Article: The role of HR technology in transforming HR operations

HR Technology

The role of HR technology in transforming HR operations

The adoption of artificial intelligence in recruitment and employee engagement tools underscores the transformation of HR departments from cost centers to strategic contributors, emphasising the vital role played by technology and data in this evolution.
The role of HR technology in transforming HR operations

HR departments’ dalliance with recruitment technology began when HR teams began using word parsing software to shortlist candidates based on their resumes. Such software eliminated the need for HR teams to scan hundreds of resumes by automatically shortlisting candidates who had the skills employers wanted. Over the past several years, particularly since technologies like artificial intelligence and machine learning have matured, HR technology has evolved rapidly and with such evolution, the stature of HR departments within their organisations has grown significantly.   

As a result of new HR technologies, human resource departments in organisations around the world have transitioned from being cost centres to becoming strategic contributors to their organisations. In short, HR departments have begun to play a far more active part in contributing to their organisations’ growth.  

Artificial intelligence: Helping make hiring calls

Human resource departments have been conducting interviews with potential employees for decades. However, even the most skilled interviewer often misses vital clues that could result in a wrong hire or, in a suitable candidate not being hired. Increasingly, human resource departments are using AI to tell them the whole story about a candidate. 

AI algorithms have become sophisticated enough to pick up on clues human interviewers cannot perceive. For instance, when playing a video interview of a candidate, AI can predict with a great deal of accuracy whether a candidate would fit in with an organisation’s culture.  

While AI may not yet call all the shots when it comes to making a hiring decision, it can and often does sway hiring decisions in favour of or against candidates!  

Artificial intelligence helps gauge employee engagement    

Human resource departments’ transition from a cost centre to a strategic centre is in no small part due to the deployment of employee engagement tools. 

Such engagement tools can measure the health of an organisation's human capital. For instance, mood engagement tools – embedded in an organisation’s intranet - can pick up on individual employees’ moods. With such tools, HR teams have real-time updates on how individual employees are feeling and then intervene, should doing so be necessary. Such tools can also gauge whether an employee is considering leaving an organisation. Armed with foresight about employees’ intentions, HR personnel can intervene to keep valuable employees from exiting.

Mood engagement tools can also accurately predict which employees are under emotional strain and hence, need mental health support. With such knowledge, mental health professionals can speak with employees and help find a workable solution to their challenges.    

Getting the most out of their workforce 

Technologies like machine learning and AI are being used to allocate employees optimally within organisations. Such tools can decide which employees should be allocated to specific roles to maximise productivity. AI is also playing a part in helping decide which employees are ready to take on additional responsibilities. Also, AI is helping HR departments decide which employees need to undergo specific training. Such training may be deemed necessary for an employee to move vertically or laterally within an organisation.  

Gamification of recruitment

At the height of the pandemic, many human resource departments turned entirely to gamification to recruit employees. Gamification is still widely used by many employers. 

Gamification entails having job candidates play games; performance on such games is correlated with performance in an actual job. Using gamification during the recruitment process allows companies to truly capture the strengths and weaknesses of potential employees. Moreover, gamification allows a company to evaluate many candidates quickly, which saves time and money. 

Eliminating gender bias 

Human resource departments are also turning to AI to ensure that hiring decisions are free from bias. Unlike human beings, whose decisions may be coloured by bias, artificial intelligence’s hiring decisions are untainted by biases. Therefore, during the recruitment process, organisations are turning to AI to ensure that the right person is hired for the right job.  

Thanks to automation and new HR technologies, human resource departments have more time to dedicate themselves to people-facing roles that add greater value to their employers. In such roles, HR teams play a more strategic and therefore, far more valuable role. This transformation of the human resource function is arguably the most significant the vertical has undergone in decades. At the heart of this transformation, is not just technology but also vast quantities of data that allow AI and machine learning algorithms to reach conclusions that even the most seasoned HR heads would miss.   

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Topics: HR Technology, Employee Engagement, #ArtificialIntelligence

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