AI is used to control almost every aspect of our life — it helps us in a form of assistant (Alexa and Google Home), facilitates driving (Tesla’s self-driven cars) and is basically everywhere.
HR, however, has been surprisingly unadapted to AI-innovations for a while. Not for a long while, though. When we haven’t been paying attention, artificial intelligence started getting more and more popular. It’s not a mass technology yet, like a chatbot that everyone has used for multiple times but it’s a true game-changer in the world of human resources.
The AI is transforming the way we do human resources by, ironically, replacing humans in the process.
1. Scanning instead of resumes
Sending a CV if you want to apply for the job is a typical practice. We’ve all been there, trying to come up with some “special skills”, being nervous over not so many years of experience, and so on. Even now, the process of writing job applications in order to get a spot is up and running.
But for how long will it be this way?
Truth be told, sending resumes is anywhere near being an effective way to find a right employee for the job. It’s no secret that we’re all prone to biases and prejudices. Hence, whenever an HR gets a resume, he already creates a biased opinion about a candidate based on:
- age (whether the candidate is not too young or too old for the job);
- gender (would an HR rather hire a man or a woman);
- school that candidate attended;
HRs might try to be objective, but bias is the part of our conscience, hence it’s uncontrollable. According to the studies of Thomas Wilson, bias is the part of brain science, so even the most open-minded person can’t fight it.
But what can’t be controlled by the human behavior, can be easily avoided by a machine.
The solution for unbiased interviewing is applicant scanning. Let’s take a look at how the two approaches are different.
With a classic resume, it’s employee’s task to decide what he’s writing about. Applicant scanning, however, presumes that the applicant answers a set of questions that will help evaluate his skills in a limited time frame.
Later the answers are evaluated by artificial intelligence mechanisms, and best candidates are shortlisted.
Services that provide applicant scanning (if you know some other tools, share those in comments):
2. AI can take job interviews
Furthermore, unbiased AI-interviewers can perform even better than their human analogies. The interview consists of a set of questions for each candidate. The candidate gets 10 seconds of prep time, 45 seconds to answer — and that’s it.
How does the analysis of the interview work?
That’s the best part. The candidate’s interview is recorded and run over a neural network that will analyze it by the following criteria:
- Muscular contractions: for instance, AI checks whether a candidate has a frown while describing his previous job or boss — that can be considered a sign of negativity and aggression.
- The tone of the voice: is employee enthusiastic or indifferent about his interest to the spot or responsibilities?
AI doesn’t distinguish the sex or the age of the candidate, not because it can’t, this information just isn’t relevant. It’s better not only for an HR-manager but for the employee hiimself. The system doesn’t judge. It doesn’t mock the candidate or criticize him. AI doesn’t have a “bad day” and wants to take it out on somebody — it just evaluates, equally, unbiasedly.
3. AI can schedule meetings
A lot of people think that the most difficult task for an HR is to interview a candidate.
But boy, are they wrong.
Most HRs whose opinions I value tell that finding an available time slot for a candidate meeting, a training session, or an orientation is the most exhausting and tedious thing HRs have on their plate.
Can you imagine for a second how easier would it be for an HR to handle his department if artificial intelligence took over organizing? Awesome, huh?
Speaking of this, let me introduce you to Amy and Andrew Ingram — an autonomous AI-assistant to manage scheduling. The tool can give a suggestion on where you should put your next meeting.
Also, Amy and Andrew can send meeting requests automatically, notify candidates when exactly you are waiting for them.
You don’t have to write a single email. AI can handle all of it.
4. AI can keep track of the morale
You might think you’re ready. But the truth is, you never are. It will always be a shock for you when an employee goes to your office and says “I quit”.
We can help the fact that people quit. However, HRs would love to be at least slightest bit prepared to when it happens. And that’s the part where AI steps in. A fascinating example of using artificial intelligence to monitor attrition is the tool IBM Watson. It can evaluate a chance of leaving the company for every employee, so you can keep an eye on your team.
5. AI can coach
Coaching is one of the most promising area within which the possibilities of AI can be explored. There already are bots that can mimic the process of coaching and are pretty good at it. Not a long ago, there’s been an interesting discussion all over the Web: is it possible for AI to replace human coaching relationship?
Most people value the energy of human presence, the possibility to share some of the possible experience with the coach, and, obviously the ability to feel emotions that machines are yet to master.
However, it doesn’t mean that HRs shouldn’t benefit from technology. Some tools, like PokerConfidant.Ai, have come pretty close to an artificial coach being as good as a human one. Also, they claim their tool to be unbiased as it’s anchored in a “mindset of neutrality”.
So, AI is no longer a shiny dream we picture in movies and comic books. It’s a vibrant, alive technology with truly game-changing potential. The use of AI in human resources is an extremely interesting thought to entertain.
There are downsides — machine learning is relatively new and unexplored. But the upsides are winning by massive difference, providing both employees and employers a chance to function in an unbiased, equal, and productive environment.
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