Article (March-2018)


AI : The Game Changer for Future HR

Indraneil Roy

Designation : -   Business Growth Specialist

Organization : -   Edgenetworks, Bangalore


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Artificial intelligence (AI) stands out one of the biggest game changes in human history, a powerful and disruptive technology with capabilities to transform every process and function. 
AI is a combination of 4 technology steams:
1. Machine learning
2. Big Data
3. High Speed Computing
4. Framework & Libraries
Combination of these four creates various forms of AI Systems and Applications. No longer organization need to evaluate if AI solutions need to be implemented. It has now entered the realm of a must have. However, misconception abound mostly centred that AI is only good for transaction heavy processes. AI has capabilities which impact many cognitive and decision making functions.
Human Resources function has its work cut out for creating the necessary environment in organization and within the function for adoption of AI. To begin with, HR should look at AI for creating an intelligent workforce. Challenge is to get the human to work along with the machine as a "co-worker". AI has to be used to enhance people skills and provide data which would help in balanced analysis leading to good tactical and strategic decision making. It can start with working with augmented intelligence and move slowly into intelligence systems which will be automated, adaptive & autonomous. The most ideal AI systems will be able to make its own decision free of bias.
Wish to highlight the Human Resources function where AI can bring in transformational change. Apart from the obvious impact in productivity, speed and cost, an overlooked fact is that its positive impact on data modelling and analytics which can lead to decision making becoming more tactical on a real time basis.
Recruitment/Workforce Optimization
AI has enabled machines to now source and screen resumes - cognitively using NLP and semantics. Millions of resumes can be sourced in seconds, screened and ranked according to fitment for specific Jobs. Currently AI systems can do contextual search which is a generation level improvement from the syntax search which recruiters currently do. This helps recruitment function to identify talent which would be most relevant for a job and most interested in a job. This allows recruiter to spend more engagement time with candidates and get them onboarded with lesser drop out ratios. This will help bring down the turnaround time to hire, enhances the organization brand and gets critical talent to the do the right job. Similarly, for Internal Workforce Optimization, each employee can be identified for skills they have, competencies they have in the skills and what skill gaps can be closed through a learning program. Talent identified can then be allocated to right projects much ahead of project starts leading to huge revenue impact.
Career Planning 
AI with data analytics now can identify skills, attributes and competency for particular job and can help an individual employee to identify his skill gap for each of them, recommend learning programs which can help him bridge the competency and knowledge gap and get him ready for a new job. AI will also help identify future training programs based on how the individual is performing a particular assignment. This helps individual to continuously upgrade for future assignments. Simultaneously helps organizations to keep its workforce up to date on skills. This also helps bringing voluntary attrition down.
Talent Engagement 
There are now possibilities of personalization of communication through AI which identifies interested topics for particular skills and also on the level of seniority of employment. Chat bots are already connecting with employees and personalizing the communication and helping employees through various self - service features within an organization. The current AI tools can also analyse the profile of the employee and work on deterministic logic and customize the output. This means machines can take some basic decisions on what to give out and what not to give out based on logic. This level of engagement is helps create more stickiness of employees and allows HR managers better bandwidth to engage with Talent.
HR Analytics
AI allows Descriptive, Prescriptive and Predictive Analytics on various HR parameters. Human beings unfortunately have never been good at analysing large amount of data. AI systems generate huge amount of data which are now analysed on a real time basis and generate reports which can describe to the minute detail how a particular process is functioning, what are the likely probable closures or gaps and now even build some prescriptions which could help close those gaps. These reports make the HR function now extremely agile.
An overlooked fact is that technology needs human training. Humans have been building technology so that it performs in the way we want them to and the same applies to AI. Therefore, it would be important for technology like AI to understand workforce capabilities, help them understand best practice, and help employees do higher - skilled jobs with higher quality, higher productivity and greater efficiency. Only then, AI will see a bigger adoption by the workforce. Most of the products now available are being offered as a SAAS (Solution as a Service). These are cloud based services with an option to pay as per usage. The flexibility allows such tools to be integrated with other enterprise applications and are customized as per need. With strong focus on data protection and security these platforms are becoming increasingly reliable to use.