By Elliot H. Clark
When you start a column off with a title from a Styx song, you are really dating yourself. Nonetheless, it seemedÂ appropriate. HRO Today has recently completed a research report, sponsored by Alexander Mann Solutions, highlightingÂ the rapid integration of artificial intelligence (AI) into HR technology and infrastructure. Within the study, there are severalÂ interesting findings which will be presented in detail at the HRO Today Forum North America.
First, letâs define AI. For years I have joked that artificial intelligence was something you got from politicians and onlineÂ pundits. But now that software has come of age, itâs time to recognize it for what is really is. In a basic sense, AI is theÂ ability for software to learn by observation without needing to be programmed for specific outcomes. For example, theÂ âself-drivingâ car of the future does not get programmed to stop at red lightsâit just does. The software observes millionsÂ of traffic patterns and learns what to do when the traffic light is red. Of course, my concern that it will accelerate at yellowÂ lights shows I may not be a good role model for a robot, but you get the general idea.
AI will be increasingly incorporated in HR transaction management and employee relations. In fact, itâs already present inÂ several talent acquisition products. HR has long been chided as being âresistant to change,â ânot a fan of technology,âÂ and âuncomfortable with metrics.â I could go on, and perhaps at some point in the dim and distant past, that wasÂ trueâbut no longer. Todayâs HR suite has the responsibility to drive quality and measurable outcomes efficiently and costÂ effectively, and our research shows that they are succeeding.
To conduct our study, we surveyed 150 companies of varying sizes and industries. We found that 59.6 percent of thoseÂ surveyed were satisfied with the results of their AI-enabled technology, versus only about five percent that wereÂ disappointed. Another 35 percent reported it was too early in the deployment to know how they felt. We asked whereÂ HR thought it was most important to use AI, and the top result was candidate assessment. The survey also asked whatÂ objectives HR was looking to achieve in the adoption of AI. Of course, cost savings and increased speed led the list in talentÂ acquisition (yawn, they always do), but the third ranked goal was improved candidate experience. That is interestingÂ because it suggests that the 24-hour availability of human voice and online chatbot problem-solving is not only acceptedÂ to candidates but embraced. Ironically, companies that have not implemented AI cited candidatesâ discomfiture as aÂ reason. Clearly, the organizations that have implemented tools powered by AI have not found that to be an issue.
Additionally, organizations that have invested in systemic approaches to measure AI outcomes seem more pleased withÂ their results than companies that do not have the tools to interpret positive or negative impacts. The importance ofÂ measurement cannot be overstated, and itâs surprising that so many companies have implemented AI-driven solutionsÂ without giving thought to the validation of its effectiveness. The survey reported that AI is currently being leveraged moreÂ frequently by larger organizations than smaller companies. This makes sense as larger firms have greater budgets, but asÂ AI is incorporated into more HR products, it will quickly become available to companies of all sizes.
The report has a host of great data points about the adoption and areas of best deployment for AI. I would encourageÂ you to download and review it in its entirety, as it will provide useful information to help fund and implement future AIÂ projects.
Robots are here to stay even if the â80s greatest hits songs are long forgotten. To download the report, click here.