Global analysts Gartner predicts that by 2022 almost 47% of organisations will be using an Artificial Intelligence (AI) Based solution within their HR processes. As with many departments and Industries, HR is set to be transformed by automation and AI technologies in the coming years, partially accelerated by the increasing demands faced by HR Teams because of the pandemic.
AI solutions, such as Digital HR Assistants, can transform the HR function. These solutions will enable people teams to not only streamline repetitive and manual processes, freeing them up to focus on higher value tasks, but also help to improve decision making and employee experiences. However, despite the numerous benefits achievable with AI solutions, there are still some misconceptions around the technology, which inhibit many HR leaders from investigating further. The below article seeks to dispel some of the common misconceptions around AI in the HR space.
AI will make HR too transactional
HR by its very nature is people centric. With the need for making a human connection being intrinsic to the role and for supporting employees throughout their lifecycle. There is, therefore, justifiable concern that AI will make HR too transactional and robot like – alienating HR Teams from employees and creating even greater isolation and unhappiness.
Contrary to this widely held belief, AI is not designed to replace “humans” within the HR function, but rather to augment and empower them. To dispel this myth, we must first understand the purpose of AI within business applications. Despite, what the movies and the media have been portraying for decades, AI does not eradicate Humans.
For example, technology applications such as conversational AI are great tools for providing employees with on demand support and information, however, they do not replace interpersonal and empathetic traits that are intrinsic to the HR role. This is why, many applications are built with the option for more complex employee queries to be seamlessly handed over to a real person – these enquiries require the ‘human touch’ and it is only through streamlining repetitive tasks and queries that HR Teams can be freed up to focus on these more important areas of employee support.
AI applications therefore, empower HR teams through extending their capabilities, freeing them up from repetitive administration tasks to focus on dealing with complex and sensitive issues, building relationships with employees, and developing support structures for the workforce in the coming years.
Ultimately, technology will help to put the human back into HR by giving them the ability to focus on what matters most – a company’s employees.
It will take too long to set up and maintain
For someone outside of technology, AI can seem complicated and is in many cases, literally another language. This can mean that deploying a new technology can be a lengthy and complex process, primarily relying on IT teams to implement and maintain.
With platforms, such as Humley’s Digital HR Assistant, the process of deploying and maintaining AI has been simplified and translated into a language that HR Teams understand.
For example, Humley’s platform automatically ingests company documentation, including handbooks and guidance and comes prebuilt with 100’s of potential employee experiences – from Onboarding to requesting annual leave. This significantly reduces the time to set up in the platform, but also removes the need for IT support because there is no need to code – Putting the technology in the hands of HR Teams and in a language they understand.
Additionally, this ‘no code’ approach in combination with Machine Learning, means that Conversational Assistants are continually optimised, learning, and improving as the number of employee interactions increases. Again, saving time and further freeing up HR Teams to focus on what matters to them – employee experiences.
Employees don’t always know what they’re looking
It is certainly true, that sometimes employees don’t know the information or the outcome that they are seeking. This means that often there is a requirement to speak with the HR Team to ensure that the employee receives the correct information. In light of this, it is understandable that HR Teams would have concerns over whether AI platforms could provide employees with the right information if they don’t know what they are looking for in the first instance.
No one can 100% predict what an employee is going to ask and what information that they need, however, through deploying a combination of Machine Learning and long tail queries within Conversational AI platforms this challenge becomes easier. Long tail queries enable the assistant to understand a far wider spectrum of human conversational nuances.
This means that it can return multiple potential questions and options to help the employee identify the outcome they are looking for. The assistants also enable employees to provide feedback where they can state if what was provided was helpful. Additionally, the analytics and data created by this process, means that HR teams can quickly identify patterns in employee questions and intent, adapt the assistant accordingly.
This system, of course, does not replace the need to speak with a person and in some instances, it is appropriate for the employee query to be passed to the HR Team to resolve. However, through reducing the number of these sorts of enquiries received by the HR Team, they are freed up to focus on these more complicated questions and ensuring the best support and service is provided.
In conclusion, AI technologies such as Digital HR Assistants, have the potential to revolutionise HR and help to deliver exceptional employee experiences. It is, however, only through understanding the real applications of these technologies and removing the fear around them that HR teams will be able to deliver true value and transformation.
To find out more about how Digital HR Assistants can augment your HR Team and help support employees, get in touch today to start a 30 day free trial.