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able to protect our jobs and
help businesses maintain
accountability by redefining the
narrative of man versus machine.
Instead of treating the human
like a machine, we need to start
treating the machines like people.
To know more about how HR
can future-proof human jobs,
read Rachel Disselkamp’s article,
Machines Can Be People Too.
Apart from these articles, also
read additional informative
articles on AI and other HR
strategies that will shape the
organizations. We hope you
enjoy reading the articles and
get the insights to make the right
decisions to build a high-performing workforce.
There’s no denying that AI and
machine learning technology
is here to stay. Today, virtually
all human capital management
(HCM) solution providers are
creating applications with
embedded AI and machine
learning, leading to a variety of
potential advantages. Artificial
intelligence has fast become an
essential part of HR operations,
but is HR ready for more
advanced tech?
To help learn more about AI,
disruption and innovation,’s HR Research
Institute conducted a study to
examine how Human Resource
professionals (HR) think about
and prepare to grapple with a
wave of inevitable AI-based
change. Check out the highlights
from The 2019 State of AI,
Disruption, and Innovation survey,
and the 10 key takeaways, in
this issue.
Right now, interest in AI is at
historically record levels and any
business that does not either
find a way to incorporate AI in its
systems or relabel its products
as “AI-based” might as well
start printing pink slips. AI is
such a fundamental innovation
that it is referred to as “the
new electricity.” How can HR
professionals wade through this
technological revolution? Read
Peter J. Scott’s article, HR And
Artificial Intelligence – Answering
The Big Questions Together, for
more insights.
Edwin Lisowski’s, New Meaning
Of HR With AI Technology, talks
about the benefits and threats
accompanying the development
of AI technologies in the
HR sector.
If you feel stunted by a lack
of skills or an overcrowded,
multi-generational workforce,
imagine what happens when an
intelligent, automated workforce
of workflows, algorithms, bots,
and programs outnumbers
human workers. We may be
Have a say?

Today’s human resources professionals must
attempt to chart a course through a perfect storm
of hype about artificial intelligence with little to no
guidance and wildly conflicting predictions. If one set
of experts are to be believed, an effulgent utopia is
just around the corner, with AI serving our every whim
and solving every problem from poverty to disease
and from climate change to aging.
Another set of equally credentialed experts predicts a
cascade of burgeoning crises starting with dystopian
unemployment and culminating in human extinction.
Right now, interest in AI is at historically record levels
and any business that does not either find a way to
incorporate AI in its systems or relabel its products as
“AI-based” might as well start printing pink slips. AI is
such a fundamental innovation that it is referred to as
“the new electricity.”i
For the last five years, I’ve been helping individuals
and companies navigate this maelstrom of
blather, and while it’s tempting to characterize it as
uninformed bombast, there is much to be concerned
about and act upon. True, if you inspect the Gartner
Hype Cycle for AIii you can see many technologies
HR And Artificial
Intelligence – Answering
The Big Questions
By Peter J. Scott
Surviving and thriving through the AI disruption will
require us to undertake fundamental cultural changes
queued up on the upslope of the Peak of Inflated
Expectations, waiting for their bubble to burst
before they join the ones already sliding towards the
Trough of Disillusionment. I do expect that starting
in 2021, we will enter a new “AI Winter,”iii a period of
widespread antipathy toward and distrust in artificial
intelligence that has occurred more than once
before when AI made rapid advances and was then
promptly expected to be on the verge of instigating
robot revolution.
This new downturn will start when it becomes clear
that autonomous vehicles are not going to remake
HR Strategy & Planning Excellence presented by December 2019 6 Submit Your Articles
HR And Artificial Intelligence – Answering The Big Questions Together
transportation in the way so many pundits have
predicted that it has become conventional wisdom.
Cars without steering wheels or pedals will not be
dropping you off at work to go on to mint money
operating as a taxi until it’s clocking-out time. Roads
will not empty, auto insurance companies will not
wither, trauma wards will not sit vacant, and parking
lots will not be plowed under. These predictions
have taken on a life of their own and by 2021 it
will be apparent that they are further away from
realization than anyone can safely forecast.
Many people will make the mistake of assuming
all AI predictions were equally overblown, and this
will set their businesses up for painful disruption
when a lean, capable, and versatile AI-as-a-commodity emerges on the other side of the AI Winter.
What does it take to be properly prepared during
such confusion?
The answer is not information, but insight. There are
no formulas for thriving through this disruption for
the simple reason that formulas are the birthright
of machines. Any plan simple enough to be codified
in information can be executed by an AI, if not now
then soon. Distinguishing ourselves from those
machines requires investing in human nature. What
we must do is prepare ourselves to be the kind of
people who can handle an uncertain future.
Here are some of the principles that will guide HR
professionals and their businesses through this
technological revolution.
Automate whatever you can. The promise of AI is
to free us from drudgery. Where in your job do you
feel like you’re performing a rote task, acting like a
machine? A machine can do that now, so procure
it. Save your energy for something more uniquely
human. You’ll need it.
Question common assumptions about AI. AI
is already doing some of the things that most
people think it will never do or is decades away
from. For the first fifty years of computer science,
the statement “A computer can only do what it is
programmed to do” was axiomatic. It is no longer
true. If it were, we would not have computers that
can perform facial recognition, because no one
knows how we recognize faces. Yet computers
now do that better than we can, and we did that not
by programming them, but by training them.iv We
don’t know how they do it, either. Another everyoneknows-that fact is that computers aren’t creative.
Certain expressions of creativity can be performed
adequately or superbly by AI. These include reportwriting,v
scripting TV commercials,vi and composing
original music.vii It’s important to understand what
kind of creativity is automatable and what isn’t. It is a
stereotype of computers that they cannot understand
emotions. Yet it is now possible for AI to read human
emotions accurately through facial expressions.viii It
will not be long before this technology is integrated
with smartphones to make it possible to automate
some levels of guidance employees toward greater
fulfillment and job engagement.
Be ready to detach from parts of your job. Some
aspects of what you do may not be drudgery;
may, even, be enjoyable to you. But if they can be
automated then you will not be able to compete with
an AI at that task. Understand what those aspects
are and pick your battles. Some of those automatable
tasks involve human interaction. Companies like
HireVue and Codility market AI for conducting
interviews with and screen potential hires. Deloitte
has turned over part of the task of curating employee
experience to an AI.ix Direct your talents of empathy
and coaching toward the levels that AI is least
suited to.
Assess your place in the market. If you are in a
traditional, product-based industry, you are vulnerable
to competitors using AI at scale to vaporize your
margins. AI is becoming a commodity that will be
leveraged asymmetrically by wealthier enterprises.
If you are a relatively small player, consider shifting
to an innovative industry and to services instead of
Don’t bother with long-range predictions. Humans
have never been very good at this and the horizons
are shrinking all the time thanks to exponential
growth in technology. Unless you’re prepared to revise
your predictions on a near-weekly basis, they will be
useless for most of their intended lifespan.
HR Strategy & Planning Excellence presented by December 2019 7 Submit Your Articles
Become a futurist. The paradoxical counterpart to
giving up long-range predictions is that we need more
than ever to exert a conscious focus on the future.
Instead of directing our energy towards predictions,
however, we should assert an ownership over the
future and look for where and how we make or
influence decisions about how technology is used at
the workplace to shape the quality of our lives.
Decide who you are. When automation knocks at your
door is the worst time to ask the question, “What does
it mean to be human?” Start now, amidst the luxury of
stability. Many people’s identities are wrapped up in
what they do, and the metaphysical rug will be yanked
from under their feet when they discover a machine
doing that better. When you undertake your own
journey to find your purpose you will be better able to
assist them in dealing with that existential angst.
Decide what you stand for. Every age has authored
utopian dreams of a future characterized by equality,
fulfilment, abundance, and transcendence. Yet we
still inhabit a world shaped by inequity, deprivation,
suffering, and crises. As much as we might like to
lay all the blame for that at the feet of our national
leaders, most of those forces were shaped by us all,
collectively. Undertake your own cultural revolution
at the workplace – under the more palatable label of
Digital Transformation – to apply Systems Thinking x
to uncover the dynamics that cause people to become
victimized by technology.
These themes may seem grandiose if all you started
out looking for was how to apply AI in the business.
But because AI is on a course to ultimately rival or
exceed us at decision-making, and will develop faster
than almost everyone expects, we’re overdue for
taking that long hard look at the big questions.
Would you like to comment?
HR And Artificial Intelligence – Answering The Big Questions Together
Peter Scott is a futurist, author, speaker,
and technology expert. After receiving
a Master’s degree in Computer Science
from Cambridge University, he moved
to California to work for NASA’s Jet
Propulsion Laboratory. Independently,
he raises awareness about exponential
progress in technology, particularly
artificial intelligence. He has given two
TEDx talks and in February 2020 he will
deliver another at the largest TEDx in
Western Canada in addition to speaking
before an all-party parliamentary group
on the future of AI in Britain’s House of
Lords. In April 2020, he will speak at
the CPHR conference in Vancouver. His
book “Crisis of Control: How Artificial
SuperIntelligences May Destroy or Save
the Human Race” explores this topic. He
has founded the Next Wave Institute, an
international educational organization
and consultancy for futureproofing.
HR Strategy & Planning Excellence presented by December 2019 8 Submit Your Articles
Digital transformation relies on technology and
people, it takes hard and soft skills, facts and
feelings, and it changes the way organizations deal
with employees and customers. An overarching term
that also encompasses digitization and the term
the goals set forth by the leadership of
an organization determine how far the transformation
There exist many very recent technological
advancements that bring into question the future of
work, but the permeation of artificial intelligence (AI),
robotic process automation, the internet of things,
virtual reality, analytics, augmented reality, and others
only serve to refine the human component of work.
Uniquely human jobs and aspects of work will remain
far into the future.
Digital Transformation
If digitization is the conversion of data into digital
form, and digitalization is the harnessing of
technology to allow interaction with data in newer,
better, and faster ways, digital transformation differs
from both in that it is aimed at enterprise-wide system
integration and implementation. While the former two
terms can be done in isolation, the latter must have
the participation of all stakeholders of an organization
and a culture that can handle sweeping change.
Because the involvement of humans in digital
transformation efforts differs depending on the
source or force of change, it makes sense to briefly
mention 1) technological advancements, 2) customer
desires, 3) pure innovation efforts, and 4) external
environmental shifts.ii Tech is becoming smaller,
cheaper, faster, and things we couldn’t have dreamed
of doing even a year ago are feasible now due to it.
The Future Of Work
By Jeff Frey
Digital transformation and the human component
Every day the new abilities we can interconnect that
were once disjointed tech practically forces us to do
so. If the tech doesn’t make us, customers will.
Customers hold the integrations and advancement
in the palm of their hands, and we scramble to
keep up. For those fortunate enough to be ahead
of curve, it is a struggle to stay there. Only through
intentional innovation, new solutions to problems
carried through a process of acceleration and commercialization, do companies have a choice whether
to give in to the force or hold it back. Not advancing,
however, in today’s environment isn’t an option.
