Strategic HR

3 Ways AI Tools Can Make HR More Effective

Voice-commanded assistants from Google and Amazon have quickly become standard in our homes, but the next space artificial intelligence (AI)-powered tools are entering is our workplaces—including the HR department.

Source: ktsimage / iStock / Getty Images Plus

While household helper bots may save us a few seconds by telling us the weather or a dinner recipe, the introduction of AI tools—such automated assistants in the enterprise—open up enormous potential to upend inefficient workflows, boost productivity by handling menial tasks, and augmenting our effectiveness at work.

What this means for HR is not only smarter ways of working on standard duties like hiring, but also the unlocking of new value for employees through greater engagement and sharing of information.

1. AI Can Cut Admin Tasks Like Booking Meetings, Drafting Contracts

The following statistic is universal, but with significant implications for HR: It’s estimated that managers spend nearly an hour a day scheduling meetings, a big waste of time that would be more productively spent doing, well, basically anything else.

AI-powered assistants can take the meeting booking process off your hands entirely. One major annoyance solved by automated assistants is the need to hunt through your invitee’s calendar to find a day and time that works for both of you—an inefficiency nightmare that multiplies with each participant.

Advancements in AI are now giving us tools that can do the legwork for us. Scheduling AI software has also gotten a lot smarter in the last few years, going from a special email address that you can include on emails via the BCC or CC line, to an automated assistant you can speak to in real-time on your chat platform of choice (Slack, etc).

And meetings are just the tip of the iceberg. The more routine an admin task is, the easier it is for an AI assistant to understand and perform. AI can quickly and accurately handle admin micro-jobs like drafting standard template documents such as employment contracts and NDAs.

2. AI Can Improve the Hiring Process

Hiring and onboarding workflows are another area where AI tools are making an impact.

The job posting and interview process is being disrupted by AI for the better. The language used in job ads has largely been left to the HR professional writing the listing, but can reflect unconscious biases that could dissuade female or minority applicants. At the same time, poorly written posts could fail to attract high-caliber candidates. Now, AI tools can analyze the posting language to identify problematic phrases and suggest wording that improves applicant quality.

Even interviews are changing thanks to AI. Google is already using an in-house tool that suggests interview questions matched to the position, with great results. But AI tools are helping HR make better interview decisions in major new ways, such as applying facial-recognition analysis to recorded video interviews. This can identify qualified candidates and speed up the interview/assessment process.

3. AI Can Make HR More Transparent and Responsive

AI can also help HR share information with employees and better track signs of employee burnout and flagging engagement.

Where once someone needed to email the HR desk, or worse, book a meeting to get answers to basic questions like remaining vacation time, paystub timing or clarity on the maternity policy, now they can simply ask an AI chatbot. The underlying transition here involves taking HR’s internal knowledge base of policies and practices and opening them up to an AI, which can then act as the 24/7 point-person for employee inquiries.

Reducing burnout and monitoring employee engagement levels are two other major HR problems AI can help with. Though this is a young field, we are already seeing the emergence of tools providing analytics-driven dashboards on key employee happiness metrics that even analyze the sentiment of language used on the office chat platform.

These signals are then easily presented to HR staff, letting them get ahead of the factors that make employees head for the door. The potential here is huge, and the future holds major new potential for HR, like employee mood monitoring in the office.

AI Is Here, and It’s Getting Smarter

AI tools have already arrived in the office and HR department. This isn’t to be feared, but welcomed, as AI-powered tools like virtual assistants and chatbots can free up our time for more productive uses and make HR more effective across the spectrum, from hiring to retention.

Roy Pereira is the CEO and Founder of Zoom.ai, a chat-based productivity tool that helps to offload and automate your everyday tasks like searching for files, scheduling meetings, generating documents and much more. Just plug it into your favourite chat platform and get zooming.