AI In HR: What Does it Entail?
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is one of the most progressive technologies that the world has witnessed in the past decade. It has completely changed the way organizations conduct their business and people live, interact and transact. An increasing number of companies are strengthening their AI capabilities to automate their business functions, gain meaningful information from data and engage deeply with both customers and employees.
While AI has certainly emerged as a competitive tool in sales and marketing, business analytics, manufacturing, customer service and many other domains of business, its implications in Human Resources (HR) function has been one of the most debated subjects in the business circles. There is a strong reason why. A report highlights that AI will displace 1.8 million jobs worldwide this year, but at the same time, it will generate $2.9 trillion in business value and recover 6.2 billion hours of worker productivity by 2021 and create 2.3 million jobs by 2025. On one hand, AI is perceived as a job killer and on the other hand, it is touted that it will reinvent HR and makes a strong business case of HR.
On a closer analysis, the benefits of AI outweigh its drawbacks and more so, when it is supported with other technologies such as machine learning, natural language processing, Internet of Things and blockchain. As far as India Inc. is concerned, a report states that around 70% of the companies have automated half of their HR functions by integrating AI into their technological capabilities. Many companies have incorporated HR chatbots and virtual assistants to take over certain responsibilities of the role.
Let’s take a look at how AI is transforming HR:
Automates Repetitive Tasks
HR spends several hours a day in routine administrative tasks such as payroll, employee data management, employee queries, report generation, etc. This consumes a lot of time and energy and reduces the productivity of the HR staff. AI can automate all these repetitive jobs and enable HR to focus on strategy and business intelligence.
Recruiters spend 14 hours on an average every week in hiring activities, 72.8% of employers struggle to find the right fit, and 44% of job seekers believe that the hiring process is biased. AI takes away all these hassles.
AI can help HR automate pre-screening of resumes and background verification of candidates. Some advanced tools can even schedule telephonic interviews with candidates, send them personalized messages and assess their behavioural traits to determine the right fit. This not only saves time and efforts of pre-hiring/initial hiring process but also eliminates human bias that the HR may harbour due to some pre-conceived notions. AI powers recruitment through data-driven decision making.
Ensures Smooth Onboarding Process
Statistics suggest that organizations with a strong onboarding process can improve new employee retention by 82% and productivity by over 70% whereas a negative onboarding experience leads to new hires being two times more likely to search for other job opportunities. AI can help HR to structure the onboarding process by automatically generating the employment offer, processing documents and handling both job-specific and administrative queries. AI can reduce HR’s burden significantly while ensuring smooth onboarding for new employees and settle them into their new job.
Powers Efficient Communication and Collaboration
These days, HR has to manage diverse and inclusive teams spread across vast geographical area and different time zones. Flexible, work-from-home, remote and freelancing teams are also adding to human capital management challenges of HR. AI can streamline workplace communication and collaboration as well as maximize its efficiency. AI can schedule meetings, manage employee schedules, record timeline of conversations, translate communication for employees who speak different languages.
Aids in Personalized Learning and Development (L&D) Programs
AI is turning out to be a game-changer in the L&D strategy of HR. It helps HR to customize L&D programs for employees based on their individual skill gaps, competencies and training needs instead of providing generic training. Moreover, when coupled with other technologies such as Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality and gamification, L&D can become really interesting and interactive to engage employees with deep learning and maximize learning outcomes.
Applications of AI can be found in various other functions of HR such as performance management, succession planning, people analytics and more. Now, while there is absolutely no doubt that AI can modernize HR and put it ahead of curve, it is pertinent for HR folks to understand that AI is a powerful tool to manage talent and improve employee experience and must not be construed as a replacement of human connection which is at the core of all HR functions.
If you are planning to pursue HR profession, knowledge of AI and its implications in HR can go a long way in putting your career on a fast-track growth.