When it comes to Human Resources (HR) as well as other components of businesses, the future is NOW. Automation and Artificial Intelligence (AI) are radically changing how business leaders manage and operate their workforce.
In the recently conducted annual Harvey Nash Human Resources Survey that involved over a thousand HR leaders from more than forty countries, it was found that as much as 15 percent of HR leaders already utilize technology related to Automation and/or AI within the workplace. Meanwhile, 40 percent HR managers anticipate the same will happen in case of their respective industries, within the next two to five years.
Additionally, more than half of the respondents believe that tech-enabled HR is crucial for business development, and that innovation is ‘very important’. Overall, 86 percent respondents have stated that HR plays a major role in this developmental aspect. Lisa Wormald, director of Harvey Nash Group, stated, “The good news is that HR is not only embracing this innovation, but is a key part of it.”
Various facets of HR benefit from automation and AI. In another survey conducted by IBM’s Institute for Business Value, around 400 chief HR officers were invited as to take part in the survey. 50 percent respondents acknowledged that automation and AI have the capability to transform HR Operations as well as Talent Acquisition and Development.
Automation and AI in action
Intelligent assistants or ‘chatbots’ are now used to simulate human conversations. Some HR leaders are now utilizing chatbots to recruit applicants, respond to inquiries and personalize employee experiences.
Outside offices, these systems are critical to employees who work remotely considering they do not have immediate access to the HR department. Intelligent assistants act as the first line of support in such cases, especially if the HR personnel have their hands full.
In addition, a study by CareerBuilder on employers who use automation revealed that, technology is transforming other facets of HR as well. These include employee benefits, payroll, performance reviews and employee learning and development.
The results have been mostly positive. The data recorded was as follows: 93% increased efficiency; 71% improved candidate experience; 60% enhanced employee experience; 40% increased employee satisfaction; 69% reduced errors; 67% saved money and resources; 28% improved employee retention.
Balance is the key
Although automation and AI yields excellent results, human support should not be completely removed from the equation.
In an article by Telogis entitled Automated Systems Still Need Human Touch, it was emphasized that “automated systems cannot account for the complexity of human behaviour.” Considering the fact that HR focuses heavily on employee behaviour and psychology, the dynamics related to these subjects are still handled best by human cognition.
Supporting the claims, Korn Ferry Hay Group, a world leader in organizational and people advisory, mentioned that human capital still has the greatest value in businesses. Jean-Marc Laouchez, the global solutions managing director of the firm, said, “Although organizations often put technology in the spotlight in the future of work, it is human capital that holds the greatest value for organizations now and in the future.”
Ultimately, automation and AI are not meant to replace the human workforce, but instead complement and improve the workflow of businesses. Rosemary Haefner, chief HR officer of CareerBuilder explains it best: “Automation needs to be incorporated, so the HR team is free to focus on strategies versus tasks, and focus on building relationships with employees and candidates.”
Jennifer Birch forayed into HR straight right after graduation to learn how to effectively balance both the interests of the company as well as its employees. She possesses more than 5 years of working experience and occasionally shares helpful info as well as insights for more seasoned veterans in the industry by writing relevant articles on subject areas that interest organizations with similar passions.
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