Where AI and HR Meet

Julie Shenkman
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Artificial intelligence remains a hot topic among many tech companies, and human resources departments stand to gain a lot of from this trend in 2017. Companies continue to expand investment in this technology, and billions of dollars pour into firms that create advances in software to improve performance of AI programs. Every aspect of society, including the workplace, benefits from artificial intelligence in some way or another.

Why Artificial Intelligence?

Artificial intelligence helps computer programs become more efficient when given more data. That's how Amazon's Alexa regularly learns new tasks and how chatbots become better at mimicking human behavior. Machine learning drives a customer service initiative at Staples that seeks to automate the ordering and customer service.

Chatbots, combined with mobile digital assistants, handled as much as $2 billion in online transactions in 2016. Experts believe that number should increase in 2017. Physicians and health care companies use artificial intelligence to notice patterns in patient care, diagnose patients and monitor the care of people. Human resources benefit from AI by developing digital assistants and chatbots to improve the employee experience.

Leadership Takes the Reins

For artificial intelligence to become the norm in HR departments, leadership must take the reins by realizing chatbots and digital assistants improve the employee experience while gathering important data at the same time. Talent acquisition software taps into data to mine sources for hires, search online profiles for information, schedule interviews and help narrow the field of candidates. Talla is a chatbot that enhances the hiring process by conducting surveys and suggesting interview questions based on the role.

An investment in AI could save staff time simply by automating little things regarding every day, mundane HR tasks. Coming up with an interview question for a position may just take a few minutes for a human to do, but an AI program can learn new and better questions as people input more questions into the program. If HR staffers conduct hundreds of interviews per year, those few minutes of time turn into several hours saved per year in terms of staff time. That extra time allows humans to focus on other processes.

Chatbot Answers

Just like chatbots answer customer questions, these programs can also interact with employees by resolving frequently asked questions in the workplace. For instance, a chatbot can recognize an employee is about to go into overtime or worked all day without a break. A chatbot can appear on the person's computer screen to suggest taking a yoga class, heading to the gym or going on a jog to a nearby park.

Chatbots can gather sentiment analysis data to gauge the response of employees to new initiatives. This type of software can also improve performance management to boost efficiency, provide continuous feedback and engage with a workforce regularly. Chatbots learn to recognize when some aspect of HR doesn't work properly based on how employees interact with the program.

Artificial intelligence isn't just a science-fiction concept anymore, nor does it portend some future technology. As of 2017, AI is here and it continues to improve all aspects of the labor force. HR departments should look at this tool as a way to improve operations.

Photo courtesy of cooldesign at FreeDigitalPhotos.net


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