Artificial Intelligence and the field of Human Resources

Posted in Human Resources Articles, Total Reads: 1637 , Published on 17 February 2016
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This article focuses on how Artificial Intelligence is invading the field of HR. In the present VUCA scenario, even a little careless attitude may lead an organization towards death. The competition may be in the form of products, services, resources or technology. Thus, while companies pay good attention towards enhancing their products and services, they should not forget the human resources that form the backbone of the organization.

Management of Human Resources comprises a broad range of different processes, including staffing, performance management, career development and employee compensation. In addition to the particular platforms needed to run these HR functions, executives also need to anticipate the major trends in technologies that might impact HR as much as other areas of business.


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With so many challenges in a globally changing market, the forces that drive a new employment economy range from workforce trends that change the way we work, data trends where we encounter new and varied information, company trends with the changing outlook of traditional business as well as job trends emerging as a result of a need of multi-dimensional skills and backgrounds for a certain role. These trends might affect an Organization in terms of finding the right talent and attracting them at the right time. In this highly competitive market, it has to be ensured that employees give positive returns on investments right from the hiring stage till the time they are a part of the organization. But the same has become a herculean task for large organizations because the data that needs to be gathered, stored and analyzed is becoming huge as the days pass. Thus, a methodical transformation is required addressing the concerns of entire knowledge spectrum.


To cater to these needs, a lot of new trends have been emerging in HR around data ranging from Social Data, Big Data and Data Analytics. But the one that’s gaining ground is the use of Artificial Intelligence in HR processes. AI can enter HR domain by tracking Employee Engagement data, Supporting Employee Development, Identifying the right talent, Tracking Policies, Verifying Skill-Job Fit, Performing Background Checks and tracking the employee referral network. According to the Internet and Mobile Association of India, India's internet user base has grown to 354 million in the year 2015. Out of these users, 125 million are on Facebook, around 22 million are on Twitter and 30 million use Linked In. The need for interaction with such kind of online data for the continuous monitoring and identification of individual competencies create the opportunity for applying Artificial Intelligence.


AI goes beyond search key words by translating uncommon search terms and finding hidden patterns. Most candidate search solutions can only find candidates that use the same words as used in your job description. If you say Software Engineer, you'll get only those people who use exactly that term in their title. But there are high chances of you missing the perfect candidate who happens to possess the right skills but uses a different job title. Artificial intelligence uses data clustering techniques by using statistical reasoning to determine whether two entities are the same. The matching algorithm would evaluate if a “coder” and “software developer” are likely to be similarly skilled person. This process is different significantly from the current industry standard that is to create a set of guidelines and rules to process and filter data. Thus the refined searching and matching process is rendered successful with higher precision, better results and an extremely lesser turnaround time.


The most important element of Artificial Intelligence is that it gets smarter with increased use. It adjusts to the patterns it recognizes with experience. So if you hire marketing executive with a certain background and experience level, it would be recorded and every time you accept or reject a match the system finds for you, it begins to understand that pattern and adjusts the types of recommendations it forwards to you.


In the current era of Social Recruiting where data in the so-called social "ether" is growing and becoming increasingly relevant in workplace decision making, not every data follows the traditional rule of recruiting. People talk about their skills in different ways. Their job titles are unique and creative. While all of this seems fun and engaging, it can make it even harder to find people. AI based data matching has no problem with these anomalies. It loves even the funkiest of all titles be it the Chief Moral Officer or the Chief Idea Officer.


Time is not far when the future of hiring would be based on your recent search history including articles seen, updates on LinkedIn, shopping patterns, your credit report, the quality of your group discussion, health records and your life satisfaction score compared to your peers. There might be job suggestions by your personal AI advisor who would arrange phone calls for you with the hiring manager to make your life easy. To lighten your burden, an expert system might provide you with your current individual balance sheet of strengths and weaknesses and a list of things that you must do in the next 12 months to meet your personal and professional goals. It can get as fascinating as it seems.


Artificial Intelligence is becoming more commonplace, so this type of reality is not that far, especially since recruiters do much of this even now but manually. There is a need to rapidly invest in technology to leverage the advantages of such expert systems in the field of human resources. HR departments should be heading towards modeling how high performers behave, how they get hired and why they get promotions rather than continuing to hire people based on their skills, experience and personality. While this future might sound really scary for some of the job seekers and for those doing the hiring, it should rather be welcomed. Ultimately, the goal of AI tools is to deliver high value human resources information that can be used to drive revenue or reduce operational burdens.


This article has been authored by Dolly Arora from IMI New Delhi



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