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The AI-HR Scenario

How AI Holds the Potential to Change face of Human resource

This blog on Artificial Intelligence in Human Resource touches the various aspects that stand a chance to change

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Artificial Intelligence has been the second topic which is relatively new and has been at the top of discussions at almost all organisations. The first one currently is COVID-19 and its implications.

While mostly, artificial intelligence has been used in the context of chatbots, conversational AI, improved analytics, hyper-personalisation and a lot more, one thing that has seldom been touched in this context is the importance of Artificial Intelligence in Human Resource.

Now, we do understand the role that Human Resource plays in an average firm be it India or even the Americas. The European nations definitely have a more advanced role for the human resource professionals but most of this comes into play at the time of recruitment of when attrition gets a tad bit uncontrollable.

Till any of these situations have been reached, Human Resource remains more of a support function engaging in employee training, and engagement albeit at restricted budgets.

At Qbikel, we believe in being practical and hence we approach the problems accordingly as well. While we were brainstorming on one of our products, we found that Artificial Intelligence in Human Resource, as a means of training solution provider and even managing the day to day task has made significant inroads already.

We prodded a bit further and came across the following stats and trends:

a) 66% of the CEOs believe that HR can benefit a lot from the integration of cognitive computing

b) 54% of the HR departments (in our research sample) are excited to have their training modules improvised and administered through AI-based solutions.

c) The inclination towards automation and implementation of Artificial Intelligence in Human Resource increases with the experience the Head of the HR department holds.

d) Firms with more than 50 employees show a higher inclination towards implementing Artificial Intelligence in Human Resources as against those with less than 50 employees

e) The costs saved through AI-based training modules and employee engagement are in the range of 13-37% depending upon the size of the firm

What does this Mean?

The very obvious thing to say- it is worth a pilot for sure!

However, that discussion is for a later scene when we sit face to face and discuss the prospects. Till then, let us look at some of the major benefits that implementation of Artificial Intelligence in Human Resource operations can bring in for your firm.

There is one thing though, which we would want to mention before diving into the topic. For long Human Resource has been put on the back burner in the larger scheme of things. Contrary to what all us have been taught in the course of becoming a leader, we tend to give more importance to employee’s efficiency than his morale.

Cases abound where firms started with not-so trained but highly passionate bunch of people and gradually added revenues as well as trained resources. While we understand that taking such a bet isn’t an approach everyone would want to take yet, the mere existence of this very fact means a lot!

Now, without much adieu, let us look at how the application of Artificial Intelligence in Human Resource has been changing the face of People Management

The Major Benefits of Artificial Intelligence in People Management

Application Screening

If some of you aren’t aware of the fact that Artificial Intelligence-based analytic engines have been used by websites like Naukri, Monster, Indeed and many others to shortlist the candidates as per your preference. Not just it saves time and resources but the process is pretty quick- thanks to its years of analysis and huge chunks of data that keeps getting fed to it daily.

The same, albeit simpler models of AI-based analytics can be replicated for the respective human resource departments too. An extension of the same could be an integration with the external engines to source the resumes for internal processing. The filters such as similar industry types, years of experience, keywords handpicked from the candidate’s description etc can be seamlessly applied. In other words, the work that the typical excel sheet needed a lot of time and a decent enough expertise on it would be done with ease.

In addition to these multiple soft skills such as the behaviour of a person under pressure or their overall tone of communication can also be tested using AI engines. It is important to mention here that not just soft skills, but hard work-related skills can also be effectively tested using AI.

Let us give you an example here, a lot of you must be aware of the performance-based skill tests being utilised by several entrance examinations across the globe. When it comes to recruiting, there is usually a certain number of questions that we ask the candidate. Imagine the same being done in a skill relevant manner with every question getting tougher after a correct answer. An arrangement like this will be a clearer indicator of the candidate’s job prowess.

Engagement

With no offence meant at anyone, sadly though the human resource departments have become restricted to some minor events such as rangoli competitions or fancy dress or ethnic days spread across the year. However, you and us, we both know that there is no dearth of ideas. It is just some planning and a few low-cost resources that are required to get the stuff done.

