Artificial intelligence has been around for a while now, but today it is transforming our lives more than ever. It is making its way to various facets of our personal and professional lives. HR professionals are increasingly using AI to augment HR capabilities, amplify their functions, and automate tedious, time-consuming tasks.
Impact and Adoption
When we talk about the use of AI and automation for HR, one has to bear in mind that it’s a journey that has just begun. While we can see the immediate benefits of automation (cost savings and improved user experience), the medium-term and long-term benefits may not be so obvious.
For instance, better predictions, decision making, and self-learning activities don’t come instantly with the adoption of AI. Nevertheless, more and more forward-thinking businesses are adopting AI exactly because of the perks it can offer in the long run.
To deliver value to their organizations, HR professionals are starting to experiment with all facets of AI. HR departments are adopting various AI tools and systems in order to improve compliance, workplace learnings, and relationships with employees.
HR and Chatbots
For instance, many HR leaders have started using AI chatbots for coaching, employee development, and employee services. We are already increasingly relying on virtual assistants and chatbots in our personal lives. There are even insurance digital assistants that can help us file claims, and banking chatbots that can help us apply for a loan.
As virtual assistants and chatbots are gaining a more prominent role in our personal lives, we can expect to see more of them in the workplace. From personalized learning and development to real-time answers for HR-related questions, digital assistants can significantly improve the employee experience.
Many companies are using AI digital assistants to expand the availability of their HR department. For example, employees can ask the HR chatbot questions any time of the day instead of waiting for an HR rep to become available.
Moreover, supervisors and HR reps don’t need to set aside time to train new employees. That task can be left to the digital assistant. Digital assistants can also identify what areas each employee can improve on and offer them personalized training sessions.
If an employee has a question they consider to be embarrassing, they may hesitate to pose it to an HR rep or their superiors. An HR digital assistant can empower employees to ask questions without the fear of embarrassment.
Bear in mind, digital assistants are just one facet of artificial intelligence HR leaders are experimenting with. The number of service providers and startups that are targeting HR with AI and automated solutions is on the rise. Some of the more prominent ones include:
- ServiceNow – employee service centers;
- Finders Keepers – employee retention;
- myInterview – interviewing;
- Textio – sourcing.
So far, HR leaders have mostly used AI solutions for talent acquisition and recruiting. The current applications of AI in HR are mostly still analytics applications that are driven by data.
This facet of AI makes it a great tool for increasing efficiency in candidate assessments and reducing human bias. The interface between human proficiency and AI is perhaps the most interesting part of people analytics.
The Future of Work
Artificial intelligence, natural language processing, mobile devices, and biotechnology are at the center of the fourth industrial revolution. This fourth wave is changing work and life like never before, but not in the ways many have predicted. At the moment, organizations are using AI and other technologies to automate tasks, not jobs.
The expectation was that companies will use AI to replace workers. However, the reality is that organizations are using AI to augment human functions.
To free up time for creativity and deep thinking, as well as increase performance and productivity, companies are outsourcing repetitive tasks to automated software and digital assistants. Automation is transforming daily tasks such as accounting, timesheets, scheduling, and paperwork.
AI systems and machines that can learn, reason, and interact with humans will continue to help employees do their jobs faster and better. Cognitive technologies will enable employees to move into more rewarding roles.
In the near future, AI and automation will have a significant impact on occupations involving a lot of work in predictable environments, including office support roles such as administrative assistants and clerks, as well as production workers.
AI is less likely to affect professionals such as business specialists, engineers, doctors, and other occupations requiring a high school diploma and some work experience. However, AI can affect those professionals through increased insights into big data and having additional resources to identify issues and solve problems. The job itself isn’t changing (unlike a blue collar worker that might easily be replaced by AI), but how the work gets done might.
Currently, it is easy to identify which professions AI and automation will impact the most. On the other hand, it is difficult to identify what jobs AI and automation might create indirectly. Still, occupations that don’t even exist at the moment will become commonplace due to advances in AI.
Without a doubt, the employees of the future will need to align their skill sets to keep up the pace. The goal for HR leaders will be to analyze what workflows, processes, and job roles will be re-skilled by AI and develop an AI and automation strategy accordingly.
To provide a culture of innovation, HR leaders can leverage the power of AI and automation. An HR leader can enhance the human performance of their company by embracing AI and automation in the most efficient manner. Forward-thinking HR professionals who are ready to facilitate collaboration between humans and machines will be better prepared for the future.
Michael has been working in marketing for almost a decade and has worked with a huge range of clients, which has made him knowledgeable on many different subjects. He has recently rediscovered a passion for writing and hopes to make it a daily habit. You can read more of Michael’s work at Qeedle.