Article (March-2018)


Using AI to deliver value in HR

Ruma Batheja

Designation : -   Head - HR

Organization : -  Knowledgetics, Gurgaon


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For many of us, artificial intelligence (AI) still sparks a fear of the unknown. Various hypothesis and research articles highlighting how human jobs will be taken over by robots in the next few years have been haunting our minds. It is indeed true that this smart machine era will be the most disruptive in the history of technological innovation. And the fact of the matter is that AI is no more related to the future of work; it has become the 'present' and has started penetrating in many areas at a much faster pace than predicted. From 'drone delivery' to 'virtual dressing Room' to 'Robotic In Store Assistance' the impact is evident on every level of value chain.
Artificial Intelligence at workplace is transforming our way of doing business in every field. From Airbnb to Amazon, the top leaders are investing in pilot projects to see the ROI and its applicability into various spheres. How can HR be left behind?
Sadly, little is known about the right tools and technologies which HR Leaders can use in their field when it comes to leveraging technology. Though many computer based algorithms have been cognified and designed to simulate human actions, but one of the most common of them which has become popular in Indian context is the use of chat bots. These intelligent assistants are easing out a plethora of mundane and standardized processes thereby resulting in huge productivity gains in the field of HR.
Progressive HR leaders are beginning to pilot AI in order to seek its right usage and applicability in congruence with their business needs. Let us see the top 3 areas of HR which is being seen explored and transformed through the use of AI tools:
1. Recruitment
According to a study performed by TalentDrive, the average recruiter spends 40-60% of their workday searching for new candidates, instead of engaging with qualified and interested individuals who may be the right fit. With the influx of AI in recruitment, hundreds of candidates are sourced in minutes. And the recruiters are able to get rid of these significant yet mundane tasks, thereby fixing up critical issues which need more human intervention. Not only this, AI's potential to reduce unconscious bias is stupendously high, far more than the human mind can process.
By using tools like Mya, HireVue, Wade and Wendy; the candidates' response rates and reach has been increased manifold. Candidates get timely and effective personalized experience. Such technology leverages proprietary natural language processing and machine learning techniques to automate outreach and communications with job candidates during the end-to-end recruiting process.

2. HR Operations
Employees are comfortable using a chat bot like People Strong's Jinie, Leena AI and many other tools for routine yet factual query handling system. They are comfortable accessing chat bots to get the information they need and at the time they need it. Question such as how much leave has been accrued, eligibility on specific allowances, reimbursement related queries, and sometimes even the critical ones like how I can report a sexual misconduct experience is all taken care of by the bots alone.
3. Employee Engagement
Gone are the days of one time annual surveys ceremoniously conducted by HR for measuring the pulse of their talent pool. Today, all such critical yet overlooked tasks are being personalized and customized through technology.
Hyphen, Leena AI and similar other tools have been implemented by big and small organizations to gauge the pulse of the organization. These tools help in providing a lee way to HR professionals for gaining in depth insight into the sentiments and engagement level of their workforce. Such tech tools conduct anonymous real time surveys which are random. They also have the analytics engine that fills the gaps and hence showcases an accurate picture of the how's, why's and what's of your engaged and disengaged workforce.
Wrap Up
To understand the impact of AI on HR, a survey of HR executives by IBM found that 46% believe AI will transform their talent acquisition capability and 49% believe it will transform their operational payroll and benefits administration. Apart from these two areas, AI is seen entering into other HR spaces like coaching, L&D and compliances too.
AI has the power to show the value of the human touch as it promises us to make day-to-day life for HR much easier. Technology and AI provides benefits for HR to manage their work effectively and efficiently. No amount of technology can ever replace the simple comfort and reassurance that comes from speaking to another human being who cares. In short, the goal of AI is not to replace who you are. It is to augment what you are capable of doing!