turnover is rooted in ineffective onboarding.

Talent leaders can leverage AI to boost employee retention by meeting their needs. Personalized career development recommendations maximize employee career potential while syncing it with business movements. Career paths can be built around specific learning experiences accounting for upskilling requirements. And in the event that a critical employee does choose to exit, leaving a gap that could impede company success, AI could help predict such exits and attrition rates through looking at salary history and other factors, uncovering great candidates who could step up given their cultural fit, capabilities, and accomplishments.

When it comes to bridging skill gaps through learning and development, AI can be very helpful for talent management professionals. Learning can be personalized basis individual habits, interests, and style, and delivered collaboratively, also facilitating cross-functional learning. Administering learning opportunities also becomes easier by looking at interactions with and outcomes of learners.

👉The potential impact of AI in HR is wide-ranging!

AI is transforming every aspect of work — from business models to customer experiences and workforce demographics. When put together with strategic insights, AI can transform how talent leaders help an organization target new business opportunities and improve its competitive advantage.

The impact of AI in HR will be significant and go up with time: 13% of 🔗HR leaders corroborate its becoming a regular component of HR work, and 55% expect the impact to widen over a five-year period.

How AI is helping HR is in line with how technology helps any task: doing the same thing at higher pace and efficiency, and lower cost. The difference, for instance, can be seen in how previous avatars of technology speeded up Internet-based recruitment, and how AI is assessing skill matches, estimating time to hire, and predicting how likely a candidate is to succeed in his/her role. HR performance can improve not just incrementally but exponentially!

What is important is for HR leaders to quickly comprehend areas where AI could have the maximum impact, and prepare themselves accordingly. According to Seyda Berger-Böcker, Director Analyst at Gartner, “When deciding on HR process improvement initiatives, HR leaders must make AI-based solutions a central pillar to look at.”

Transparency with employees is integral to the success of AI in HR. They are key stakeholders, and must comprehend its benefits and not fear how it may take away some tasks previously handled by humans. Nearly two thirds (61%) of employees agree that transparency on future plans would make them more comfortable, and ameliorate their uncertainty on upskilling plans. The stakeholder approach must also take in people of differing levels, expertise, and geographical locations, as this will strengthen the shared vision that will get AI to deliver great results for the business.

📫 My other Stories on Human Resource:

  1. How AI Will Revamp HR Industry in 2020 & Beyond
  2. Big Data–The Future of HR
  3. The Role of Data Science in Modern HR Practices
  4. Technology and the Evolution of HR