AI has the potential to streamline and customize every aspect of the HR and recruitment process — but how?
The term artificial intelligence typically conjures images of robots — mostly because Hollywood has done a great job conflating the two.
Blockbusters aside, artificial intelligence refers to the simulation of human intelligence in machines that are programmed to think like humans. The term is also used to describe a machine that shows traits associated with human minds, for example, the ability to learn or solve problems.
Investment in AI has soared in recent times. According to CB Insights, funding into startups hit a new high of $26.6 billion in 2019 and a 2017 PWC report estimated that AI could potentially contribute $15.7 trillion to the global economy by 2030.
If applied properly and to the right processes, AI does have the potential to unlock product enhancements, stimulate consumer demand, boost automation, and drive greater customization, attractiveness, and affordability.
But what does it mean for HR?
Our daily interactions with AI — Apple’s Siri or Amazon’s Alexa — run the risk of reducing the technology to menial tasks like relaying the weather or playing our favorite songs, but artificial intelligence’s potential in the workplace is endless.
In the realm of HR, AI has the potential to improve processes including recruitment, retention, and engagement, helping businesses reap the benefits of automation by freeing humans of time-consuming tasks.
Technology allows humans to maximize efficiency across the board and AI is no different. Artificial intelligence can be used to automate repetitive, low-value tasks, therefore, allowing employees to focus on more strategic and valuable work.
For example, businesses often rely on AI to automate common tasks such as answering questions or requests. Being able to deploy an AI to do this will also bring cost savings and efficiencies.
Businesses can also leverage AI to streamline the recruitment process and create a unique candidate experience.
On a more basic level, imagine being able to use an AI to schedule interviews, provide candidate feedback, and answer questions in real-time. Now imagine all the free time your employees could devote to strategic functions.
The technology can also be used to select candidates that meet necessary requirements. Some AI platforms use proprietary algorithms to determine which candidates are adequate by analyzing speech patterns, tone, and facial expressions during an interview scenario.
AI can also be used to retain talent by figuring out which individuals are thinking of changing jobs. AI platforms can track employee activity, email, and internet browsing history to determine whether those specific individuals are considering applying for work elsewhere.
They do this by analyzing data to determine what a normal baseline of activity looks like before flagging potential outliers to the employer.
Diversity and inclusion are at the top of the HR agenda.
AI algorithms can help hiring teams identity and eradicate bias, allowing HR professionals to go beyond their own feelings and emotions, avoiding situations where people hire candidates based on their own image.
On the flip side, it’s important to note that bias can actually seep into the AI algorithms. Artificial intelligence systems learn to make decisions based on training data. This data can include biased human decisions based on historical or social inequities.