Energy efficiency, labor regulations, and economical
impositions back organizations into a corner and
force digital transformation.
Example Projects
Examples I have personally been involved in include
a car manufacturer handing all its existing data over
to AI in hopes that they can keep their customers
safer; not through better car design, but how to keep
drivers safe from themselves. Capturing years of
driver data, customers who drive recklessly force the
manufacturer to account for those situations inside
the steel, wires, and circuit boards of the car.
I assisted a popular children’s hospital with the use of
digital bots fed with analytics, insights, and real-time
data to help disease patients make better medication
decisions. The force here is a mix of innovation
efforts and technological advancements; the idea was
hatched long ago, and the tech has finally caught up.
The last example is that of a digital twin. Two
companies I worked with created digital twins, one
company of their products and the other of their
HR Strategy & Planning Excellence presented by December 2019 9 Submit Your Articles
machine is so far yielding the highest rate of return
for companies. Routine tasks removed from humans
make roles MORE human, augmenting things like
design, critical thinking, interpretation, emotional
intelligence, communication, customer service, problem-solving, listening, and sense-makingv
along with
targeted specialized digital know-how that displaced
workers don’t possess and graduates haven’t been
taught. 50% of all new roles in the US remain vacant
because candidates with the right qualifications can’t
The New Workforce
While reskilling is noble and upskilling necessary,
the development of new workforce skills must start
early. The Partnership for 21st Century Learning (P21)
includes large US businesses (Ford, Microsoft, Time
Warner, etc) and learning organizations (Pearson, PBS,
Library Networks, and more) to “realize the power and
promise of 21st century learning for every student—in
early learning, in school, and beyond school—across
the country and around the globe.”vii
Key skills that P21 has identified which they believe
will mark the success of our new workforce fall
into three categories: learning and innovation skills,
digital literacy skills, and career and life skills. Though
most have already been mentioned, some like media
literacy, cross-cultural interaction, and accountability
round out the lists and speak to necessary online
and digital acumen which will help to navigate an
on-demand and interconnected world.viii
On the other end of the spectrum, it’s the first time in
history since LinkedIn has been polling companies
that “soft” skills have topped “hard” skills in their
annual “Skills Companies Need Most” survey.
“57% of senior leaders today say soft skills are
more important than hard skills”ix and they include
creativity, persuasion, collaboration, adaptability and
time management. To stay balanced, the skills on
their “hard” list show that digital transformation is
well on its way as companies search the most for
workers who have a deep understanding of cloud
computing, AI, analytics, management (people
and machine), and user experience design and
The Future Of Work
operations. In both instances, the virtual model was
built along-side the real-world and was used to run
simulations inefficiency and predictive identification
of upcoming problems. The cost of the savings
outweighed the cost of the twin in both cases.
Ultimately, we must keep in mind that the purpose
of any digital transformation, if we follow it to its
very end, should be to improve the lives of humans.
How wrong is it if humans become a casualty
in the process? Depending on the primary force
necessitating digital transformation, humans take on
differing roles, but it is agreed upon by many future
workforce experts that a digital-savvy skillset mixed
with traits that robots can’t replicate is the ideal.
The Future of Work
Are robots going to take over people’s jobs? Yes. But
is technology expected to generate more jobs than
it takes away? Yes. This has always been the case
in the past,iii and in fact, experts predict that “the
rapid evolution of machines and algorithms in the
workplace could create 133 million new roles in place
of 75 million that will be displaced.iv The issue? The
displaced workers don’t have the skill sets needed
to fill the new roles that the tech creates, a disparity
between the out-of-work and the open positions.
Organizations must restructure, rehire, upskill, or
outsource to meet these demands and are quickly
finding the skills gap talked about in the media is a
harsh reality for them.
Technology is certainly automating both manual and
cognitive labor in the area of repetitive work. This
frees up more time for workers to do things that
robots can’t. Skim the World Economic Forum website
or search for “top skills, “10 skills,” “skill sets,” along
with “2030,” “future,” “Fourth Industrial Revolution,”
and you’ll quickly find out that this upcoming decade
calls for humans to have digital prowess AND
heightened uniquely human competencies.
Forget the future, even today manufacturing
employees now depend on digital counterparts
to assist them with decision making, efficiency,
tasks, and this human-helper hybrid with man AND
HR Strategy & Planning Excellence presented by December 2019 10 Submit Your Articles
development. All of which cannot, yet, be taken over
by technological advancement.
The Human Component
To get down to facts, at the start of November 2019
The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics reported
that while over the 12 months ending in September
hires totaled 69.9 million and separations totaled 67.4
million, yielding a net employment gain of 2.5 million;
the number of job openings remains just above 7.0
That many unfilled jobs, for such an extended
time, is the reason many of us speak so often about
the skills gap.
Changing the way we think about developing the
new workforce, the tight labor market has forced
companies to reconsider what is required to fill a
position. Companies like Apple, Bank of America,
Google and IBM have stopped requiring a college
degree for some technology positions.xi I hear this
from businesses I work with concerning the very
technical field of cybersecurity. A healthy background
in research, problem-solving, collaboration, and even a
little manipulation and a company can introduce that
employee to the technologies used.
Some universities and schools are keeping up
and designing programs to bridge the educationemployment gap, especially those augmenting their
liberal arts degrees with digital skills.xii Degrees that
immerse students in gaining skills, not just learning
about the skills, are most valued. If we don’t want to
leave humans in the dust of a digital transformation,
we need to teach them uniquely human skills… things
robots can’t automate as discussed already like
creativity which is not only used in poetry, music,
recipes, jokes, but also fashion design and scientific
theories; or the flexibility to have some imagination
and wherewithal to deal with sudden unforeseen
If you’ve seen any of the recent Boston Dynamics
robot videosxiv, you understand the hype around
human replacements. The lifelike movements and
reflexes with the seemingly instant adaptability to
changing terrain conditions mean robots will be
carrying more and more equipment and sensors
around plants, construction sites, military fronts, and
disaster areas instead of humans very soon.
But will the world ever be ready for a leader made
purely of AI? Making the case, a robot-CEO could
make better by-the-numbers decisions, it could work
all day and all night, and it doesn’t need much in the
way of benefits.xv Beyond algorithms though, a leader
possesses other qualities that their followers admire
like trust, empathy, and social intelligence which are
necessary at the moment to deal with things like
distress of others, negotiations, and complex human
Think of a human beating a drum, now imagine the
drum is digital, now imagine the human is a robot,
now imagine there is no drum or drummer, but it is all
done in a digital space. A part of us and humans, a
part of me as a musician, will always want to go see
a concert performed by other humans and feel the
creativity, adaptability, effort, and passion put into the
performance. But I believe, as do many others, that
the future of work in this digital transformation era
will be uniquely digital and uniquely human, they are
not mutually exclusive.xvii The simple music example
explains that though digital transformation is certainly
changing the way organizations deal with every
aspect of their business, the human component is
really where we should look when talking about the
future of work.
The Future Of Work
Are robots going to take over people’s
jobs? Yes. But is technology expected
to generate more jobs than it takes
away? Yes. This has always been the
case in the past and in fact, experts
predict that “the rapid evolution of
machines and algorithms in the
workplace could create 133 million new
roles in place of 75 million that will be
HR Strategy & Planning Excellence presented by December 2019 11 Submit Your Articles
Jeff Frey is the Executive Director of
Learning at Talent Path, a unique talent
accelerator that pays the consultant-tobe while they learn.

HR Strategy & Planning Excellence presented by December 2019 12 Submit Your Articles
Career development is an
essential part of the employee
experience, and that’s true for HR
professionals as well. Whether
you’re the only one in charge of
HR for your small business or an
HR generalist on a large team,
the next stage of your career
progression involves learning
what makes a good human
resource manager and developing
How To Be A Great HR
Manager: 3 Key Areas
those skills and attributes.
Discovering how to be a great
HR manager will take more than
excellent HR execution—you’ll also
need to master HR strategy.
The experience your organization
gives your employees has strong
ties to your organization’s business
outcomes, and businesses are
recognizing this. In August,
the Business Roundtable, an
organization that currently includes
192 American CEOs from some
of the biggest companies in the
world, shifted its focus from
shareholders to stakeholders,
including customers, employees,
suppliers, and communities.
To become a great HR manager,
you’ll need to master the tasks
that protect your organization
and free up time to collaborate
with managers and leadership
on a broader people strategy.
This article will provide an
overview of the three foundational
areas you need to master to
provide an excellent employee
experience and succeed as an HR
manager: hiring, onboarding, and
employee satisfaction.
How Great HR Managers
Approach Hiring
It can be tempting for managers
to treat hiring as a task instead
of an evaluation. Faced with the
crunch of operating their teams
without all the people they need,
they may want to get it done
as quickly as possible. While a
recruiter might see this
By Brian Anderson
An overview
HR Strategy & Planning Excellence presented by December 2019 13 Submit Your Articles
as an opportunity to provide a
quick time to hire, a great HR
manager will focus on finding
a new employee that aligns
with the position in several
important ways:
● Compensation: Instead
of letting each manager
negotiate, an effective HR
manager will work with
leadership to develop firm
salary offers for each position.
Going into hiring with a
compensation plan reduces
long-term dissatisfaction
with compensation.
● Responsibilities: It takes
more than a cookie-cutter job
description to find the best
candidate for your specific
organization. Great HR
managers encourage hiring
managers and recruiters to
fully examine the needs in
their teams or departments
as they craft a job description,
instead of going with a generic
description or trying to copy an
existing employee’s position.
● eBook CTA: 9 things recruiters
do that they shouldn’t
Values: Great HR managers
understand the importance of
finding candidates that are aligned
with the organization’s mission,
vision, and values. This involves
more than a new hire agreeing on
a favorite movie with the hiring
manager—it means finding hires
who find your organization’s goals
motivating and agree with your
methods for achieving them.
How Great HR Managers
Approach Onboarding
There are lots of moving parts to
take care of when onboarding an
employee: desk setup, network
access, new hire paperwork—and
that’s all before the orientation
presentation. While an HR
generalist excels in making sure
onboarding proceeds smoothly, a
great HR manager will ensure that
the onboarding process focuses
on integrating new employees
through the following measures:
● Preparation: When new
hires sign on, it’s a show
of confidence in your
organization’s competence.
Ensuring they have everything
they need to function on their
first day is part of confirming
that impression. HR managers
will coordinate with managers,
HR, and IT well in advance of
a new hire’s first day to ensure
things run smoothly.
● Pacing: No matter how
qualified, every new hire
will need to learn your
organization’s procedures
before they can integrate
with their teams. This is on
top of the myriad changes
that come with switching
benefits. HR managers can
pace orientation meetings over
the first few weeks so that
new employees have time to
process their new situation and
formulate questions to ask.
