Whether you are ready or not, change is the only constant. The only business imperative is to adapt. The latest in the technology bandwagon is the rise of Artificial Intelligence applications, especially on the people management front. Such business and people consideration of AI were discussed at a recent roundtable event in collaboration with Oracle, with leaders offering many real-life insights into the way AI is being shaped for a better talent landscape.
Understanding AI-based technology
In today’s complex world, there’s a need to do multivariate analysis using AI tools i.e. bringing together multiple factors and drawing sensible correlations. As data gets more organized, it is only a matter of time that organizations build on their data to create effective and new models of intelligence. At the heart of AI is the ability to deep-mine data to understand any patterns that can support advanced decision making. A base data-platform is thus, a necessity for any AI intervention.
Most Indian organizations are grappling with basic questions related to data orientation and there is a big capability gap in the way data is managed. And most data is fragmented or discrete. To build the first step towards AI proficiency, data capabilities must be built. And it is necessary to invest in technology.
AI in Talent Management
Some of the possible applications of AI which are sure to touch the business are:
- Hiring the right fit: AI can help create “success profiles” for each role, based on the talent data available. HR professionals often talk about competency, skills etc., Using AI one can decipher what skills matter and what kind of people are the right fit, and even predict whether profiles would be successful or not. With AI, HR and business will be able to think far and wide, posing questions such as, “Do I have a continuity of success profiles in the organization?”
While it is popular perception that skills and knowledge are trainable, it is important to get the right people– the right organizational fit. This is where the value of AI will be- to decipher and “crack the code of psychological contract” and hire intelligently backed by data inputs and insights.
- Resource scheduling: There is an ongoing debate about AI machines replacing people. On the contrary, the way resource scheduling can be done using AI, it can serve people better, rather than replacing them, by allowing a better view of the available resources. So this is where AI will start humanizing resources by scheduling the best people for each job, enabling efficiency and effectiveness.
- Skill development: A pertinent talent conundrum is, “What are the skills we are looking at?” Whether it is getting a real-time view of technical skills such as STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) or assessing the ability to apply these skills on real jobs, we need to add an element of design thinking in our needs analysis.
This calls for going deeper into human psychology and understanding people’s skills, in much more depth for both today and tomorrow. For example, change management as a skill is in demand because while technology is changing and being introduced, the adoption rate is not as high. Here is where cultural skills come into the picture. There is a need to drive a mindset change right from HR to business. And AI must be able to identify people who can do that.
Change starts from within, and the HR function itself must bring in new skills. HR leaders must ask themselves, “Can we start hiring people with hybrid skills?” It could mean going out of the HR fraternity and bringing technology people in the HR team. AI can thus change the entire approach to skill building and buying.
Many organizations are already demonstrating promising technology integration. Some leading technology service providers are going a step further in integration by focusing on regional languages and designing products with both rural and urban adoption in mind.
Building AI and Tech-Enabling Organizations
Of course, enabling AI-led talent decisions requires a systematic approach. There is a new breed of “Tech HR” talent that did not exist earlier. But the larger agenda is to involve the business and make HR tech a business priority.
Developing processes and tools through benchmarking and conducting pilot runs are necessary. Benchmarking should not just be from outside, but from within teams to understand what is working and what is not. Leaders must look at AI talent-tools from a holistic perspective- infrastructure and systems, talent and capabilities, mindset and acceptance etc. This means fostering design thinking and change management because the success of any HR tech initiative (including AI) depends on how things appeal to people. The zenith of people experience may be to ultimately customize all interfaces and interactions completely.