Taking the Human Out of Human Resources? Using AI to Get the Upper Hand.
With the war for talent raging on, AI has an important role to play in turning HR challenges into opportunities.
As the Fourth Industrial Revolution barrels down the track at full steam, organizations are racing to identify ways that emerging technology breakthroughs can help increase productivity and efficiency, decrease overhead, and ultimately impact the bottom line. While artificial intelligence (AI) stands to revolutionize many areas of business across virtually all industries, perhaps no function is riper for disruption than talent management.
“[The talent management] system is fundamentally not working for companies, candidates, or the economy,” Fast Companyquotes startup executive Frida Polli as saying. The magazine points to a January 2018 survey of the C-suite that found that attracting and retaining talent is executives’ number one concern, even more worrisome than the threat of competitive disruption or the global economy.
It’s easy to see why: Record low unemployment and a widening skills gap are driving an unprecedented war for talent—the U.S. now has more open jobs than there are people actively seeking employment. And the challenge doesn’t stop with identifying and hiring talent; in a recent blog post we discussed how performance management is also due for an overhaul.
HR seems particularly well-suited to benefit from AI capabilities, considering the disproportionately large number of administrative and repetitive tasks involved in recruiting, retaining, and managing talent. There are stories of companies employing AI to study job candidates and predict which ones have the highest probability of success in a given role, while also drastically reducing candidate screening times. It can help streamline performance reviews and deliver more real-time feedback to participants. And importantly, AI can help eliminate bias and discrimination pertaining to candidates’ race, sex, age, or religion—something even bias awareness and avoidance training is rarely successful at.
One interesting thing to note is that the most successful talent technology implementations are rarely driven from the top down; rather, the need bubbles up on the front lines of the business and potential solutions are tried and then refined there as well. TheHarvard Business Review notes that it’s important for HR get brought into the process early on—to help ensure alignment with the broader business, for one, and to make scaling up easier when it’s warranted—but it should be in an enabling role, not as the owner. A department long known for its rules and red tape, HR must carefully avoid stifling the innovation, creativity, and flexibility of front-line managers who are working to adopt the highly sought-after agile mindsets.
The war for talent could likely be the largest, most confounding battle your company faces in the coming years. Act now to learn how AI can help you gain the upper hand and turn your talent challenges into opportunities. Let’s start a conversation.