“Artificial intelligence can learn anything that humans can learn”, says Max Welling, Professor at Amsterdam University.
Trends continue to show that organizational leaders and HR professionals are moving toward the further merger of artificial intelligence (AI) into HR functions like onboarding and administration of benefits, believing that the combination can and will improve the overall employee experience.
The all important direction of leadership lends creditability to the movement, as 66 percent of CEOs believe cognitive computing can drive significant value in HR, while 54 percent of HR executives believe that cognitive computing will affect key roles in the HR organization. (IBM)
But not all HR professionals and leaders are on the AI track. In a 2017 survey the Human Resources Professional Association (HRPA) reported that 52 percent of respondents indicated their businesses were unlikely to adopt AI in their HR departments in the next five years. About 36 percent believe their organization was too small to do so, while 28 percent said their senior leadership did not see the need for such technology.
To deny the potential future of AI is to also deny the current reality, as we see the effects of AI all around us, today. International Data Corporation (IDC) forecasts that spending on AI will grow from $12B in 2017 to $57.6B by 2021. AI accounts for the latest developments in smartphone technology, home assistants like Alexa, Siri, and others on the way. The latest business solutions include AI in everything from onboarding to accounting.
Here are some of the ways that you can put a little AI into your HR:
Applicants and employees expect custom experiences tailored to their unique needs as they apply for a new job, choose the right benefits, or explore career development opportunities. “AI recruiters” can automate scheduling interviews, provide ongoing feedback to candidates and answer their questions in real time.
Onboarding becomes a highly tactical process that is overly focused on completing paperwork, meeting deadlines, and pushing candidates through the door. As a result, strategic opportunities are lost to build your company’s brand, solicit feedback from the candidate both about their experience and referrals, and gain insight about the performance of your process. With the power of AI, you can harness intelligent software robots to automate many tasks to enable consistent and efficient management of your onboarding processes. This allows you to deploy your staff to handle human tasks requiring intuition, creativity, and adaptability.
In the survey by the Human Resources Professional Association, researchers found that even when employers strive to be inclusive, they may subconsciously lean toward candidates who are most like them, or what they call “unconscious bias”.
“These biases find their way into job descriptions, as well as resume selections. Now, thanks to AI, algorithms can be designed to help employers identify and remove these bias patterns in language they use to improve their hiring communications and welcome diverse applicants,” HRPA researchers noted. AI could also present managers with candidates who may have been screened out due to human tendency to favor candidates with similar traits or competencies.
The key to productivity and ultimately retention is the ability to get your employees engaged, and with the dismal statistics that are out on overall employee engagement, it stands to reason that it’s time to try new things. AI can provide data mining and predictive analysis. By measuring engagement level and collating relevant results AI can provide options and solutions to drive employee engagement. Advanced data analytics and machine learning tools can simplify running engagement programs.
AI can also help identify employees who may be considering leaving. For example, Veriato tracks employee computer activity — emails, keystrokes, internet browsing, etc. — and stores it for one month and implements an AI system that analyzes the data to determine a baseline of normal activity patterns in the organization. “Based on that knowledge,” HRPA researchers note, “it flags outliers and reports them to the employer and also detects changes in the overall tone of employees’ communications to predict when employees might be thinking of leaving.”
Efficient and compliant automation is the key to the future, yet is already present in our systems around us today. HR professionals understand the need to be able to accurately vet vast amounts of data accurately, while being able to contribute the greatest human elements of leadership, ingenuity, compassion, and communication. Putting some AI into your HR will prove to be one of the wisest business decisions you will ever make.