In HR, we've been automating processes for decades. We had chatbots in the early 2010s, but they could only respond to specific keywords or pre-programmed questions.
Today, AI's capabilities are growing exponentially. It's expanding its ability to converse with humans, analyze data, make decisions, and operate complex processes. It has transformed how HR works, and HR software vendors now embed AI in their software in many ways.
This blog will discuss the benefits and risks of introducing and expanding artificial intelligence into your HR and talent operations.
How AI is Changing HR
We've come a long way since Lyons Electronic Office launched the first computerized payroll system 70 years ago. I recall sending timecards by mail to a central payroll office in the 1970s. Today, the closest we get to manual entry timekeeping is swiping a card reader or entering data in a pre-populated online form.
Today, I wouldn't be surprised to see timecard data entered with a retinal sensor.
But what's changing most is the speed of change. We develop new software in weeks or months instead of years. We'll doubtless make as much progress in the next five years as we have since that first payroll system in the '50s.
Finding the balance
AI technology has revolutionized how HR teams approach planning, recruitment, employee and leadership development, performance, and employee relationships. But finding the right balance between AI-enabled automation and human oversight is up to you. In the end, artificial intelligence can help HR teams to work smarter, but it will never replace human empathy and connection. As a CHRO, CEO, or CTO, you should conscientiously embrace these technological advancements, always ensuring that humans are in charge.
Next, we'll discuss how you can use AI in specific HR functions.
Chatbots are increasing in popularity in HR departments. HR managers and employees can access information about policies, benefits, leave procedures, and HR services anytime and from anywhere. HR teams like them because they reduce the workload, but we advise caution. Your chatbot shouldn't replace HR services. We mustn't lose the human touch.
Chatbots can't replace human empathy. Some people will want to talk only to human beings, especially about sensitive subjects. You will want to ensure the chatbot makes referrals to a human quickly and easily.
Recruitment and Candidate Screening
AI-powered recruitment systems are making a significant impact on HR. Recruitment teams can rapidly assess and analyze resumes, shortlist candidates, and predict their future job performance.
Managed well, AI can reduce bias in selection while saving considerable time and effort. Analyzing performance data and feeding it back into recruiting can improve selection accuracy.
Chatbots can also have a significant impact on the candidate experience. You won't make your candidates wait on the phone to get their questions answered, and you can notify recruiters when your chatbot handles a call so they can follow up.
Beware programmed bias. Automated selection tools can introduce bias into your screening and selection. It will do so if you use biased historical data to train it.
Learning and Development
AI has boosted learning analytics to improve adaptive learning. It enables L&D to provide personalized development programs to employees based on their preferences, learning styles, and roles. Enhancements include:
- Personalized employee learning paths by analyzing assessment data, performance reviews, feedback, and other sources.
- Dynamic, intelligent content delivery, adapting to the individual in the learning flow.
- Predictive analytics for skill gap analysis.
None of this is new. What's different is the speed, scope, accuracy, and ease of use.
Employee Engagement and Retention
AI applications can predict potential employee dissatisfaction and burnout before they happen. These tools provide insights that can go undiscovered by humans to trigger interventions.
Build governance into your data gathering to protect employee privacy. Remember that if you are gathering information passively, your people need to know what data you are collecting and why.
Monitoring and analyzing employee activity, feedback, and preferences enables HR to make data-driven decisions about employee sentiment and potential interventions. You can be more responsive to workforce needs with much less effort.
Keep employees informed. Once again, your people need to know what data you collect, how you collect it, and how you will use it.
AI can analyze huge historical datasets and spot patterns that might go unnoticed. It can forecast changes in demand for specific skills to give you a heads-up on future gaps. Its strength is understanding immensely complex data to enable informed decisions.
You'll train your AI on your historical data, so you'll want to be sure it's accurate, usable, and free of unconscious bias. Clean up your data before you launch into using AI.
Additional concerns will be ethics and data privacy—and a growing body of regulations. The EU, New York City, and California already have requirements in place. The EEOC warns that using a third party for AI doesn't protect companies from discrimination claims.
Join the Revolution
AI has revolutionized HR, from workforce planning and recruitment through the entire employee lifecycle. By embedding robust AI-driven tech like chatbots and performance analytics into their systems, HR teams can evaluate the success of their strategies and make informed decisions about future investments and policies.
Ai in your processes can keep your company agile, improve efficiency, and increase employee satisfaction. And with accurate predictive analytics, you'll be able to anticipate changes in the workforce and how they'll affect future talent acquisition.
Pixentia is a full-service technology company dedicated to helping clients solve business problems, improve the capability of their people, and achieve better results.