HR, Thought Leaders

How AI and Automation Can Impact HR

September 24, 2019

by Puja Parekh

Digital Marketing Strategist & Inbound Marketer

AI and automation can be useful in different areas of HR practices such as recruitment, talent management, and workplace administrative management. Not only has AI become a necessity in the digital age, but it plays a pivotal role in enhancing workplace productivity and changing how people work.

Human resources (HR) is at the heart of any organization. HR reps are superheroes who are mostly occupied in time-consuming missions to deliver high value-add tasks. From setting up recruitment ads to candidate assessment, scheduling interviews to onboarding and employee engagement, and grievance support to performance analysis—HR personnel truly need some respite.   

Companies should consider implementing artificial intelligence (AI) and automation to support their HR team. AI has recently become prominent in almost every major industry vertical, including:

  • Healthcare
  • Travel
  • Advertising
  • Finance
  • Legal
  • Education
  • Transportation
  • Workforce automation

Now, it’s being seen as an essential organizational asset to better productivity.

How AI and Automation Impacts HR

  1. Streamlined processes
  2. Automated employee recruitment and employee administration
  3. Improved return on investment

The Current State of Automation and AI in Workplace Management

In a 2017 Forrester study, researchers predicted that nearly 24.7 million jobs will be displaced by 2027. But the good news is that about 14.9 million new jobs are estimated to be created in the next decade courtesy of new technologies like AI.

When AI is strategically combined with intelligent automation, it can transform the workplace by augmenting HR practices and coming up with tactical workforce management solutions.

The graph below describes the state of AI usage in the workplace for enterprises.

state of ai for workplace enterprises


Here, we see that about 33% of enterprises plan to use AI in the near future. Around 62% plan to implement AI tech this year, and 38% are already using AI in their operations.

It’s clear that AI is becoming a must have in growing companies, especially when it comes to HR. Organizations can harness the potential of AI to drive workplace efficiency, creating a more flexible, superior, user-driven employee experience.

How AI and Automation Can Streamline HR Practices

As your organization’s HR team struggles to multi-task a plethora of responsibilities, you should consider how AI can help streamline certain labor-intensive tasks. The hiring process, in particular, is one segment that calls for maximum involvement.

Some challenges that recruiters face include:

  • Managing interview schedules
  • Tracking candidates and interview follow-up
  • Successful execution of the interview process
  • Talent assessment for the right candidate
  • Culture-fit assessment
  • Confirming candidate selection
  • Ensuring timely onboarding

One solution is to streamline the candidate selection phase through process automation. Not only can it help recruiters increase their pipeline of candidates, but it can also help identify quality applicants that fit your current job requirement.

There are many engaging techniques that you can use before an interview to refine your selection list more efficiently, such as:

  • Questionnaires
  • Videos
  • Personality tests

By implementing algorithms to pre-assess candidates, AI can play a pivotal role in detecting a candidate’s technical and behavioral skills. This also alleviates the recruiters’ time spent screening candidates.

Similarly, process automation can also facilitate internal mobility by aggregating peer and manager feedback. Having a continuous evaluation process allows HR to better determine promotions and roles based on the person’s talent, skills, and annual performance analysis.

How AI-Based HR Solutions Work

Hiring managers frequently have trouble meeting their company’s recruitment goals, the prime limitation being the number of candidates that they’re able to identify and interview.

Cognitive solutions powered by AI can help organizations tap into multiple data sources to uncover innovative insights. This process can be useful to build and assess candidate profiles quickly before initiating the interview process.

Below, we’ll discuss how automation powered by AI can make the pre-hire (recruitment) and post-hire (employee engagement) process a seamless experience for both HR and the candidate/employee.  

1. Automating Recruitment

The traditional HR recruitment process is grueling and tiresome, with hiring managers and their recruiters engrossed in time-consuming, data-loaded tasks. Amidst this tedious process, there are growing cases of interviewees becoming frustrated and dropping out of recruitment.

Automation and AI have been able to diminish the hire regret by 75%, saving time, effort and frustration for both candidates and recruiters. HR can effortlessly implement these latest tech tools to communicate with the candidate and deliver a seamless experience.

  • Use automated workflows to ensure consistent forms and procedures. These forms should be accessible on a cloud-based platform anywhere and everywhere.
  • Use AI and automation for competitive hiring.
  • Program AI systems to compare a candidate’s qualifications to the job posting and filter out candidates who do not meet the basic requirements. Recruiters no longer have to read through a pile of resumes to identify the best candidates. Algorithms can get the job done by filtering out keywords.
  • Recruitment chatbots can help spark candidate engagement. Here, automated messages can efficiently answer pre-screened questions and schedule an interview when it comes to managing large applicant pools.
  • Use AI to send automated emails and messages to keep candidates in the loop. Engage them with small bytes of information about the company and let them know that the hiring process is still active. This can go a long way in reducing candidate drop-out.

Keep in mind that Algorithms and AI can’t do it alone. Humans have to work alongside machines to deliver maximum efficiency. Once your AI solution has connected you to the top talent, it’s best to leave the final culture fit assessment to the hiring manager’s discretion.

2. Automating Employee Engagement and Administration

AI and automation can also place a crucial role in streamlining your organization’s post-hire process. It can play a role in everything, from onboarding and regular performance analysis to addressing employee grievances and even carrying out employee engagement.

  • Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is known to reduce new employee onboarding process duration by 90 percent, simply by automating tasks like sending emails and pushing forms.
  • Streamline procedures related to new hires by using web-based process automation.
  • Use automation to roll out policy implementation and changes using modified AI chatbots. This allows employees to ask questions on a range of policy topics.
  • Use workflow automation to provide standard procedures and centralized communication between HR, supervisors, finance, and the employees.
  • Harness process automation to analyze and compare employee performance to company goals. This is gathered based on data from automated workflows.
  • Employees can also view their own accomplishments and review defined expectations through an interactive dashboard.

Boost ROI with HR Automation

AI-powered automation has the potential to play a pivotal role in transforming HR, streamlining your workforce and maximizing returns for your business. However, this requires a change in your company’s core organizational/operational strategy.

Businesses need to continually improve process efficiencies while boosting employee productivity.

This is a crucial point, considering the fact that 60% of a company's cost is labor.

Automation with AI is the smartest way to get the maximum output out of your organization. Below is a workforce skills model from McKinsey & Company.

total hours worked 2016 vs 2030


McKinsey’s report predicts that that AI and automation will reduce the time spent on physical/manual skills and basic cognitive skills while shifting the focus to social and technological skills. It’s the shift in skills that the workforce needs.

Likewise, adopting AI and automation can boost HR practices, improving an organization’s workforce productivity. From streamlining the recruitment process to talent management and administration, AI-powered automation is the way forward.

AI Automation Can Have a Tremendous Impact

Nowadays, automation is a necessity and not a luxury.  As AI continues to disrupt the traditional HR process, hiring managers and practitioners need to balance these cognitive tech advancements with transparency.

If your organization is ready to augment and amplify its HR efforts through AI, remember that AI and automation are meant to automate tasks, not jobs. When used correctly, AI can go a long way in supporting upskilling and lifelong learning.

The world is going through a digital transformation, and it’s important to have the humans work alongside machines and deliver value that can boost efficiency and make more business sense.

Is your organization ready to take the leap?

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