It's time HR should bet on next-gen technologies: Deloitte's HR Tech leader, Chris Havrilla
Chris Havrilla is the Vice President, HR technology and solution provider strategy at Bersin by Deloitte Consulting LLP. Chris has worked with business and HR leaders—both as an internal HR & HR technology/strategy practitioner or as a consultant/adviser—on radically improving talent strategy, technology, and leadership—as well as the vendors who serve them. With a blend of technical, HR practitioner, business and vendor experience, she describes herself as a bit of a talent, HR Tech and Future of Work "whisperer”. She loves figuring out how the latest trends and innovations in data, tools, and technology can help change the face of HR and the world of work.
Chris, in an interaction with People Matters, shares her take on the new face of HR and role of next-gen technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, and future of work.
How do you see the new role of HR as the maturity of next-gen technologies such as AI and blockchain increases?
The new face of HR will have a broad set of skills and experiences. The people who will be the most successful will be business and technology savvy and have curated a broader set of experiences outside of traditional HR to leverage their relationships and work. It will be less about transactions, compliance, and compiling data – and more about understanding the work, skills, and capabilities.
HR leaders will need to architect the organization’s shift from a business enterprise to a social enterprise and manage the workforce experience with a focus on personalization and bringing meaning back to work. HR leaders should prepare to be data literate and adept at using complex problem solving and project execution methodologies, such as design-thinking as these technologies will be the catalyst for the new face of HR. Finally, HR leaders need to understand, use, teach, and manage the technology to help drive reinvention with a human focus.
We will see AI technologies become a more regular part of hr over the next five years as awareness, learning, experience, and the maturity of the technology and usage increases. In fact, over the next three years, a majority of respondents in a survey by Deloitte indicated they expected increased usage of robotics (64%), cognitive (80%), and AI (81%)
Is AI actually gaining ground in HR functions in developed markets? To what extent do you think AI will become a regular part of HR in five years?
Awareness for AI HR functions is stronger than the momentum with almost two-thirds (65 percent) of Deloitte’s 2019 Global Human Capital Trends report respondents citing the importance of AI and robotics in human capital – however, only 26 percent cited readiness to address the impact of these technologies. We did, however, see traction around automation with 41 percent of organizations reporting using it extensively or across multiple functions, a growth of over 100 percent from 2018.
I do believe we will see AI technologies become a more regular part of HR over the next five years as awareness, learning, experience, and the maturity of the technology and usage increases. In fact, over the next three years, a majority of Deloitte’s respondents indicated they expected increased usage of robotics (64%), cognitive (80%), and AI (81%).
How should HR leaders prepare for future of work and make best use of technologies?
As organizations prepare for the future of work, they should rethink or “recode” work. Leaders should examine deliverables where machines can take on transactional, repeatable, and data-driven tasks and humans can focus on problem-solving, interpretation, design, communication, relationships, decisions, and outcomes. This combined approach sets up what Deloitte is calling “superjobs.” Today, 84 percent of organizations are thinking about reskilling and retraining and investing with a focus on superjobs and the future of work in order to leverage these next-gen technologies – with 18 percent investing significantly.
Combining, Data, Analytics and Natural Language Processing (NLP) tools and Technologies, HR leaders can gain greater insights into workers’ sentiments, needs, likes, and dislikes
It became clear from Deloitte’s 2019 report, as part of the workforce reorganizes into these superjobs, lower-wage-work across service sectors continues to grow - along with non-traditional contract, freelance, and gig employment work – and it is imperative that these jobs are not left behind in the future of work. It is important for organizations to create a culture and infrastructure where everyone has a place and has meaning in their work. There is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ for the workforce of the future. In the absence of this, skills like design-thinking are critical to reducing risks in the innovation/invention process.
How have technologies like virtual reality evolved for learning and development over the last few years?
Technology is like any other tool. It’s all in how we wield it. The promise of these technologies to help employees embrace experiential learning, speed up the skilling and reskilling process, and become more productive is huge. Having said that, we have to make a mindset transition from traditional training to true learning and development. Leaders should manage this transformation toward faster development to help employees become more productive and enabling them to do their best work.
How can technology help HR to understand the needs of employees in a gig economy?
Combining, data, analytics and natural language processing (NLP) tools and technologies, HR leaders can gain greater insights into workers’ sentiments, needs, likes, and dislikes. In Deloitte’s 2017 High-Impact People Analytics study, we reported the most mature organizations had more well-defined, and expansive “listening architectures” – using multiple channels to gain a clearer understanding of talent issues to build more well-rounded and innovative insights and solutions. The key is then to act on the data these tools deliver in order to address employee needs.
What are your top tips to CHROs and talent leaders wanting to build a business case for innovation and technology use in the HR function?
Don’t make it about what is best for HR – develop a strategy to show how HR using these tools is best for the business, workforce, and other stakeholders. This strategy should focus on outcomes aligned with the business, people, and enterprise IT, and show how HR will meet all objectives important to the organization. HR leaders can deliver a picture of the current state of HR technology along with a realistic objective of the future state – not only what is desirable, but what is feasible and viable.
Organizations are investing billions of dollars in HR technology but aren’t getting the value they expect. This makes the plan to get from the current state to the future state of HR technology critical, so critical in fact that Deloitte launched their first High-Impact Technology Strategy study to dig into this topic deeper. In addition to Deloitte’s quantitative and qualitative findings, we anticipate other outputs and resources such as technology strategy framework, guiding questions, a maturity model, stories, etc.