Do you think finally 2019 will be the year of AI-powered technologies to find widespread acceptance in the world of work? While HR is not known for pioneering nascent technologies, Artificial Intelligence (AI) represents a terrific opportunity. The consumerization of HR technologies has brought AI to the forefront of innovation in HR. From recruitment to employee experience, and talent management, AI has the potential to transform HR. This issue of Succeeding with AI in HR will provide you with a basic understanding of what AI is, its applications in HR, and how it works. 

AI BASICS IN THE HR CONTEXT

The Business Case for Artificial Intelligence in HR  

Until recently, the primary benefits of HR technology were to improve efficiency and drive cost-savings by automating repetitive tasks. Today, smarter technologies are enabling HR teams to solve critical business challenges, drive exponential performance improvements and even impact larger business outcomes and profitability. AI is fueling HR’s transition from administrative to strategic to mission-critical.

AI will make HR more effective. It will not solve all problems but will allow HR to transfer their time currently spent on repetitive and administrative tasks to a more strategic approach. Many believe that AI will reduce human contact in HR but scientist believes it will do the exact opposite. Instead of an HR Generalist answering the same questions again and again, one can use that time discussing an employee’s development or internal process improvement.” (1)

Employee experience
A recent survey by Deloitte revealed that while nearly 80 per cent of executives rate employee experience as important, only 22 per cent believe their organization excels at providing a differentiated employee experience. The next competitive frontier for businesses is employee experience and the future of HR will be centred on the employee experience and personalizing engagement. In a time when employees have smart assistants at home and recommendation engines for when they shop, they expect a personalized experience when they come to work. We have seen the need for chatbots, AI and machine learning in the workplace to drive more productivity as well as modern, consumerized employee experiences. These consumer technology solutions are exactly what employees want in the workplace.

A recent survey revealed that 30 per cent of employees want a “Google-like” option to easily get the help and information they need at work. “Voice technology in the workplace is also a key consideration. The survey found that 16 per cent of employees want Siri, but to help answer work questions.  Beyond these considerations, an effective solution must be mobile, personal and provide the employee with options in terms of how they wish to engage and be supported. AI can be effectively woven into the entire employee lifecycle, starting with recruitment and onboarding, to HR service delivery and career pathing, to provide bespoke employee experiences. (2)

Data-driven decision making
HR agility has emerged as a critical theme for organizations in the war for talent. And HR agility is determined by the pace at which HR leaders can make sound business decisions.  

While HR technology has made real-time data available to businesses, many still rely on manual methods to draw insights from data. This task is often left to end-users or data analysts. This creates a bottleneck when trying to draw insights – causing delays. Decisions also continue to be made with outdated information. 

AI helps HR teams extract insights from data and deliver recommendations in real-time. Natural Language Generation (NLG) software has the ability to transform data into data-driven text automatically, which makes it a valuable asset for HR teams across industries. AI also has the potential to remove many of the common human biases and inconsistencies in a function as sensitive to such factors as Human Capital Management. Thus, decisions powered by AI have the potential to be faster at scale and more data-informed, as well as more consistent, and unbiased. (3)

Intelligent automation
Intelligent automation combines AI with automation to enable machines to sense, understand, learn and act – either independently or with human assistance. Intelligent automation can perform not only manual tasks but also make intelligent decisions as a human would. Intelligent automation capabilities can enable machines to understand processes and their variations. Intelligent automation can be deployed across all repetitive manual processes to boost efficiency, productivity, and drive innovation.

AI in HR opens the door to limitless opportunities – imagine if an employee could learn new skills to match the pace of technological advances; they would be in complete control of their career! Now that’s an employee experience anyone would appreciate. As business performance becomes the focal point of all long-term HR strategies, AI has emerged as the most valuable ally for HR professionals. (4)

 

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