Artificial Intelligence… A Disruption or the End of HR?

Even the very best chess playing computer cannot play tic-tac-toe. This is how AI will change HR.
Artificial Intelligence… A Disruption or the End of HR?
By
Andrew Bruzzi

Spoiler alert ⚠️ HR isn’t going away any time soon. We should, however, look into how it is going to change and what AI means to your organization.

What is Artificial Intelligence?

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a computer program designed to perform tasks that would normally require humans such as visual interpretation, speech processing, and decision-making.

What is the current state of AI?

We are seeing AI taking a much greater role within organizations. As a concept, it is acting as the same workforce multiplier as when humans first introduced work animals to farms and they have the same limitations.

How so? Well, you wouldn’t ride an ox into town or use a herding dog to plow a field. AI tools are created for a purpose. They are superhuman in their function but even the very best chess playing computer cannot play tic-tac-toe. Currently, they are purpose-built and we are a long way away from the Artificial General Intelligence (AGI) seen in movies.

In HR, AI is currently being used to read resumes, interview candidates, perform talent reviews, train employees, predict workforce needs, and much more.

Each of these tasks are often performed much better by the AI than their human colleagues.

How Does It Work?

Artificial Intelligence learns in a similar way to humans. You will start off with a goal, train it, test it, and retrain until the goal is complete. Due to the processing power of even our most simple computers, this is done at an exponential rate.

When we hear the term “machine learning” this is referring to the AI learning from its mistakes and getting better over time.

How is AI Changing HR?

Just as with any tool, AI makes the role of HR much more efficient. The time spent in the various functions that we operate in are greatly decreased and better yet, made more accurate.

Role Creation:

When building a job script, it is often purposely vague to allow for as much flexibility as possible. The challenge is that when we do this, the filling of the role becomes more of an estimation of fit than an accurate placement.

By using predictive analytics, we can assess what traits, skills, and duties will create the best fit. When we look at what has been successful in the past, we can predict what will work in the future.

For brand new roles, similar functions can be examined to create a more accurate and specific job script.

Recruiting:

The human biases and limitations of resume review are removed. An AI can review hundreds or even thousands of resumes in the time it takes a human to review one. All of the information is captured, assessed, and compared against the data that the AI trainers have set.

During the interview process, physical or audio tells can be read by the AI. This can be done either independent or in conjunction with a human. This means that your video conference interview can either be fully automated or have an AI running in the background. The AI takes notes and processes all data from the interview.

Your hiring managers are given a shortened list of highly-qualified and pre-vetted candidates.

Talent Management:

Talent reviews are something that no one, regardless of their role within an organization, enjoys. Despite this truth, they are essential to growth of both the individual and organization.

When humans perform an evaluation, we are looking at an instance in time, things have been forgotten, and biases come into play. AI can track and process data on performance, development, and other factors throughout the year. This pulls in the full picture of the individual and can be done in the background without time intensive reviews.

With high-quality metrics, comprehensive profiles are made for each of your employees helping you plan 2–3 roles ahead.

Training and Development:

Training and development can often become repetitive and more time consuming than we would like. Large organizations often have mandatory basic trainings and other opt-in options. This means that there are a lot of people spending a lot of time in a class setting.

With the support of AI, your training and development be automated. Mandatory trainings can be conducted using bots and development courses mapped using the employee’s evaluation. Since the evaluation was also driven by AI, each employee has a matrix built of their individual needs.

Why Is HR Safe?

With all of this information, it would appear that HR does not have a long future but fortunately, that couldn’t be further from the truth.

This simply means that HR is changing and so will the people who work in it.

As we adopt AI technologies into our organizations, we need humans to ensure they are performing correctly. The training and retraining must be done with someone who has an objective basis for what success looks like.

Additionally, we will be needed more for human strategy. As AI takes a larger role in organizations, HR will be the function that is assessing where humans will be most impactful. Similar to the farm animal analogy, we will not be replaced but will need to adapt to the changing times.

The soft skills of HR will always be needed but it is also important to gain more technical knowledge as these technologies advance. Learning their limitations, capabilities, and how to interact with AI puts you at the cutting edge of the field.

To Conclude:

The robots are already here and something to be welcomed 👋🤖

As humans, we are already acting as functional cyborgs with all of human knowledge residing in our pocket in the form of a smart phone. Technology is the first thing that we see in the morning and the last before bed.

It is the responsibility of all of us, most of all in HR, to use these tools responsibly. We train with prioritization — so, what is most valuable to you and your organization? I challenge you to think of that with each task that you perform throughout the day because sometime soon, you will be teaching it to a robot.