Across industries, the human resources (HR) department has been subject to an array of stereotypes, from the complaint center, to the benefits specialists, to the hiring—or firing—department. Whatever image comes to mind, it is widely accepted that “traditional” HR serves as a place to go for help. Yet, as new technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning continue to infiltrate the HR space and automate an array of processes, many employees fear that the “human” aspects are falling to the wayside, leaving employees alone to deal with cold user interfaces that offer facts without the personal human touch that gives HR its appeal.
Despite these fears, leveraging the latest digital tools in the HR department to manage the workforce can actually help businesses, not only by impacting the bottom line, but by creating a more enjoyable, human experience. Here are three ways in which modern software solutions can support the optimization of a company’s talent and HR teams.
Finding the Right Candidates for the Right Job
With the rise of hiring analytics and big data, HR departments can more effectively and efficiently match a particular candidate with the job opening that requires his or her specific skill set. Just as Netflix’s algorithm is able to identify and suggest content based on a viewer’s past preferences, HR leaders can leverage cloud-based software solutions to access talent potential and determine the best fit for each role.
The use of this data analysis will have a profound impact on the hiring process, yet it is up to companies and HR leaders to responsibly deploy this technology and identify the best candidates without bias. One way to ensure accuracy is to program the software to not account for irrelevant characteristics for the job, such as facial expressions or spoken word clusters. With the ethical deployment of these technologies, HR departments can greatly improve and speed up the job search process for both candidates and recruiters.
Investing More Time and Energy in Talent Development
By 2025, machines will perform more tasks than humans in the workplace, according to the World Economic Forum’s Future of Jobs 2018 report. Although developments in AI and automation could cause 75 million jobs to be displaced, another 133 million new jobs are projected to emerge, creating a total increase of 58 million new jobs over the next 5 years.
To accommodate this massive workforce shift, no less than 54 percent of all employees will require significant reskilling and upskilling by 2020, which is why HR leaders need to put greater emphasis on developing their most important asset: their people. By automating several routine HR functions— whether it is employee onboarding, performance appraisals, timesheet tracking, benefits enrollment, or payroll, just to name a few—companies can free up their employees’ time, allowing HR specialists to focus more on the development of training programs to prepare their employees for the challenges they will face in the modern, AI-infused workforce.
Creating a ‘Win-Win’ Strategy for Employees and Employers
By implementing robust, digital human capital management tools, companies can help their HR leaders make data-informed decisions about their workforce. Cloud-based solutions that encourage regular check-ins and engagement reviews allow employees to provide continual feedback with their managers, whether it is identifying which project they most enjoyed or the tasks they detested. Ultimately, having greater visibility into the entire employee life cycle and the nuances of day-to-day activities allows companies to make better people decisions by placing the right people in the right departments and helping employee careers evolve as they grow.
While it seems counter-intuitive, making HR departments more high-tech actually makes the HR experience more human. This is due, in part, to the fact that automating tasks allows for HR professionals to focus on meaningful conversations and interactions with employees. As emerging technologies such as AI, big data, and cloud technology continue to disrupt the workforce over the coming years, companies that leverage these offerings will greatly benefit their employees by matching them to the right roles, developing their skills over time, and giving them the personal attention they deserve. Human interaction will never become completely obsolete. In fact, it has become more important than ever—and technology is making it thrive.
Jill Strange is the Vice President of Science Applications at Infor.