How Artificial Intelligence is Humanizing HR
Artificial intelligence (AI) is the inevitable next step for high-growth companies, and no one disputes its ability to drive efficiencies, scale and effectiveness. However, the topic of ‘AI in Human Resources’ evokes excitement and dread at the same time. Excitement for all it could help us achieve, and dread about the potential ‘dehumanization’ of AI. We explore how AI will make HR more human.
As artificial intelligence becomes more sophisticated and its ability to perform human tasks accelerates exponentially, business leaders are trying to comprehend what this means, not just for organizations, but for people as well.
From crude tools to modern computers, we have consistently developed technology to reduce or even eliminate human efforts while improving outcomes. However, artificial intelligence (AI) is unlike anything we’ve ever built before.
Until recently, most technology we built, had specific routine applications. We still needed humans to break down complex processes into smaller tasks, choose how these tasks would be automated, and optimize the process each step of the way. AI is different because it can evaluate, select, act and learn from its actions, without human intervention.
With AI getting better and smarter at more and more business tasks, how do we as humans maintain and protect our economic value? The answer is innovation. For the better part of history, we have been occupied with survival-level tasks that were typically repetitive. Other than a handful of notable scientists, artists, and individual thinkers, we’ve not really spent enough time and energy on higher-level activities. As AI replaces our traditional economic value, we must think of new ways to add value to the business ecosystem.
What is the Human Future of AI in HR?
AI is undeniably one of the most sensational topics in popular media. From conferences to newspaper headlines and public debates, AI is impossible to miss. However, AI is not a magic bullet. It will not run your HR department for you, it will not replace HR professionals. It will help them become more efficient, even better at their jobs. Sure, a few low-level HR positions might be eliminated in the years to come, however, these jobs did not add a lot of business value in the first place.
Tammy Cohen, Founder and Chief Visionary Office of InfoMart, says, “Technology is not a cure-all solution for every problem we face. Artificial intelligence is a tool, and like any tool, it can be useful when correctly built and applied. Though AIs may have blind spots and unintended flaws, each failure brings about a new lesson that can be applied for future use. This field of technology is still very new and full of potential; it’s expected that there will be bumps in the road.
“It may also take some time for universities, companies, and the job market to catch up to the current state of tech. Though computers were invented in the 1950s, it took decades for them to hit the mainstream market. However, technology adoption and adaptation tend to speed up as time goes on. AI adoption is happening even faster. We already have personal assistants in our phones and houses that play music, make and check our appointments, and call or send messages. Self-driving cars are already in the works.
“Each day, more companies adopt and create new AI systems to make our lives easier and more efficient. The hiring and recruiting systems being created and used today will help great people find jobs where they can excel, no matter who they are or where they come from. If we’re strategic going forward, we could create hiring processes that improve not only businesses but people’s lives as well.”
By automating repetitive and mundane HR tasks, AI is helping HR become more strategic and serve as the innovation engine for the businesses. AI will help HR professionals identify and retain high-potential employees, improve the talent acquisition process, reduce bias in hiring, and improve productivity.
As AI augments more HR processes, HR professionals have a unique opportunity to bring new value to businesses. AI is great at automation and generating insights from data, however, we still need humans to imagine new processes, ask new questions, and build lasting relationships with employees and candidates.
To future-proof their skills, HR professionals need to start cultivating human abilities such as critical thinking, problem-solving, soft-skills, creativity and more. Speaking about the crucial skills for the workforce of tomorrow, Dan Schawbel, NYT bestselling author and Partner at Future Workplace, says, “There’s no question that employees will have to co-exist with robots in the workplace so it’s important to understand new technologies so you can best use them to improve efficiencies and be productive. The most in-demand hard skills right now are artificial intelligence and data science. The top soft skills are problem-solving, the ability to adapt to change, prioritizing work, a positive attitude, teamwork, and communication. There’s a big skills gap globally right now, especially in America where there are 6.9 million unfilled jobs. Companies, colleges, and individuals need to work together to create a curriculum in order to close this gap so that employers have the right talent, at the right time, to solve big problems that allow them to innovate and grow. My company has created an Artificial Intelligence course for HR professionals because we found that only 6 % of HR have implemented AI so it’s a good time for HR to gain the skills to prepare for the future.”
As HR teams across organizations begin working alongside AI, HR has the potential to become a true “people function.” As processes become more data-driven, decisions become more objective, and previously opaque processes become transparent and fairer, HR professionals can build employee engagement, trust, and winning workplace culture. In a way, if humans stop doing robotic tasks, they can bring more humanity to the HR function.
Source Credit: HR Technologist