Revamping HR Functions With The Use Of Artificial Intelligence

Sourabh Tiwari, CIO, Overseas Infrastructure Alliance (India) Private LimitedIntroduction:
Human Resources (HR) have been experiencing significant changes thanks to the evolution of information technologies in the last two decades. The use of new-age technologies such as Cloud Computing, Big Data, Augmented Reality, Blockchain, and Artificial Intelligence are finding their way into the HR departments of organisations.

Artificial Intelligence has become a part of how people operate on a daily basis. More than two-thirds of consumers use AI today without even really noticing - usually in the form of navigation, virtual assistants and that annoying yet entertaining feature on your smartphone that auto-fills your text messages. The benefits of AI from the business perspective are clear in the forms of increased efficiencies, robust data mining and analytics and improved customer relationship management. AI has reinvented what we do and how we get it done. Now, human resources leaders must reinvent HR functions to drive effective talent strategies and sustain results - and they will need AI to do it. We won't have a seat at the table unless we do. Here's why, along with some AI integration ideas for you to consider.

Today, Artificial Intelligence (AI) is reshaping the way that companies manage their workforce and make HR plans, which increases productivity and employee engagement in general. One can imagine N number of practical use cases in Human Resources Department (HRD) with the use of Artificial Intelligence powered by Machine Learning algorithms. The HR department can certainly leverage the power of AI with ML based technology implementations in various areas like pre-boarding, on-boarding, induction, training, engagement, PMS, Succession & workforce planning survey, help desk and more. AI powered HR chat BOT can help enterprises to deliver instant ROI. When deployed in popular business communication channels like SMS, mobile, web, messaging platforms, and more, such BOTS add instant value by improving efficiency, productivity, and system integration (especially for API or service calls to enterprise systems).

Such AI based capabilities can act as a personal assistant e.g. SIRI in IOS environment, Cortana in Windows environment, Alexa by Amazon - that can:

Process natural language commands from speech or text based human conversations

Execute complex workflows in ancillary systems by leveraging integration capabilities

Provide flexibility - Interact on need basis - proactively, scheduled, and on-demand

Communicate with enterprise systems via API or service calls

It can also understand context of on-going conversations, keep all useful information in memory for further processing and referencing, understand and analyse human emotions and self-learn from past interactions

Communicate with people via conversational UI on any communication channels (SMS, mobile, web, etc.)

AI Usage:
1. Alerts / Notifications: An employee is communicating with BOT. He/she can ask BOT to raise PL (Paid Leave) request on his behalf. Such request can be automatically directed to
his/her manager. BOT can acknowledge such requests and send automatic alerts along with status to an employee once his/her manager acts on a particular request. In between BOT can also generate reminders or escalations for manager.

2. Patternization: AI can be used to predict the out-comes (predictive behaviour based on past data patterns) within various aspects of an organisation's functioning like Attrition, Resume selection, Performance assessment, Salary increments, Rewards distribution, etc. This also helps to reduce Biases and to promote Diversity (age, gender, religion, and race). For example, AI powered HRMIS can detect the most typical reasons contributing to employee attrition with the use of predictive model. It can also generate a unique score for every employee based on the calculated probability of them quitting their jobs.

The HR department can certainly leverage the power of AI with ML based technology implementations in various areas like pre-boarding, on-boarding, induction, training, engagement, PMS, Succession & workforce planning survey, help desk and more

3. Action Oriented: Guess a scenario where an employee forgot to log work hours for yesterday in the system. He/she now (today) sends a very simple message from his/her mobile saying “I need to log 10 hours for yesterday”. With smart BOT implementation, it first responds to an employee asking details of his/her project (task / activities) and that too by giving available choices upfront to an employee. Once employee confirms a particular project name, once again smart BOT will communicate back with an employee with all calculated information like Date, Day, and Project Name, No of hours to log and take reconfirmation. Once an employee re-con-firms details; finally BOT will interface with respective HRIS application (e.g. API based system integration) and log the work hours.

4. Information Pulling: A newly joined employee wants contact details of one specific person (other employee working at other branch) and he/she completely forgets the name of that person. He/she immediately sends a message to BOT describing a scenario; that “I want con-tact details of a sales person from our Mumbai office; can't recall name.” Now smart BOT understands the con-text of entire situation and started responding to him/her saying that “It's never easy to remember all names and that too when you just joined our organization. But rest assured; I will certainly help you.” In instant second message from BOTS pops up which mentioned: “Here's the Employee List (hyperlink) for the sales team for the Mumbai office.” And thus, a newly joined employee gets useful information to solve his/her specific problem. He/she can review employee list shared by BOT, identify that person's name (unknown to him/her) and respond back to BOT saying “Thanks. Can you please share contact details of Mr. X?” The smart BOT read all supplied inputs and finally shared contact details of Mr. X to a newly joined employee.

5. AI Recruiters: In today's world, full of millennial, applicants and employees expect custom experiences tailored to their unique needs as they apply for a new job, choose the right benefits or explore career growth opportunities. Companies can leverage AI based technology implementations like “AI recruiters" to automate scheduling interviews, provide ongoing feedback to candidates and answer their questions in real time. This allows the human recruiters to spend more time converting candidates to hires.

6. Policy Knowledge Base: An employee asking to BOT about “how many public holidays we have this year?” and BOT responds with the valid information (no of holidays and holiday list itself by web hyper link) by interfacing with public holiday configuration in HRIS.

7. Complex Dialogues: During an employee on-boarding process; BOT can help newly joined employee to set up various things (Set up security badge access, Set up passwords, Getting remote access, Set up benefits plans) on his/her first day itself. Based on conversation over chat with BOT an employee is able to select and setup the medical health insurance plan as per his/her choice.

People working in HR function don't have to worry about all such automation. So this doesn't mean that HR departments will be completely replaced with the use of new-age technological implementations. That automation is definitely going to take away jobs of support functions. Every organization has to consider HR department as one of the strategic business units, and not only a sup-port function in such a dynamic business environment. Machines cannot do Human work at its best. HR will have personalized (currently major workforce are from millennial group where each had unique taste of career) dialogue to the employees, will be with them, will create development plans for them, will do succession planning in a real sense, groom them, mentor them, and will develop people in the truest sense. Due to Human factor, HR and new-age technologies must co-exist to do better for organizations. All said and done, when we look slightly forward in the future, all such new-age technologies are going to become an integral part of day-to-day routine of HRD.