Blog

Get expert advice on every topic you need as a small business owner, from the ideation stage to your eventual exit. Our articles, quick tips, infographics and how-to guides can offer entrepreneurs the most up-to-date information they need to flourish.

Subscribe to our blog

Understanding AI’s applications for HR

Posted by Tasnim Ahmed

May 6, 2021    |     7-minute read (1319 words)

Artificial intelligence enables computers to suggest actions based on analyses of previously collected data. The tool has come to be used in a variety of ways in HR management, such as to streamline processes and increase productivity. 

According to research published in 2019 in the International Research Journal of Engineering and Technology, integrating AI into HR processes enhances organizational performance as the tech can make analyzes, forecasts and diagnoses through chatbot-agnostic solutions and algorithms to assist HR teams in decision-making.

Report authors Prasanna Matsa and Kusuma Gullamajji stated that AI enables a more intuitive and simplified HR experience. The tech can be applied across various HR functions including recruitment, onboarding, training, performance monitoring, talent management, retention and employee experience. However, due to the high cost of incorporating AI into HR practices, the majority of companies have not adopted the tech. Since AI improves company performance, it should be regarded as a positive opportunity that when implemented with proper training can lead to better outcomes for the HR profession. 

6 best ways AI is transforming HR in modern enterprises:

  • Hiring

Traditionally, companies require potential and new hires to enter the same information several times during the application and onboarding process, respectively. This repetitive activity is an inefficient use time and potentially leaves a negative impression. To simplify the process, some companies now use AI to help applicants seamlessly move information from their resumes onto smart digital forms and complete their applications. 

AI can store relevant information from an applicant’s resume through the use of algorithms and use it to automatically populate future forms, expediting completion. The result is a more user-friendly and efficient process for both employers and applicants.

AI can also be used to analyze an applicant’s past work experience, skills and interests. The tech uses that data to assess their fit for a particular job role, even before the recruiter conducts a telephonic round.

  • Data-backed insights 

HR is a specialist industry that centers around data. To improve the employee experience, AI is making inroads into many aspects of hiring and management. For example, AI can be used to create relevant case records in a searchable format. These records may include personal information, behaviour, timesheets, survey responses and emails. 

AI can also assist HR professionals with making better decisions, detecting anomalies and automating repetitive tasks. The data-backed insights and resources that AI collects from employees helps HR teams to optimize employee experience, given that the tool analyzes employees’ needs, thereby boosting engagement and decreasing turnover. Using AI for important but tedious administrative requests, such as time off and shift swaps, unburdens managers who can use the time instead to attend to higher-priority activities, such as training and customer relations. 

HR teams can also leverage AI to capitalize on transactional workforce data to make predictions on employee potential, retention and engagement. This informs positive conservations that could improve the employee experience and boost performance. This type of information is even more important in today’s work environment, which has been dramatically altered by the pandemic.

  • Employee referrals

Employee referrals are an excellent way to find talented people looking for new opportunities. AI improves the referral recruitment process by reducing the amount of work needed to vet candidates. HR teams can use AI to collect information about ideal candidates, which can then be presented to hiring managers in an efficient way.

From analyzing previous referrals to performance data, AI’s capability of automating repetitive and less important tasks allows teams to focus on their priority tasks and on more strategic and creative work. 

Businesses seeking to use AI for employee referrals will be able to find new talent more quickly and expand their teams more efficiently. The tech also capitalizes on the insights gained via gathered data to enhance employee engagement and retention. Ultimately, this saved time, boosts quality assurance and ensures that new hires are better matched.

  • Learning and development 

Many large global companies are using AI to improve employee learning and professional development. To meet employees’ individual requirements, departments are expected to create agile learning programs that concurrently embed data and analytics in a much deeper way.

AI can automatically generate a playbook that contains a series of instructions. For example, the playbook would guide users to develop a habit by requiring they write down three actions they could take to achieve a target. Such a method enables smart and quick learning with fewer errors.

An intrinsic part of learning and development in the workplace is the training of employees for new positions that demand more skills, particularly logic, strategy, critical thinking, emotional intelligence and cultural knowledge. In response, learning and development teams are moving to agile learning models that promote individual learning rather than enterprise-wide solutions.

Companies adopt a data-first mindset when they:

  • Personalize the learning experience, based on current skills and goals while addressing existing skills gaps.
  • Offer access to coaching chatbots for leaders.
  • Use social learning networks to delegate stretch assignments, based on skills.
  • Allow employee access to chatbots, for real-time answers.
  • Give content recommendations based on individual requirements.

  • Workforce analytics

Workforce analytics and planning are becoming increasingly popular among businesses, particularly as pertaining to AI and machine learning. 

As applied to HR, AI helps managers recognize problems, address challenges and make better decisions that impact employee and organizational performance. Using real-time workforce analytics allows managers to see the impact that things like open shifts, time off, absences and abrupt scheduling changes exert on key performance metrics. In this sense, AI acts as a support to making better decisions and preventing future problems.

  • Employee engagement

One of the key attributes associated with an organization is employee engagement, which means different things to different organizations. Some may define employee engagement as everyone being aware of their responsibilities first thing in the morning. For others, it may entails using AI to increase staff’s awareness of future events. Each organization is searching for something new and attempting to quantify different aspects of employee engagement. But the aim is generally focused on increasing employee involvement to maximize business results and profits.

Chatbots powered by AI are ubiquitous these days, offering a new way for employers to interact with HR and the company at large.  These automated conversations empower both managers and employees to access a wealth of information about potential opportunities, projects and hiring opportunities within a specific geographical area through web and mobile applications. While the AI-powered chatbot providing assistance is not a recent development, the manner in which they deliver these insights is new.

Why AI matters for HR

A primary role of HR is to establish a personal connection with employees, which can be better accomplished by leveraging AI. The advantage of the tech as a machine-learning-driven initiative are almost limitless, particularly when used in conjunction with conventional face-to-face HR interactions. Critical services can be delivered with lightning speed, and its ability to provide consistent alerts and real-time responses foster a more seamless HR management experience.

According to an  Oracle/Future Workplace report: “AI is changing the relationship between people and technology at work.” The report found that 64% of people indicated they would trust a robot more than their manager. 

Among Oracle’s other key findings:

  • 50% of workers now use AI at work in some form, versus 32% in 2018.
  • 65% of workers are optimistic about having robot co-workers.
  • 82% of people believe robots can perform better than their managers.
  • 56% of men trust AI at work over their managers versus 44% of women.
  • Among US workers, 22% are excited about AI.
  • Workers in India and China are most excited about AI, at 60% and 56% respectively. 
  • Workers in France and UK are least excited about AI, at 8% and 20%, respectively.
  • Those figures elsewhere: Japan 25%; Australia/New Zealand 26%; Brazil 32%, Singapore 41%, UAE 44%.

 

We handle your essential business offerings so you can focus on growth.