This is especially helpful with
benefits—inviting professionals
from your retirement funds
or your wellness initiative for
quarterly Q&A sessions helps
How To Be A Great HR Manager: 3 Key Areas
HR Strategy & Planning Excellence presented by December 2019 14 Submit Your Articles
give employees an unhurried
chance to see how their
benefits can benefit them.
● Personality: Every new hire
changes your organization’s
culture through both their
contributions and their
personality. HR managers
need to ensure that current
employees have space to
welcome their new team
members beyond a first-day
greeting and that new hires
mesh with their team dynamic.
How Great HR Managers
Approach Employee
HR professionals know how to
respond to emergencies, whether
it’s complying with new European
data regulation or breaking it to
Ava that her raw-tuna-only diet is
befouling the break room. A great
HR manager, on the other hand,
will take a proactive approach to
employee satisfaction through
careful measurement and culture
initiatives, such as:
Today’s employees are looking
for a sense of purpose.
● One-on-Ones: Communication
between managers and
employees is essential; a
study from Gallup found that
managers account for 70
percent of the variance in
employee engagement. In
other words, two employees
at the same organization
with the same values can find
themselves at either end of the
engagement spectrum solely
based on their manager. Great
HR managers ensure that
managers meet regularly with
their employees and have open
conversations about recent
performance and progression.
● Purpose: Today’s employees
are looking for a sense of
purpose, sometimes placing
more importance on their
company’s mission than
earning a high salary or
getting extra perks during their
workday. Great HR managers
communicate and support
their organization’s mission,
vision, and values through
hands-on activities and
value-centered benefits.
● Reporting: Even with the most
transparent communication
between manager and
employee, it can still be
difficult for employees to open
up about what they truly want
from their employer. Great HR
managers develop metrics
for employee satisfaction,
turnover, engagement, and
more. They then deliver
results to their organization’s
leadership to help them make
informed decisions to improve
the employee experience.
Great HR Managers Are
These three principles form a
solid foundation for aspiring
HR managers, and there’s much
more to explore. But summed
up, the biggest difference
between an HR manager and
other HR professionals is their
responsibility for developing a
solid people strategy and making
sure everyone’s on the same page
when executing it.
Great HR managers need a solid
knowledge of the nuts and bolts
of HR and the communication
skills to present plans to
leadership in their organization.
They need to understand both the
real-world benefits of strategic
HR and how to balance employee
needs with the needs of the
organization. And excellent people
skills smooth the path every step
of the way.
Developing these qualities can
make a large difference in your
organization, whether or not
your title includes HR manager
at the moment. Using the right
strategies to get ahead of HR
execution unlocks amazing
long-term potential for you and for
your people.
How To Be A Great HR Manager: 3 Key Areas
Brian Anderson is a copywriter with
BambooHR, a full-service, cloudbased HR management software. His
work explores employee engagement,
total rewards, recruitment strategies,
and how core HRIS software connects
with every aspect of HR.
Would you like to comment?

HR Strategy & Planning Excellence presented by December 2019 16 Submit Your Articles
Machines Can Be
People Too
Forget the gig economy, skill gaps, and succession
plans. The future of work is threatened by
something more acute: automation. If you feel
stunted by a lack of skills or an overcrowded, multigenerational workforce, imagine what happens when
an intelligent, automated workforce of workflows,
algorithms, bots, and programs outnumbers
human workers.
Everyone knows they could be automated out of a job.
This narrative implies an unavoidable conflict, a fight
between man and machine. Automations are tireless,
cheap, and reliable, so it’s not much of a competition.
Machines are fast becoming the new backbone of
business, as evidenced by the many business-critical
functions that now operate in a black box or during a
late-night background job. Losing our jobs is just one
outcome of automation; the loss of accountability is
another. While it’s efficient to let machines run and
protect our business, without oversight we expose
ourselves to new, and sometimes unknown, risks.
We may be able to protect our jobs and help
businesses maintain accountability by redefining
the narrative of man versus machine. We need to
re-embrace our human side. Instead of treating the
human like a machine, we need to start treating the
machines like people. We need to extend our concept
of the manager.
Making Your Boss Look Good
Early in my career, I received some wise professional
advice: “Your job is to make your boss look good.” I
By Rachel Disselkamp
How HR can future-proof human jobs
had assumed my manager was there for me, but in
fact, the relationship is symbiotic. Promotions don’t
come as soon as you are more proficient or cheaper
than your manager, so why should automation replace
humans for those reasons? We need to incorporate
automation in ways that augment human skills
and complement remaining manual processes.
Automation’s job should be to make their human
look good.
But who will lead the charge and what should we do?
Not all business functions focus on the human, so this
redefinition effort could start with Human Resources.
Instead of treating the human as the problem to be
solved (with automation), HR should partner with
individual department managers, process managers,
even IT, to analyze current roles, and create a
standardized procedure to determine what parts of a
role can—and should—include automation. The goal is
not automation. The goal is achieving a better balance
HR Strategy & Planning Excellence presented by December 2019 17 Submit Your Articles
Machines Can Be People Too
between the business and workers. One way we can
do that is to create better compatibility between man
and machine.
To do this, HR, along with their team of department
managers, IT, etc., begin by parsing out each person’s
duties, identifying interdependencies, and highlighting
bottlenecks or exceptions. Next, they consider where
automation might relieve the human of a repetitive
action or support them by doing the tedious tasks. It is
critical to ensure that this all still aligns with achieving
a better outcome, and that the investment to build
and the time or cost saved are measured. Inevitably,
this exercise will reveal where work is not inherently
consistent or governed by black and white rules. This
is where the work becomes more interesting. Finally,
to ensure oversight and accountability, the remaining
manual duties of the human will be to manage their
associated “team” of automations. Instead of losing
their relevance due to inefficiency or subjectivity,
the human’s role transcends into a manager of the
automation itself.
A New Kind of Manager, with a Familiar
Remember, we are re-embracing the human element.
So this new manager’s actions, activities, and
considerations shouldn’t differ from traditional people
management. In fact, they will consider many familiar
things, asking questions like:
1. Staffing and budgeting
● Do we need additional bot headcount for
this process?
● Should I recruit three cheap, simple programs to
perform this job, or can it be done with one, more
expensive program?
● Is this algorithm a good fit for our company?
● What system access will this bot need? What level
of security? How many others have that level of
2. Scheduling
● How many RPAs do I need to complete this task by
this time?
● Should this program run overnight so that it doesn’t
disturb other programs or customers?
3. Performance reviews
● How long does it take this process to complete
its work?
● Does this AI compliment the other AIs it works
with? Does it support the business?
● Where have there been issues with this algorithm?
● Is this bot ready to be promoted or retired?
4. Remediation and training
● What skills and knowledge will make this bot more
effective at its job?
● How can we correct issues with this workflow and
make sure they don’t happen again?
What’s a Better Use of This AI’s Time?
It may feel silly to personify automation or consider
managing things that lack consciousness, but this
is about future-proofing our jobs. This is about
introducing new human value to reduce abrupt job
obsolescence. As automation matures and gains the
ability to take over new duties, we need a meaningful
way to continually reframe our role.
Management isn’t just for humans. All company
assets need to be effectively managed. The growing
demands for automated workflows, algorithms,
and programs have turned them into a company
asset, like people. Unchecked and unchallenged,
automation displaces and disrupts the workforce, and
it may not even improve the processes they sought
to fix. Good management is requisite to long-term
success. Becoming a manager of automation is one
small step toward creating a symbiotic rather than
competitive relationship.
Ally Not Other
Automation is not a salve for bad processes. RPA
cannot avoid making mistakes if the steps are off. AI
won’t always recommend the best action. This is all
OK when automation doesn’t exist in a vacuum; when
humans still help with cross-functional requirements
gathering, multi-system coordination and monitoring,
HR Strategy & Planning Excellence presented by December 2019 18 Submit Your Articles
Rachel Disselkamp is a consultant and millennial thought-leader in the fields of HR,
technology, and Workforce Management. She started her career as the development editor
for a 650-page textbook, the Workforce Asset Management Book of Knowledge (John Wiley
and Sons, 2012), and soon after started a product and services business around WFM
industry certification. During that period, Rachel trained and consulted technology vendors,
businesses, and individual professionals on the ROI and strategic value of workforce
management software. She also served the White House, Office of the President, through
consulting on metrics needed to measure the outcomes of the state and federal Fair Labor
Scheduling Acts sweeping the nation around 2013. She is currently an Enterprise Solution
Consultant at Ceridian.
and ad hoc exception management. Removing the
human element too quickly or too completely isn’t a
strategy for success. Human-managed automation is
the transitional step needed. It’s how humans stay in
control and businesses remain accountable.
When automation serves as an ally rather than an
other, it’s no longer man versus machine. When
Machines Can Be People Too
According to our research, the majority of HR professionals rate
their organizations’ overall leadership skills at a 6 or below on a
10 point scale. If these ratings were test scores, it would mean
3 in 5 organizations have failing scores in leadership skills. Not
only is quality leadership hard to find, but it’s also incredibly
important for employee engagement. Poor leadership is the top
barrier to better employee engagement.
To discover the leadership skills that have the highest payoffs
for organizations, read Trait 2 of our DNA Report, Leadership.
3 in 5 organizations have failing scores in
leadership skills.
Did you know…?
Read Trait 2
Would you like to comment?
we have an attentive, engaged manager, it is no
longer unclear as to who will take responsibility for
the outcomes. To get to this state, we must start
managing automation like we want to be managed—
like people, not machines. With this more symbiotic
relationship, automation becomes less of a threat and
more of the partner we want for the future
State of
the Industry
The 2019 State
of Artificial
Disruption and
What does the ascent
of artificial intelligence,
machine learning and
robotics mean for HR?
Sponsored by
State of the Industry Research
Service Management. Reimagined.
Special Research Supplement December 2019
The HR Research Institute, powered by, the world’s
largest social network for Human Resources professionals, is
a key part of our mandate to inform and educate today’s HR
professionals. Over the past three years, the HR Research Institute has produced more than 85 exclusive primary research
and state of the industry reports, along with corresponding
infographics in many cases, based on the surveys of thousands of HR professionals. Each research report highlights
current HR trends, benchmarks, and industry best practices.
HR Research Institute Reports and Infographics are available
online, and always free, at
The 2019 State of Artificial Intelligence,
Disruption and Innovation
What does the ascent of artificial intelligence, machine
learning and robotics mean for HR?
Survey conducted by: Sponsored by:
25 Is Recruitment Marketing a
New HR discipline?
28 How to Elevate Your Onboarding
Process and Your Team?
30 Machine Learning in HR Can Be Transformative
Kate Bell, Talent Acquisition Specialist
& HR Generalist at Capacity
Paul Gillin, Writer, speaker and B2B Content Marketing Strategist
Service Management. Reimagined.
