Artificial Intelligence: A Workmate for the Human Resource Department
We are accelerating fast into an Artificial Intelligence (AI) driven digital era. Not a moment goes when digital is not part of our daily lives. And that’s not just about smart devices at home or collaborating on MS Teams or Zoom meetings but extends to cars we drive, payments we make or shopping we do. While so much of our lives are surrounded and enhanced by digital experiences, when it comes to the most crucial resource that helps companies achieve goals and scale to new heights, that is human resources, AI is a tiny component. It will be a pity if we can’t extend and use the very tools that make our lives so much better when it comes to talent or human resources management.
In fact not just on Earth, even when we have people spending time in outer space (space tourism might take off this decade) an array of AI powered sensors all over the smart space crafts are informing people on board about what’s happening. So why when scouting for bright talent why do we just limit the digital experience to sending the CV online and do the rest manually? That’s like a whole lot of tasks from shifting through hundreds or thousands of CVs, matching profiles to candidates, identifying training needs or even checking out body language and speech quality in an informal way, when AI tools can give us scientific, unbiased answers.
Think of AI as a sensor capturing the daily activity of each individual of the workforce without interfering in their routines. At the end of the year it can give a better picture on how people delivered, what roles can they be moved into, who all need training requirements and areas in which they need and overall how do organisation goals match to the talent that the company has, which will help deliver those goals. Much like in some hospitals now X-Rays and other reports are being diagnosed by machines, freeing up radiologists to focus on more complicated cases.
What is done by the HR team alone based on information shared by employees, their department heads, colleagues could be prone to biases (so common it is to hear: he likes him more than me so I got a bad rating!) and this is where AI steps in to give a smart, intelligent, unbiased output on talent metrics of the company.
AI helps get the right candidates as well. Recruiters have often found that going through individual resumes is not only time consuming but may not be error free. As a detail could be overlooked. While chances of an AI making such errors is almost zilch.
Employee skills are of 2 types: – Domain and Soft. Domain skills are tangible in nature and easy to detect the presence or absence of. For example, a data analyst in the oil and gas industry will be aware of all types of products (petrol, diesel, kerosene, furnace oil etc), their subtle differences and what to look for. Soft Skills on the other hand are every hard to nail down. How does that oil industry analyst handle stress? Can he work long hours without a break and how does he collaborate with colleagues? No wonder research shows that on an average an organization loses up-to $100 million a year because of in-effective leadership and communication skills. Clearly since humans are not machines, they cannot be-embedded, with sensors which can signal the health of their soft skills.
Besides, how did you deal with a conflict? Whether it’s your written word or your spoken word, how effectively and astutely were you able to get it right? AI can identify individual behavior patterns and the environmental triggers which promote the right and or wrong behaviors.
And it helps both employees and companies. To an employee it can provide in time, on the job coaching and at the CEO /CXO level it can give deep insights into aspects of organization culture which are enabling versus hindering your growth. For companies, who invest considerable management time and resources in getting the right person for the job, a misfit in a role can impact not just that department but others who might be dependent on that department to deliver. AI platforms can empower companies and employees alike to fathom skills, capabilities and potential.
In a world where search for talent today starts on AI powered digital platforms, not using the same tools throughout the lifecycle of the employee would indeed be very surprising. Why leave that out for guesswork or chance? AI tools can not only improve individual performance but also company performance.