At first glance, AI and HR seem to be polar opposites. After all, how could a function that includes the word human in its name use technology that’s artificial? If you dig deeper, though, you see how AI could transform the HR profession into what most HR professionals wish it to be. One that focuses squarely on the experience of prospective, new and current employees, rather than completing mundane and repetitive tasks.

That view is shared by Steve Pritchard, HR Consultant for UK based fashion brand Ben Sherman. In an interview with Personnel Today, he argued AI couldn’t replace people’s desire to speak to a human being who cares about them.

HR is in a prime position to ensure humans are at the center of AI’s progress in the business world.

Here’s 10 examples of what it helps HR teams to do:

1. Focus on helping people, not mundane tasks

Recruitment is a time-consuming process for any HR professional, but AI can free you of some of the most repetitive tasks. You can program an algorithm to source resumes; you can set up a chatbot, integrated with your stakeholders’ calendars, to schedule interviews and deal with cancellations; you can set up automated feedback processes, so potential hires know how they did right after they’ve been interviewed. 

2. Improve the onboarding experience by getting feedback

People are twice as likely to recommend a company to friends and family if they had a good onboarding experience. But only 1 in 4 companies in Europe ask people for feedback before they’re hired, and that’s usually down to a lack of time. With AI, you can process survey responses faster and identify where your onboarding experience can be improved.

3. Keep your employees engaged and happy

Knowing what your current employees think and feel is the goal of any HR professional. But time constraints often limit how much you can contact them. With AI-powered surveys and automatic statistical analysis, though, you can achieve near-constant engagement with employees, listening to them, finding hidden insights and acting on them.

And that kind of proactivity will be rewarded. In Qualtrics’ latest State of Play report into employee engagement, over half of respondents wanted to be surveyed at least once every 6 months.

4. Create a better shortlist of potential candidates

Today, recruiters need to review so much content when assessing a potential candidate. From their CV and cover letter, to their LinkedIn profile and other social media accounts. It’s a huge task and one which AI can make more efficient. Why waste your time going through thousands of applications, when you can focus on the 10 best ones as decided by an algorithm? Chatbots can even contact potential candidates directly to gather more information about them.

5. Remove bias in the hiring process

Human bias, unconscious or otherwise, is one of the biggest issues in recruitment. It leads to companies hiring the same types of people, with the same types of skills, and more dangerously of the same race, education, gender and sexuality. We can’t program humans to be non-biased, but we can with algorithms. They can assess potential candidates without looking at anything but their skills and suitability for the role.

6. Stay compliant and spot where there are issues

One of the biggest concerns for organizations in healthcare and financial services in particular is making sure their employees are compliant. But surveying people constantly and finding out where there are gaps is a near-impossible task. However, AI-powered surveying tools allow you to gather a lot more information, process it and target areas that need focusing on.

7. Stop answering the same question a thousand times

When are salaries paid? How many holiday days do I get? Can I take the morning off for a doctor’s appointment? You’ll get these and more questions on a daily basis – but what if you had a chatbot that could respond to people immediately with the answer they need? Employees are happier, as they’ve got a quick answer, and you’re free to actually set and review policy, not churn out information.

8. Speed up and standardize candidate assessment

You can use AI to speed up how candidates are assessed and share findings with a wider group of decision makers. For example, ask a candidate to record a 10-minute video to camera explaining why they’d be a good fit, and use AI to turn that footage into thousands of data points on their intonation, word choice and mannerisms. This’ll help a wider group of people assess the candidate, as they’re not having to sit through the video themselves.

9. Help your organization identify knowledge gaps

You can make friends with so many people in your organization by using your privileged position to assess what employees are struggling with. In Qualtrics’ State of Play survey, having the right level of training to do the job was one of the key drivers behind an employee’s desire to go to work. So why not use AI to survey employees on their skills, identify gaps, and share insights with your colleagues to drive up employee satisfaction and engagement?

10. Shout about your success to the business

You can use AI to showcase what a heroic job you’re doing. There’s no other department whose solely focused on improving employee experience, and you can use AI-powered insights and dashboards to demonstrate your success to senior decision makers. For example, you can showcase how you’ve identified opportunities to optimize employee experience and taken steps to implement them quickly and cost-effectively.

Qualtrics iQ is a set of advanced intelligent features built directly into the Experience Management Platform™. Powered by machine learning and artificial intelligence, it makes statistical analysis accessible to any HR professional. Make AI a part of your day job and learn more about Qualtrics iQ.

State of Play: Global Employee Engagement Trends

View Results