AI! AI! You hear it everywhere these days: in your Twitter feed, emblazoned on HR tech companies’ trade show booths and probably in your last meeting.
What is AI? How will AI change the way HR functions? And how can your organization prepare for AI?
Relax. TalentCulture has you covered. Keep reading for our AI for HR 101. Want to learn more or share with your team? Download the handy AI for HR cheat sheet.
How can your organization prepare for AI?
Listen to Tim Griffiths: Is AI Ready for Us?
- Why AI Is More than Just a Buzzword (9:14)
- How Recruiting Organizations are Using AI Right Now (15:03)
- Best Practices for AI Adoption (23:25)
- The Modern Recruiter (34:08)
- If We Touch Something Three Times, We Automate It (39:38)
How will AI change the way HR functions?
Listen to Ben Eubanks: How AI Will Change HR
- Why Recruiting is Fertile Ground for AI (7:46)
- How AI Can Make Coaching More Effective (10:43)
- The Future of Retention (15:05)
- Keeping Bias out of AI (16:20)
- Misconceptions About AI (19:07)
More reading about AI and its impact on HR
Artificial intelligence (AI) has streamlined many human resource processes. These sophisticated computer programs excel at recognizing patterns, planning and adapting in ways that mimic human thought. Unlike people, however, who can grow tired, bored or even bring unconscious biases into their decisions, AI programs are fast, tireless and efficient.
But the “human” aspect of human resources should not be neglected. From making the final hiring decisions to finding creative ways to keep workers engaged, HR directors know their employees and their organization in ways AI software doesn’t. AI automates repetitive tasks, giving HR team members more time to get to know employees, shape company culture and address issues that crop up in the workplace.
AI can find out if a certain hire might be a good fit or whether an employer is going to suffer from a skills gap. It can look at how we’ve been recruiting and find the weak points to make predictions and recommendations. And it can refine its own processes, looking at prior successes and failures to amplify or reframe its own approach.
Instead of a recruiter having to devote long hours to manually search through 200 contacts on a spreadsheet, AI creates a recruiting nerve center that can search and analyze massive volumes of applicants.
With 250 positions to fill, there’s little time to spend on potentially poor hires. But AI has already created predictive analytics on who may make the grade and be a great fit. A whole array of criteria has been used to create screenings and pinpoint promising matches, and the HR team can rely on the data to help narrow down the best candidates for each position — and find candidates that might be better fits for other positions they may not have applied for.
What should you know about AI and bias?
AI can reduce unconscious bias in two ways.
- AI makes sourcing and screening decisions based on data points. Recruiting AI sources and screens candidates by using large quantities of data. It combines these data points using algorithms to make predictions about who will be the best candidates. The human brain just can’t compete when processing information at this massive scale. AI assesses these data points objectively – free from the assumptions, biases and mental fatigue that humans are susceptible to.
- AI can be programmed to ignore demographic information about candidates. Recruiting AI can be programmed to ignore demographic information about candidates such as gender, race and age that have been shown to bias human decision-making. It can even be programmed to ignore details such as the names of schools attended and ZIP codes that can correlate with demographic-related information such as race and socioeconomic status
A study published in JAMA found that smartphone AIs like Siri, Cortana and Google Now severely underperform in responding to queries involving physical ailments, depression and even sexual assault. Writer Sara Wachter-Boettcher relates her own experience on her Medium blog, reporting that when she asked for help with rape, sexual assault and sexual abuse, all she received from Siri was one of her pre-programmed snarky remarks telling her that sexual abuse “is not a problem.” Apple responded almost immediately by reprogramming Siri to send users mentioning sexual assault and rape to RAINN’s National Sexual Assault Hotline.
More reading about how HR can prepare
Concentrate on communicating. In terms of recruiting, that means anticipating confusion and setting better expectations. We may start to see job postings where there’s a human side — such as innovating or adding knowledge — and a machine side — such as repetitive administrative tasks. And managers can use mobile apps to take employees’ pulse can keep lines of communication open without interrupting the workday. Teams can create surveys to compile key data on workforce readiness or reservations. On the leading edge there are often more people who feel than people who know. That will change, but not as fast as we’d like.