Thankfully though, some recent advancements in Artificial Intelligence have been of much importance there as well. The application of this starts right from the time the employee joins. So, instead of you or one of the HR teammate going over the same presentation for the nth time, and AI-based app or performance engine not just takes the candidate through the ppt but comes back with some questions or quips too. 

Also, when the employee has been entrusted with the task of going through all the policies and standard operating procedures, an AI engine can read out the main points to them, summarising it on the whole.

Similarly, when it comes to later engagements, anonymous feedbacks, motivational messages, weekly puzzles etc are some of the modules which an AI engine can seamlessly integrate into your system

Engagement Monitoring

Now that we have suggested the manners of various engagement that your HR team can do, it is also important that we are able to monitor the same too. The same can again be done through anonymous feedbacks or suggestions for improvement, or even new ideas- all taken as the need be (and mostly anonymously). The idea is that since the identity will not be necessarily divulged, the suggestions would be more honest.

Then once the same has been obtained will start the standard cycle of analysis and improvisation.

Employee Training

Be not surprised but almost every year, an average firm which has over 20 employees spends roughly 2 to 6% of their times, resources and revenues on training the employees. Coupled with moderate to higher attrition rates, the same percentages can go up to twice the numbers we mentioned. 

However, assume a case now whereby there is a dedicated knowledge platform which stores all the information and keeps updating itself with the latest. Further to this, such a platform is able to churn out information on demand. Wouldn’t that be a good idea?

Such an idea was under a pilot with Kotak Mahindra bank till before the COVID hit. Given how high the attrition rates and hence the training costs are for an average bank when it comes to their sales agent, an AI-based training module solved a lot of concerns.

Performance & Efficiency

Performance management has always been an important HR function. SO much so that it isn’t unusual for the HR teams to be part of the performance appraisals. In words of Doug Dennerline, CEO Betterworks, HR is touted to see a new level of data competency soon, so much tha it will help managers and executives make more accurate decisions about their teams without having to wait for the appraisals. As per him, the raw data pulled from analytics can give actionable insights on what do the employees need to work upon for improving their performance or so what exactly has been sort of a red flag for them.

Insights like these can help an average individual improve their performance significantly over time.

Another benefit of an AI-engine giving such feedback would be that it would completely remove the uncomfortable conversations that people have to have with their managers. Since the engine would be giving out feedbacks continuously, things will be easier to act upon without any personal biases creeping in.

In addition to this, an application such as sentimental analysis and behavioural analysis can also enable the departments to get critical insights on their employees’ morale in general. This can also help the managers understand the personality type at the time of recruitment as well.

Better Compliance and Legalities

One not so evident but very relevant aspect which the HR teams have to ensure is the compliance. For a firm to function efficiently without any legal hassles, compliance has to be maintained at multiple levels, starting from the amenities being provided, the labour laws, the technological aspects and even the business dealings.

An AI-based solution can come in really handy in here by not just checking the compliance against the current practices but also sourcing and updating the data as and when required.

Optical Character Recognition or OCRs have become a huge boon in this aspect.

This is because they can easily digitise the existing hard-copies of the paperwork. The digitised data can then be used for comparison and analysis.

Also, periodic checks can be maintained as well. Since it isn’t a human who would be bored or miss out on something because of the fatigue, the AI-engine will be able to do the analysis pretty accurately.

Conclusion

Technology, just like it benefits most has put in some great tools in the hands of HR professionals too. Starting from efficient and smarter recruitments, controlling attritions, improving performance and also understanding the underlying psyche of the team, the avenues are many.

It goes without saying though that all these benefits are as good as the efficiency of their application. Till the time they keep sitting as ideas on a presentation shared by an AI-startup, these ideas will have no value. But, beginning with a pilot to establish the very basis of the benefits and then implementing the same on really large or organisation-wide scales can have multiple benefits.

As per our calculations, the organisations stand to save anywhere within the range of 3 to 14% on their expenses through the application of such models. Now, how did we come to that number?

Why don’t we get on a call to discuss the same!!

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