Artificial Intelligence (“AI”) – Coming to a Business Near You!

I recently read an interesting article in Talent Economy magazine about how Artificial Intelligence is being used to reduce / get rid of mundane administrative tasks that often fall on HR personnel.  There are two areas where AI will make a big impact on HR in the future – Recruiting and Employee Benefits. 

1) Recruiting.  Administrative tasks are part and parcel of the process of adding talent to your business.  This includes reviewing resumes, scheduling interviews, keeping track of candidate contacts, sharing candidate information with the hiring committee, etc. Application tracking systems (ATS’) address many of these topics, but few if any are able to keep up with changing behaviors / expectations of candidates, and many smaller companies are priced out of the best ATS systems. 

Artificial Intelligence in the recruiting process can help companies respond to candidate outreach via digital channels.  For example, a company called TextRecruit created an AI application called a bot to respond to job candidate text messages in a timely manner. 

But what should be done with Senior-Level candidates?  In the “sellers market” for talent that we are in today, the job seekers’ experience matters!   These senior level candidates expect person-to-person interaction, and are judging your company as much if not more than you are evaluating them. For this reason, I would advise against thinking about using today’s BOTS for key executive hires.

2) Employee Benefits.   As every HR Manager knows, building a self-service internal website with HR information doesn’t mean employees will actually use it.  Concerns regarding the timeliness and accuracy of that information, plus a habit of contacting HR with every HR question, certainly play a part.  What if people who reached out to HR via digital channels receive a response that seems like it is coming from an actual HR person when in reality that response is computer generated?  Will that be effective?  Include better or worse content than responses that come from actual HR people?  As content management and AI technologies get better, it will be interesting to run some studies to gauge comparative effectiveness.  Over time, I would expect AI to make a big impact in this area of HR.

You may be wondering when or if there will be a right time to implement AI capabilities in your business. 2017 will be a telling year as technology first adopter companies of different sizes are trying out these capabilities.  Their reactions will help dictate how quickly AI will be coming to your boardroom.