Some call it the fourth industrial revolution, or industry 4.0, or 4IR, but whatever you call it, it’s well on its way and will impact most of our jobs in some or the other way.
The first, second, and third industrial revolutions were driven by engineering; electricity and productivity lines, and technology and information, respectively. But many now wonder if “this time is different.”
Experts predict that the technologies that underpin the fourth industrial revolution are all set to extract the best in people. That’s indeed good news for the HR folks – isn’t it?
It’s time to welcome the new boss in the office — artificial intelligence (Yes, the same concept that many movies, books, and media have tossed at you for years now!)
Tech Meets HR
Trends such as the widespread usage of smartphones and recruitment screening applications to gamification and live video streaming have had an incredible impact on hiring and training at workplaces, which was hard for us to even imagine a decade ago. “Tech meets HR” – the reason this union is so intriguing is that this technology evolution has disrupted the HR space and will help close the tech gap in human resources. There is an increasing number of companies that have introduced software applications (Fitbits, chatbots and data analytics), which help employees in the hiring process, in promoting their personal brand, striking a work-life balance and taking proper care of their health.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) Next Wave of Disruption in HR
Thinking machines are no longer a figment of imagination. With AI simplifying most functions within the company, it is being increasingly adopted by the HR function too. It gradually develops the intelligence to work smarter without replacing the human element in HR management. In fact, it magnifies the role of HR professionals into a much broader and strategic role, backed with data analytics and insights.
A research by Bersin's firm shows that nearly 40 percent of companies are using some form of AI in HR. Companies such as IBM, SAP, Facebook, GE, and Hilton Worldwide are already using this game changer technology to screen, interview and recruit new talent.
In a recent survey of HR executives by IBM , it was found that 46 percent of them believe AI will transform their talent acquisition capability and 49 percent believe it will transform their payroll and benefits administration.
Let’s find out how AI will change the face of Human Resources.
AI will automate screening of talent
HR is a human-centric industry. Let’s face it – HR function is still a home to most manual and time-consuming processes and practices, especially in screening talent, when 75-88 percent of the resumes that head hunters get for a role are unqualified. It’s tough to get into granular data on individuals and conduct the analysis, while screening the talent. 52 percent of talent acquisition leaders opine that the most difficult part of recruitment is identifying the right candidates from a big applicant pool.
Recruiter chatbots could appear in HR systems within next 18 months, and would conduct digitized interviews and offer real-time interaction to candidates
AI plays a critical role here. Since recruiters need to browse through a large number of candidates’ profiles and then shortlist a few to set up in-person discussions, a powerful AI screening software can actually accelerate recruitment.
With predictive analytics using NLP at its core, it can analyze the past success records in a particular job profile and then assess the available talent pool to identify the most suitable candidates with the adequate skill set and experience. It can also help collate data about the behavioral aspects of the potential candidates through machine learning and determine if those candidates are a right cultural fit for the organization.
AI will digitize the interview process
Those recruiters who see the rise of AI posing a threat to their jobs might need to rethink their stand after seeing how AI can make their lives easier at work. Soon an artificial assistant - X.ai – can be integrated by companies in the recruitment process who can schedule candidates’ interviews without any human intervention.
According to ‘The Candidate Experience Study’ by Future Workplace, 58 percent of job aspirants developed a negative impression of a company if they didn’t hear back from the company after submitting their resumes through traditional corporate pipelines. And 67 percent of candidates develop a good impression of a company if they are consistently updated throughout the application process.
Recruiter chatbots are currently being tested and could appear in HR systems within next 18 months. These chatbots would conduct digitized interviews and offer real-time interaction to candidates by interviewing them based on the job role and responsibilities, provide instant feedback, updates, and next-step suggestions. These chatbots would not only simplify a recruiter’s role, but also improve the candidates’ experience considerably.
AI machines can weed out the wrong candidates and engage the right fit efficiently by assessing candidates’ word choices, speech patterns, and facial expressions. For example, AI can turn a 15-minute video interview into a set of 20,000 data points on facial movements, intonation, and word choice to evaluate a candidate.
AI will streamline employee onboarding
Recently, Boston Consulting Group found that onboarding had the second strongest impact on employee retention. So, it’s important to start off on the right foot as first impressions do matter.
Intelligent machines are predicted to act as virtual assistants and streamline the employee onboarding process. These can create new employee profiles and prepare canned responses to the most frequently asked questions on benefits, perks, insurance and company policies. It can also recommend the new joinees on filling out their personal details and work experience on the corporate portal.
AI redefines the whole employee joining process by creating journey maps, right from pre-hiring assessment and interviewing to onboarding and employee orientation.
AI will improve workplace learning
The quicker companies adopt AI, the faster those will adapt and lead in the future. Once the new employees have familiarized themselves with the company culture and policies, HR professionals must work towards preparing a roadmap for ongoing career opportunities.
AI can turn a 15-minute video interview into a set of 20,000 data points on facial movements, intonation, and word choice to evaluate a candidate
AI engages in self-learning. Using AI tools, HR function can bring about customized career progression entailing different learning and development programs, that will boost employee productivity and job satisfaction; bring down work-induced stress levels and employee turnover, and many other benefits. AI tools also provide employees with instant feedback;, monitor their progress regularly;. recommend ways of improvement and attaining growth in their job roles.
When the employee is engaged with the organization, it becomes easy for the HR function to align its HR strategy with the organizational goals.
It’s not enough for companies to simply acknowledge and admire the potential advantages of AI. It’s crucial that organizations take necessary steps to ensure it is properly integrated across all functions within an organization and meets their unique operational and strategic needs.
AI mimics the human brain in data collection and processing; however, it does that much faster and without any bias. This super intelligence streamlines the operational processes and produces tangible results. HR professionals need to be ready to embrace the advancements in AI of tomorrow to transform the employee experience.
Let’s wait and watch for more interesting turnarounds in this space.