AI to play a lead role in the evolving HR story
From screening thousands of candidates in no time to effective decision-making at interviews to creating new and meaningful job roles, artificial intelligence can truly revolutionise the HR function in many ways, says Abhishek Agarwal, Senior Vice President, Judge Group
Artificial intelligence has already become a reality and is significantly changing the existing business operations. The story of HR is no different, where AI is playing a lead role. All those cumbersome hiring processes are being restructured, and the role of HR is going much beyond “just managing human resources”. However, the only question that hurts is, whether our HR executives and managers prepared to embrace this change ?
The advent of AI has given birth to a new wave of re-skilling, which is the need of the hour among the existing workforce. Around 120 million workers in the world’s ten largest economies would require re-skilling in the next few years to utilise the full potential of the AI-driven market, as per IBM predictions. However, a vast populace is still going through a sluggish pace of adapting to AI-based innovations; hence lack confidence and preparedness to adopt them. Many companies are, therefore, failing to bring fruitful results in today’s competitive business scenario. They look for AI, want to invest in it, but somehow fail due to inefficient teams with a scarcity of talent.
Understanding AI’s role in HR
AI is designed to use several algorithms, which can analyse past data, understand and decipher patterns on the basis of several factors like speech, tone, photo etc., and accordingly anticipate the future needs, unseen by the human eye. AI creates intelligent systems, which can save human efforts by eliminating unwanted and mundane manual tasks. For instance, tasks like query management can be easily done by bots.
AI in HR systems can screen thousands of candidates in no time. It uses pre-determined parameters and can quickly complete the first round of the interview without any HR efforts. Plus, it will ensure that there is no room for errors when it comes to matching the right candidate with the right job, which suits his/her skills. Also, AI will enable job seekers to apply for jobs through interacting with chatbots, and thus saving a lot of time. Many companies have already adopted bots to take care of such tasks. These bots assess candidates on the basis of what they reply.
How cognitive computing is helping?
Cognitive computing is another innovation that can prove to be very useful for the HR domain. It can even predict the minute things, which need more analysis such as who can be an effective leader or which employee is about to leave. More importantly, this technology can even pinpoint traits that can lead to accidents or who is likely to indulge in any fraudulent activity.
The real benefits of AI
The biggest benefit one can get out of AI is smooth decision-making. AI completely removes the “gut feeling” of a human that comes before s/he takes any decision. It improves people management by eliminating biases.
Close your eyes for a few seconds and try to recall your past interview experiences. You will straightly get the answer. You’ll clearly recall those interviewers who,no doubt, did a long chit chat but rejected you in the end because s/he had decided to do so in the first two minutes of the interview. These decisions are clear examples of personal biases, which have been a reality in the in many organisations, even in the biggies. AI tools can easily tackle such problems and help humans take unbiased and successful decisions.
More meaningful job roles
AI will also create new and meaningful job roles. According to a recent TeamLease report, India’s IT industry will see an addition of around 2.5 lakh new jobs in 2019. AI will create 2.3 million jobs and eliminate only 1.8 million jobs. HR executives and managers will thus be able to focus more on improving the employee experiences. It will delight employees and motivate them to work smarter. It will also bring a significant impact on the business and hence reshape the entire work culture. AI is a game-changing tool to make HR pros more analytical, agile and tech-savvy.
Focus on skills
As companies adopt the AI approach and develop more meaningful HR roles, the hiring strategy will be more focused on seeking skills rather than degrees. However, AI alone can’t bring much change until human mindsets of hiring managers and leaders reshape. This approach will ultimately encourage HR people to communicate a company’s culture across all employees and promote a shared vision, creating a supportive work culture in the organisation. Not only this, it will also promote transparency and trust among employees.
What more is needed?
For organisations that want to utilise AI effectively, it is critical that they first educate and train their employees to become AI efficient. In today’s AI-driven world, absorbing more and more computer scientists won’t cut the deal. The companies should therefore collaborate and take assistance from IT to stay on top of technology. This collaboration will also help in developing best practices across the organisation by going hand in hand with AI technology.
Most importantly, organisations should seek, retain and train the right talent in order to craft a better digital atmosphere. Although AI is going to significantly innovate the HR services and work culture, change in attitude and mindsets of existing employees will play a key role in the success of a business. Right steps and corrective measures will further cater to the AI revolution and thus help the HR domain become the growth engine of India’s job scenario and hence evolve the future of work.