Artificial intelligence (AI) is pretty much here. Though enterprise adoption is still low, it is just a matter of time that they will feel the market pressure. Unless the leaders wake up to this reality and ask their direct reports to adapt to these changes, they will be forced to compete with players who have greater strength, speed, agility and cool quotient. Their customers would no longer be returning back to them! Sounds scary, but we have many examples – Kodak, Nokia, Polaroid, Blackberry, Motorola, Postal Services and so on. HR function in an organization is no exception to this phenomenon.
Right from getting the right talent on board to retaining and developing them are not easy when we operate in a dynamic environment. Time to hire continues to be an issue for many CHROs and CEOs; this becomes a significant challenge when critical positions or strategic roles in the company are open for long. Many organizations do not have a clear measure for this metric; neither do they review this consistently. Besides, quality of hire is another important critical consideration that the Board is concerned about. There are many such dimensions for the HR department to deliver results.
Each organization has its unique context and hence, its own priorities. Most often, organizations do not deploy adequate energies in a structured process of strategic planning. It calls for intellectual bandwidth and belief of the top leadership team to drive this process forward. Once this process is carried out, the organization has its priorities listed, some of which the CHRO owns up and addresses himself or herself. The leadership team in HR has to deploy its best possible resources, efforts and attention to address those priorities.
AI offers several opportunities for the CHRO either to improve process efficiency or transform a process. It can communicate employer brand proposition to the target audience easily, help attracting the right talent, engage with passive candidates, assess quality of match for the talent who has shown interest and set up discussions with potential hires. Further AI tools can crawl the web and social media to do reference checks and develop passive candidates. For employee engagement, AI tools can play an important role to recognize efforts and results, build and spread positive vibes within the company, grow voices who advocate the employer brand and pick up spots of bother at an early stage.
The team has to believe that new technologies can make a difference to their effectiveness. Then only they can fathom the possibilities and explore ways of leveraging them. This stems from a culture of innovation rather than sticking to traditional methods of carrying out the tasks. The organization might lose the edge in attracting right talent or the cost per hire could go up; retaining the top performers could be a challenge; employee costs might not remain in the optimum range; the employer brand might lose its sheen. We need to continuously innovate!
Chatbots can enhance efficiency in answering questions of potential job applicants to improve efficiency of recruiters and strengthen employer brand by the speed of response and uniform experience delivered to the target pool. Bots and other such AI tools can bring speed and accuracy in screening and assessment of applicants in large hiring exercises. Tech tools are available to facilitate communication within the organization, hold company-wide townhalls, showcase performers, and generate 360 degree praise for the stars in the company. Companies are solving challenging issues by facilitating collaboration among employees. Tools are there to check organizational climate, track performance and carry out mundane yet important tasks such as marking attendance, assigning tasks, submitting reports, setting meetings, reminders, expense claims and so on. Plenty of possibilities indeed!
The leaders have to identify the strategic priorities, build the culture of innovation and spur the team to keep making progress in leveraging AI in the priority areas.
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