The thing which I have learned from my experience in Human Resource, it’s that the technology we use changes constantly but the fundamentals often remain the same. In one of my discussions with a veteran of the HR industry he surprised me by throwing an answer to my question. My ask was to know his thought on what HR professionals have failed at in the past 20 years and his answer was “being organized” but its high time as the technology is getting advanced professionals should also adapt to the advancements.
Nothing to be surprised about, but coming from a person who spent most of his career dealing with notoriety of unionism, my curiosity made me plunge into a deeper discussion where the idea of being organized from an HR professional perspective was explained at lengths. The changing dynamics of success stories moving from initiatives to sustenance of the tacit knowledge of human resource has been missed and there lies the future challenge as per him, but hands on to the latest technology with some smart approach can bring in the change and this is where AI is playing the vital role in the industry.
Human Resource is supposed to be the intermediary between the organization and the people and is supposed to lay the foundation and then manage these rules of engagement. Our biggest challenge in developed and rapidly developing economies have been the shortage of skilled talent pool and as this demand bloats with time the turf war between economies are making it grim for uncompetitive economies and the organizations working within that periphery. Looking at India specifically as the case in my previously mentioned discussion we fail to see innovations in the field of recruitment processes service coordination and also lacking effective central management. Recruitment platforms and social hiring as an example have grown rapidly in acceptance but the next level of thinking in terms of combining the initial fresh hire training merging with recruitment is still absent. This is specially a huge gap in HR ways of working as the highest costs of employees are being recorded post attritions of fresh graduates.
If we focus on Talent acquisition can be one of the most time consuming and frustrating aspects of business. Harsh deadlines and specific requirements, not to mention the piles of applications and resumes, is tough for any recruiter. Tack on retention accountability, candidate experience and employer branding and the job becomes even harder. The emerging HR technology throughout the last decade has strived to take away these many frustrations while improving candidate experience and quality of hire.
The Consumerization of Technology
For quite a while the main individuals utilizing HR programming were HR individuals. That implied that a ton of organizations could escape with making items that weren’t anything but difficult to utilize. In any case, now we have applications for everything, including candidate following frameworks, talk with input programming, date-book applications, benefits administration programming and everything else you can envision.
The thing is, if the HR and recruiting products created today isn’t as easy to use as the apps on our phones, people just won’t use them. So, for probably the first time ever every recruiting and HR company or an IT company has to create products that are easy to use for recruiters, hiring managers, applicants and everyone else. That could bring in huge change.
AI is the present and future
Artificial Intelligence, machine learning, and other “smart” technologies are no longer something in the far-off future. In fact, they are already driving many of the most innovative recruiting and hiring technologies available right now.
Any of the most tedious, cumbersome and time-consuming processes are gradually being automated, which means recruiting teams are getting the opportunity to be more strategic than never before.
Impact on recruiters in AI era?
AI is at the top of the hype cycle right now. “You can ask Alexa what the climate is and it lets you know. In any case, everything it did was look into the climate report on the web, transform that information into words and shared it to you. AI will show signs of improvement, yet at this moment, AI devices are additionally updating. So there is no risk to recruitment specialists as the technology is also at advancement stage.
“It’s a mechanism that takes a huge amount of data and crunches it into something one can easily interpret or analyze. In the hiring context, AI will be able to calculate the probability that one person will be a better hire than another person by looking for patterns that come closest to the criteria you input.”
That’s basically what recruiters do in their heads now when considering candidates, weighing some attributes more than other attributes, maybe at a subconscious level which at times lead to wrong selection.
It’s in crunching the large unstructured data where AI is playing the important role. “We all use structured data, like figures on a spreadsheet that can be counted and multiplied. Let us assume ‘we interviewed 35 people, made 14 offers and had 5 accepts,’ that’s expressing or deriving the results from structured data. But being able to look at what someone says or writes and understand it and make decisions based on it, such as in reviewing resumes and online profiles—that is using unstructured data. That’s where AI is attempting to do better than recruiters do.
AI can also process data much more quickly than the human mind, of course. But it needs a lot of data to be of value. “The more data you have, the better your decisions,” Wheeler said. “You need thousands of data points to get accurate predictions. If you’re only using hiring data from 100 or 150 people, you’re getting highly skewed results.”
How AI Will Affect Recruiting
Chatbots are an example of emerging AI on the market the easy example can be taken from social media messaging apps be its LinkedIn or Facebook messenger where application automatically reply to your message and most of the time delivers accurate response(yes but it does take user consent before replying). So the most basic chatbots can be useful for initial candidate interactions and can improve careers site retention. “All they do is read a list of FAQs. The average chatbots can schedule interviews and screen candidates with basic questions. More sophisticated ones can match candidates and do basic search.”
AI will enhance workforce planning, that’s where AI can be incredibly helpful, to find patterns among data.”AI will transform recruiting from largely a transactional function—scheduling, interviewing, clerical routine stuff—into something that truly adds value to the company.”
Few more Challenges need to address:
And then the quality issues of the hires coming from our education system, being openly discussed happens to be the next source of worry. With organizations and businesses investing significant energy and time it is a natural obligation of HR from a business partner perspective to be innovative and move towards influencing quality and relevant curriculum in the space of education. The tying up of corporates with the fine balance of time relevant education practices lies as an opportunity which is rarely being demonstrated by the HR fraternity, leaving some honorable exceptions aside. Employee retention naturally is also tied up to the same framework. The other aspect of the same issue is to move to the more unconventional forms of hiring. Contract is going to be the next big thing in the Indian job market and the change management is tough. Proactive work on Compensation and rewards is the right solution to this upcoming trend. There are organizations which have found some success in this space but the learning needs to be shared, as it is being concentrated in limited industries and remains to be seen a popular choice with future employees and executives.
The natural or conventional role of HR has been optimizing productivity but this has to move from the abstracts of motivation and training imperatives. Identifying poor work practices and resource crunches is moving to the next level of maximizing efficiencies through technology. Disruptive initiatives both in terms of technology and internal consulting practices of governance and service frameworks have changed the new age HR. Project Management and communication at a constant pace of change has become the need of the hour for the HR professional. In some of the surveys conducted with global samples of professionals it is to our surprise that we find the acknowledgement of job for HR as being policies, processes and people management programs, but few enlisting the HR job role to be connecting the dots to enhance resource output, engagement with long term vision, business financials and technology together. This strategic alliance of these elements enables consistency in improvement objective of increased productivity without additional strain of size, cost or infrastructure.
Globalization in its youth has benefitted a lot of economies, but the essence of the continuity lies in addition and improvement. Constant environment changes are leading to newer demands and several issues in HR domain. We are working in a compact yet globalized ecosystem where the need is to influence the input at our end matching it with the output from the ecosystem thus influencing the output that we further want to achieve which can be searched in organization vision. This can be managed when we have a technologically advances and informed HR which is “organized” and is serious for its next role as influencer to the initial line of quality resource from where it starts.
By: Priyanka Anand, Vice President and Hear, HR Global Operations, Ericsson