Can HR Functions Be Augmented With The Use Of Artificial Intelligence?

AI and HR

After I booked an airline ticket recently, I was flooded with offers from other airlines and from hotels in the city I was traveling to. A little querying and I had the answer. My simple act of booking a ticket triggered off several reactions from many related quarters, all with the use of Artificial Intelligence. A month after my trip I still get feelers from various service sectors, with the last one from a real estate firm in Bangalore where I visited.

Started in the 1950s, the concept of Artificial Intelligence soon grew to engage a number of techies, whose dream was to build the intelligent machine that could someday replicate most of the activities done by human beings. While a large number of industries and other disciplines have come to depend on AI with several suitable applications, HR has been slow to adapt, as most of the activities in HR were felt to need human intervention. But then with robots and programs introduced to take over routine functions, many of the repetitive and monotonous HR functions also got mechanized.

The current usage of AI in most walks of life provoke an inquiry into the possible applications of AI in the HR field as under:

1. Recruitment

While a lot of tasks like shortlisting candidates, sending call letters and even scheduling interviews are done using some application of AI, the scope of recruitment is immense. With the specs of an ideal candidate profile fed into a computer, the algorithm can be fine-tuned to search for candidates from any sector, not necessarily from a similar industry. Thus the CEO of a bank can be from the travel industry or even a successful trader. Some of this may actually be happening, given the shortlisted candidate profile for certain critical positions. (CEO of Uber etc.).AI can also help do away with the subjective bias involved in selection by a panel, however, experienced in the art.

The entry of Google Hire, targeted at the recruitment function in HR, may revolutionize the way selection is made. Introduced abroad very recently, it will surely make its way to India shortly. Once fully utilized, Google Hire may develop a unique HR ecosystem.

2. Learning and Development

Rather than the functional head recommending training needs for her team, AI can individualize training needs, based on the interests, previous track record and even the browsing history of the employee. Thus an employee who is in sales may be more interested in academics based on what she browses and may be better utilized as a trainer after adequate training in the given area.

Classroom training can be improved just by analyzing genuine feedback given by participants that could lead to a strategic realignment of training methodology.

3. Performance assessment

One major lacuna in effective assessment is the lack of a professional assessment, one piece of recent research showed that only 6% of organizations think their performance management processes are worthwhile. With the advent of larger and more advanced organizations, smaller operations like- determining the efficiency or inefficiency of employees has become difficult to assess by merely using the traditional metric-based assessments. But can these problems be tackled with the use of AI?

The answer is YES! Much of the difficulty that accounts for the failure in performance assessment arises from the workspace biases. And AI can help eliminate that problem.

HR has always been dependent on technology, be it the compensation packages, HR systems or even the simple use of multitasking. HR needs to be more involved in the use of AI demanding, and by asking the tech team in the organization to provide them with many more features available through various IT programs. That could make the HR function dynamic and exciting.

Some programs have already started building an interface between the employer brand, the employees, and the desired culture in the company.

About The Author – Job Xavier is an HR professional and a Noble House consultant, who is helping the organizations with their people management and training issues. He has an academic mindset & entrepreneurial spirit. In his spare time, he loves to write, read, and do video podcasts for driving thought leadership in HR.

If you are interested in Xavier’s profile or consultants with similar experience, contact Noble House today and see how we can help solve your company’s business challenges.

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