Why Should HR Teams Be Looking to Emerging Technologies?
New innovations like artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) are fast becoming mainstays in modern society. What’s more, they are revolutionising the day-to-day lives of professionals across all industries.
However, according to Ritam Gandhi, Founder and Director at Studio Graphene, despite overseeing vital business functions such as attracting and retaining talent, HR is one sector that has admittedly been slower on the uptake of these technologies.
So why are HR teams holding back? While there is widespread recognition of the benefits of this technology, the biggest obstacle comes down to a lack of fluency in their application; in fact, while the majority (72%) of global HR and business leaders surveyed in the 2018 Global Human Capital Trends report believe that AI is important for their business, less than a third (31%) feel ready to address it.
That’s not to say that there hasn’t already been significant progress, though – and as new tech tools become more widespread and affordable, HR teams are encouraged to explore how they can be used to revamp their own departments.
Moving beyond automation
For a long time, spreadsheets were the standard for data management in a company. And while this was a great tool to keep track of things such as payroll and sick leave, there’s no denying such outdated employee management platforms no longer meet the needs of modern HR professionals.
There are many pitfalls associated with using manual and outdated HR tools; for one, they are prone to human error, increasing the chances of data being lost or incorrect. But most importantly, the time spent on manually filling in information renders the entire process woefully inefficient.
But even as these systems were upgraded to newer solutions like online, cloud-based software, the risk of human error still followed – humans are still at the core of ensuring these systems are kept up-to-date and accurate.
Now there’s a new player in the game: AI. There are countless examples of AI-powered software that automates these processes without requiring the input or oversight of a human.
Unlike humans, AI can gather and process huge volumes of data at speed, which in turn can offer valuable insights for the HR professionals.
In practice it might look something like this: rather than spending countless hours (or more likely, days and weeks) trawling through candidate profiles to find the right talent for a job opening – HR professionals can recruit employees with the help of AI solutions like Ideal, which can easily do the initial screening for them.
Such tools automate the recruiting task, quickly filtering out candidates that don’t meet the specific qualifications for a role, and instead seeking out those whose characteristics most closely align with the organisation’s needs. This can even mean learning the qualifications and qualities of a successful current employee and searching through databases to find potential recruits who fulfil the same criteria.
Importantly, there are massive time and costs savings on offer – according to Mondal, companies using AI in this way have experienced a 71% decrease in cost per hire as well as a threefold increase in efficiency.
Overseeing employee development
At the centre of human resources is the task of ensuring the wellbeing and development of employees within a company. This often comes down to tracking performance and identifying any concerns or areas for improvement.
AI combined with big data can help. It enables organisations to generate and process huge volumes of data on employee sentiment and performance. Much of this data can be generated through regular employee surveys, performance reviews and learning management systems, all of which feed a constant stream of data, which when combined with advanced AI capabilities can yield even more powerful insights.
Intelligent algorithms, for instance, can continuously collect data about an employees’ performance in the workplace and look for patterns to suggest additional experience and training they might need to reach objectives and future career milestones. It’s then left to the HR professionals to come up with creative ways to support employees in their development.
The transformation of HR is evidently at a nascent stage right now, and we will certainly see the proliferation of these innovative tools in the coming years and beyond. Importantly, AI is able to enhance and not replace HR professionals – by completing tedious tasks quickly, it gives HR teams the time to focus on delivering real value for their workplace.
Above all, AI should be welcomed rather than feared – for, by achieving synchronicity between humans and computers, HR departments across all organisations can reach peak performance and enhance efficiency far beyond current standards.