Many people look at technologies like artificial intelligence with a level of trepidation. The fear is that human labour may very well be on its way out. Whether this will come true one day remains open for discussion. But, for the moment, human resources still play an integral part in organizations.
The reality is that technology is changing the workplace as we know it. Everyone must step up to remain relevant. There will be changes in skills and occupations. New areas will open up, while others will be redundant.
Without a doubt, the landscape is on a radical shift. It is interesting to see how HR leaders are preparing for the ai-enabled workforce.
Adopt or Sink
The modern human resource manager is very much aware of the benefits of technology. It is finding use in many different areas within the organization at large. Tasks that would have taken days are now achievable in hours.
Let us take the example of one of the core functions of the HR department. Hiring and retaining The Right staff is critical for any organization. The cost of recruiting and onboarding new employees can be as high as $4000 per person. It is vital that HR gets the process right from the very beginning.
HR departments are now using AI Talent acquisition platforms. Employers get access to candidates with the right skills. Deep learning algorithms use data to sift through tons of potentials. It will then pick out the right persons depending on specific criteria.
The hiring process becomes more transparent. Machines, unlike humans, are not prone to bias. Further, the company saves on time and money that would go into the entire process.
Other types of AI Technologies are also helping. Chatbots respond to questions that employees will frequently ask. Staff members get prompt feedback on queries.
For HR, it provides relief from tedious, repetitive tasks. With automation, the HR team can concentrate on other areas that need their attention.
The use of data in making crucial decisions helps with better employee management. HR can identify any emerging problems or trends that could impact operations. It allows for proactive action thus helping to avoid an escalation in issues.
Allay Fears of Job Losses
Optimists believe that artificial intelligence will create rather than cut jobs. But the reality for that customer service agent whose job goes to chatbots is job loss. The HR department has an uphill task of allaying mass fear. It starts by helping staff members understand the technologies.
Employees must then see the value through support, efficiency, time-saving, and much more. Such technologies will also open up new job opportunities. Employees have the chance to get into new job areas. The companies must offer support through relevant training facilities.
A company like Amazon has put a side of $700 million in digital skill development. It projects to retrain over 100,000 workers by the end of 2025. The aim is to provide new opportunities in technical areas. Even those without IT experience will benefit.
Role-based training opportunities provide the right skills for the future workplace. Employees will also be more willing to accept change.
Do note; support for AI technology must run across the entire organization. A culture of digital awareness will help the transition into an AI-enabled workplace.
HR has a huge role to play. They must come up with strategies that define the AI workplace and also the lead changed managers who must set a good example for others to follow.
They will also play the role of psychotherapists for those finding it hard to adjust. Another hat is that of career advice for those who may need a career change.
Wait and See Attitude
It is interesting to note that not all HR see the need to adapt. Thus, they will not take any action to prepare for an AI-enabled workforce. A 2018 study done by the US Census Bureau found that AI adoption in workplaces is still low.
Companies using some form of AI were at a paltry 8.9%. Even amongst the big companies, adoption stood at 24.8%. So what are some of the reasons for the low adoption?
Smaller companies may not feel that it is something they need to invest in at the moment. Many companies are still in the discovery stage when it comes to most technologies.
The laissez-faire attitude could be due to knowing they will make necessary adjustments when the need arises. Does the approach make sense? Perhaps it does for them.
But, the organization must be mindful of the ongoing trends. They must also weigh whether they can maintain a competitive edge without adoption.
Preparing For the New Roles
The HR teams will have to change to adapt to the Ai enabled-workplace. Some of the new areas to focus on will include:-
- Building a sound AI ethics strategy to cover things like making moral decisions. AI machines will still need human input for some of the functionalities. HR still has the task of making crucial decisions like the type of data for AI analysis.
- HR must come up with new AI-based job roles. They must highlight the relevant digital skill sets each employee must have
- HR must decide which strategies or roles to let go of if they will not work in the AI-enabled workplace
- Create avenues for more inclusivity with new job roles. They will need to pay more attention to people with special needs. Such include intellectual, physical, or even visual disabilities
- Establish new KPIs and Performance Management standards. All these need a good understanding of the impact of AI job roles and cycles.
Technology continues to change every day, and companies must adapt. Artificial intelligence is already making inroads in various Industries. The result is higher efficiency in processes.
The use of data results in greater accuracy and reliability. Companies also realize time and resource savings in tasks.
Introducing such technologies requires the HR department to play a significant role. They must be at the forefront of using such innovations.
It is also their job to create new opportunities and allay fears of job loss. It will be a challenging and exciting time for HR leaders to help the teams and themselves adjust.