No aspect of the business world is immune to some of the technological developments transforming the corporate landscape.
In particular, Big Data, Artificial Intelligence, and Augmented Reality have been embraced for the past decade with increasing penetration into companies large and small.
The HR department wouldn’t necessarily be the first place you’d think of when it comes to a part of a business impacted by Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology. But AI-based solutions are making inroads in HR, and that process will only accelerate in the coming years.
The principles of AI and machine learning depend on the ability to apply main machine learning algorithms by using a combination of historical data and access to real-world systems.
By synthesizing this data, an AI-based solution can zero in on the optimal choice with the precision that a human decision-maker can’t consistently match.
AI is also paired with automated systems to eliminate unnecessary manual labor, and this forms the crux of the benefit of AI solutions. (A) Increasing efficiency and speeding business processes, while (B) improving decisions and choosing optimal paths for future business actions.
Translated to the realm of HR, AI can impact many areas, some to a greater degree than others.
One of the most notable is in the area of recruiting, where AI-based systems offer a host of advantages. AI recruitment algorithms can eliminate human bias and assess applicants on objective merit, leading to better hiring decisions.
They can also home in on applicants whose skills and qualifications most perfectly match job postings in a more efficient and comprehensive manner than a human assessor.
This is especially true within the global job market, where international staffing challenges can put a great deal of strain on traditional HR practices.
Another area where AI has been impacting HR is with chatbot programs allowing for increased automation of frontline questions from employees and job applicants.
The principles of chatbot design have made great strides in recent years, and chatbots can now handle a larger volume of initial questions and responses, helping to improve assessment processes.
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Here are a couple of instructive instances where businesses and corporate entities have begun to embrace AI in HR.
LinkedIn is the preeminent mass recruiting service on the market, and it is committed to leveraging AI and machine learning to maintain its spot at the top of the food chain.
The LinkedIn Recruiter service offers a tool to help recruiters create and manage their talent pools, greatly increasing the chances of eventually hiring a perfect fit for their role.
LinkedIn Recruiter uses a multi-tiered, sophisticated array of algorithms making full use of deep machine learning architectures.
The resultant system can tap into LinkedIn’s expansive database to train the system to be responsive to the individual needs of each recruiter with far more precision than a human-directed process.
The government of Singapore is at the forefront of AI recruitment, having managed the rapid hiring of engineers with the help of conversational assessments.
Singapore’s government has linked their apply button to the Adaface chatbot, meaning that applicants are directed to a conversation with the intelligent Ada chatbot.
This chatbot gathers their details and credentials and quizzes them on technical matters (including programming and debugging) to confirm they have the requisite skills for their prospective roles.
This system winnows down all applicants to the top 30% candidates, and their information is passed on to hiring managers at the earliest available interview slot.
Nearly every significant change in the business world brings both advantages and disadvantages, and the advent of AI in HR is no different.
While the benefits of properly-implemented AI solutions in HR will outstrip the drawbacks, it’s entirely possible that your HR department will need to overcome certain hurdles in incorporating AI.
It’s important to understand the limits of AI in screening applicants or answering questions. While AI-based solutions continue to develop in their sophistication and accuracy, there are still some characteristics that can only be assessed by a human-to-human conversation.
It’s also worth noting that employees may experience a degree of disconnect or feelings of isolation if they interact primarily or exclusively with AI.
And as with any technology-based system, it’s possible to overwhelm either your HR staff or the end-users if you introduce a system too rapidly or on too large a scale.
The good news is that nearly all these potential drawbacks can be mitigated or even avoided entirely by careful planning.
And if you can circumvent the pitfalls, AI can transform your HR department, offering benefits to both the department itself and its interactions with the company as a whole.
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It’s impossible to discuss any structural changes to the business world without devoting a little time to the impact the COVID-19 pandemic will have in the future.
The HR department will operate differently in response to company-wide changes in the post-pandemic workplace.
Right now, remote working and networking and conference calls taking the place of in-person meetings are ubiquitous.
Even after a vaccine is deployed, expect this to be far more of a norm than we’ve ever seen before. And while in-office work will certainly not disappear, the structure of office spaces is likely to shift, with more of an emphasis on personal space.
These changes are going to heighten the challenge of implementing new technologies like AI, as they’ll represent a second dimension on which workers will have to acclimate themselves with new processes and practices.
You’ll need to spend extra time and effort to make sure you’re not leaving anyone behind.
One medium set to thrive in the post-pandemic world is Virtual Reality (VR). While many associate VR with gaming or consumer offerings, VR is making inroads in the business world, and this will only accelerate in the coming years.
At this point, we’ve only scratched the surface when it comes to corporate applications of VR, and imminent VR innovations in the workplace will be impacting an increasingly large segment of the workspace.
VR and AR (Augmented Reality) can provide a curated, customizable remote environment, and the universality of that function extends into the HR department.
VR/AR companies can develop applications for immersive, interactive meetings between disparate offices or locations, and this is especially relevant for multinational corporations, where an HR department will be able to offer support to all offices from a centralized location.
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