Terminator. I, Robot. 2001: A Space Odyssey. If you are a pop culture fan, no doubt you are familiar with half a dozen examples of artificial intelligence (AI) gone awry. Are these Hollywood fears really justified?
Not really. Some of the world’s most successful companies have integrated AI into their HR operations in order to improve recruitment and onboarding, decrease costs, and increase employee engagement—and they’ve seen incredible results.
In this article, we’ll explore a few of the organizations that are leveraging AI in HR, and learn what kinds of results you can expect when adding a little tech pizzazz yourself.
Is AI Out to Get Us?
Forget Sarah Connor, Skynet, and ‘going with him if you want to live.’ While AI may initially give off a very Terminator-esque vibe, it really is a lot simpler (and more innocent) than that. Artificial intelligence in HR focuses on leveraging smart technology to improve everything from recruiting and onboarding to employee training and assessment.
Forbesdescribes it as “significantly reducing the operational burden by automating low level tasks and providing better information for decision makers.” Simply put, AI acts as your very own personal assistant, making mundane tasks more efficient and crunching essential data to provide better solutions.
AI: The Not-So-New Kid on the HR Block
According to a 2017 survey published by CareerBuilder, 1 in 10 HR managers are currently seeing an increase in use of AI at work. The study also predicts that artificial intelligence will be essential workplace tech within the next 5 years.
Citi, Walmart, GE, and Ticketmaster employ large workforces, meaning that they have to find efficient ways to assess employee performance and provide suggestions for improvement. The companies utilize Butterfly.ai, technology which Chief Learning Officer’s Sarah Fister Gale says “provides tips based on real-time feedback from the manager’s team. It can also be programmed to alert managers and HR if they are in need of additional support.”
Before you start handing in your resignation, don’t worry—AI isn’t here to take HR jobs! Technology like Butterfly.AI is meant to assist (human) managers with assessments and reporting, not replace them. Phew!
2. Increasing Candidate Engagement
Recruitmentis one of the most essential and time-consuming HR duties, making it one of the greatest opportunities for AI integration. Whole Foods Market, UPS, Ford, and Liberty Mutual had the same thought, and are currently using TextRecruit to better engage potential team members throughout the recruitment process.
The software has a variety of capabilities including live chat, customized text messages sent to multiple recipients at once, and more. By automating some of these tasks and touchpoints, several of the companies using TextRecruit have reported a decrease in their hiring expenses and increase in their department’s effectiveness.
Most notably, SSM Healthhas saved a whopping $500,000 a year by utilizing AI to engage with the company’s new hires. Additionally, the company has experienced a drastic decrease in candidate miscommunications and hiring delays by implementing an AI component within their recruitment processes.
3. Identifying the Right Candidates
After sourcing potential team members, the next step in the recruitment process is identifying the right employee for the job. As most HR Managers are aware, this step is critical… but because it can be very labor-intensive, many organizations become overwhelmed at some point and end up mistakenly hiring the wrong candidate.
In a survey of U.S. employers, nearly 75% have admitted to hiring an unfit employee, costing an average of $14,900 per bad hire. LinkedIn is employing AI to ensure that this doesn’t happen.
In a LinkedIn blog post, John Jersin writes, “LinkedIn trains algorithms on the huge amounts of data we have [...] and then those algorithms can predict who might be the best fit.” Jersin goes on to explain that the algorithm’s effectiveness has led to tangible outcomes, including an increase in hires for clients using LinkedIn.
4. Promoting Leaders
It’s not all about recruitment—technology can also provide company leadership with a unique internal view of their teams in order to identify superstars after hiring. Bridgewater Associates, one of the largest investment management companies in the world, uses AI to determine internal promotions.
Their Dot Collector app allows employees to rate their coworkers on specific traits during meetings. In his TED Talk, Bridgewater co-founder Ray Dalio stated that Dot Collector “shifts the conversation from arguing over our opinions, to figuring our objective criteria, to figuring which opinions are best.”
Last but not least, AI can assist on the creative front as well. Textio, an augmented writing tool, helps companies “read the minds of potential readers.” The AI software helps to guide the language used by employees to ensure a better response from the person reading the content. Textio cuts down the number of edits, providing a quicker final product (such as job descriptions) that better resonates with audiences.
According to the company’s website as well as reputable media outlets, Textio has already helped Fortune 500 companies like Johnson & Johnson recruit better talent. The Wall Street Journal reports that “[a]fter Atlassian used Textio to overhaul the language in its job postings, women accounted for 57% of the class of new-graduate hires […] compared with 10% two years ago before the language changes.”
In a training setting, AI like Textio can mean the difference between crafting snooze-worthy onboarding tutorials and training material that truly engages employees.
AI + HR = WIN
With neat tech tools like those mentioned above becoming mainstream, HR is sitting on the precipice of full AI integration in the workplace. While these instruments will never replace the face-to-face human interaction that is so essential to HR, they can make the lives and jobs of HR professionals far easier.