The 2019 State of
Artificial Intelligence,
Disruption and Innovation
Today, virtually all human capital management
(HCM) solution providers are creating
applications with embedded AI and machine learning,
leading to a variety of potential advantages. As with
any new technological development, however, there
are lessons to be learned.
Research Report Summary 21
What does the ascent of artificial intelligence,
machine learning and robotics mean for HR?
To help learn more about AI, disruption and
innovation,’s HR Research Institute
conducted a study to examine how Human Resource
professionals (HR) think about and prepare to
grapple with a wave of inevitable AI-based change.
State of the Industry Research
State of
the Industry
Research ASTOUND
Service Management. Reimagined.
Highlights from the research:
Finding 1: Most HR departments are not
knowledgeable about using AI to enhance HR
In 2017, only 36% of respondents moderately
agreed or strongly agreed that they themselves were
knowledgeable about AI. In 2018, that number rose
to 43%.
In 2019, the question changed: we asked
respondents whether they viewed their HR
department as knowledgeable about AI technology.
Thirty-nine percent agree that indeed, their
department is “generally knowledgeable” about the
topic of using AI for the purposes of enhancing HR.
This is similar to the percentage (36%) who disagree
with the statement.
Research Report Summary 22
State of the Industry Research
Finding 2: AI-generated analytics is
overwhelmingly selected as having the greatest
potential for the HR function
Participants were asked to select the five areas
where they think AI has the greatest potential to
improve the HR function over the next two years.
The winner by a landslide is analytics, the only item
chosen by more than half of respondents.
Over the past decade, most HCM solutions have
added analytical abilities, some of which include
embedded artificial intelligence and machine
learning. Some solutions are able to answer
questions such as which managers best motivate
high-performing employers and which locales are
best at hiring the highly trained or experienced
employees needed.
`HR perceives AI as a way to further its ability
to better understand large amounts of data and
synthesize it into meaningful information.
Survey Statement: From the list below, select the
five areas where you think AI has the greatest
potential to improve the HR function in the next two
years. (select up to five).
Areas of Highest Potential to Improve HCM
0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80
Analytics and metrics
Talent acquisition
Learning and development
Compensation and payroll
Performance management
HR startegy and planning
Human capital management technologies
Time and attendance
Talent management
0 20 40 60 80 100
39% 36% 25%
AI knowledge leaders AI knowledge laggards Other
There are more HR
knowledge leaders today
than there are laggards –
but not by much
Survey Statement: In my organization, our HR
department is generally knowledgeable about the
topic of using artificial intelligence technology for the
purpose of enhancing the human resources function.
AI Knowledge Leaders and Laggards
Finding 4: HR professionals believe that AI is
most likely to be able to increase innovation
through automating mundane tasks and
analyzing patterns
Respondents were asked to choose three ways
that AI could best improve innovation in their
organization. Two items were foremost:
Research Report Summary 23
State of the Industry Research
Finding 3: HR sees AI and machine learning
as the technologies most disruptive to talent
management today
Although few HR departments have policies
concerning AI, most of them appreciate how
disruptive these technologies could be to people
management. In fact, when asked which five
technologies will be most disruptive to talent
management over the next two years, they were most
likely to select artificial intelligence/machine learning,
followed by augmented intelligence (that is, using AI
to assist/enhance human intelligence).
● the ability of AI to automate the mundane but
important work tasks that deter employees from
focusing on innovation (73%)
● the ability for AI to analyze patterns to identify
best practices that canbe shared with employees
(also 73%)
State of the Industry Research
The 2019 State of
Artificial Intelligence,
Disruption and
Download PDF
DECEMBER 2019 | 877-472-6648
The 2019 State of
Artificial Intelligence,
Disruption and
What does the ascent
of artificial intelligence,
machine learning and
robotics mean for HR?
State of
the Industry
Service Management. Reimagined.
Sponsored by
0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80
Augmented intelligence (i.e., use AI to
assist/enhance human intelligence)
Advanced robotics
Augmented/virtual reality
Digital simulation
wearable technologies
Automated transportation and drones
Artificial intelligence/machine learning
Survey Question: Of the technologies listed below,
which five do you think will be the most disruptive to
talent management over the next two years? (select
up to five)
Augmented intelligence is also widely
viewed as a technology disruptive to
talent management
0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80
Analyzes patterns to identify
best practices that can be
shared with employees
Generates new patterns and
designs that employees can
then improve on
Helps guide non-experts to
harness practices and knowledge
use by expert employees
Simulates no-risk virtual
environments in which
employees test and experiment
Allows employees to focus on
innovation by automating mundane
but important work tasks
Survey Statement: Choose the three ways that
artificial intelligence can best improve innovation in
your organization (select up to three)
How AI Can Improve Innovation
The view of AI solely as office
automation is to underestimate the
power of AI as a change agent
Align your brand with this year’s
State of the Industry hot HR topics
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A friend of mine was recently head hunted for a
data science role, for a large retail chain in the
United States. While she knew that her job prospects
after her Masters with a specialized data science
major were reasonably good, this call from a recruiter
made her feel special.
The recruiter spoke with a lot of gravitas, knew of her
credentials and even some references and eventually
got her to fly 1000 miles to give a job interview. The
rest as they say, is history.
Later, she told me, that she remembered seeing job
advertisements, really cool updates on the company
campus on her student email, and many such chance
encounters with the company and its events close
by. All she had done, was leaving her email address
at the company’s career site years ago, while looking
for internships.
Isn’t it All Marketing?
What the company that contacted my friend did,
was not new. It is Recruitment Marketing. It nurtured
candidates that visited it’s career site, at various
stages to keep them interested in the company and
eventually got them to apply for jobs posted, and not
to mention join the company!
What the company also subtly did, was to incorporate
powerful employer branding techniques into its
mailers to make the prospective candidates aware
of its culture and values, while they were served
marketing material. Selling, but not really saying so.
State of the Industry Research
Is Recruitment Marketing
a New HR discipline?
Article 25
Even though recruitment marketing feels like
marketing, it is just recruiting strategy done right.
Which is getting right candidates to apply at the
right time, doing what it takes to ensure you get
the perfect message about your company out and
ensuring that the process of becoming an employee
from a candidate is meaningful.
How Do We Get Recruitment Marketing Done?
Imagine a talent acquisition team trying to reach out
to candidates, at different points of their candidate
journey on a career website? Not quite a fun picture,
especially with the pace at which competitors and
recruitment agencies reach out to candidates.
To achieve that kind of pace and scale, recruitment
marketing could involve:
● Social recruiting that involves use of candidates
from multiple channels such as LinkedIn,
Facebook and other social media
● Candidate CRM tools that use candidate data to
send targeted emailers, messages or even videos
based on what stage the candidate has been
slotted into
● Employer Branding page that has been specially
created for candidates, different from the career
site, that enables candidates to see company
updates, just like employees
● Personalized recommendations on upcoming
events, jobs and even resources that have been
published on the company’s websites and
other channels
● Providing the recruitment marketing team with
tools to measure success – a data driven way to
know what channels actually work for specific
type of candidates, industry and profiles.
● Provide free training on trending issues pertaining
to the candidate – for e.g. diversity training,
technical topics, employee benefits or even
webinars run on campus. The possibilities carry
immense potential
And, did we forget to use important words like –
talent pipeline, source of hire, source of influence,
candidate persona, candidate pool, candidate
nurturing, attractive job descriptions and conversion
They all are as important, but eventually they all point
in one direction, which is – recruitment marketing
cannot be ignored anymore, and it needs to take a
pivotal place in your hiring strategy. Plus, a major
bulk of the recruitment marketing happens through
software and intelligent pieces of technology that
automate every step of that strategy.
That way, technology thrown in along with
recruitment marketing, takes not only the load off
recruiters, but also provides a tremendous impact on
the way recruitment works in an organization.
At Harbinger Systems, we have helped multiple
organizations build effective recruitment marketing
tools and products, which have helped them in
multiple ways. Write to us here, if you feel recruitment
marketing and related technology can take your
organization to the next level.
State of the Industry Research
Article 26
Would you like to comment?

Because knowledge is more than power
Everything your team needs to know, delivered securely, now.
How to Elevate Your Onboarding Process and Your Team
Author: Kate Bell, Talent Acquisition Specialist & HR Generalist at Capacity
Hiring a new employee is always exciting. The
department is thrilled for
the additional support,
the new hire is ready for a
fresh start, and the recruiting team is proud to have
successfully filled another role. However, after all
the confetti has settled,
the onboarding process is
often an afterthought. Inefficient onboarding can
lead to low team morale
and a high turnover rate,
both of which are prohibitively expensive and unsustainable.
I’ve learned some valuable lessons about acquiring and retaining talent in
my time at Capacity. It is
my hope that these tips
will help your organization not only streamline
your onboarding process,
but keep your team members happy in their roles
for years to come.
Find Orientation Tools
In many organizations,
the HR team is spread
thin, forcing them to rush
through the onboarding
process so they can move
on to the next candidate.
This makes it difficult to
complete a thorough
overview of job responsibilities, critical policies,
department background,
and the company’s mission and vision—and all
but guarantees that new
hires will have negative
In a recent study, ServiceNow asked new hires
about their experiences
when starting their job:
33% said they received no
essential training.
28% said they didn’t even
receive clearly defined job
responsibilities and goals.
26% said they didn’t have
a clear onboarding program.
19% said they didn’t feel
fully onboarded even after three months on the
In addition to solidifying
team cohesion and boosting morale in an organization, a consistent onboarding process ensures
that everyone will receive
the same knowledge
and guidance. But rather than piling even more
responsibilities onto the
onboarding team, there
are tools that can resolve
the more repetitive and
tedious tasks that arise in
the onboarding process.
Rippling helps businesses manage their payroll,
benefits, employee computers, apps, and more—
in one place.
BambooHR makes hiring
and employee transitions
easier. This product offers PTO tracking, performance management, and
reporting tools.
Zenefits eliminates all
the paperwork associated with onboarding. This
product can enroll new
hires in health insurance,
add employees to payroll,
and more.
By using tools to streamline tasks like these, the
onboarding team can
focus on building a comprehensive orientation
program that encourages
productivity and a positive
employee experience.
Break Down Silos
When information isn’t
properly communicated,
it loses value. Details can
slip through the cracks
during the onboarding
process and beyond.
“Knowledge is of no
value unless you put it
into practice.”
—Anton Chekhov
Tacit knowledge is some
of the most helpful information that is often lost
in organizations. During
training and orientation,
the onboarding team
Soumya Patro, a product manager,
sharing input on our Developer
Platform with Emma Schoch, an
NLP analyst.
might lack the necessary
knowledge to efficiently
get the new employees
up to speed on everything, especially where
specific departments are
concerned. This includes
processes, goals, team
structure, and other information that isn’t always
communicated to the entire organization.
