Article: AI is an enabler of the HR process not a replacement for the human touch


AI is an enabler of the HR process not a replacement for the human touch

HR leaders recognise the efficiency AI brings across various domains, with a particular emphasis on talent acquisition, employee development, and retention.
AI is an enabler of the HR process not a replacement for the human touch

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has seamlessly woven itself into the fabric of businesses, revolutionising operations across sectors whether it's hiring or onboarding or any other business needs. HR leaders believe that the new-age technology has brought a certain amount of efficiency across domains and HR is not immune to this.

“AI in HR has brought a data-driven approach to the forefront for talent acquisition, employee development, and retention, aiming to minimise biases and enhance the experiences of job seekers and job creators,” says Saurabh Deep Singla, CHRO, upGrad, adding that AI has indeed changed our approach to recruitment, onboarding, and employee engagement.

Shedding light on the profound impact of AI in the Human Resources (HR) domain, Alok Kumar, Senior Director at Manpower, a subsidiary of ManpowerGroup, emphasised its role in talent acquisition, employee development, and overall operational efficiency.

“In an ever-evolving landscape in the world of work, technology adoption is creating a whirlwind sparking various discussions and debate on the benefits and whether it is replacing humans or not. Either way, AI has been reshaping the foundation of talent recruitment and engagement,” says Kumar.

AI to identify a skill gap

AI has been useful and unbiased in identifying skill gaps across business verticals, evaluating performance, and suggesting personalised learning paths to the talent force.

“This tailored approach to professional development continues to empower our colleagues to advance in their careers, aligning their growth and ultimately boosting productivity and engagement,” says Saurabh.

Despite AI’s role in increased efficiency and streamlined processes, the intrinsic nature of HR, dealing with people, demands a personal touch, believes Saurabh. “Thus, AI is a useful tool that only augments HR operations as the human touch remains paramount."

AI in HR: A catalyst for change

GenAI, as Kumar terms it, has made significant strides in reshaping the traditional approach to HR.

“HR is experiencing a positive impact in various aspects of their services. “From recruitment to onboarding and employee engagement, AI has introduced a data-driven paradigm, aiming to reduce biases and enhance experiences for both job seekers and employers,” says Kumar.

Vision for 2024

Looking ahead, Saurabh is ready to explore newer AI avenues in 2024, aligning with the company's growth trajectory. While acknowledging AI's role in increasing efficiency and streamlining processes, he emphasises the irreplaceable nature of the human touch in HR operations.

AI's impact on talent recruitment and engagement

A survey conducted by ManpowerGroup reveals that 56% of organisations are currently integrating AI into their recruitment processes. A staggering 80% of these employers believe that AI and Machine Learning will positively impact employee engagement, with 77% expecting similar benefits in the onboarding process. Moreover, 82% express an interest in leveraging AI and Machine Learning for upskilling and reskilling their employees.

"AI has significantly reshaped the recruitment landscape by bringing about transformative changes in the approach to hiring. The utilisation of AI has enhanced the process of constructing and formulating recruitment requirements and ensured there is an increased focus on inclusivity and alignment with industry trends. By leveraging data analytics, AI-driven job description optimisation is helping attract a diverse pool of qualified candidates and contributing to more effective hiring outcomes," says Amrit Jaidka Arora, Chief Human Resources Officer, Go Digit General Insurance.

"In addition, AI's role in stack ranking has revolutionized the selection process by systematically evaluating resumes based on critical criteria. This data-driven approach efficiently identifies the most qualified candidates, streamlining the screening process and ensuring a focus on essential skills and experiences," adds Arora.

Key areas of impact

Recruitment: AI's most significant contribution lies in talent acquisition, transforming the landscape of HR tech platforms. “Time, efforts and outcomes have changed drastically with the use of AI. Most HR tech platforms provide an improved match between organisations’ need and candidates’ skills at the click of a button. This has helped in reducing bias and ensured candidates are chosen based on skills. PwC survey revealed that 73% of HR folks believe that AI can improve talent acquisition,” explains Kumar.

Employee Engagement and Recognition: AI-driven employee communication platforms predict engagement levels and potential concerns, enabling proactive interventions. This enables proactive interventions to improve employee satisfaction and retention. AI tools facilitate continuous performance feedback by analysing employee interactions and accomplishments. This ongoing feedback loop helps employees understand their strengths and areas for improvement, fostering a culture of continuous improvement.

Learning and Development: AI helps organisations adapt to changing market conditions by analysing industry trends and predicting future skill requirements. AI tools can help identify skill gaps within the organisation, allowing HR teams to develop targeted training initiatives to address those gaps. This also helps proactive workforce planning and ensures that employees are equipped with the skills needed for evolving roles.

AI as an enabler, not a replacement

While AI augments HR functions, Kumar emphasises that it cannot replace the human touch. He underscores the importance of empathy and emotional intelligence as the real powers that bind the "huManpower" together. In an era of evolving work dynamics, the fusion of AI and human insight emerges as a potent force driving success in the corporate world.

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Topics: Technology, #HRTech, #HRCommunity

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