Artificial Intelligence has successfully permeated into most industries across the globe, be it transportation, agriculture, healthcare, manufacturing, or technical support. But now, AI also seems poised to take over human resources.
In fact, artificial intelligence is already being used widely to offer HR-related solutions and automate tasks related to recruitment and career advisement. As such, AI is definitely the future of HR.
In this article, we’ll explore how different aspects of AI can be used in HR applications and why it makes business sense for HR fields to deploy AI in the future.
HR-Related Applications of AI
Artificial Intelligence is basically a branch of computer science that enables machines to imitate human cognitive abilities in terms of learning, reasoning, using language, problem-solving, etc. AI is primarily driven by two technologies — machine learning and deep learning — and both of them have specific value and applications for Human Resources.
Machine Learning is a technology that enables computers to recognize patterns and learn from data without being specifically programmed to do so. This essentially means AI can teach and train itself, gradually learning from patterns over time.
Machine learning can be used in the following aspects of HR:
- It can detect anomalies, i.e., it can identify items and events that don’t conform to the larger pattern.
- It can go through resumes and applications to identify warning signs and red flags to help root out irrelevant or unsuitable applications.
- Reduce employee turnover rate by detecting employees at risk of attrition and enabling the HR team to actively retain them.
- Foster a personalized employee experience by predicting their behavior and offering specific valuable recommendations for professional development, career, etc.
Deep Learning is essentially a supercharged version of machine learning that enables the computer to make even more specific predictions based on data analysis. It uses multiple neural network layers (similar to a human brain’s neurons) to organize data, study their relationships to each other, and make complex interpretations.
Deep leaning can be used in the following aspects of HR:
- It can sift through the photos and videos of thousands of applicants, scan them for similarities or anomalies, and make accurate classifications.
- Recognize human voices, accents, and even interpret slight cadences and inflections in human vocals to respond accurately. This basically means that deep learning allows AI to not just understand what’s directly said (in any given accent), but also recognize sarcasm, irony, or other figures of speech represented through tonal inflections and cadences.
- Chatbots have already become a pretty commonplace as they use Natural Language Processing (NLP) to understand human language, tone, and context, and thus respond accurately.
- Deep learning can identify employee behavioral patterns to recommend training and learning modules ideally suited for them according to their skill levels and interests.
Benefits of Using AI in HR
Artificial Intelligence can benefit the HR industry in numerous different ways by solving critical challenges, enhancing performance, and facilitating a smoother administrative process.
By automating repetitive tasks, it will allow HR generalists and employees to focus on matters that require more individual engagement such as internal process improvements or employee personal and professional development.
The following are some of the prime benefits of using AI in HR.
Enhancing Employee Satisfaction
Enhancing employee satisfaction and experience is critical for all businesses. Employees who are satisfied at their place of employment are more likely to add value to the company. Furthermore, increased employee satisfaction also means the company will have a lower turnover rate, which, in turn, can save countless hours and finances that are diverted towards recruitment and training.
With the increased level of smart assistance in every facet of their personal lives, employees also expect a similar level of personalization in their workplace. For example, employees in the modern workplace want a Google or Siri-like virtual assistant that can answer all of their work-related questions.
That is just one example of how AI can benefit employees in workplaces. It can also be embedded into every other aspect of a workplace so employees can navigate their work environments with ease.
Intelligent Decision Making
Currently, HR technology is only used to collect real-time data. The analysis and interpretation of that data is still done manually, which can lead to excessive delays in the decision-making process. As a result, the decisions that are made are often based on information that’s already antiquated.
With Artificial Intelligence, decision making can go to the next level. Not only can AI derive and calculate real-time data, but it can also draw intelligent insights and offer recommendations. Furthermore, tools like Natural Language Generation (NLG) can be used to convert that visual data into its textual equivalent, which can then be circulated to all concerned parties, thereby streamlining the entire decision-making process.
Another issue with human interpretation of data is that it can never be completely consistent, accurate, or unbiased. Human error and inherent biases always creep in, which prevents the data from being completely reliable. With AI, the decisions made by an organization can be truly data-driven.
Now let’s look at a few examples of scenarios in which these decision-making applications will be useful:
- Informing an employee whether their application for vacation days can be granted.
- Providing employee managers with a curated list of potential training opportunities for specific employees.
- Helping recruitment officials develop a better portfolio of characteristics and skills to look for in order to hire better candidates.
- Analyzing an employee’s mood and temperament to offer recommendations about their day-to-day workings to enhance efficiency.
Automation of Repetitive Tasks
Currently, a lot of human resources are spent on repetitive low-value tasks such as repeatedly answering the same customer questions. With AI, employees can start focusing on strategic work instead. For example, by automating the technical aspects of recruitment like allocation of space and providing tools, etc, the employees can focus on direct mentoring.
Humans are inherently built in with unconscious biases. These biases — whether acknowledged or not — creep into our language and conduct to cloud how we handle recruitment.
However, Artificial Intelligence can use algorithms to detect these implicit and explicit biases in language, communications, and decision-making so as to encourage a completely unbiased recruitment process. This, in turn, can be valuable as every candidate is brought in purely based on merit alone, allowing employers to make objective and clear decisions.
AI isn’t just a technology for the future, it is already in the process of shaping several key aspects of the HR industry.
The following are some examples of how AI is changing HR today:
- AI is already being used in recruitment for candidate sourcing, screening, interviewing, and hiring.
- AI is currently being used to enhance employee experiences. This is done through performance management, presence of virtual assistance, leadership, employee analytics, and strategic personalized coaching.
- Thanks to AI, businesses can now develop intelligent surveys and feedback platforms in order to accurately interact with their employees and capture their impressions.
As you can see, artificial intelligence has already made headways in the HR landscape, but it is likely to continue doing so in the future. As such, human resources could very well be completely upturned by artificial intelligence. While there may be some concerns about how it will impact human interactions and interpersonal connections, it is ultimately likely to be an extremely beneficial tool for those who can correctly leverage it.