If you think this is uncommon, think again. A lack
of knowledge can negatively affect new employees’ experiences. To stop
tacit knowledge from being withheld, companies
must break down departmental silos. Here’s how:
1. Ask department heads
to speak during orientation about their department and its role in the
organization. This can get
new hires acquainted with
at least one person from
every department (including their own). Moving
forward, the new hire will
be empowered to seek
out information that the
onboarding team might
not have known or even
thought to cover.
2. Host all-hands meetings to make sure the
entire organization is on
the same page. Setting a
clear, company-wide mission will give everyone a
solid understanding of
how each department is
working to meet this goal.
Because knowledge is more than power
Everything your team needs to know, delivered securely, now.
3. Consider introducing a
knowledge sharing platform like Capacity to your
organization. Capacity,
for example, connects to
enterprise apps, mines
company documents and
spreadsheets, and captures the tacit knowledge
of an org. Our AI-powered platform then surfaces this vital knowledge
to share with the people
who need it most.
The knowledge that’s
dished out during onboarding is often a lot to
take in, and oftentimes,
people almost instantly
forget what they learned.
When any questions come
up, the new employee will
be forced to reach out to
a person in the organization. Unfortunately, they
don’t always know who to
ask, which can be a massive time waster.
Consider a new teammate
asking their manager or
coworker about a particular policy they vaguely
remember being covered
during the onboarding
process. Their manager or
coworker might not know
the answer, but may still
try to provide one. If their
answer isn’t accurate or
up-to-date—perhaps the
payroll process changed
or the benefit provider
was updated—there’s
now potentially inconsistent information floating
around, or worse, info
that’s just plain wrong.
A knowledge sharing platform like Capacity ensures
that everyone has access
Wasted time, inefficient
processes, and a loss of
knowledge is rampant
when the onboarding
program lacks consistent
communication. Sharing
top-down information regarding benefits, employee policies, leadership
changes, etc. encourages
teammates to communicate with one another.
And the more communication, the better.
The future of the
office is chat.
Emails are great when it
comes to conversing with
others outside of the office. But when you just
need to ping someone for
a quick question, communication channels with a
chat interface like Slack or
Microsoft Teams should
be the go-to.
Regardless of the chosen
medium, frequent communication that covers
company changes, events
around the office, and
department updates are
all great ways to keep everyone in the know. When
consistent communication is shared around the
office, new employees will
adapt to their environment, and make everyone
No matter the industry,
successful onboarding
processes will require support and buy-in org-wide,
from the greenest intern
to the most seasoned
exec. And, while communication of the value of an
efficient onboarding process is key, nothing will
win the necessary backing
like results. The proof, as
they say, is certainly in the
When better tools, shared
knowledge, and increased
communication produces
tangible results—lower
turnover and heightened
employee satisfaction—a
tradition of comprehensive onboarding will justify and sustain itself.
About the author
Kate Bell is the Talent Acquisition Specialist and
HR Generalist at Capacity. She has successfully
staffed more than 50 positions in less than two
years. Regardless of the
role—an engineer, graphic designer, artificial intelligence analyst, or general
counsel—she focuses on
sourcing passionate and
talented individuals, while
ensuring a strong culture
fit. Kate holds a B.A. in
International Social Work
and specializes in SaaS industry recruitment.
Capacity is a secure,
AI-powered knowledge
sharing platform. Capacity connects apps, mines
documents, and captures
tacit knowledge—making
it all instantly accessible
via chat.
to the knowledge they
need, when they need it.
Of course, this means that
basic onboarding FAQs
are instantly answered.
What’s more, however,
whenever anyone in an
org has a question demanding a high degree
of expertise, Capacity will
leverage artificial intelligence and machine learning to reach out to the
teammate who has the
answer—then store that
knowledge for the next
time someone needs it.
An illustration that demonstrates
how easy it is for a SME to provide
and save an answer that didn’t
previously live in Capacity’s
knowledge base.
Would you like to comment?
New applications of machine learning in
HR are about to change the profession in
fundamental ways.
A European financial institution needed to comb
through their human resources files to identify
personal information in order to comply with new
privacy regulations. Since the task was impractically
large for humans, the company became interested
in utilizing machine learning (ML), a type of artificial
intelligence (AI) software.
As they continued to scope the possibility of utilizing
ML, the company’s HR professionals realized they
could gain ancillary benefits by creating predictive
hiring models based on archived data. The ML team
taught the algorithm to scour five years of employee
data to correlate the backgrounds and skills that best
State of the Industry Research
Machine Learning in HR
Can Be Transformative
Article 30
Be sure your data is ready
By Paul Gillin
predicted job candidates’ success on the job. The
story is a good example of how the HR function is
being transformed by AI technology.
Changes on the HR Horizon
HR pros see it coming — a survey conducted by of its members found that 86% believe
their profession will be transformed over the next
five to 10 years. According to’s “The 2019
State of Artificial Intelligence in Talent Acquisition”
report, 64% of HR professionals expect to apply AI
to recruitment.
The field is ripe for automation. Much of the
work that HR organizations do, while important,
is repetitive, such as processing and filing forms,
scanning résumés and complying with information
requests. Many of those tasks could be offloaded to
computers, freeing humans for more analytical tasks.
Recruitment is a particularly choice area for
automation. “Machine learning is targeted at
learning for massive amounts of data and spotting
patterns,” said Anke Conzelmann, director of product
management at Iron Mountain in a recent webcast
entitled The Advancing HR Function: The Future of
HR and HR Technologies. “It can be used to find
people based upon data rather than guesswork.”
Get to Work
The survey found that many HR organizations feel
unprepared for the technology that will transform the
function. While nearly half of the HR professionals
surveyed give their departments high marks at
meeting the current needs of the organization, only
36% said their group was prepared to thrive over the
next three to five years.
Algorithms are more effective than people at
correlating factors from a candidate’s background
with successful employees’ profiles and matching
people to the right jobs, Conzelmann said. But HR
professionals should avoid the temptation to see
machine learning in HR as a black box.
Importance of a Strong Data Foundation
You need a strong data foundation to successfully
implement new technologies successfully. “It’s very
important to understand that machine learning learns
from the data you feed it,” Conzelmann said. “If you
State of the Industry Research
Article 31
give it bad data, it’s going to find patterns based
upon that bad data.” That makes data preparation a
critical step.
Before applying automation, the HR organization
first needs to determine the objective. “Write down
a list of the questions you would love to answer,
then walk backwards and determine what data and
documents contain that information,” she said. To
assess candidates, for example, the organization
needs to gather all historical data that’s relevant to
the recruiting process, such as customer relationship
management profiles, internal reviews, and education
and certification records. The more data the machine
has, the better.
Many historical records may be on paper, so a
third-party service can be useful in digitizing those
documents and extracting relevant information.
State of the Industry Research
Article 32
Paul Gillin is a writer, speaker and B2B
content marketing strategist who specializes
in social media and IT. Previously, Gillin was
a technology journalist for 23 years. He was
founding editor-in-chief of B2B technology
publisher TechTarget and editor-in-chief and
executive editor of the technology weekly
Computerworld. Gillin is the author of five
books and more than 400 articles on the topic
of social media and digital marketing. He is
currently a staff columnist at
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Data should be classified and tagged, so the
machine knows what to look for and can help in
future retrieval.
Beware of introducing unintentional bias,
Conzelmann advised. For example, if an organization
has had difficulty retaining talent in the past, relying
strictly upon historical records to train the algorithm
could backfire. “If I’ve made bad decisions in the past,
training the machine to make the same bad decisions
isn’t going to move me forward,” she said. “Be sure
you have the breadth of data so the machine can look
for the right patterns.”
Conzelmann and Iron Mountain Senior HR
Director Ellen Donovan shared these tips for HR
transformation with AI:
● Start exploring the potential of using data more
strategically in HR.
● Understand what data you have and build the skills
to manage it effectively.
● Apply retention policies, particularly in regulated
environments. “Keeping everything forever is no
longer an option,” Conzelmann said.
● Enrich once, use repeatedly. Once data has been
cleaned and prepped, find as many valuable uses
as possible across the organization.
● Think of AI as an assistant, not a replacement.
“While AI can provide a lot of insights quickly, it
does not have that common sense that a person
has,” Donovan said. “It has to be human plus AI.”
Learn how Artificial Intelligence (AI) can
help HR be more efficient and effective.
For more information
Phone: 1.877.472.6648
The 2019 State of Artificial Intelligence,
Disruption and Innovation
HR Strategy & Planning Excellence
December 2019
WEBCASTS & VIRTUAL EVENTS email: | phone: 1.877.472.6648
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– April 15, 2020
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A perfect fit for your everyday HR journey. Our variety of webcast formats
give you the opportunity to ask questions, hear stories and share your own
expertise with an entire community of HR professionals. Staying connected,
current and compliant is key in the evolving world of HR.
Certification Communities Webcasts & Events ePubs JobStop Buyer’s Guide Store LEAD Free Stuff
No travel, it’s virtual. It couldn’t be easier!
Simply register for the webcast(s)/virtual
event(s) of your choice, log in, plug in your
headphones, sit back and enjoy!
Earn Credits
Earn HRCI or SHRM credits towards your
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HR Professionals who use as
their #1 choice for recertification.
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and 1 FREE Virtual Event per month.
JULY 23-24, 2019
HR Strategy & Planning Excellence presented by December 2019 36 Submit Your Articles
Change Management
Considerations For AI
And Data Science Projects
To read the first part of this
set of articles, please click
on Fundamentals.
Change Management
Your Change Management
strategy and the assignment
of the Change Leader and the
Change Agent are critical for data
science and AI projects.
For managing the change for
those initiatives, we will need to
track the progress, celebrate the
successes, and help people adapt.
To reduce resistance to change
(which is happening in most AI
projects), we can facilitate the
right communication to gain a
common understanding and
make a clear picture of why the
organization needs this innovative
initiative. Communicating
the required changes to have
executives/employees buy-in the
benefits is important. Remember,
in most AI/ML projects, the
Culture Change is the biggest
By Alan Bostakian
Track the progress, celebrate the
successes, and help people adapt
HR Strategy & Planning Excellence presented by December 2019 37 Submit Your Articles
challenge, not technology
transformation. Having a plan
to manage cultural barriers
is important for successful
Evaluate Change Impact
and Organizational
Readiness: Assess the readiness
and ability (very important for DS/
AI projects), and the capacity for
the transformation that the DS/
AI project may result. Additionally,
the impact the change needs to
be assessed. Explain the urgency
of change in the executive
summary of your business case
for DS/AI initiative. Consider the
actual drivers for change (for DS/
AI projects) in your organization.
Formulate the Change
Management Strategy: Develop
a high-level approach for change
management with all stakeholders
of the data science and artificial
intelligence projects, including
governance, risks, resources,
budget, and reporting. This should
integrate change management
plans and DS/AI milestones
into other activities. Adoption
strategies must be a part of
your overall project strategy, and
forming a corporate academy
for DS/AI can help support the
change strategies, especially for
important cultural changes.
