By Manoj Chiba

As we have all come to realize our fears of being replaced by machines was largely overblown, AI has firmly taken root in many organisations across the world, forcing transformation rather than displacement. Once in the realm of Science Fiction, we are at the cusp of being driven autonomously, diaries organized by virtual assistants, and intelligent machines telling us when to order more bread, and in some cases performing the action autonomously. It is no wonder that AI has and is being leveraged for its transformative potential by individuals, organizations and countries.

AI is transforming functions within organizations, however understanding what and how AI is affecting HR, is arguably the most debated and discussed areas. My own work corroborated by MIT and IBM show at a high-level that the workplace is being transformed:

  • Most jobs will change as new technologies such as AI become ubiquitous, but few jobs will actually disappear;
  • The way we work has changed; and
  • Tasks increasing in value across higher and lower wage livelihoods are grounded in intellectual skill and insights, requiring to an extent, physical flexibility, common sense, judgment, intuition, and spoken language – not AI strengths!

This naturally leads us to asking: So how is HR leveraging AI?

  1. Viewing and updating employee information.
  2. Team training: conversational AI can help employees and managers track training progress.
  • The hiring process: cognitive solutions can help organizations look into multiple data sources and reveal new insights for better candidate profiles, improving the hiring and recruitment process
  1. Access to HR Business transaction data: Conversational AI can bring analytical and key performance indicator information up, for example top performers, by just asking chatbots
  2. Automation of highly repetitive, low-value tasks.

The how and now coupled with the what of the intersection of AI and HR, provides us with a core understanding of the transformative power of AI. Increasingly, AI is being used within the HR domain specifically, to drive these functions across the HR value chain:

  • Recruitment: Analysis of candidates resume to cross-check declared skills against skills of successful employees with the same/similar job titles.
  • Automation of administrative tasks: Provision equipment.
  • Onboarding: Briefing of individuals about their job profile, tasks, benefits, important company contacts, setting-up company systems, and identifying and answering repetitive new employee questions.
  • Training: Company e-learning platforms leverage AI to improve employee job-related skills by recommending, planning, organizing, and coordinating employee training;
  • Retention: AI technologies let HR teams prepare individually adapted feedback surveys, reward systems, and recognition programmes that engage employees.

While you may still have visions of interacting with robots when AI is mentioned, the ability of AI to transform HR is indisputable – transforming how we work as employees and how and what parts of the HR value chain it can add value to. AI gives us the most valuable resource back – time – to focus on value adding tasks. AI is set to provide us with compelling set of real-time experiences, increased productivity, and human progress but we need to leverage the potential of AI, else others will, and we will be left behind.