The coming in of machine learning, predictive modelling and conversational interface has helped HR transition from the traditional compliance-only function to a more strategic business role. Given most of the non- transactional parts of HR professional’s job revolves around data, AI in HR has the potential to improve and automate data-driven decision making. An IBM Institute for Business value Survey found that half of the respondents already acknowledged the power of cognitive computing to transform the key dimensions of HR and the use of AI-powered tools for recruitment, talent development and operations.
Tammy Cohen the Chief Visionary Officer and Founder of InfoMart says HR Analytics runs in the background of many assessments, development applications, screening and recruitment now. AI predictive analysis is now working to change all the big data that HR wanted and knew had potential from a burden to organised information. The change has occurred at a slow pace over the past couple of years, each system upgrade boosting additional capabilities and you might not even notice how much of your time it is saving through automating the internal business processes.
Diversity in AI for HR
The automation of processes is driving the evolution of HR‘s role. No more spending countless hours crafting the perfect job description or going through a list of dozens of people to find the perfect candidate. The candidate experience will be at the forefront of the HR job description. Employees want quick hassle-free access to information, whilst candidates expect a responsive and quick job search. AI can give both the employer and the candidate that experience. AI will give recruiters more time on their hands to optimize workflows and drive quality candidate experience that directly affects business’ bottom lines.
The biggest challenge with pushing successful candidates experience programs is that most tools push recruiters to change their existing workflows and end up increasing their overall workloads, killing candidate experience programs even before they take off. There has been a lot of talk about cognitive recruitment bots that are capable of real-time interaction with candidates, asking questions based on the job requirements providing feedback updates and next-step suggestions. The most profound impact of AI will be seen in the recruitment function. According to Tammy, AI will change the roles and tasks in talent acquisition. The system does all the sourcing, using AI software to automatically connect with other sources and the third party pulls using existing credentials.
Is Your Team AI Ready
For organisations today one of the major business concerns should be identifying new job roles to leverage the full potential of AI in HR. There is a need to develop expertise through building HR teams that partner with IT and Digital Transformation teams to provide information on the latest AI services and how other functions are embracing AI to drive growth. As AI is further implemented in organisations it is reducing the number of positions related to mundane tasks, the availability of HR tech positions will arise. Given HR has always been an extension of the company’s brand its marketing role is becoming more imminent as social media has become the primary sources of recruitment. HR, therefore, needs to now work closely with marketing as it must stay in line with brand standards. HR will soon need to create HR marketing positions that boost brand awareness in the hiring sphere.
The introduction of AI into HR will mean there will be more time given to the more human aspects as the computer will be working on the more mundane task such as sorting, searching and matching. The Harris Poll was a study conducted that found 7 out 10 people found their job search to be quite impersonal. Most adults prefer the first contact with the company to be face to face, call or email. HR is still needed for that human touch. Organisations need to prepare adequately in understanding the AI system and how best it operates and it is potential to create new job roles.
Have you thought of the future of work?
It will be driven by AI! A report by IBM states that almost 10 million workers in the world’s 10 largest economies need to be reskilled in the next few years for them to adapt to an AI-driven workplace or they may lose their competitive edge. Training and development have moved from the classroom to intelligent app-based, interactive video content. The focus is on human perception with AI inputs of HR. With AI and predictive analytics making great inroads into the business processes with a clear focus on positive outcomes. One of the most effective ways to deploy AI-based technology is through the HR departments.
Dan Marsh, director of people at e-learning provider Sponge predicts that the roles organisations are recruiting for today may not exist shortly. Noting AI enables learning platforms to replicate the approach of consumer content providers such as Netflix, which will improve learning outcomes at a time of reduced shelf life for human skills.
Leaders will likely look at AI as just another technology to implement, however, organisations that invest in changing the way people work and interact stand a chance to achieve outpaced value creation. In practice, this may mean restructuring the HR business model to effectively identify best opportunities for AI augmentation as well as streamline the interface points for human and machines.
Munodiwa Zvemhara is a consultant at Industrial Psychology Consultants (Pvt) Ltd a management and human resources consulting firm.
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