Develop the Change Management
Plan: Develop a detailed plan for
implementing the change strategy
that is suitable for transformations like AI or ML. The plan
should cover communications,
stakeholder engagement,
training, risks, and integration
with project management. For AI/
ML projects, the best approach
is interdisciplinary collaboration.
Leaders need to be prepared for
the change and have at least a
basic level of understanding DS/
AI/ML to be able to support the
workforce. It’s critical for DS/
AI projects to anticipate barriers
to change. For example, Service
Managers of your organization
may disagree that computers
can know better/more about
what your customers need/
want (what AI/ML initiatives can
recommend). Try to find alignment
opportunities that your project
has with your organizational
culture. Having a plan for barriers
in change management can help
in having a better communication
with the employees and better
understanding of what DS/
AI projects are executable.
Additionally, in the early stages
of the delivery, get feedback from
users, observe the usage of the
DS/AI result/output, as well as the
Change Management Considerations For AI And Data Science Projects
Following the proven
guidelines introduced by either
the Association of Change
Management Professionals
(ACMP) or Prosci would be
a good change management
approach. For this article, I
choose ACMP’s standard,
and add a number of
recommendations for DS/AI/ML
HR Strategy & Planning Excellence presented by December 2019 38 Submit Your Articles
Alan Bostakian is a senior consultant
and analyst. He has worked TD
Bank (Canada), Real Estate Council
of Ontario, Government of Ontario
(Canada), Global Association of
Corporate Universities (UK), CPHR
BC (Canadian HR association), and
3 Canadian colleges. His extensive
experiences include Change
Management, Talent Development,
Corporate University Architecture,
Training, Coaching, Certification,
Project Management, and Research.
Alan has a PhD in Business
Administration as well as a number
of certificates including Project
Management Mastery (Stanford),
Certified Training & Development
Professional (CTDP), Registered
Professional Trainer (RPT), Certified
Change Agent (CCA), Change
Management Specialist (CMS), Data
Science (MIT), Executive Data Science
(Johns Hopkins) and Internet of
Things (MIT,).
Would you like to comment?
Change Management Considerations For AI And Data Science Projects
behavioural changes, to identify
and solve problems as you
go forward.
Execute the Plan: To achieve the
benefits of artificial intelligence
or machine learning projects, we
need to implement all the action
items related to the change plan
mentioned above.
Complete the
Change Management
Effort: Reinforcement is a key
in AI/DS projects. Monitor the
progress, measure results, and
provide support and coaching to
help the change sticks. For AI/
ML initiatives, be prepared to
spend for good reinforcement
tactics as much as what you
spend for technology. DS/AI
based transformations take 2-3
years (by average) therefore
keeping momentum is important.
Advancing the culture of
accountability in the departments
that will use the new capability,
having role-model leaders, change
agents to facilitate adoption, and
teams to capture the required
corrective actions, as well as
giving rewards for alignment
with AI are all important for the
success of the projects.
Knowing your audience and avoid
jargon. Many executives complain
that they don’t see the results of
Data Science projects. Here is the
root cause: The results are not
communicated in an appropriate
language, suitable for executives.
● The narrative and the ability to
present data insight in a story
is very important in these types
of projects. It makes a bridge
between Data Scientists and
Business Executives.
● Be specific about the kind of
feedback you are looking for –
provide information about the
question(s) you are asking.
● Content should be focused
and concise
● Develop templates for Data
insight presentations and
repeatable visualization
● Show a collaborative and
engagement attitude
● Make sure that you have the
required flexibility to have a
centralized communication
when needed (to lower
communication cost when
a message needs to go to
all human resources in the
organization), and switch (in
other circumstances) to a
democracy/market structure
for decision making and higher
motivation and engagement.
Scorecard and Dashboard
A scorecard that captures
and shows project details in
real-time for stakeholders helps
in managing the project and
keeping the alignment between the
stakeholders. It should include:
● High-level project reports,
timelines – based on your
business case or project plan
● Financial info, and ROI of your
DS/AI/ML project
● Process Reports: R&D, Talent/
Skills availability, Validation,
Integration, etc.
● A Summary for your executives
and leadership
● A Talent Dashboard for your
DS/AI project, to have a tool
for auditing talents: identify
required talents (skills, not
the persons), map them to
your project team and then
show the assessment of your
project’s current Talent status
HR Strategy & Planning Excellence presented by December 2019 39 Submit Your Articles
Employers have shifted from
asking what they can get
from employees to asking what
they can do for employees. This
change in mindset has emerged
as a dominant trend in recent
years, and an increasing number
of organizations are pushing the
employee experience to the top of
the HR agenda.
In our HR Tech Trends 2020
report, Isabel Naidoo, Head of
People, Strategy & Analytics for
FIS Global. observes that we live
in a world where everything is
on-demand, real-time, customized,
and quick. Our working lives,
How To Use Technology
To Improve Employee
Steps HR leaders can take to build the right
foundation for a positive employee experience
By Lexy Martin
however, are typically ruled by
processes and complexity.
“Once we can get to a place where
we can deliver experiences that
are more similar to those outside
the world of work–and even
better, make it customizable to
the individual–we’ll really see our
workforce thrive,” explains Naidoo
in the report.
Technology plays a key role
in this transformation–and
it’s about more than enabling
better HR transactions. To help
employees thrive, organizations
have embraced collaboration
tools, developed self-service
career path support, and started
adopting nudge engines. This
focus on improving in-the-moment
productivity and engagement is
certainly encouraging, but there
is another building block for the
employee experience: a positive
corporate culture.
The Employee Experience
Beyond 2020: Data Culture,
D&I, Personal Well-being
Over the next 10 years,
organizations will focus on the
employee experience more
holistically, encompassing
everything from D&I and data
ethics to helping employees take
charge of their own well-being,
career development, and mental
health. This will require more
data sources and analytics for
everyone–not just top-level
decision makers.
Within the next 10 years, we will
see more organizations evolve to:
HR Strategy & Planning Excellence presented by December 2019 40 Submit Your Articles
How To Use Technology To Improve Employee Experience
● Give employees the tools to
interpret and analyze their
own work data. This will help
workers–especially those who
demand and are engaged by
transparent access to their
data–take charge of their own
financial planning, wellness,
personal development, and
career path. This will require
organizations to develop a full
Employee Value Proposition
(EVP) for people analytics.
One way to do this is to align
people analytics activities with
Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.
If HR and people analytics
leaders advocate for an EVP
(in addition to exploring its
ethical and legal dimensions),
their people analytics activities
will go more smoothly and
deliver value for both the
employee and employer.
● Promote more social
accountability. The tactic that
delivers the best results for
diversity and inclusion is the
creation of special task forces,
according to sociologists
Dobbin and Kalev. Further,
advanced organizations are
using data to shine a light and
expand the conversation–not
only on achieving diversity
goals–but in ensuring that
inclusion is also addressed.
When task forces and D&I
leaders can access the right
data in a way that respects
the privacy of individual
employees, they can develop
customized solutions for
specific departments.
● Place a greater emphasis
on mental resilience. This
helps boost focus, belonging,
purpose, and happiness.
Corporate well-being
programs have covered gym
memberships and smoking
cessation for a long time.
In the coming years, more
organizations will embrace
well-being technology that
integrates seamlessly into the
flow of work to help employees
manage their internal states.
For most organizations, these
transformations won’t happen
overnight. Here are some steps
HR leaders can take to build the
right foundation for a positive
employee experience:
● Focus on long-term
development through the
employee lens.
1. Give employees a “Fitbit for
their career.” Technology
from Humanyze, for example,
gives employees the ability
to compare their behavior to
team averages so they can see
what they need to work on to
achieve their career goals.
2. Use career pathing analytics.
When HR leaders and
managers know how people
moved from job-to-job within
the organization and how
quickly they did this in the past,
they have the structure they
need to discuss real career
options, assess timelines, and
identify mentors for teams.
● Empower diversity and
inclusion task forces
Use people analytics to
understand engagement
among diverse employees
and monitor the impact
engagement has on turnover
and exit patterns as well as
with inclusion. Roll out people
analytics broadly (while
respecting and adhering to
data privacy regulations)
across the organization so that
grassroots initiatives can be
● Align employee purpose with
that of the organization
Fulfilling a purpose and
extracting meaning from
work is the apex of the
employee experience. Integrate
nudge engines with people
analytics to align personal
behavior change with broader
organizational goals–this will
help individuals align their
personal development with a
bigger purpose.
Lexy Martin is a respected thought
leader on HR technology adoption
and value achieved. Known as the
originator of the Sierra-Cedar HR
Systems Survey, she now works at
Visier with customers to support them
in their HR transformation to become
data-driven organizations. Lexy is
Principal, Research and Customer
Value at Visier.
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HR Strategy & Planning Excellence presented by December 2019 42 Submit Your Articles
Time to replace your battery
At my home, I have an alarm
system. Sometimes, a battery in
one of the components needs to
be replaced. I get a text message
(WhatsApp) from the company,
and via a link in the message I
can order a new battery (or, for
a higher price) ask a mechanic
to come along and do it for me.
So far so good. The battery is
received and after a couple of
weeks of delaying this task, I
replace the battery (always in
time, I know they warn me weeks
ahead of a possible component
failure). The security company
does not like this.
On the second day after I have
received the battery, they start
chasing me via WhatsApp. “It
is time to replace your battery!”
“Please replace your battery!”
I have been a client of this
company for over 20 years. I
always replace the battery. Why
don’t they know by now there is no
AI And Analytics:
Please Improve My
HR tech solutions need to be more employee-centric
By Tom Haak
need to chase me? If their system
was only a little bit intelligent,
it could be more adaptive. The
chasing frequency (and maybe
also the chasing tone) could be
adapted to the characteristics of
the client.
HR Processes Can Irritate
Many HR systems are stubborn.
Most systems are programmed
with workflows derived from HR
processes (preferably globally
standardised processes).
The workflow “Performance
Management” requires the
manager to set goals with the
members of her team before
January 31. The system starts
sending the manager messages
in December. “Do you want me
to plan your annual goal setting
conversations?” If by mid-January
the manager has not planned the
conversations, nor completed
the pre-conversation goal setting
forms, the machine starts to
worry. Reminders are sent,
the manager of the manager is
informed and finally, the manager
is not able to start her computer
if she does not plan the meetings.
You can imagine this causes
irritation. This manager always
has the necessary conversations,
and her employees have given
very positive feedback about
her management style. She is a
little bit a last-minute person, so
generally she plans the meetings
end January, maybe early February.
She has done this for years. The
system should know by now and
leave her alone. She does not
need chasing.
We Need Clever Adaptive
The promises of AI and (people)
analytics are high. Our experience
in the workplace will be a lot better,
efficiency will increase,
and we will unleash the potential
of our talent. I hope the technology
can live upon the expectations.
