The idea of artificial intelligence playing a role in human resources may seem counterintuitive, but AI can, and will, revolutionize Human Resources globally.
AI is changing how businesses function at every level as automated manufacturing systems are changing how things are assembled, smart software is changing the face of finance and accounting, and AI is creating connections between sales and supply management to reduce errors and get the right goods to the right customers more efficiently than ever before.
AI will also create profound changes within the Human Resources departments of businesses that will reshape how employees and leadership interact.
However, this will enhance rather than detract from the human element of this area by aiding often overworked HR managers so that they can manage their time better.
Additionally, it will improve the hiring and employee management processes to improve their experience and ultimately their morale– creating positive relationships between an organization and its people starting before day one and continuing throughout the entirety of their tenure.
As the onboarding process is often the first impression a candidate gets of a company, beyond any basic research they’ve conducted, having a strong hiring process using AI can help create a powerful first impression that will resonate over time and enhance the company brand strategy.
While many of the ways AI will change Human Resources (and businesses in entirety) has yet to be seen, here are eleven ways AI can revolutionize Human Resources and promote continuous business success and longevity.
Automating Employee Scheduling
One of the many ways that AI is changing Human Resources is by reducing time and resources spent handling employee scheduling, including shift resource planning, changes, and vacation requests.
AI platforms are even able to assess previously entered data to create forecasts for future scheduling requirements, meaning that managers can go weeks without having to address scheduling needs (more about this).
The AI integrations in employee scheduling software can create a centralized approach that will empower employees to better manage their schedule, creating a sense of flexibility and value that will improve overall employee engagement and morale.
Additionally, these platforms integrate with major payroll providers to streamline processes and create a simplified connection between hourly reporting and payment.
Simplifying Candidate Pre-Screening
Most organizations that have endured the hiring process know how challenging it can be to post a job, receive hundreds of applications, and discover that fewer than 25% of the applications include viable candidates.
Traditionally, the screening process was labor intensive– hiring managers would have to sort through all of the applications to determine who met the basic qualifications before moving on, which could take hours of their time for minimal results.
Now, using AI, hiring managers can simplify the candidate screening process by implementing keywords and automating the sorting process based on the outlined qualifications.
One of the potential pitfalls with this approach to candidate screening is the continued work required to be able to identify if there are certain features on an application that are acceptable in lieu of the required experience or education.
The candidate screening implications continue as the selection process narrows down potential candidates, through the automated administering of skills tests and personality assessments.
Removing Unconscious Biases
Diversity and inclusion are at the forefront of businesses’ minds during this modern age, particularly in regards to Human Resources management, recruiting, and hiring.
Using AI to remove unconscious biases starts during the recruiting and candidate pre-screening process, and adds to the overall simplification of candidate screening as previously mentioned.
Unconscious biases refer to feelings generated in the subconscious mind as a reaction to a certain name or other features of a candidate, such as an ethnicity or gender.
For example, a hiring manager who sees an ethnic last name might have preconceived notions of which they aren’t even aware of that impact their hiring decision.
Another hiring manager might see that a candidate is a woman while prescreening and start to feel concerned about having another woman in the role after their previous employee left to care for her family.
In both situations, the hiring manager may not be aware of their negative attitude toward a candidate before meeting them, yet the candidate is set up to fail from the moment they walk in the door.
Highlighting Behavioral Red Flags
There are specific indicators that are subtle to the human eye but easily detected through AI integrations.
These indicators could include certain websites visited– such as job posting sites– or email addresses and attachments that show that someone is looking for a new job, indicating their inevitable departure.
Some AI integrations are advanced enough that they can detect words or tones within email conversations that could indicate when an employee is feeling frustrated or dissatisfied.
Not only does this AI integration have the potential to highlight potential issues for Human Resources, but it also has powerful sales implications as well.
Upon analyzing the tone being taken with a customer, your system can let the employee know if they should readdress how they speak to the customer or advise that they take a break before continuing the conversation.
Automate Simple Tasks
People tend to fear automation, citing that it will replace working class jobs with computerized efforts, allowing executives to cut positions and pay themselves more.
However, automation is built to help employees manage their tasks better while ensuring that time-consuming tasks are getting completed in addition to most-important-task (MIT) initiatives.
A prime example of task automation for HR is email sorting– rather than having all emails amassed in one central inbox, AI will be able to sweep through and categorize the emails in an accessible, easy-to-prioritize manner.
When an employee joins an organization, they are often met with a ton of paperwork to read and sign, as well as forms to submit for criminal record checks and tax purposes.
Traditionally, the hiring manager and Human Resources department would have to manhandle this process.
With AI, the process can be automated and kept in a central location, drastically cutting back on paperwork.
