IT IS AI SEASON! ARE BUSINESSES READY – MOST IMPORTANTLY IS HR READY?
ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE – What is this and why is everyone excited about it?
Let us start from the very beginning; it is a great place to start.
The history of modern AI dates back to antiquity, with philosophers mulling over the idea that humans could coexist with artificial beings and other automations. The earliest substantial work was done in the mid-20th century by Alan Turing, a British logician and computer pioneer. John McCarthy picked it up, and then algorithms were developed which gave way to complex systems using logic rules and reasonings. Later, biologically inspired software, aka Neural Networks, were born. The evolution of AI varies, and this depends on specific technology use and what it is combined with. And so, it all began.
So why the fuss now?
I want to believe this is because the world is somewhat ready for this technology and it is readily accessible. Research shows that in the last four years, the number of companies who have adopted the use of AI has grown by 270%, and the impact of this on HR cannot be overlooked.
Though Artificial Intelligence is still an ongoing technology, meaning there is still a lot of discovery and possibilities with what it can do and can be used for, the potentials are limitless, promising competitive advantage and creative destruction.
Below are a few HR processes in which AI can be used to achieve more effective, quick, and relevant results or outcomes.
HR personnel at some point need to handle a lot of entry-level administrative tasks, and these tasks can be monotonous and boring but are essential to keep things running within the organisation.
With the use of Narrow AI aka Weak AI, this can take over some, if not most of these tasks, depending on what kind of customisations are done.
REWARDS AND RECOGNITION
Rewards and recognition are two of the most important factors to improve employee engagement levels at work because an engaged employee is a productive employee. AI technology can be used to encourage employees to appreciate team members, automate nominations, and so on, making the recognition process hassle-free, transparent, and instilling a culture of appreciation.
Recruitment is essential in the HR process, and research has shown that it takes an average of 100 man-hours to complete a recruitment process. That is a lot of man-hours most HR Professionals cannot spare, and no wonder why many avoid this process as much as they can.
With AI, these hours can be significantly reduced by automating most of the initial steps, which include scanning, selecting CVs, assessing for competencies, scheduling interviews, and so on, and then the HR team can focus on things like performance management, selection, retention, engagement, etc.
HR SERVICE DELIVERY
HR personnel spend a considerable part of their day handling queries from internal and external customers. Having an AI tool to handle basic queries is an absolute bonus to HR personnel. One positive impact of AI on HR personnel is cutting down on the number of emails, chat messages, and follow-up the person has to handle a day.
All HR personnel know how tedious and extremely monotonous onboarding gets, and it is even worse in large organizations that hire people frequently. Artificial Intelligence can help the HR team design and automate the onboarding process to be more organized, efficient, and personalized.
It is known that HR is in the business of managing and optimizing the potential of people, so how can AI bring efficiency, effectiveness, and transparency to HR processes without compromising the human element?
The truth of the matter is that many HR professional are not yet comfortable with the idea of AI Technology in HR processes especially the ethical impact of AI on HR, and how it may alter the job set-up is just another issue that do not seat well yet.
Regardless, some organizations have already adopted a more formal approach, creating dedicated teams to explore how AI can unlock hidden value and improve efficiency.
The implication for today’s leaders is clear. AI is here to stay and HR executives need to begin to evolve its strategies using AI. HR Leaders need to begin to prepare its workforce on how this transformation will unfold in terms of roles and responsibilities. Also, begin to work with cross-functional leaders on how to align AI with its operating model of the business.
As earlier stated, this technology keeps changing regularly and the impact of AI on HR is going to be tangible and sustainable over time. However, the real question is how ready is HR?