As the amount of information stored electronically, and in the Cloud, increases, HR departments have seen some drastic changes to their procedures. The latest technology promising to have a positive impact is Artificial Intelligence – or AI. But how exactly is this fueling the HR revolution?
At first glance, it might seem that AI is something far too sci-fi to have anything to do with matters like employee leave management, recruitment campaigns or employment legislation compliance. But while it is true that humanoid robots are unlikely to grace a HR department any time soon, artificial intelligence in HR is by no means a strange idea.
In fact, there is already a wide variety of AI technologies at work in HR. According to the 2017 Deloitte Human Capital Trends survey, some 38% of companies are already making use of AI technologies, and of those that are not, 62% expect to do so by 2018. Meanwhile, IBM discovered in another survey that 46% of company executives are sure that AI technology will make talent acquisition more effective.
The reason for this is AI’s ability to learn, problem solve and assess information, skills that are extremely important in an efficient HR department. The continuing development of cognitive technologies like natural language processing, predictive algorithms and self-learning mean that the range of advantages available is increasing still.
But how exactly is AI technology feeding the HR revolution and helping HR departments to achieve their tasks more quickly and more effectively?
6 Ways AI Technology Can Benefit HR
- Reduce Recruitment Bias
- Improved Learning
- Strengthen Talent Acquisition Campaigns
- More Detailed Candidate Assessment
- Automate Monotonous Hiring Tasks
- Enhance The Human Touch
Being human, it can be difficult to avoid the ‘bias trap’, that tendency to prefer what is already familiar over what is new. Artificial Intelligence can automate candidate screening, helping to make the process simpler and base it on assessments of the qualifications successful existing employees have. It will then be able to apply this knowledge to screen, rank, and grade candidates who match the criteria. This means that the most suitable person based on proven performances will be identified. It will completely ignore demographic-related information, like age, race, and gender.
Achieving greater productivity is key to success in business, but it’s not easy to do so. A critical part of the equation is training staff to do their jobs better and faster. But with AI technology making it possible for the machines themselves to learn how to adapt systems (known as ML), it is expected to result in reduced costs and increased productivity. In fact, some statistics show that existing AI technologies have impacted user companies to the tune of 32% more employee productivity and 43% greater employee retention.
Finding new talent is a continual concern for HR, which is often under pressure to match the demands placed on creative, innovative and productive sectors of a company to perform with a flow of equally creative, innovative and productive incoming personnel. AI is seen as having the potential to track potential recruits through their careers, keeping candidate pools more accurately up-to-date than ever before. As a result, HR can more quickly identify a shortlist of ideal candidates based on experiences, abilities, and mindsets.
The development of predictive analytics means that AI technology could help HR to make better hiring decisions. This can include reading the facial expressions of a candidate in a video interview and assessing such minute factors as voice intonation and word choice to discover the true value of the candidate. If you think all of this is an indulgence, consider the fact that up to 88% of applicants in the US fail to meet the lowest qualifying level. So, screening them is an essential part of the hiring process.
Some existing recruitment software offers to read CVs and assess written details to find the most suitable candidates for a specific job. But they are not always so effective. Developing AI technology promises to not only screen CVs far more effectively but also schedule interviews and automatically communicate with interviewees. This will save considerably on time, ultimately cutting the overall costs associated with the recruitment process – with the average per hire cost as high as £3,000 in the UK, that could translate to significant savings.
It sounds contradictory but it is expected in some quarters that Artificial Intelligence will actually protect personnel and help them do their jobs better, not replace them. This is because, by turning to AI and automating the monotonous and repetitive tasks, human staff become free to look after other things. Customers prefer speaking to real people and trust their efforts to solve problems, so human beings can never really be replaced. Instead, they will have more time to spend with customers, enhancing the ‘human touch’ that the HR department delivers.