As the Director of Data Science for Cornerstone, I get asked many questions about Artificial Intelligence and the impact it is having in our world. The most common concern amongst HR professionals is to see their function becoming dehumanised over time! For the past few years, HR departments have invested a lot of time and money in changing their internal perception be more approachable and reliable, regaining the trust from their employees. Terms like “human-centric” have been very relevant in this new way of serving the organisation, being there strategically for the C-Suite and offering transparency while empowering employees to own their development with Human Capital Management systems that enable the staff to realise their full potential.
This new technology is usually seen as something that will reduce the human factor of any topic it is applied to. And let’s be honest, the risk of being perceived as too process driven, automatised and less human is a concern in the industry. Nonetheless, as a Data Scientist I am convinced AI in HR is, in many ways, going to make HR more personal, human and more relevant for our people.
- AI can understand human language
Without being too technical, AI allows the user to express him/herself in his/her own natural language.
It means that AI allows employees to freely present themselves and describe their wishes with their own framework and vocabulary, without worrying about an official company framework, usually composed of a limited nested list of validated terms.
More than saving time for employees, it helps the employee to give a far more accurate view of themselves and allows AI HRIS give a tailored experience.
- AI in HR can make suggestions, but not decisions
Even someone as passionate about data like me knows that humans are very complex and therefore AI cannot make impactful decisions in the HR department: whom to hire, whom to assign a specific learning plan, who needs a promotion…
What does AI do for HR then? Thanks to Artificial Intelligence we gain access to information – yes, it may make a recommendation to improve different processes - but AI is not intended to make the final decision.
This takes us to a scenario in which the Talent Team can focus on people because AI is taking care of administrative tasks and helping to improve processes with smart suggestions, leaving the final decision to us- humans.
- A more personalised relationship with employees
Today, we do not have enough hours in the day and HR isn’t any different! Most of my clients struggle to support their employees like they intend to. But thanks to AI, we have tools that recommend opportunities and allow intelligent searches that improve the employee’s autonomy which is very much linked with the human-centric approach we have seen our clients invest in. This autonomy starts with empowering our employees to ask themselves questions like: what could be my next job? Which skills am I missing? How could I learn them? Can I talk with someone that did a similar move in the past?
With HR spending less time on processes and employees being more autonomous, they can be expected to improve their relationships with informed and efficient discussions.
- Reduction of bias & stereotypes
Diversity and Inclusion has proven to be a priority this year for most organisations, even within our client base our “Unconscious Bias” training was one of the most requested this year as my colleague Mark Lamswood explained in the blog “ Why Content and … why now”.
AI is helping tackle this big issue by ensuring that data such as gender, school prestige and age is being ignored by the algorithm, l focusing only on the more relevant and non-bias information like: skills, past experience, career development wishes.... Something that can't be done by humans.
These new technologies are democratising access to career coaching, making personal development more ethical and objective, while reducing network effects.
Without being naive about the risks of downsizing, HR has a lot to gain from AI.
As part of our commitment to innovation we are working very hard from the Paris-based Innovation Lab to make Artificial Intelligence more and more relevant to our clients. We have created an eBook you can download here about “Realising the True Potential of AI in HR”.
Hungry for more AI blogs? Read my opinion on what AI can bring to HR.
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In this last chapter I want to bring social responsibility to the conversation. Social responsibility will be more important than ever, which we value highly as an organisation, so how did we manage this time of crisis?