AI will not replace HR, it will enhance it.
Without getting lost on the key distinctions of AI, it can vary from decision trees, automation, right through to replicable human intelligence. A recent paper by Narrative Science shows that 62% of businesses are looking to invest in AI by 2018. AI is here to stay and the need to embrace the oncoming wave of data and automation is key to the next generation of businesses. And the key to a successful business is satisfied employees, supported by an adaptable HR team.
How is AI proliferating the HR department?
As an HR professional, this is a moment to rejoice at the ability to automate a number of mundane daily tasks. This is also a moment to acknowledge that HR is finally cool. The HR department has the ability to be technology leaders within businesses, showcasing the impact of AI on an employee’s life-cycle and validating the business case for AI in businesses. I am conscious to shy away from representing AI as a cost saving tool (currently we do not know if this will be through supporting workers or replacing workers), however, this technology can finally put people at the heart of what matters to HR. And it has been a long time coming, HR teams need to embrace the possibilities of what AI can do for their own jobs.
Take a moment to think of all the activities you could do if you no longer had to do one repetitive daily task?
This is a startling thought, the possibility to deploy HR skills in an entirely new and experimental way. Before getting ahead of ourselves, let’s see the ways in which the intersection of AI and HR will game change the employee experience and liberate HR departments.
Below are three examples of the AI x HR Convergence
1. Predict changes before they happen
Whenever reading about Predictive Analytics it is hard to not think about Minority Report. Predictive analytics are essentially what is written on the tin, they are analytics which use data to predict potential changes before they happen. The power of this is one which can create a HR force which is proactive. An example of predictive analytics in the wild is the ability for businesses to predict the likelihood of an individual leaving their organisation. If you can dream up an If only I knew sooner? There is most definitely a way predictive analytics can help.
2. Chatbots that enhance the employee experience
Chatbots are absolutely everywhere they are a powerful conversational interface that allows end users to seamlessly ask FAQ and get an instant response. They have the ability to make the employee experience 24/7, freeing up length in-person conversations which are typically answerable with a discrete FAQ section on an intranet. Chatbots have the ability to simply live discreetly across your internal employee digital interfaces, always ready and waiting to help.
3. Scheduling in one click
Imagine an HR department free of unnecessary administrative scheduling?! This is becoming a close reality for a number of HR departments. The ability to automate the scheduling between people will have an impact far greater than we can possibly imagine. It has been quantified that people are spending over 40% of their time in administrative task and meetings. AI assistants have the ability to help HR teams get on with the tasks they truly enjoy.
Take time to understand HR 2.0
The one thing that unites all of these technology solutions is the need for human intervention. HR is a personal space, the need for a human touch is imperative. AI will not replace HR rather it will enhance our ability to be effective and allow us to flex our softer skills such as communication and listening. The HR team of the future will look different but taking steps to understand HR 2.0 will ensure you are surfing the wave of change rather than being stranded in the ocean.
From Jai Clarke-Binns
Coming from a curatorial background and quickly realising that a career within the arts was not a viable option for a working class young man from south London, Jai changed track. Taking the plunge and switching to a career in HR. It was not an obvious move but one which suited his passion for preserving the rights of people. Jai has worked within HR for 5 years and calls himself a un-HR professional. When he is not working in HR he is co-founding a social enterprise called People of Creativity which aims to highlight, celebrate and connect people of colour within the creative and tech industry.