Artificial intelligence (AI) technology is growing at an astounding pace, set to be a $40 billion industry by the year 2020. As AI grows in capability and availability, we will find it applied across many different aspects of business. In addition to applications for things like customer service, businesses may find ways to increase their efficiencies and reduce liabilities by utilizing AI in human resources applications. So how AI is transforming the workforce and what should you expect in the near future? Here are some predictions.
How is AI Transforming the Workplace and Human Resources?
While the ultimate achievements of AI are probably beyond most of our comprehension, in the immediate future, there is a clear use of the technologies that make up AI (reasoning, knowledge, planning, learning, language processing, etc.) throughout all phases of an employee’s time with a company.
Interviewing and hiring
One of the biggest hurdles to finding new workers may be in figuring out where to start. Advanced technologies like IBM’s Watson are already being used to help recruiters identify which jobs should be prioritized to be filled first, assigning scores to help narrow the field of candidates and more. And while recruiters are being aided rather than replaced in that scenario, managers typically in charge of interviewing candidates may find some time on their hands soon.
In the initial process of recruiting, interviewing and ultimately hiring a new team member, human resources professionals know to be aware of state and federal laws to be sure that every step of the process complies with all applicable laws and that the company is not vulnerable to any legal action. But no matter how well intentioned, humans are fallible and we are prone to bias that can paint our perceptions and reactions to people. Not only might we be prone to misconceive the interviewee based on our own notions, in turn, someone undergoing the interview process might mistake something in the interview or hiring process as an affront to them based on their own preconceived notions. Unfortunately, human beings are complicated and there is no real practical way to remove all potential for this to happen. However, AI technology is transforming the workplace in this regard by eliminating one human variable from the equation. Services like HireVue utilize video interviews to conduct scientific analyses and provide data to would-be employers to predict who the most effective job candidates will be. Over time, expect to see services like this become more prominent and widely available, potentially even replacing the now-standard personality assessment tests we human resources professionals have become so familiar with over the past couple of decades.
In addition to helping streamline the process of finding new employees, there is much potential for AI applied to employee onboarding processes. AI applications are able to gather pertinent documents and information to make sure that new hires have all of the pertinent paperwork ready for them quickly while maintaining the legal compliance of the process. Programs like Axonify create personalized lesson plans for individual employees, allowing them to build their skill sets to meet their personal career objectives while maintaining the organization’s objectives and long term objectives as well.
Once an employee has started working with a company, one of the next great challenges for human resources is making sure that they stay there. A number of AI applications can help improve employee experience. For instance, chatbots can be used to help answer various HR questions, help employees schedule paid time off and more: “Siri, reschedule my Wednesday afternoon meeting. I’ll be out.” This can eliminate the need for a human resources department at a very small company and free up the department’s time for more important work at other larger organizations.
AI can also help companies identify current employees who may be a good candidate to transition to job openings in other parts of the organization based on comprehensive data and individual profiles. AI can measure an individual employee’s level of engagement and suggest actions to increase engagement if it becomes a problem. Furthermore, AI can also use its insights to help make sure the performance reviews are more comprehensive and productive, leading to desired outcomes for the company and team member alike.
Perhaps the only shortcoming of AI is that it has not transformed our workplace sooner. On the other hand, many companies may find that the fast rate AI is transforming the workplace may be too quick and they may struggle to adapt. For a quick consultation to talk about your company’s need and how you might consider beginning to prepare for the robot uprising (JK), give us a call. While you probably do not need holographic administrative assistants yet, it is very likely we can recommend ways that you can utilize current technology to streamline your business, improve your company’s atmosphere and fortify your bottom line, all at the same time.