It is an age-old knowledge that a happy employee is a productive employee. For any organization, employees are the first customers. According to research by Aberdeen,companies with engaged employees see over 25% greater annual increase in revenue!
Human Resource divisions across organizations of all sizes and verticals, therefore, have employee engagement and employee enablement high on their agenda. New technologies such as AI, data, and analytics have started changing the way companies manage and engage with their workforce and also how they make their HR plans.
Let us try and understand how these modern developments can usher in the era of AI-driven HR.
With new trends like distributed teams, the proliferation of new technologies, and millennials and Gen Z forming a large portion of the workforce, the role of HR is undergoing a rapid change. HR divisions are exploring the use of AI to help them in keeping the employees motivated, engaged and aligned with the cutler, values, mission, and vision of the organization. Let us look at a few fields where AI can help HR –
- Recruitment: When it comes to hiring, most of the recruiters decide on shortlisting a resume based on the first impression, literally. Studies show that 30-40% of such hires are not the best fit. AI can be leveraged to make unbiased decisions by viewing the video recording of interviews, shortlisting correct resumes, and decoding and highlighting the high performers, leading to 30 percent improvement. This also frees up the recruiters’ time which they can then spend in evaluating a smaller group of more suitable candidates.
- Learning and Training: Top management feels that half of the funds allocated for training and development is wasted. AI can help identify which employees need what kind of training by mapping it with customer analytics. AI can then help in training the employees based on customer demand – making it extremely relevant, personalized, and useful for the employees. IBM Watson has showcased that with its cognitive capabilities, it can provide the training managers with a list of customized training needs based on the specific needs of the employees. Not only this, AI can also help in the scheduling of the lessons based on the preferences of individual employees.
- Fraud and Compliance: The opportunity here is simply huge. The way AI can improve compliance adherence can be huge. Fraudulent behavior and practices are generally contagious. Hence, it is extremely important that the symptoms are identified, and such intentions are nipped right at the bud. By doing network analysis and keyword analysis of the mail content, AI can provide actionable insights which can help thwart such malicious activities.
- Employee Well-Being: By correctly identifying the cause for poor employee performance, steps can be taken to improve the same. AI can identify patterns that can be the key indicators of stress in employees. Similarly, it can also identify behaviors which are synonymous with poor performance. Organizations such as Glint, Ultimate Software, CultureAmp, TinyPulse etc. are already creating bots which can specifically address the case of wellbeing and adherence.
- Self Service and Employee Experience: The HR process has a lot of manual and mundane tasks, which provide a lot of scope for automation. Space and device allocation, the routine portion of the onboarding tasks, all have immense scope to be automated. If automated, the HRs can get down to the actual tasks where more human touch is required. For example, in case of vacation requests, AI can play in role in notifying the employees about the probability of the leave request getting approved depending on the predicted resource requirement at that point of time. Such immediate assistance to their service requests helps in enhancing the employee experience.
- Employee Mood: By analyzing emails, understanding speech, identifying images, and through text analytics, AI can help in gauging the mood of the employees. In one example, IBM Watson has shown that it can analyze a client call and can provide the feedback on whether the employee needs a break or not.
- Employee Retention: Employee retention is one of the key challenges of many organizations. AI can help enterprises in predicting attrition – similar to a bank predicting customer churn. Based on historical data and behavior which corresponds to an employee on the verge of jumping ship, AI can help the HR get insights into the satisfaction of employees. This allows them to take proactive actions and solve the problems if any.
The pathway to AI in HR is mired with risks. The primary one being there is a severe lack of training data. If there are loopholes like biases and discrimination already prevalent in the HR practices, the AI can also institutionalize these not-so-desirable traits. Moreover, there is this constant threat of data exposure and misuse of data.
The success of AI adoption in HR is dependent on the choice of the correct implementation partner, who has in-depth domain expertise along with the required technological expertise. The top management has to throw their weight behind the initiative with utmost conviction. It is pragmatic to start small and have a piecemeal approach rather than a big bang one. One use case at a time. As the adoption of any new technology to a vertical, AI in HR is also evolving. Even with all the risks attached to it, AI implementation in HR has a huge upside to it.