AI in HR – Why It’s Critical in Today’s Context

In today’s (September 2018) business scenario, am sure there’s no CHRO who has not heard or read about Artificial Intelligence (AI) and how it is impacting their organization’s workforce. Everybody’s well prepared with responses to allay employee apprehensions on whether AI will replace people at work or the impact AI will have on their organizations. Employees as part of their day to day lives outside work already use AI on a regular basis knowingly or unknowingly – ride sharing, travel maps, mobile assistants, personal finance, tech support etc. But ideas of leveraging software tools that sense, comprehend, act & learn, a.k.a. AI at the workplace is also picking up steam– more so in the HR space.

Good news is that HR folks, especially those using Oracle Cloud HCM, don’t need to do anything extra to jump on this wave. While technical AI tools are available to address customer’s specific use cases, business processes in the HCM SaaS application have or will have AI embedded as part and parcel of their core engine. Interestingly, this employment of technology, AI in particular, is what Oracle calls as “making work more human”. Basically, systems enabling employees and HR personnel get the best out of what’s possible and make them more people oriented. The era of using software for automating repeatable tasks is passe and the fourth industrial revolution is the coming together of different technologies to change the way we live & work. In HR applications, complex business scenarios are dissected by intelligent algorithms to make sense of multiple data points, enmesh learnings from history and support employees & businesses to make informed choices.

Let me touch upon three scenarios where AI is making an impact in HR apps- 

Talent Acquisition:

A global organization hiring 1000 campus graduates annually may have as many as 100,000 potential applicants. Manually sifting through profiles of all candidates is a nightmare and recruiters can never spot best talent from the heap. This is the same reason, good talent applying for jobs on job boards never get the required attention because recruiters are overwhelmed with the number of profiles (many bad and few good ones) that they have to process. In this scenario, an AI program can help shortlisting process by not just by doing an intelligent match to the job requirement, but also check parameters like past hires from which campus have performed better or employees from which campus have least attrition or unstructured information from other public sources correlated to the hiring requirement.

HR Helpdesk:

A globally dispersed millennial workforce needing to reach HR Helpdesk have better options today than logging into a ticketing system, filling forms and attaching documents to log their HR query. Helpdesk chatbots with a conversational UI is what’s becoming commonplace. Machine driven intelligent conversations that learn as they age is real with Enterprise applications are getting close to mimicking the experience of Virtual Assistants on the phone.

Customized Learning:

In knowledge industries, learning is a life-long phenomenon and progressive organizations have strong platforms, policies and procedures to enable employee learn. However, one size fits all approach is a bane and effectiveness of training or alignment to the organization goal is a huge challenge. AI algorithms can play a vital role in recommending learning paths for employees based on their current role, chosen career path, trainings already undertaken, prior education/certifications, organization goals and a host of associated parameters which go into determining a customized training path for an individual employee.

Going by the drift of these three examples, you as an HR practitioner will have more scenarios where technology can aggregate structured or unstructured information from disparate sources, learn & become “wiser” as employees make choices and “be knowledgeable” of industry trends. If you would like to share your perspective and experience on how AI is making a difference to your employees, please use the comments section and/or feel free to write to us.

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