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Artificial intelligence in the workplace: What is at stake for HR leaders

Artificial Intelligence, or AI, which is the talk of the town these days, is the promising future that is expected to engulf and enhance all aspects of life and work. In the process, it is also believed that AI and the opportunities associated with it will create numerous job avenues in the coming years. However, it will bring its own challenges, the biggest one being the availability and supply of skilled talent in AI.

For any HR leader, it is pivotal to prepare and upskill their workforce to better surf the tech waves in the years to come. Employees must be trained and upgraded with the necessary skills to perform their duties adequately in light of changing circumstances. The importance of programs that train workers in cutting-edge technologies such as blockchain, machine learning, and artificial intelligence cannot be overstated. Leaders must first identify a business difficulty that must be resolved, and then determine how technology can be used to facilitate practical learning.

Both the workforce and workplaces are evolving rapidly. The way businesses operate has undergone a significant transformation because of technology, particularly automation and AI. As man and machine join to work cooperatively, HR is sailing on a rising tide. How can HR leaders leverage the way AI is transitioning into the corporate world to their greatest advantage?

Here are five ways in which AI is changing the way HR thinks and functions:

1. Enhanced insights

Current HR systems, despite ongoing advances, are prone to producing outputs or reports with inaccurate or missing information, delivering vague insights rather than accurate ones for future usage. Research suggests that deploying AI in HR functions has been shown to improve data-based decision-making processes by 62% and enhance employee experience by 57%. The aim is to improve the productivity of the employees by taking on approaches that best fit the goals of the company and individuals. With consistently observed interactions and communications—internal and external—in an organisation, AI or cognitive computing-enabled bots could usher in a revolution in human analysis. HR could use these enhanced and deep-seeking insights to make more effective and business-relevant decisions.

2. Reformed recruitment

Humans are overly complex and understanding certain personality traits and fundamental information about people—enough to do an analysis—is not something that can ever be done by humans alone with such accuracy. Especially while sorting out resumes to find the perfect fit in the recruiting process. Although it may still be in its infancy, AI-enabled cognitive and predictive analysis utilising natural language can make the processes of choosing and hiring employees much more effective. AI has been used in talent assessments for decades, but its application has ramped up significantly in the past couple of years. It is a part of many candidates and employee psychometric assessments like situational judgement tests and various personality tests for example. It assists HR in assessing and identifying the best culturally fit candidate for the role.

3. Personalised learning

Learning is the one aspect of the modern business landscape that requires customisation and personalisation more than anything else. In today’s multigenerational diversity, the workforce expects tailored learning experiences, moving away from the conventional, one-size-fits-all training techniques. Learning specialists must carefully assess and keep track of training requirements to accomplish that. Here, AI is assisting in the collection of pertinent employee data pertaining to a variety of learning experiences and behaviours. These technologies can also assist in continuously improving the training programs to increase their effectiveness and efficiency.

4. Smart assistance

As chatbots and AI-enabled assistants have taken over, HR managers no longer need to worry about answering employees’ regular transactional questions. According to a study, HR leaders are already cognizant of the technology’s importance to the employee experience, with 92% stating that chatbots will play a significant role in enhancing employee service in the future. Smart assistants that have a thorough awareness of the organisation’s policies, benefits, and structure are available and can serve as a go-to resource for staff. Chatbots can also attend to and allow employees’ requests for leave or let them keep track of their performance by providing constructive criticism and feedback, for the future. Such systems can also monitor employee development and advancement to provide HR management with feedback and guidance so that they can make more effective talent development decisions.

5. Power of prediction

AI can predict staff trends precisely at the time they are expected to occur and even prescribe the necessary steps based on that. This is accomplished by thorough repeat studies and observation. The analytics and data generated by AI will support leaders in better understanding the organisation and its need to strategise on a plan for the future accordingly. The scope of AI may also be able to foresee future departure rates, employee engagement levels, or any other hidden difficulties.

As we all know, the role of HR leaders has already shifted with the advent of AI, and many large organisations have already implemented some of the aforementioned strategies. What would be interesting to see is how HR leaders manage AI and human experience to co-create harmony within the workforce. Overall, AI’s implementation into the realm of human resources isn’t likely to be a smooth and uneventful transition, but with caution and creativity on the part of HR managers, it could give them a superior advantage, nonetheless.

The question for HR leaders, then, is what does their future look like? Will they be able to leverage, gauge and provide a hands-on vision for how employees can take advantage of AI in order to improve their own well-being?

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