HR Strategy & Planning Excellence presented by December 2019 43 Submit Your Articles
AI And Analytics: Please Improve My Experience!
Tom Haak is the founder and director
of The HR Trend Institute. Prior to
founding the HR Trend Institute in
2014, Tom held senior HR positions
in companies as Arcadis, Aon, KPMG
and Philips. The HR Trend Institute
detects, follows and encourages
smart and creative use of trends in
the field of people and organizations,
and also in adjacent areas.
Would you like to comment?
Here are some of the things on
my wish list. I am sure there are
existing solutions that can make
some of my wishes come true.
Please let me know!
The Targeted Pulse Survey
More and more organisations
are introducing regular pulse
surveys (Read: “Latest trends in
employee mood measurement“).
Some surveys are adaptive in
the questions they ask. If you
are happy about a certain issue,
the next question is asked. If you
are less positive, some follow up
questions are asked.
It must be able to detect the
best sensors in an organisation,
the people that best sense the
opinion of a team or department.
If you combine this with “survey
discipline” (high = answers every
survey), you might only have to
ask a very limited set of people
their opinion, instead of bothering
everyone. Some surveys you can
send to everybody, to make sure
everybody can be involved.
The Applicant Selector
I see 50+ applicants per year.
It must be possible to find out
what the characteristics are of
applicants with whom I have a
good fit (or report).
The Boss Matcher
Some people fit better with a
certain boss than others. Can you
please use your analysis to find
out who will fit in my team? As the
employee-boss interaction is an
important driver for engagement, I
would expect more effort to make
the best possible matches.
The Team Builder
Building winning teams is not
easy, and hopefully technology
can help. Most tools I have seen
are not very effective, and the
focus is on creating the best
skill mix. With more data about
effective teams I would expect
(and hope) to see more effective
team builders.
The Adaptive
Our national airline KLM gives
me a choice on how they will
communicate with me. Do I prefer
e-mail, WhatsApp or Twitter? In
most organisations there is no
choice. E-mail is still used a lot,
with channels like Yammer and
Slack. It should be possible to
find out which channel works best
with what kind of employees, even
without asking. If you use people’s
preferred channels (might
differ per type of message),
the chance that the message
is received increases. You can
also vary the tone and structure
of the message, by taking the
personality of the receiver into
account (use Crystal, for example,
and Textio).
Most people who have a salary,
receive it at the end of the month,
or bi-weekly in some countries.
It should be possible (with
consent of course) to get some
insight in the spending pattern of
employees and create a better fit
between spending patterns
and salary payments (without
increasing the salary). Some
people might like this.
Irritating Colleague Alert
Organisational Network Analysis
(ONA) is evolving. Real practical
applications are still limited. I
would like an application that
gives me an alert (preferably
gentle vibration of my Apple
watch) when one of my irritating
colleagues enters the building or
enters a pre-defined zone. Could
be Boss or spouse alert as well,
of course
This is just the beginning of a list.
My request: put a lot more effort
into enhancing the life of workers
and managers in organisations,
instead of pleasing senior
management and HR. People
analytics for the people!
HR Strategy & Planning Excellence presented by December 2019 44 Submit Your Articles
New Meaning Of HR
With AI Technology
The human resource sector is one of the crucial
pillars holding a company together and enabling
the business to grow. HR managers need to
cautiously observe every aspect of the employee
life cycle.
The main aspects they need to cover are:
● planning and announcing job offers;
● recruitment process where the crucial part
is selection;
● running background checks;
● scheduling and performing interviews;
● evaluation of employees’ performance;
● reviewing payroll;
● employee counseling.
People working in human resources have a lot on
their hands. Deep knowledge and understanding of
each process are mandatory but it is not enough.
More than anything, HR employees need to have
people skills. The communication part is crucial and
often the most challenging.
New technologies based on artificial intelligence are
still unable to equal humans in the communication
part but they can be of great help at running complex
research. Let’s take a closer look at AI and how it
really works.
What Is AI?
Shortcut “AI” stands for artificial intelligence which
is the computer science field. The use of the word
“intelligence” is not a coincidence. The goal of AI
By Edwin Lisowski
The opportunities AI brings to the HR sector
is to find solutions for cognitive problems that are
commonly associated with human intelligence.
One of the main features that characterize human
beings is the ability to learn new things and make
come up with new ideas basing on observation. This
is exactly what new technology like artificial intelligence-based systems should be able to do.
The goal is to create software that, like humans, will
be able to solve problems on their own. It should be
capable of stating correct conclusions, processing
language, and many more. To put it in the simplest
words possible – artificial intelligence is designed to
think like human beings.
Why create such a complicated technology if what it
does is only what humans can already do? Well, there
is one difference – artificial intelligence is able to do it
faster, on a larger scale, and more accurately.
No wonder why the world has become crazy about
AI in the past few years. One of the sectors that
can benefit the most from this technology is human
resources. Let’s learn why!
The Opportunities AI Brings to the HR
Artificial intelligence-driven technology has a chance
to change the meaning of HR as we know it. With
“AI is creating tremendous economic value today.” –
Andrew Ng, a Computer Scientist, and Statistician,
Co-founder of Google Brain
HR Strategy & Planning Excellence presented by December 2019 45 Submit Your Articles
the use of innovative tools such as machine learning
and data science, the process which in the past
took plenty of time can now be completed in a few
seconds. We can’t predict what exactly will the future
bring but here are some AI solutions that business
leaders can already adopt.
With AI, recruiters are able to quickly determine
candidates with the biggest potential for the job.
Artificial intelligence software can help recruiters
select which candidate would be the best choice for
the job. The process of selection has always been
toilsome. As it usually happens, when there are too
many candidates often some of them are overlooked
or misjudged because of lack of time.
Artificial intelligence-based software never gets
tired and is always judging candidates taking into
consideration the exact same criteria. It will choose
the best candidates for recruiters so that they can
devote more time and attention to them and then
decide who to invite for an interview.
Individualization of Onboarding
The first impression is always the key to success.
First experiences in the new company may determine
the future relationship between an employee and a
company for the next few years.
AI-based software is able to plan an individually
customized onboarding for each employee.
Taking into consideration their features, the AI
system can prepare a complex set of information
regarding their responsibilities, contact list, benefits,
etc. Moreover, with AI each new employee can have
specially designed job training, which will put attention
on different aspects, depending on the qualifications
and job background of a particular worker.
If your first day at work was thoughtful and well
organized, as an employee your morals go up and
you are more motivated to do your best at the job.
Moreover, if you have all the information that you
need with no uncertainty left, you are more likely to
succeed in your tasks. Good outcomes at work bring
satisfaction and as a result, usually makes you stay at
the company for a longer period.
AI can analyze employees’ behavior, predict future
outcomes, and propose the best solution. Innovative
programs based on AI are able to analyze individual
performances and basing on them determine whether
a person should keep the job, get a promotion, or
be fired. It is also able to calculate what kind of
motivation is the most efficient and suggest the best
strategy for the HR leader.
With artificial intelligence, each move of every
employee is noticed and taken into consideration.
AI-driven software is able to predict if an employee
is going to resign and when it may happen. It can
be of great help to the human resources sector. As
for the employees, it gives an opportunity for hard
workers to be recognized and a threat to those who
are not doing their best at work.
Let’s look into the threats accompanying the
development of AI technologies in the HR sector.
AI Threats for the HR Sector
Data privacy
HR sector is dealing with confidential data including
some personal information about applicants. Sharing
all this information with software indicates a security
risk. AI solutions are not flawless. If we share a huge
amount of sensitive data with a program, what will
happen if an error occurs?
“It’s a highly competitive marketplace for the types
of candidates we’re looking for, so we have to move
quickly and show candidates the return on their time
more quickly,” – Sarah Smart, Hilton’s Vice President
of Global Recruitment.
“Highly engaged employees make customer
experience. Disengaged employees break it.” –
Timothy R. Clark
“Success in creating AI would be the biggest event
in human history. Unfortunately, it might also be
the last, unless we learn how to avoid the risks.” –
Stephen Hawking
New Meaning Of HR With AI Technology
HR Strategy & Planning Excellence presented by December 2019 46 Submit Your Articles
It is a priority to engage data specialists who
will authorize AI processes and prevent personal
data leaks.
Replacing people in jobs
Some people working in the HR sector might be
concerned about their jobs being taken away. If
a machine can run complex research with great
accuracy and in a short time, why companies would
like to keep human employees?
Well, while AI innovations are improving every year,
this is a new technology that is still being tested.
From time to time it makes errors so that human
supervision is necessary.
Complicated implementation process and
Adopting AI solutions to the HR sector come with
challenges. The technology is very advanced and can
be implemented only by skilled and well-educated
people. The amount of specialists in this field is
limited and their services are quite expensive.
To use the full potential of AI in the human resources
department, it is necessary to hire experts who
will not only work on adopting artificial intelligence
solutions to existing systems but also supervise it and
fix problems.
Artificial intelligence is definitely a technology of the
future that enables the HR sector to develop and
increase efficiency faster than ever before.
Business leaders who want to be on top of their
fields should invest in artificial intelligence software
development and start the implementation process as
fast as possible. Everything comes with some risks,
so it is important to be aware of the obstacles which
may occur on the way and cooperate with qualified
people who will know how to overcome them.
Would you like to comment?
Edwin Lisowski is the CTO at
Addepto. He is a technology expert,
and a marketing and social science
“AI is creating the jobs of the future, not destroying
jobs.” – Andrew Saidy, Vice President for Talent
Digitization at Schneider Electric
“AI is everywhere. It’s not that big, scary thing in the
future. AI is here with us.” – Li Fei-Fei, Professor of
Computer Science at Stanford University
Artificial intelligence in recruitment – how does it work in HR?
New Meaning Of HR With AI Technology
Is your workspace holding your employees back?
The numbers say it’s worth taking a second look.
According to Gallup, actively disengaged employees
cost the U.S. $483 to $605 billion per year in
lost productivity.
People naturally want to be productive, but if your
workplace isn’t helping them thrive, there’s a good
chance they’ll start heading for the exits. Luckily, with
advanced technology, we now have the tools to dive
into spaces, examine how employees work best, and
turn the office into a strategic asset.
Here’s how to craft a modern workspace to bring out
the best in your workforce:
Reclaim Wasted Resources
If you’re ready to invest in your workforce, you’ll
need to free up financial resources. What many
business leaders don’t realize is wasted and
mismanaged space is cutting into their bottom
lines. In turn, that wasted money could be put into
employee experiences.
Every desk that sits unused, every conference
room that is hiding away untouched, is costing
the organization money—and that money can be
reclaimed. We now have the technology, such as
sensors, IoT devices, and badges, to track how
employees are using space and where they’re getting
work done.
Designing Workspaces
That Increase Employee
By Jo-Anne Mann
Wondering where to start?
The key is to start seeing workspaces as resources
that work for your people. The more you’re able to
repurpose space for efficiency, the more assets your
company will have to prop up employees.
