When HR met AI

What AI solution does for an HR manager today seemed impossible for the recruiting head ten years ago and the same goes with all other things

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With rapid technological changes happening in the industry, the Human Resources (HR) function has moved from being a reactive and a product-driven vertical in an organization to be proactive and process driven! Gradually, similar to other departments in an organization, automation and other technology-based tools got integrated into the HR function for providing business results. These tools enabled HR managers to screen, recruit, have a centralized employee database, identify and fill the training and development gaps. There is a growing need to embrace digital intelligence and ML-powered technologies for HR solutions particularly now when the millennial generation is set to take up the 70 per cent of the jobs by 2020.

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Artificial Intelligence (AI) began to make an impact in the recruiting space since early 2017. With more and more technology advancements by the day, coupled with the improvements in the overall global economy, we can expect to see businesses implementing innovative solutions and applications that will bring the desired results in the recruitment strategies of Talent Acquisition leaders.

So, what can an AI solution do an HR manager today that seemed impossible for the recruiting head ten years ago? Here are five areas where AI will play a major role in HR.

Candidate Screening

AI promises to enable HR to automate their myriad tasks such as candidate screening, hiring, engaging, re-engaging, employee relations, onboarding, etc. that involve never-ending man-hours. Actually, one can quantify this as almost as 2.5 days of work time for a recruiting manager. AI solutions will take over these mundane tasks and enable HR department to be more efficient, and build compliant and regulatory policies, instead of sitting through piles of CVs.  

Preparing

Recruiting is a fast-paced business. And, many a time, the quality of recommendations suffers due to lack of time for a background check on candidates which is again a time-consuming process. An average time a candidate stays available in the market is only 10 days, for they are gulped down by hungry competitors. AI solutions will enable HR managers to build a talent pool, capitalize on a centralized system, track performance using real-time reports, build scalability for accommodating future needs with flexible features, and more important, decrease recruiter workload and time.

Onboarding

A new Hire often grapples with paperwork, job handling, office topography etc. With an automated process that can handle different document types to capture all important and relevant documents like driver’s license, Aadhar Card that will not only enable the onboarding process to become seamless and smoother but also make the documents structured and mine-able.  

Employee Engagement

With predictive analysis companies can go beyond on what an employee is saying but what is he/she thinking based on the patterns of communication on online platforms. These tools have the ability to analyze communication real time by scanning emails, photos or even videos that an employee uploads in social media platforms to rate the present emotional state of the employee. Businesses can leverage these to rate employees on their engagement levels and run interventions to reduce attrition and churn.

Bias Elimination

Humans are wired to have unconscious biases. And, recruiters are humans after all. While biases give humans the ability to quickly categorize people into friends, foes, and so on, today the same ability hinges on being a handicap in identifying talent. Many recruiters today harbour unconscious biases. This is where Artificial Intelligence will come in handy. AI tools have the ability to remove names from resumes that may result in biases based on race, gender, religion and many such biases one is not conscious about This enables evaluators to automate the interview process structuring it in a manner that at the time of face-to-face interactions no questions are asked based on pre-conceived notions.

AI takes over the monotonous tasks of recruiting and lets HR managers focus on managing relationships with candidates. Engaging candidates and building relationships with candidates will set recruiting firms apart from the competition. The stronger and healthier relationships that recruiting managers build with candidates, the more likely they are to place them in the right firms.

In an AI world businesses can’t afford to miss the bus by not adapting to emerging technologies. There is going to be no life sans AI.

Umasanker Kandaswamy

Written By

Umasanker Kandaswamy holds a Masters in Public Administration from the University of Madras, is an Electronics & Communication Engineer and has done an MDP from Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad. With over 25 years of experience in Recruitment Consulting, Umasanker is a prolific headhunter, with over 3500 closures in his career, comprising of top management, senior management and reporting-to-board positions.

Umasanker has spearheaded large mandate recruitment projects for a variety of industries. Sourcing of any kind comes naturally to Umasanker – he manages IT sourcing with as much versatility as Non-IT.
A popular problem faced by recruiters then (and now) is that candidates do attend interviews, but either do not accept the offer or do not join as agreed. To counter this, the team lead by Umasanker devised a robust data capturing mechanism called the “Dialogue Box”. This helped the team leverage both structured and unstructured data that emerged during candidate interactions. By employing data-driven profiling methods, the team was able to ensure a very high candidate selection rate and high interview-to-joining conversion.

Today, this data analytics process, under Umasanker’s stewardship, has been scaled up using artificial intelligence and machine learning. Over the past 18 years, the team has profiled and researched over 15,00,000 resumes, drawing their career trajectories and analysing reasons for offer acceptance or decline. Research and Analytics has played a big role in our journey as a service provider of choice for talent requirements of discerning organizations.
Every year, Umasanker has, as a personal goal, been training young generation in the path of Leadership and has been invited by many colleges to be the Chief Guest to address the young graduates & post graduates. His passion for people is equalled only by his passion for music and cricket – Umasanker is a great singer and is a fast bowler.

Volunteering Experience :
Executive Committee Member – Indian Institute of Ahmedabad Chennai Chapter – 2018
President – Rotary Club of Madras Vadapalani – 2018 - 2019
Convener – Executive Recruiters Association – 2014 - 2016