The digital age brings opportunities, challenges and trends that are impacting organisations. It’s impossible to predict how artificial intelligence will evolve, but critics are fearful that it could replace HR professionals.

Could the HR function be handed over to robots?

The Deloitte Human Capital Trends research revealed that 38% of companies believe that AI will be fully implemented in their organisation within 5 years .

Research by PWC found that internationally, 50% of organisations are planning to invest in data analytics to find and develop talent and improve employee retention and 63% of them are re-thinking the role of Human Resources.

Cognitive solutions: three levels of intelligent digitalisation

Technology is advancing quickly, dramatically changing the nature of our jobs. PWC have set three levels of intelligent digitalisation in order to understand the role of AI.

Assisted Intelligence

This technology has already entered our lives and improves  business operations by automating repetitive & standardised tasks.  An example of Assisted Intelligence would be GPS navigation that offers directions to drivers and adjusts to road conditions or Netflix’s technology that can recommend shows suited for the viewer.

Augmented Intelligence

This is an emerging technology that assists human and robot to collaborate and make decisions together. An example would be car ride-sharing organisations that exist because of the combination of programmes. It is directed by Artificial Intelligence; the combination of human and machine make human traits more valuable.

Autonomous Intelligence

Technology at this level acts on its own as algorithms take over decision making. An example of this would be self driving cars.

What does AI mean for HR professionals?

The Evolution of HR

The top trends expected to impact HR operations are change in skills required due to digital transformation, changing workforce demographics, increased demand for flexible working arrangements and a rise of the gig economy.

The IBM Institute for Business Value Cognitive Computing Study revealed that demand for cognitive solutions in HR is set to increase. 66% of CEOs surveyed believe that cognitive solutions can bring significant value to HR operations and almost 40% expect their internal HR operations to adopt HR cognitive solutions.

AI is reinventing HR

An article by Personnel Today highlights several ways in which AI will support rather than replace HR.

  • Talent Acquisition: AI will automate the screening stage of recruitment and will reduce bias at that stage. It can limit monotonous work from HR professionals and improve the process by eliminating 75% of the candidates from the recruitment process.
  • Compliance: AI will improve compliance and limit errors as it can collect and comply data quickly without human error.
  • Personalised Employee Experience: The expectations of the workforce have shifted as employees are demanding work experiences that are more engaging and personal. Personalised experiences in HR is the most productive option there is as it can drive the employee to excel.
  • Metrics and Analytics: AI will increase adoption of metrics and analytics and will help HR become a strategic partner. Metrics and analytics will help HR improve recruitment by identifying the candidates with the highest probability of success, position them in the right teams with the most appropriate managers, recommend the most suitable development opportunities  and predict the likelihood of them quitting.
  • More efficient on-boarding process. Intelligent chat bots will assist the process by automatically creating new employee profiles and answer basic HR questions on behalf of  HR professionals. On-boarding programs improve employee retention thus it is not an area to overlook.
  • Learning and Development: Improve learning and development within the organisation by augmenting corporate training and coaching. Artificial Intelligence can successfully organise training programs for employees by analysing the data it has collected and creating customised L&D programs for employees. AI will enable HR managers to better understand the learner’s behaviours and predict their needs by advising programs based on past behaviour.
  • Skills: AI will help HR professionals identify a diverse set of skills and experiences that are better predictors of success. New candidate pools with a distinct set of skills, abilities and experiences can be identified.

How can HR embrace AI successfully?

PWC suggest six leading digital operating model practices to execute a digital strategy.

  1. Reconsider what digital means to the organisation
  2. Recruit a digital officer
  3. Concentrate on platform capabilities
  4. Invest in digital hubs
  5. Develop agile delivery pods
  6. Focus on employee recruitment and retention.

As daunting as this all might sound, while some HR functions such as payroll can be automated, others, such as recruiting and motivating employees rely heavily on understanding team dynamics, and there is no substitute for emotional intelligence and people skills. However, HR professionals will be required to get used to the fact that their job requirements are changing faster than ever and need to develop a deep understanding of how these technologies can help their work.

HR should embrace AI, it can help HR professionals focus on more meaningful activities as AI using robotic process automation will eliminate low-level, repetitive tasks, and work side by side to enhance the efficiency of its operations.

At CLR we embrace the changes in digital technology and believe this disruption to the market is hugely beneficial. Lets chat! Contact us.