With the right systems in place, a business can even have a list indicating what tasks have been completed and what’s still outstanding in the employee’s onboarding process.
This, like many other components of the employee hiring process, will make a significant difference in the foundation of the relationship between the employee and the organization– employees will appreciate the efficiency during the onboarding process and will be less overwhelmed when diving into their new role.
Applicant Tracking and Updates
One of the biggest challenges both hiring managers and candidates face is communication about the hiring process.
For Human Resources professionals, it’s not feasible to provide continuous updates to candidates about the status of their application within the hiring process, while potential employees become discouraged by radio silence and may take a position elsewhere.
With an AI-driven applicant tracking system in place, in combination with AI-driven candidate screening practices, Human Resources can quickly and efficiently update candidates, and candidates can stay abreast of what’s happening within the organization.
For an organization to stay profitable and able to conduct business, it must be in compliance with the many regulations set forth by various regulatory bodies.
Typically, when one thinks about compliance within a business, they think more about the legalities of packing, advertising, and manufacturing practices, but Human Resources has to deal with a number of compliance considerations– labor standards and human rights, for example.
AI can help ensure that all of the relevant data is collected from employees during the onboarding process, as previously mentioned.
Employee data is especially important for businesses who ship product across borders– consider the men and women at an airport who are responsible for loading and unloading planes while accessing secure areas; they require a high level of security clearance for the shipping company to be compliant.
Additionally, AI can help protect that data after it’s collected and stay in compliance with the privacy protection laws that are put in place to keep information safe in the internet age.
Identifying High-Potential Employees
There are key performance metrics that can be measured and analyzed to help high-potential employees stand apart from the rest– metrics that might be missed in a large organization that’s monitored by numerous levels of management.
There are many ways AI can be used for this purpose: it can track upward performance trends by analyzing changes over the years or highlight key words and positive interactions similarly to the method used to highlight behavioral red flags.
In many ways, using AI is ideal for highlighting high-potential employees and top performers who may otherwise be overshadowed by larger team initiatives or a manager who feels intimidated by their subordinate’s potential for greatness.
Improving Employee Engagement
The role of Human Resources isn’t just hiring employees and putting policies in place to protect the business; it’s about keeping employees engaged and productive so that they enjoy coming to work every day.
AI can be used to determine when an employee is getting bored or feels unchallenged by their work, then make recommendations on how to develop their skills and assign tasks that will create more engagement while benefiting the business.
By analyzing an employee, AI can even create a personal development plan that aligns with the needs of the business and helps the employees set goals in a human-centric approach to computer science.
As company culture plays a huge role in the overall success of a business and engagement of its employees, AI can be used to analyze employees and ensure they’re paired up with the right people for a fruitful collaborative environment.
Ultimately, the more an employee feels as though their workplace treats them like a human, the more work they’ll want to do– AI, which is modeled after the human mind, can make that happen.
AI has the potential to reduce costs in all areas of the business, but particularly in Human Resources.
It’s estimated that it costs an average of $4,100 to hire someone when you consider the cost of posting the job and the resources allocated to hiring and training the candidate– the longer it takes to hire someone, the more it will cost.
Through the automation and simplification of the hiring and onboarding process, the time it takes to hire an employee is drastically reduced, creating a correlating decrease in expenses incurred.
Furthermore, the improved employee experience as created by AI integrations will reduce turnover rates, which means that Human Resources will be subjected to the hiring process less frequently.
Ideally, the overall implication of integrating AI into Human Resources efforts is that hiring will only take place when the business is expanding or an employee is retiring or moving within the organization.
Concerns and Considerations
As previously mentioned, one of the main concerns with implementing AI practices in HR is the dehumanization of business-employee relationships.
Fortunately, AI is creating a way to create a more humane workplace by offering the benefits of a human connection without the pitfalls of human management.
Another significant concern on everyone’s mind is the ethics of having AI so closely integrated into business practices, particularly concerning privacy– while monitoring emails to assess tones and motivators can help improve the employee’s experience, isn’t it also an invasion of privacy?
As a counter-argument to the privacy concerns, consider this: if an employee knows that there is monitoring in place, is it unethical to collect data?
Furthermore, does an employee have a right to privacy when browsing online or searching for other jobs while on company time?
With cybersecurity being both at the forefront of modern business concerns as well as there being heightened awareness around the issue due to major company breaches in recent years, there is a lot to consider regarding the protection of collected information as well.
Finally, educating the public about how automation will help create jobs rather than having a continuous focus on AI replacing people is essential for all organizations.
There’s one thing that can’t be argued: AI is becoming a regular part of business and personal practices, and now that it’s here, it’s here to stay.