The Impact of Artificial Intelligence on 2018's Top HR Trends

AI-related technological developments may cause sluggish growth in hiring, but it will create jobs too

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By Pallavi Jha


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With the rise of artificial intelligence, several of today's larger organizations face the issue of restructuring. Several global companies believe their organizational design is less than ideal, but few know how to go about remedying it.

The answer to this is to make sure the global workforce "upskills" to be qualified enough to handle fresh positions. Adapting to a rapidly-changing world of work will be the defining task of our time - organizations ought to invest in their workers to ensure they aren't left behind. Those with the right skills will be at an advantage to choose how, where and when they work. The rate of advancement and globalisation cannot be offset, but we can invest in employees' skills to enhance their resilience. Equally important is nurturing learnability and adopting new skills to stay abreast and remain employable.

As indicated in the trends listed below, while AI-related technological developments may cause sluggish growth in some areas of hiring, it will, as a matter of fact, create jobs too. Below are some of the HR trends that we will see gaining prominence in 2018, some of which will see artificial intelligence playing a supporting role:

1. HR Becomes a Strategic Business Partner

As strategy is usually undertaken by top management, this requires HR to work more closely with top management in order to become a strategic business partner, if not one already. A vast portion of today's CHRO's have already begun to implement this. HR ought to focus on understanding the wishes, needs and competencies of employees, which are integral to designing a highly-coveted employee experience and becoming a fantastic employer brand.

2. Renewed Emphasis on Employee Productivity

When filling positions is a time-sensitive priority, it gets tougher for recruitment to be scrupulous. A lack of quality talent causes an increase in the levels of coordination and management required, meaning that productivity goes down.

When the hiring emphasis is on quality and productivity, benefits increase for the organisation as well as for its employees. People analytics can support HR in gathering data to determine the habits and characteristics of the highest performing people and teams. The findings of which can be used in future recruitment and talent development.

3. Focus on People Analytics

People analytics was once a technical discipline owned exclusively by data experts. Today, it has carved out its own niche as a business and managerial discipline; meaning 2018 will see an increase in the number of organizations with a stand-alone people analytics function. Among other tasks, the PA team will be responsible for creating means by which to link team leaders and senior management. The real challenge will then be to generate insights that can inform decisions relating to people, teams and the best ways to support them.

4. Learning in Real-time

With micro-learning gaining popularity, learning modules are being increasingly broken up into more digestible pieces, providing employees with access to learning material when they need it, AKA "just in time' learning. An L&D approach can also be adopted through gamification, with new virtual and augmented reality offerings making it more enjoyable. The challenge will be to track and measure the performance of an organization's human capital, to be able to find or create the most appropriate learning solution.

These trends point to a superior workplace experience in 2018. And although companies may face new hurdles in making them a reality, they will likely be met with a more streamlined approach, higher productivity and greater engagement.

Pallavi Jha

Chairperson and Managing Director, Dale Carnegie Training India

Pallavi Jha is the Chairperson and Managing Director of Dale  Carnegie Training India which has international partnerships with some of the world's leading firms and brands such as Dale Carnegie, USA (training), and PerformanSe, France (Assessments). Pallavi has diversified exposure to various management practices in areas such as training and development, HR, consulting and business restructuring, covering a wide range of industries from media, entertainment, technology to the financial services sector and the engineering industry.  

Apart from being a keynote speaker and a panel member in various forums on business, HR, training and leadership and an active member of the Confederation of Indian Industry and has held offices of the Chairperson for Maharashtra Council, CII and the Skills Development Committee for CII, Western Region, she is also an active member of the National Council on Skills Development, CII and its National Sub-committee on School Education.  

As a member of Rotary Club of India, Pallavi pursues her efforts in social projects. She has also received recognition as a Paul Harris Fellow. Earlier, was Executive Director of India's leading construction company, HCC, an erstwhile Walchand Group company before starting off her own ventures. She also worked briefly in market research at Feedback Ventures and Procter & Gamble. Pallavi is an MBA from Syracuse University, New York and a graduate in humanities from St Xavier's College, Mumbai. 

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