How will AI transform the HR function? While automation, conversational interfaces, and predictive modeling are the first things that come to mind, in this article we focus on how AI will augment employee experiences and jobs in HR
Are you tired of hearing about artificial intelligence yet? Well, I have some bad news. It’s only going to become the most important thing in our life – especially if you’re an HR professional. Ask any recruiter about the hardest job to fill, they’ll likely tell you it’s the one with repetitive, mundane tasks. This work that most people are wary of, is often crucial to the functioning of an organization and, finding someone to do it is pretty tough.
The emergence of conversational interface, machine learning, and predictive modeling have helped HR transition from the traditional compliance-only function to take over a more strategic business role . Since most of the non-transactional parts of an HR professional’s job revolves around data, AI in HR has the potential to improve and automate data-driven decision making.
An IBM Institute for Business Value Survey found that about half of the respondents already acknowledged the power of cognitive computing to “transform key dimensions of HR,” and use AI-powered tools for recruitment, operations, and talent development.
“HR analytics currently run in the background of many assessments, recruitment, screening, and development applications. All the “big data” that HR wanted and knew had potential but was a burden to use is now working in an organized fashion through AI predictive analysis. The change has occurred at a slow crawl over the past couple of years, each system upgrade boasting additional capabilities, and you might not notice how it is saving you time.” says Tammy Cohen, Chief Visionary Officer & Founder at an HR background screening company, InfoMart.
The possibilities of AI in HR
“Automation transformations require change. HR will experience a shift in required skills sets. No longer will HR spend their time writing the perfect job description and sifting through a list of 100 people that have exact keyword matches. HR’s role will evolve, requiring a new focus and a new strategy.
The candidate experience will be at the forefront of the HR job description. Candidates are expecting a low-friction, quick, and responsive job search. Employees want immediate, no-hassle access to the information at their fingertips. AI can offer both the employee and the candidate an exceptional experience, but the technology must be maintained and built upon.” Says Tammy.
With AI taking the “grunt work” out of HR, recruiters will have more time on their hands to optimize workflows and drive high-quality candidate experience that directly affects business’ bottom-lines. The biggest challenge with driving successful candidate experience programs today is that most tools and programs push recruiters to alter their existing workflows and end up increasing their overall workloads, killing candidate experience programs from the get-go.
There’s also been a lot of talk about cognitive recruitment bots that promise to revolutionize candidate experience through intelligent conversational interfaces. 58% of job seekers say that they have a negative impression of a company if they don’t hear back from the company after applying, whereas 67% of job seekers have a positive impression of a company if they receive consistent updates throughout the application process. Recruitment bots being tested today are capable of real-time interaction with candidates, asking questions based on the job requirements and providing feedback, updates, and next-step suggestions.
Perhaps the most profound impact of AI will be seen in the recruitment function. According to Tammy, “Recruitment gives us the first glimpse of how AI will change the roles and tasks in talent acquisition . AI starts by assisting in the writing of job descriptions; textio assists HR managers by ranking and making suggestions of the most commonly used words & phrases in an industry. Ideal does all the sourcing for you, using AI software to automatically connect with your database sources and third-party candidate pools using your existing credentials.”
How will AI affect jobs in HR?
Identifying new job roles to leverage the full potential of AI in HR should be a major business concern for organizations today. They need to develop an expertise in how AI will impact HR. Organizations need to start building HR teams that partner with IT and Digital Transformation teams to provide information on latest AI products, services, and how other functions such as IT or marketing are embracing AI to drive growth.
Tammy opines, “HR teams are growing, adding HR tech managers and creating an IT team that reports to HR. These teams do everything from HRIS security to writing documentation to help desk support. As AI is further implemented in offices, reducing the number of positions related to mundane tasks, the availability of HR tech positions will increase.
Though HR has always been an extension of a company’s brand, in recent years HR is taken even more of a ‘brand manager’ role. With social media and internet as the primary source of recruitment, HR must work closely with marketing to ensure they stay within brand standards. Soon, HR will need to create HR marketing positions responsible for building brand awareness in the hiring sphere.
HR will have more time for the “human” side of their positions, letting computers do the mundane tasks of searching, sifting, and sorting. In a study conducted by The Harris Poll on behalf of the American Staffing Association, 7 in 10 Americans feel that the job search process is too impersonal. The majority of adults in the survey prefer their first contact with a company to be face to face, via a phone call, or via email. HR will still need to support the human touch.”
A strategic advantage to any organization is a well-trained and professionally developed workforce. With the increased need for digital skills (not only in HR but throughout an organization), HR will need to coordinate their training approach with the organization’s overall strategy. The need for continued training will fall onto HR’s shoulders.
Although enterprise AI adoption is still in the early stages, it would befit organizations to develop a concrete understanding of AI, its ecosystem, and its massive potential to create new job roles. Today we have just scratched the surface of how AI and conversational interfaces will transform all aspects of HR processes.
The road ahead
AI is an integral HR tech-trend that needs to be embraced for driving inch-perfect decision making and effective human resource management. Organizations must train HR professionals to work closely with these technologies so as to comprehend the power of AI in HR.
The future of HR will be a team approach, one in which humans and machines work together to find solutions. ‘Man vs Machine’ will not be the future of HR. Despite all the capabilities of this new tech, companies will still need humans in the human resource process. The skills required to be in HR will advance as all skills sets throughout the organization will need to be digitally capable. The good news is that training and development will fall within the responsibilities of HR and their machines.