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New-Age HR Mantra "Artificial Intelligence" with Human Touch

Updated: Nov 29, 2021

Artificial intelligence is present in virtually every major industry from vaccine Research and development, healthcare, advertising, transportation, logistics, Hospitality, education, and at our workplaces too. As per the statistics, nearly 40% of companies globally are using some form of AI in HR alone, 38% of enterprises are already using AI in their workplace with 62% expecting to start using it soon. 33% of employees expect that their jobs will become augmented by AI in the near future.

AI has become an integral part of our daily lives with the increasing interface on some of the other AI platforms like Siri, Alexa to remind us of our schedules, etc, Internet/search engines to use algorithms to prompt us as per our preferences, app-based handsets to alert us on our health records, driverless cars, using devices at home with AI inbuilt features and so on. This is to make our lives simpler yet better with less doing repetitive tasks and the ability to exercise wide choices to make better decisions.

Similarly, companies are also leveraging the technology, “AI with a human touch” to remain ahead of their competition, scale-up, grow, diversify, large scale transformations and acquisitions. AI aids in reducing human bias, increase efficiency and effectiveness, improves relationships with employees, enables fully compliant practices, and enriches the workplace environment by gathering large volumes of data, analyzing it, using algorithms leading to faster and better decision making for Organizations. 

During the recent times of pandemic, HR has been evolving to enable business and people growth by building/strengthening its technology muscle and using efficient BI and AI-driven systems. The use of intelligent systems has been proving a major ingredient for companies to sustain and strive in highly volatile and unprecedented times. Adopting various hybrid models, analytics, digitalization, use of AI Tools for being able to predict, plan, prepare various models using the data to make informed and rightful decisions for keeping the workforce highly engaged, productive with great employee experience has become the new KPI for HR.  The use of intelligent systems across all HR verticals has become the key driver for the HR function to proactively support the business needs. 

AI has been used in Recruitment, Training, Onboarding, Performance Analytics and Retention in one or the other form as mentioned below:

AI provides the HR department with an opportunity to improve the candidate and employee experience by automating repetitive, low-value tasks and freeing up time to focus on the more strategic, creative work that HR needs and want to get done. The use of chatbots, virtual assistants, etc. are helping create a seamless, flexible, and more user-driven employee experience. This is highly useful for large-scale hiring leading to significant improvement in efficiency and scalability. 

From the well laid out plan of introduction of newly hired employees with customization based on their role and level in the organization to sharing of essential information like details of job profile, company’s policies, task assignment, information of team members, etc. is facilitated through AI to enrich the experience of the new joiner. This builds a strong employee connection with the Organization. 

The support of AI-enabled tools develops employees not only based on current gaps but also prepares them for new roles that will undoubtedly require new skillsets with higher analytical, strategic, critical thinking, empathy, and emotional intelligence. The data analytics through some assessments can automatically understand the training needs and assign the individuals to suitable training programs which are in the pipeline as well can prompt HR to plan the same. The employees can self-learn at their own pace and execute their responsibilities according to the Organizational needs. L & D departments are transitioning to agile learning solutions that will blend the individual learning needs to Organizational needs resulting in faster development of the individual with the Organization. 

4. Performance Analytics

AI’s predictive insights with capabilities to support intuition and expertise for determining effective feedback and evaluation. The analytics is highly useful for appraising teams, predicting future potential, prescriptive recommendations for promotions, rotations, compensation increase, training needs, etc through real-time data points. Though in no ways can AI replace the human-centric approach towards coaching, feedback, mentoring the team/s, empathy, and emotional intelligence, however, AI helps to improve accuracy, removes bias, and enables greater foresight for decision making impacting the current and future progression of employees. Feedback on manager’s feedback, revalidation voice empowered with data insights is extremely useful to managers for making critical decisions for their team members. 

5. Retention

AI helps to measure and assess employee turnover risk and intention by automatically scanning massive data repositories,  employee communications, performance records, participation, and attendance. These analytics offer deeper insights and patterns to determine how engaged employees are in the organization in real-time. This allows employers to pre-empt employees movements and discover early signs of flight risks. Managers can act on any such shifts in employee behavior by interactions and intervention tools to mitigate the risk of business disruptions through employees exits.

Thus AI has been directly impacting our lives including work-life balancing, healthy living, learning at our own pace, aligning workloads, scheduling, etc to enable greater flexibility to deliver from anywhere. It is also useful in creating strategies to improve employee experience, cross-company collaboration, productivity, and employee well-being which is a buzzword in such unprecedented times. 

There is no doubt that the use of intelligence and algorithms for predictive and prescriptive analysis has been highly useful for Organizations to create an impact, however, there have some ongoing concerns aside to abridging privacy, continuously populating the user preferences, gathering a lot of information regarding individual tastes, preferences, personal info which is becoming worrisome. 

A few other areas which need attention are:

  1. In case the initial data used to build any model is biased, then it will continue perpetuating the biases as per the algorithms used to provide any further information. 

  2. Though algorithms treat everyone with the same attributes equally, albeit not necessarily fairly.

  3. Difficult to weigh and balance various factors to build predictive analysis with full objectivity

  4. Based on the use of algorithms there is data analytics to predict any corresponding principle to the outcome to address any fairness or genuine concerns. After all, there is a human on the other side.  

With certainly applying due diligence to introduce AI in HR, there is an opportunity to revamp, reinvent and reimage the new work to build a more evolved HR towards building Collaboration, a Competent workforce, ensuring Continuity of Business, Compassion, and Cost optimization to lead the competition. 

Therefore, blending technology with the “human touch” is the new mantra of doing business, and HR needs to be a pioneer in it.

Author – Swati Yadav

As an Executive Coach, my passion is to build businesses through leadership alliances.

“Embrace each challenge in your life as an opportunity for self-transformation”


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