03 Nov How is AI already affecting the HR profession?
Advancements in artificial intelligence (AI) technology have comprehensively reshaped the landscape of human resources (HR), allowing HR specialists to capitalise on machine learning and algorithms to refine their working processes, diminish biases, and augment their analytical and decision-making capabilities. This article explores the various ways in which AI is changing HR, and in particular how it is leading to stronger results and improvements in the way in which personnel in HR functions use their time and scarce resources. Not only does the utilisation of AI in HR streamline workflows and enhance operational efficiencies, but it also inaugurates new realms of possibility in talent management and strategic planning, positioning the HR function at the core of organisational transformation and continuous adaptation.
How are HR teams embracing AI ?
In the report ‘The Future of Work: Intelligent by Design’ by Eightfold AI, the lion’s share of the 250 HR leaders surveyed conveyed that they are presently utilising AI across various HR functions. Specifically, 78% are employing it in the management of employee records, 77% in payroll processing and benefits administration, 73% in recruitment and hiring processes, 72% in performance management, and 69% in the onboarding of new staff members. This data underscores the pervasive adoption and application of AI throughout diverse HR operations.
According to the report, a significant 92% of HR leaders plan to expand their AI utilisation in at least one domain within the next 12-18 months, with performance management and payroll processing being top areas of application. Complementing this, IDC’s 2022 research predicted a surge in AI and machine learning (ML) tools deployment across employee life cycle management in global businesses. Amy Loomis, IDC’s research director, notes the prevalent use of AI in HR through stack ranking, a statistical method to evaluate and sometimes terminate employees based on performance. At this point, it is important to note that many are concerned about these kinds of developments. In response to potential biases in AI-driven employee assessments, for example, New York City introduced legislation necessitating audits of AI recruitment software, imposing fines for non-compliance.
In what specific areas are HR teams already utilising AI?
AI tools are versatile and offer HR teams a wide range of applications, helping them complete many important functions in a faster, more thorough way than ever before. Five particular areas of HR functioning demonstrate how teams are already employing AI technology to improve both processes and the results for their respective organisations.
Recruiting and hiring
AI is revolutionising the recruitment and hiring process, optimising efficiency and enhancing decision-making in HR departments. A notable example is the use of AI-driven chatbots, which can engage with potential candidates, answering queries and providing instantaneous feedback, thereby enhancing candidate experience and simultaneously reducing the workload on HR personnel. Moreover, AI-enabled systems analyse a multitude of CVs swiftly, pinpointing suitable candidates by recognising keywords and qualifications, thereby expediting the hiring process and ensuring a more precise match with organisational needs. This technological advancement not only streamlines the recruitment process but also significantly reduces the time-to-hire, leading directly to cost savings and productivity gains for organisations.
AI is significantly enhancing the employee onboarding process, mitigating common hurdles and facilitating a smoother transition for new hires. AI-driven virtual assistants, for instance, can guide newcomers through initial administrative tasks, such as document submission and initial setup, which traditionally demand considerable HR personnel time. Additionally, personalised AI algorithms can tailor onboarding programmes, adapting to individual needs and thus accelerating their integration and productivity within the organisation. By streamlining administrative burdens and personalising experiences, AI not only refines the onboarding process but also positively impacts resource allocation and early employee engagement.
Leveraging AI for employee monitoring amplifies operational efficiency and enhances work quality. For instance, AI-driven analytics platforms can facilitate HR in effectively monitoring employee digital activities, ensuring adherence to organisational policies while safeguarding against potential internal threats. Automated algorithms analyse employee data, highlighting anomalies and thereby aiding in pre-emptive intervention before potential issues escalate. This not only bolsters cybersecurity and safeguards organisational assets, but it also enables HR personnel to strategically manage workforce performance and adherence to policy, fostering a proactive organisational culture.
Learning and development
In the realm of learning and development, AI has emerged as a pivotal tool, enabling personalised and adaptable learning experiences. For instance, some AI-powered learning platforms utilise algorithms that adapt to individual learning styles, tailoring content and pacing accordingly, thereby mitigating the one-size-fits-all dilemma prevalent in traditional approaches. This personalisation not only optimises individual learning paths but also enriches knowledge retention and application on the job. By addressing unique learning needs, AI fortifies employee development, facilitating skill enhancement aligned precisely with both individual and organisational objectives.
AI is sculpting novel pathways to enhance internal mobility within companies, thereby enriching talent management strategies. Notably, a number of AI-driven platforms facilitate an astute mapping of employee skills to internal job openings, ensuring optimal matches while simultaneously enabling career progression for staff. This targeted approach, enabled by machine learning, assists in retaining talent by identifying and propelling internal candidates towards roles that align with their competencies and aspirations. Thus, AI not only mitigates the challenges linked with external hiring but also fosters a developmental and retentive ecosystem, mutually benefiting the organisation and its employees.
The impact of AI on the world of HR
The continued evolution of AI within HR departments has substantively strengthened operational efficiencies and decision-making capabilities, underscoring a revolutionary paradigm in managing human capital. By enhancing hiring efficiencies, such as streamlining the screening and selection processes via robust algorithms, AI ensures that HR professionals can focus on strategic imperatives. Similarly, the meticulous data analysis capabilities of AI, elucidated through the identification of trends and patterns, empower HR departments to devise and implement cost-effective strategies. For instance, discerning the highest quality applicant sources aids in the judicious allocation of hiring budgets, thus diminishing overall recruitment costs and enhancing the strategic deployment of financial resources.
Moreover, the aptitude of AI to enhance decision-making via data collection and rigorous analysis significantly reduces biases and enhances objectivity within HR processes. Whether it’s ensuring optimal candidate selection, finessing compensation packages or improving talent management through data-driven insights, AI has demonstrated itself as a highly valuable asset in the contemporary HR toolkit. It is clear that there are discernible benefits in cost reduction and revenue increase in a range of areas, bringing genuine and tangible impacts from AI adoption.