It’s astounding how fast service preferences change. Barely a decade after Apple’s iPhone kickstarted the mobile app industry, many are announcing the imminent “death” of mobile apps.5 Tellingly, in just a few short years, chatbots have become the preferred method of customer service interaction.6 With all users expecting an immediate response to a text or voice command—no matter from which data sources the answer comes—AI has become the new UI, even for recruiting.
By 2020, candidates applying to jobs at 20% of large global enterprises will also interact with chatbots before recruiters.”7Forrester
This is good news for businesses. It’s estimated that by 2022, chatbots will save over $8 billion in cost savings (up from a mere $20 million last year), while over one-third of business executives say that the time freed up from using digital assistants allows them to focus on deep thinking and creating.8,9
AI can make many HR-relevant processes more programmatic for increased department efficiency, including:
Many HR professionals would certainly be happy to completely hand over repetitive, time-consuming, non-value-added activities in favor of strategic duties that highlight one’s ingenuity. Consider a parallel paradigm shift in the age of cloud computing: How many IT professionals are reminiscing fondly about the old days of maintaining server racks?
Like any business intelligence initiative, the integrity of data is paramount when it comes to AI in human resources. With the inevitable increase of humans’ reliance on AI-enabled insights, it’s critical to ensure that accuracy doesn’t suffer for the promise of productivity.11
Leaders understand that AI is much more than just tuning an algorithm, so you have got to be gathering the data that is relevant to your problem.”12Chris Nicholson,co-founder and CEO, Skymind
For HR professionals, the definition of “the right data” has in recent years expanded to include information from other systems. Specifically, this means ERP for financial data; CRM for sales, marketing and service information; and SCM for procurement, inventory, warehouse, 3PL, IoT, and other data. By deploying a unified data platform in the cloud, companies can enable employees to further optimize processes. For instance, an HR department could:
Use voice or chat to simultaneously proceed with a job requisition while verifying and securing budget in the enterprise resource planning system.
Have recommended training courses automatically assigned to a struggling rep, based on A) sales performance in his or her territory, as seen in the customer relationship management system, and B) his or her projected career path, as seen in the human capital management system.
Despite the excitement over AI’s transformative power, companies are facing implementation challenges, with “lack of appropriate skills and talent within the organization” being the top one at 64%.13 This dilemma appears to be the norm in a landscape where adaptability to still-unknown environments is becoming a criterion for candidates.
It’s no secret that technology is changing at an exponential rate, requiring us to learn faster than humans have ever had to before…Our ‘adaptability quotient’ (AQ) will soon become the primary predictor of success, with general intelligence (IQ) and emotional intelligence (EQ) both taking a back seat.”14Fast Company
It’s only natural, then, that a new school of thought has rechristened the acronym AI “adaptive intelligence,” to denote a highly advanced machine-learning system that continually learns to become more refined and insightful over time. Since humans must always be ready to adapt, shouldn’t an HR software system do the same?