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Enhancing HR with Artificial Intelligence

The fascinating world of Artificial Intelligence (AI) has been the talk of big-tech companies and startups across numerous industries and social media platforms. AI-generated art is popping up on millions of Instagram feeds daily, and a simple search would give you multiple results of sites offering AI-written text. And that’s just on the consumer side of things.

Remember the last time you submitted your CV to apply for a job? If it happened any time within the last few years, chances are, it was a “robot” that first looked through your credentials, sieved it through for keywords, and made sure you were in the right geographical location and correct fit – all before a human in the HR department saw it.

Employing AI in HR processes promises many benefits and endless possibilities, not just for the companies but also for potential employees. Let’s dive deeper into this topic and explore the advantages and concerns of the “robot” human resource executive.

What exactly can AI do in the HR process?

According to a recent study by Linkedin Business, HR staff spend most of their time on functions which could easily be automated. The most time-consuming job tasks include recruiting, and onboarding. Each week, the HR department spends six hours searching for candidates, six hours reaching out to them, and another six hours vetting their credentials.

Using AI to help automate some of these tasks, otherwise known as HRTech, can help save precious time for HR staff.

Today, many organizations have already automated functions like employee payroll, attendance management, benefits management and expense management using different software and online programs. And while this has undoubtedly helped the HR department become more efficient, the most time-consuming bottlenecks – recruitment and new employee onboarding – continue being managed solely by human employees, who could otherwise spend their time performing more value-adding activities.

Scanning the web for potential candidates

A Japanese startup, Lapras Scout, has created an AI service that can scan the web for potential hires and automatically create profiles of job candidates. Potential candidates across relevant industries are shortlisted for the HR department, saving them time from searching for suitable new members for their team. The company also claims that its software can accurately predict if a candidate is open to accepting a new job, giving the HR team even more valuable information than a human employee performing the same task. Well-known game developers in Japan, such as CyberAgent and DeNA are already using their services. 

Removing recruitment biases and filtering suitable candidates

AI can be programmed to pick out keywords in the CVs of candidates, so only those with the relevant skills are considered. When proper parameters are set, the screening software can even help eliminate unconscious biases in the initial recruitment process, such as discrimination based on race, religion, the origins of someone’s name, neighbourhood, or appearance. Avaloq, an NEC company, has devised an AI model that aims to avoid unethical, discriminating decisions in AI systems that have been a concern for financial institutions. 

Virtual Reality (VR) interviews for deeper candidate evaluation

Many people today are already familiar with popular video conferencing programs such as Zoom and Google Meet, and some have even gotten a new job through an online interview. So what does virtual reality (VR) offer on top of the usual video interview?

A VR interview eliminates the need for candidates to travel, saving costs, time and physical space. According to Australia’s Commonwealth Bank, it also allows potential employees to take tests in a virtual environment to gauge their decision-making and problem-solving abilities. The bank has been using the Oculus Rift to interview candidates through VR tasks that are difficult to emulate in the real world. Other organizations are following suit, including car manufacturer Jaguar, and even the British Army.

Mumbai-based skilling and hiring platform Incluzon is also looking to digitize the interview process, in the metaverse. The company is building a platform in the virtual world that it claims will allow HR professionals to accurately gauge the interviewee’s body language and confidence levels, even through animated avatars.

First day at work? HR Chatbot will bring you up to speed.

Chatbots today can answer basic questions from new employees about their benefits and company policies. Soon, these chatbots can also handle basic IT inquiries, such as how to set up a password or use a printer.

Chicago IT consulting firm West Monroe Partners has created a chatbot to interact with new employees and collect information needed to fill out onboarding forms for accounts and logins. The new system reduced the time required for this process from 25 to just five minutes, without any human labor.

Will AI ever replace human HR?

Artificial intelligence, in this regard, has never been designed to replace the HR specialist. The hiring process needs another human to gauge if a potential employee fits into the company culture, and if this person can get along with others and work well in a team.

AI helps to streamline the process and automate time-consuming tasks, but the interview will remain a person-to-person activity for most companies. In short, Human Resources will largely remain human.