Embracing AI can free HR to focus on better services

In a digital world, we have more data than we know what to do with. Unfortunately, this leads to digital overload in both our personal and professional lives. While it’s great that we have all the information we’ll ever need to answer questions and queries, finding the time to begin making sense of all of this information is where everyone is struggling.

This is the conundrum today’s HR teams find themselves in. With new digital tools for collecting all manner of workforce data, they have the potential to begin making valuable and strategic HR decisions. But more and more, we see HR teams that are bogged down with the day to day minutiae of answering employee queries and performing manual administration.

Beyond the effect on the HR team, this leads to poor experiences for your employees. HR should be laser focused on providing the services and experiences that employees expect if they are to improve retention, productivity and engagement across the workforce.

Fortunately, artificial intelligence (AI) is proving to be a potential game changer for HR teams, in the same way it has begun revolutionising our lives outside of the office. Many of us now regularly engage with some form of AI each day, whether we’re aware of it or not. From Siri to Alexa, our even the AI that underpins our Facebook and Google preferences, AI enables us to make faster and more effective decisions by streamlining the information we need, precisely when we need it.

Like most areas of the enterprise, there are almost limitless applications for HR. In terms of where the greatest utility can be seen for HR teams today, we see five key areas where AI allows HR teams to create better services for employees.

Updating employee information – Whether for a new or established employees, maintaining accurate and up to date records is a key function of HR. Through AI-enabled interfaces, new or current employees can be prompted to input or update their details at various intervals, and managers can be notified to prompt employees for these details.

Learning and development – Developing L&D programs that employees will engage with is a key challenge for HR teams. By creating digital training and skill-gap assessments that leverage AI, L&D modules can be tailored for each specific employee. Additionally, AI chatbots can be used in the training to provide feedback and create greater knowledge transfer.

Recruitment – The recruitment process can be arduous because of the sheer volume of information and variables for decision making. AI can be leveraged to develop cognitive insights about the right candidates, while also ensuring that a proportion of bias is removed from the decision making process. With the best available information for which candidate will be most suitable, we can ensure we are getting the best people.

Streamlining workforce data – Between KPI metrics, team performance, headcounts and budgets, there is a large amount of information that HR teams need to wrangle to make workforce planning decisions. With AI-powered workforce planning solutions, they can bring these disparate datasets together to make more intuitive decisions that take into account the widest range of factors.

Removing manual processes – We know that far too many HR processes require low value manual labour for HR personnel. Between standard onboarding processes for new employees, triaging employee questions and requests, and basic leave and benefits management, the day quickly disappears. By automating many of these manual processes through AI-powered tools, HR teams can then switch their focus to those activities that provide the greatest value.

This piece was written by Presence of IT's Marita Mewett and published on LinkedIn.