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AI in HR: Helping human resources be more human

We’ve already made the case for how important analytics is in the field of human resources, but let’s not stop there. Organizations can take it one step further with AI-powered insights.

Not only will artificial intelligence help streamline operations and improve efficiency, but it also plays an integral role in optimizing the human aspect of employee management: quality conversations and interaction, mentoring, and promoting motivation in the workplace.

The business case for AI in HR

Artificial intelligence has the potential to transform HR the same way it does most fields: by augmenting human effort. As it is, your human resources department is probably riddled with routine tasks and cumbersome processes, taking time away from high-value functions.

By leveraging AI, HR professionals can automate administrative work (scanning resumes, scheduling interviews, answering inquiries) in order to focus on more strategic endeavors (engaging with candidates, improving sourcing, and building relationships with employees). You’ll have time to do more—and at a higher level of quality.

And because the advent of artificial intelligence and related technologies has the prospect to reimagine the workplace, it is more important than ever for HR to be at the forefront of the transition. Experts forecast that the introduction of AI capabilities will not only displace jobs but introduce new ones as well.

According to a World Economic Forum report, 75 million current jobs are projected to be displaced. At the same time, 133 million new jobs and roles may also emerge from this dynamic. A similar trend was also reported by Gartner, which claims that by 2020, AI will create more jobs than it disrupts. The technology will give rise to 2.3 million jobs while eliminating 1.8 million.

During this transition, employees and the organization will probably look to HR for guidance. After all, there is no better meeting place for human and machine-learning based intelligence than human resources. As such, HR departments should take steps to embrace the technology and set an example for the rest of the organization.

“AI capabilities will not only displace jobs but introduce new ones as well.”

3 areas ripe for AI adoption

There are many business areas in human resources budding with technological potential. Let’s look at some examples of AI in HR:

1. Talent acquisition

Recruitment can be a tedious task, with all the applications to filter, candidates to screen, and interviews to conduct. Not to mention how long the process can take: an average of 27 days. For recruiters, it’s easy to get caught up in the administrative work and barely have enough time and energy to provide a personalized and overall better experience for candidates.

Artificial intelligence provides the answer in the form of machine learning algorithms that scan through resumes and identify strong applicants based on factors that predict candidate success (education, experience, and skills, to name a few).

AI in talent acquisition eases the recruitment pipeline and allows recruiters to interview only those who are most likely a good fit—increasing productivity, improving quality, and reducing time to hire.

2. Employee onboarding and training

A new job often comes with a boatload of information. Imagine a new employee coming in and getting overwhelmed by all the new faces, new role, and new environment. They would, in most cases, look to HR to get the information they need.

Because among other things, the human resources department is an information portal. Fortunately, AI can help make information more readily accessible using chatbots and virtual assistants. Through natural language processing, these bots can provide answers to new hires’ most pressing questions and help them get up to speed.

Conversational AI makes sure that all inquiries are accounted for (and across different time zones to boot), so HR professionals can spend more time building a personalized experience and providing valuable information to new employees.

3. Talent retention

When it comes to employee churn, a lot of factors can come into play. There is no one reliable answer to why employees leave a company, but you can leverage machine learning and artificial intelligence to get an idea of who is most likely to resign.

A machine learning algorithm can determine factors that contribute the most to high employee attrition: pay, promotion, and performance are a few examples. With these predictors, HR professionals can identify probable resignees and practice early intervention.

Another way AI can lend a hand is through an employee sentiment analysis. Natural language processing makes it possible to comb through surveys, reviews, and other forms of feedback to get a snapshot of the organizational climate and overall job satisfaction. Insights can then drive employee engagement efforts and retention strategies.

Replacing a high-talented employee costs about 200% of that role’s annual salary. This is just one of the losses that can easily be mitigated by deploying AI technologies.

Changing the way people work

When AI does get integrated into your organization—and it should—the workplace will be reimagined as it is. Efficiency will improve, productivity may skyrocket, and roles will be transformed. HR itself will be revolutionized as well.

Basically, AI will act as a tool that will help human resources be more “human”. The technology will provide answers to questions like “Who is likely to leave the company and what can we do to improve their experience?”, “What is bringing down job satisfaction and what should be done to improve numbers?” and “How do we provide a seamless and intuitive experience for new hires?”. The possibilities are endless.

Whether you’re working in recruitment, compensation and benefits, training, or compliance, the slew of advantages that come with deploying AI in human resources are too valuable to ignore.

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