From there, you should follow these steps to
focus your energy as you build a more productive
work environment:
1. Focus on Flexibility
Technology is changing the modern office. It’s no
longer necessary for employees to spend the day
tethered to their desks, and the modern worker is
realizing how much better—and more productive—
work can be when they have the freedom to do it their
According to a 2019 International Workplace Group
(IWG) survey, four out of every five respondents said,
given a choice between two similar job offers, they
would turn down the one that didn’t offer them flexible
Flexibility doesn’t just mean increasing opportunities
to work from home and adding hot desks; it also
means transforming your workplaces to offer diverse
settings that support different types of work.
Activity-based workspaces enable employees to
choose the right space for the job. Instead of a noisy,
one-size-fits-all open office, you aim for the right mix
HR Strategy & Planning Excellence presented by December 2019 49 Submit Your Articles
Designing Workspaces That Increase Employee Productivity
of spaces for collaboration and privacy, as well both
predictable and spontaneous interaction.
2. Build Better Experiences
Simply put, the way your employee experience work
impacts results. According to IBM, organizations that
score in the top 25 percent for employee experience
have nearly three times the return on assets and twice
the return on sales in comparison to groups in the
bottom quarter.
Building better experiences requires knowing what your
workforce needs. First, empower your employees by
connecting them to their spaces with user-friendly tools
for finding and booking spaces. Next, introduce precise
utilization tracking so that you can optimize your space
around the real-time supply and demand of amenities.
In the end, the only way to uncover sometimes subtle
employee preferences is through data. People vote with
their feet—so IoT data that tracks the popularity (or lack
thereof) of spaces provides invaluable insight into how
closely your workplace supports your daily workflow.
Tracking these patterns and assessing the reasons
behind them will help you use the data to create a more
productive space.
3. Promote Collaboration
Collaboration in the workforce improves the
organization on two levels. First, teams are able to get
more done with more diverse input. At the same time,
the more people work together, the stronger your office
culture becomes.
When you design a collaborative workspace, provide
resources that encourage teamwork.
This is what makes technology like wayfinding such a
powerful tool. Wayfinding enables employees to stay
connected across vast campuses, making it easy to
locate colleagues and available spaces amid fluid
environments. This approach provides the transparency
and coordination needed to simplify spontaneous
collaboration across teams and business units.
4. Emphasize Wellness
How much does wellness affect productivity?
According to the Workplace Outcome Suite (WOS)
Annual Report 2018, stress alone costs companies
eight days of lost productivity every month.
Luckily, there are subtle ways to improve wellness in
designing a workspace. Things as simple as adding
color or incorporating plant life could help boost
employee wellbeing.
When planning spaces, it’s important to ensure that
employees have a say in their own environment.
Empowering employees to make service requests can
help you identify specific needs, such as temperature
adjustments, that may seem small but make a
huge difference for the comfort and experience of
your employees.
Getting Started
Designing a modern workplace for productivity
requires a perspective shift. Start by viewing real
estate as a strategic asset—one that pushes
employees forward at every corner. From there, use
technology to get to know your people, find out what’s
driving positive outcomes, and build the office around
those indicators.
Once you get HR, technology, and real estate working
together for your employees, you’ll start seeing
productivity, profits, and worker satisfaction go
through the roof.
Would you like to comment?
Jo-Anne Mann has more than 15 years
of experience in corporate real estate.
In her current role as Global Head of
Client Services for Archibus-Serraview,
Mann is responsible for providing
expertise to a global roster of clients to
help customers save money and build
out their workplaces of the future faster
and more efficiently. Mann focuses
on people productivity, one of her key
business drivers, as she implements
workplace management strategies that
achieve both bottom-line savings and
top-line productivity improvements.
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Recruitment technology has experienced a boom
since the introduction of artificial intelligence
(Al). What once were tasks performed by humans
have been replaced by algorithms. Much of this has
been developed out of necessity, as recruitment
professionals are overwhelmed with the amount
of administrative tasks that sourcing, screening,
interviewing, and selecting candidates require.
In an increasingly competitive and global economy,
recruiters are leaning heavily on technology to
obtain and keep the most desirable employees. The
impact that recruitment technology has on many
organizations is an improved candidate experience
stemming from more streamlined and responsive
processes. For recruiters, having access to more data
on candidates is helping them gain better insight,
which can predict the success and longevity of future
hires. A great example is the 95 percent employee
retention rate that IBM claims it has due to the use of
AI-enabled recruitment tools.
With job quit rates at their highest in a decade, it is
imperative that employers make the move to job
interview tools and candidate selection technology
that uses a data-driven approach. There is no further
need to use gut feelings in hiring. It has come down
to a technical approach that combines best in class
recruitment practices with real hard facts. The
information furnished by AI recruitment technology
Job Interview Tools
Guidelines for ethical use in recruiting
and job interview tools help make this process more
efficient and cost effective.
What Tools Can Get the Job Done –
Interview Technology Advances
One of the more recent job interview tools that uses
AI to screen candidates is that of facial scanning.
According to a recent post by Steven Bartlett, CEO at
Social Chain, “the software is reportedly being used
by the US company, HireVue and will analyze tone of
voice, vocabulary, and facial expressions to determine
candidates’ suitability.” It claims to be more effective
at helping recruiters select candidates based on
linguistic and facial characteristics, cross-referenced
against pre-hire personality and skill assessments.
Sounds straight out of Science Fiction, doesn’t it?
However, Bartlett is quick to point out that because
the software is designed to evaluate candidates
based on their performance in a video interview, this
could actually introduce bias into the process for
those candidates who may not conform to the “norm”.
Consider the candidates who may have trouble
articulating words or using good eye contact during
a video interview — how will the AI face scanning
rate them? Candidates who get nervous during
interviews, or have handicaps that impact speech, or
just look differently could be weeded out despite their
job-qualifying talents.
HR Strategy & Planning Excellence presented by December 2019 52 Submit Your Articles
Job Interview Tools Include AI Facial Scanning
Then let’s consider the candidate experience. Bartlett
posed the question, “How would you feel if AI was
assessing you in an interview?” Is it HR’s responsibility
to let candidates know how they will be evaluated and
how these factors connect to the actual job role? If
they refuse to participate, should this eliminate them
from consideration?
To better understand the technology of AI job
interview tools, and the candidate perspective, some
more research was in order. Minda Zetlin, Co-author
of The Geek Gap, says candidates “often find the
company’s job opportunities through Facebook
or LinkedIn, can skip uploading their resumés and
simply use their LinkedIn profiles if they wish”. She
adds the candidate then participates in a few “neuroscience-based games intended to evaluate their
personalities”. Then candidates move on to the video
interview, which they perform using preset questions,
while the AI measures their facial expressions. This is
all happening in the background while the candidate
submits his or her profile.
From the candidate side of things, this could be
viewed as convenient because there is no need
for travel or trying to sneak in some time off from
a current job to attend an in-person interview. The
process can be completed on a mobile device,
and the candidate can avoid the long process of
drafting a cover letter and sending a resume. From
the recruiter’s side, the video and data for each
candidate can be viewed at their convenience, on the
go, and subsequent interviews and communication
can take place in one platform. Videos and profiles
of candidates are shareable. This shareability can
involve other members of the decision-making team,
including management and future team-mates.
It appears a growing number of companies are
already using this technology, from Dunkin Donuts to
Unilever Brands. The later claims to have increased
ethnic diversity and opportunities for college students
in poor communities to obtain entry level positions, as
a result of using facial scanning. This is attributed to
eliminating unconscious human bias that comes with
traditional interviewing methods.
Studies have consistently shown that recruiters
struggle with unintentional bias, for a number of
reasons. Much of this has to do with ideas about the
successful outcome of each candidate for specific
roles. For example, Yale University research found
that both male and female scientists who are trained
to be objective in hiring, were more likely to view men
as more competent over women and consequently
hired men more often. The benefit of seeing a
candidate and having AI evaluate their abilities can
generate more information to go on besides personal
Informing Candidates How to Prepare for
an Interview
To return to the earlier question, “Should HR let
candidates know they are being subjected to facial
HR Strategy & Planning Excellence presented by December 2019 53 Submit Your Articles
Tess Taylor is the Founder of HR
Knows, a corporate content, consulting,
and career coaching firm in New York
and the Founder and Managing Editor
of The HR Writer, a popular blog in the
Human Resources and Recruitment
Would you like to comment?
scanning during the hiring process?” In this era,
candidates want and deserve transparency from
organizations. Many are tech-savvy and already know
that various aspects of their lives are monitored on
a daily basis, from smart devices listening to their
conversations to traffic lights equipped with cameras.
Therefore, it is the ethical responsibility of every
business to inform candidates that they can expect to
be evaluated by facial scanning technology.
Information for candidates on how to prepare for
an interview using new technology can be helpful.
A quick checklist of what the process includes, how
much time and what information is needed can be
of great value to candidates. A brief tutorial on how
candidates can maximize their video interview is even
better. For candidates who are apprehensive, this can
be explained as a way to make the experience more
positive and to ensure they are matched up to the
right career opportunity.
At the same time, employers need to be clear that
the use of AI in hiring technology must be linked to
the actual requirements of each job. Assessments
and activities presented to the candidates must be
relevant to the work that candidates will eventually
perform as an employee. The reason for using
facial scanning should be clearly explained to every
candidate and they should be given the choice to
opt-out if they do not feel comfortable with this.
Give candidates another method of applying that
allows them to utilize other features (like the video
interview) so they aren’t at a disadvantage from other
Lastly, human reviewers of candidate data should be
mindful of their own biases and leave these out of the
hiring equation. No decision should be made on the
appearance of a candidate or some other identifying
factor. Instead, recruitment technology should be
left to do its job and provide all the insight needed to
make the best decision. Allowing other people into the
process can help to reduce bias, as no two humans
perceive things the same. Team hiring decisions
combined with information provided by job interview
tools can indicate the best decision for each job role.
Job Interview Tools Include AI Facial Scanning
Certain advantages of using job interview tools
and recruitment technology include consistency
in how every candidate is processed. In traditional
recruitment, “there is no determined model for how
it should be conducted,’’ according to research, and
there has been a disconnect between the activities of
recruiters and the expectations of job seekers. This
has resulted in multiple layers of steps that can make
hiring more difficult and time consuming.
Before using AI enabled recruitment technology,
make sure it’s the right choice for your organizational
objectives. Learn what information can be obtained
using this method and does it enrich your current
recruitment process? Ask others on your team how
they will work video interviews and assessment data
into their decision-making. Consider how job interview
tools can streamline and improve the candidate
experience, as well as how it can shortlist candidates
sooner to focus on those that are most suitable for
AI facial recognition, candidate assessments, and
video interviews all have their place in recruitment
and will continue to be used for making hiring more
accurate. Used responsively, this can improve the
quality of hire for many organizations.


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