How to ensure AI benefits every HR team

By Anthony Wolny | 12th October 2018 | 14 min read

Artificial intelligence appears in the headlines on a daily basis, and not just in the HR sector. With the potential to revolutionise how businesses go about their daily life, it has been one of the hottest topics of 2018 – despite many people not even understanding what it is! In one of our recent webinars, for example, we found that nearly three-quarters of HR professionals feel they don’t possess enough knowledge of AI and machine-learning, despite 20% claiming it is the biggest catalyst for HR change.

So, beneath the hype, what does AI really mean for Human Resources?

This was the topic of discussion on a webinar that our tech specialist Marc Greggains was recently invited to contribute to. The event was undoubtedly popular because Marc’s straight-talking delivery stripped back much of the complexity surrounding AI, enabling EVERY organisation can start their journey towards embracing it.

He was the first to admit that AI is being deployed worldwide to achieve ground-breaking advances, just like you see in the movies. But he also encouraged people to acknowledge that some examples of AI in action are actually far simpler.

If we stick to the basics, AI is all about the use of machines to solve problems and work smarter – a concept that has been around since the industrial revolution. And so, whilst technology may have changed how we do things during that time, it hasn’t left people entirely redundant. This hopefully goes some way to address the fact that AI isn’t going to remove the ‘human’ out of human resources, as some people have been widely cited as fearing.

In the employment space, a logical place to get started with AI with is HR software. It is important to have bold ambitions for an organisation’s automation journey, but sometimes vast plans create procrastination, and even the bigger firms that already have HR tech in place, are failing to maximise its potential in many cases.

If a business is going from a standing start, the procurement of a HR system will be a huge step in the right direction. But this is only part of the solution. Next, it is crucial to understand how to use the power of a machine to streamline departmental efficiencies, boost compliance, free up HR time and roll out best practice.

Workflows offer an obvious answer – it is important to work out what you want to happen, what circumstances will trigger an action, what that action should be and who needs to take it. Of course, objectives need to be tackled in turn, but for organisations looking for a quick win, absence management workflows will undoubtedly have a positive impact on productivity, the workforce and the business’s bottom line.

If the results of one workflow can be measured – and the benefits experienced – this will spur more and more AI innovation from there.

This topic is not going to fade away – if anything, AI will continue to transform how we work, with the world of HR being no exception.

Marc was so inundated with questions following his AI webinar, that he has since been invited to deliver the same topic to visitors of the CIPD’s Annual Conference & Exhibition. This practical, 30-minute tips-based session will take place in the Technology & Innovation theatre on day one of the event, from 10:15-10:45. Free exhibition passes are available, but pre-registration is required.