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How AI is Transforming HR

Although a general AI that can take over the world isn’t on the cards for the foreseeable future, narrow AI is here and it is changing the way businesses operate. AI is transforming the way talent and HR teams attract, screen, recruit, and manage employees.

To stay competitive in today’s talent market, organizations need to look at ways to automate time-consuming parts of their decision-making process using AI tools.

In this article, we focus on the 2 main areas that are seeing rapid disruption with AI-based tools: Talent Acquisition and Learning and Development

Talent acquisition

Right from crafting better and gender-neutral job descriptions to helping select the best candidate, AI is already disrupting talent acquisition. Within talent acquisition, AI is being used for:

Application process

AI can make the initial phases of the hiring process interactive and engaging. Instead of getting applicants to fill out boring forms, companies can get candidates to chat with AI personalities to learn more about their interests and skills.

Sourcing

AI can help prioritize candidates who have the required experience, reach out to candidates with personalized messaging, and focus on passive candidates who are more likely to be looking for a switch. While AI can be very effective in sourcing for candidates based on hard skills or experience, a human recruiter might be able to source better profiles for managerial roles.

Repetitive work

Instead of having to respond to each candidate’s queries about the hiring process, work culture, leave policy, companies can employ intelligent chatbots to do it at scale, offering faster responses and better candidate experience.

Skills-based hiring

An AI can go through hundreds or thousands of resumes off the hands of the recruiter by effectively screening them for the minimum required skills, and present the recruiter with a prioritized list of shortlisted candidates. The result is a much more efficient hiring process, with much better candidate experience. Tools like Adaface automate first-round interviews with a skills assessment chatbot.

The thing that AI is not great at assessing is the soft skills aspect. Evaluating the cultural fit is much more complex than testing for measurable skills. So the ideal way to implement AI processes would be to use in the initial phases of the hiring process to go from hundreds of mostly unqualified applicants to a select list of qualified candidates who can be interviewed by the hiring manager.

Managerial and executive positions often require skill sets that an AI would not be able to screen for. Fortunately, at that level, the number of applicants is also much fewer and can be screened manually by the hiring manager.

The first 80% of the recruiting process (sourcing and screening), which also happens to be the most tiring and takes the longest, is the part that AI can automate. The other 20%, engaging and interviewing is what humans are good at and an AI cannot automate. This allows recruitment teams to focus on what matters- vetting top candidates.

Read More: Put your People First: An Open Letter to CEOs

Learning and Development

According to a study by Wiley Education Services, 64% of HR leaders in 2019 said that they have a skills gap in their company, up from 52% in 2018. With the skills gap growing every day, organizations inevitably start looking at AI for corporate learning and development.

While L&D has been an area of active investment for enterprise companies for the past several decades, one key challenge is the lack of personalization. For lack of better alternatives, L&D has been offering generic learning modules making employee training programs feel like a chore, as opposed to a growth opportunity.  Instructor-led generic training programs also make it difficult to measure learning impact, which makes it difficult to measure ROI.

On the other hand, AI can deliver a personalized upskilling experience for every employee in the workforce, making it easier to measure learning outcomes and ROI. With gamification and more engaging content, AI can recommend modules based on the employee’s current skill level, making it an opportunity for upskilling and staying relevant in the job market. This can foster a culture of continuous learning, as opposed to a 6-monthly instructive course.

While AI has the potential to disrupt all HR functions from talent acquisition to employee onboarding and engagement, the human part of human resources is crucial too. AI can be a great way to complement HR teams: AI merely provides ways to automate the grunt work and enables them to focus on more important tasks like shaping company culture and addressing employee concerns. Some things clearly need a human touch.