In today’s world, technology has become an integral part of everyone’s life. Artificial intelligence, in particular, is gaining increasing importance in the business world. While the HR industry primarily focuses on human relationships, there is no denying the growing interest in AI capabilities. Does this mean that machines will soon replace humans?
In recent months, employees in almost every industry have been asking themselves the above question. Although artificial intelligence has been with us for some time, it now possesses capabilities that were once only the stuff of futuristic imagination. Up to 40% of jobs may disappear in the near future due to advancing automation driven by AI. However, as with any technological revolution, new professions will also emerge, working hand in hand with artificial intelligence to shape a new reality.
For now, the vision that emerges more frequently than the replacement of humans by machines is one where those who do not harness the power of artificial intelligence will be surpassed by those who can integrate it into their daily business lives. This holds true for the HR industry as well.
How does Artificial Intelligence support the HR Industry?
In the world of HR, artificial intelligence has long been supporting and accelerating numerous processes. As early as 2018, in a Deloitte study, 24% of companies declared that they were using AI and robotics solutions for performing routine tasks, and 16% were enhancing human skills using these solutions.
Artificial intelligence has offered and continues to offer solutions that facilitate personnel processes in various areas, from recruitment to onboarding to addressing motivation decline.
Thanks to artificial intelligence, it is possible to gather, archive, and synchronize internal data sources into one database. Based on the gathered information, AI can select candidates for specific positions by analyzing resumes, conducting preliminary interviews, and comparing applications with social media profiles.
Moreover, intelligent systems can recognize key elements in job descriptions and place them in the appropriate locations on social networks, thereby increasing the reach of job offers.
Interaction with Candidates
Artificial intelligence can also automatically respond to frequently asked questions from candidates, improving communication and reducing response times. This solution relieves recruiters, allowing them to dedicate more time and engagement to conversations with candidates who have passed the initial qualification stage and meet the company’s requirements.
Leading companies, such as ING Bank Śląski, PKO Bank Polski, and L’Oréal, already use such solutions in their recruitment processes. A case study of the latter brand demonstrates that implementing an AI-based solution during the recruitment process can accelerate it by up to ten times!
For newly hired employees, the onboarding process can be a real challenge. In this regard, artificial intelligence can assist by delivering personalized materials and educational resources to help new employees adapt to their new workplace more quickly. Chatbots and virtual assistants can answer common questions from new employees about company policies and procedures, allowing them to obtain necessary information without waiting for HR team responses.
In some industries, new employees may participate in interactive simulations and games that mimic real workplace situations, helping them better understand their responsibilities and environment.
Furthermore, AI-based systems can track the progress of new employees during onboarding, identifying areas where an employee may require additional support or training.
One of the key challenges for HR is retaining valuable employees. Artificial intelligence can identify patterns indicating a decline in employee engagement, thereby highlighting potential turnover risks. With access to such analyses, the HR department can react quickly by developing strategies to retain employees crucial to the organization.
What Threats Does Artificial Intelligence Pose to the HR Industry?
Do you think this all sounds too good to be true? To some extent, you are correct. While artificial intelligence can automate various HR processes, it is not infallible.
In the United States, specifically in New York, a law has been enacted this year that limits employers’ use of AI-based recruitment tools and mandates annual audits of this process, along with disclosure of employment statistics. Why?
To better answer this question, it is worth considering where artificial intelligence derives its intelligence from. In the HR industry, artificial intelligence algorithms frequently rely on machine learning, a method in which systems learn from data. However, this data is derived from the environment, meaning it was previously created by humans. Thus, even on what appears to be independent data, the views and biases of individuals can have an influence.
Artificial intelligence was intended to be a solution to problems related to discrimination based on gender, age, or race, which have a significant impact on employment in certain industries. However, it quickly became apparent that the process of training artificial intelligence influenced its decision-making.
In 2016, research revealed that in Google News, the most common profession associated with women was “homemaker,” while for men, it was “maestro.” Another study in 2017 showed that algorithms trained on images available on the internet associated kitchens with women in 68% of cases. Thus, artificial intelligence often perpetuates stereotypical thinking about reality.
Amazon experienced this firsthand in 2015 when it discovered that its algorithms favored male candidates in recruitment. This was because the life histories used to train artificial intelligence predominantly concerned men, leading AI to consider this the preferred gender for the brand. After uncovering this inequality, the brand not only improved its algorithms but also issued recommendations recommending that the human factor continue to be considered in the recruitment process.
Especially since artificial intelligence analyzes candidates’ CVs based on specific assumptions and keywords, it may happen that a person who perfectly fits a company’s expectations uses unique terminology for their previous job positions, displaying creativity and gets overlooked by AI. Some CVs may also be rejected when created in certain graphic programs that prevent verification of their content. Therefore, it is crucial for companies to implement appropriate safeguards and continuously monitor the actions of artificial intelligence to ensure that neither candidates, employees, nor the company suffer from HR process automation.
It is also essential to remember the strict regulations related to personal data protection. AI processes vast amounts of employee data, which may contain sensitive information. If this data is not adequately protected, there is a risk of data loss or theft, which could lead to serious legal and financial consequences. Not every AI-based tool guarantees security. Therefore, the selection of appropriate tools should be thoughtful and preceded by a thorough analysis.
How to introduce Artificial Intelligence to HR wisely?
Artificial intelligence is highly likely to become a permanent fixture in the HR industry landscape, so it is essential to embrace it. Key to this is understanding what AI is and what its capabilities are. Accepting that AI can help solve specific problems is the first step in unlocking its potential. However, it is essential to provide and maintain adequate security measures and adhere to data protection regulations. What else?
- It is crucial for the entire HR team to receive proper training and understand how to use AI. Without appropriate training, artificial intelligence can become a tool that causes more problems than it solves.
- There is no need to replace all HR processes with AI technology immediately. Start with simple applications, such as automatic CV analysis, and then gradually add more advanced features.
- AI should complement existing HR systems, not replace them. The best results come from integrating AI with traditional HR processes, creating an effective system where human involvement remains central.
Introducing AI into the HR sector undoubtedly opens new doors to possibilities and improvements, but we must remember that, regardless of technological advances, humans remain the most valuable and irreplaceable element in human resource management processes.