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How Emerging Technologies Like AI, ML and Robotics are Impacting Talent Acquisition?

With leading companies such as IBM, Microsoft, Amazon, Google, Samsung and others heavily investing in the area of advanced technologies like Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and Robotics, digital transformation across industries is inevitable. Let’s analyze the impact of such technologies on talent acquisition.

How Emerging Technologies Like AI, ML and Robotics are Impacting Talent Acquisition?

With emerging technologies like artificial intelligence pervading the workplace, skills such as creativity, critical thinking, problem analysis and resolution are gaining high importance. Leading enterprises are realizing that these advanced technologies are most effective when they complement humans, not replace them. Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Robotics, and automation are becoming popular in the workplace, at a pace much faster than many organizations could ever estimate. While organizations are increasingly using these exponential technologies to automate existing processes, true trailblazers are radically rethinking work architecture to draw maximum value of both human workforce and machines. The primary objective is to create new opportunities to organize work more effectively and to redefine the human skills and careergraph.

Over the years, digital transformation has become a common phenomenon across several industrial practices specifically due to the rise of advanced technologies like machine intelligence. The HR practice is no exception. Leading companies such as IBM, Microsoft, Amazon, Google, Samsung, and others are heavily investing in this area. According to a recent report from leading audit consultancy services firm Deloitte, the adoption of automation, robotics and artificial intelligence (AI) are accelerating dramatically. Forty-one percent of respondents rated this topic as very important. Almost half of the survey’s respondents said that their organizations are deeply involved in automation projects with 24% using AI and robotics to perform routine tasks, 16% to augment human skills and 7% to restructure work entirely.

Analysts suggest that centralized shared services are likely to be the first HR area in which robots or robotic process automation (RPA) will gain control. Centralized shared services are created to streamline, scale, and standardize iterative HR administrative practices. These services lend themselves well to RPA which systematizes manually intensive, high-volume, routine work. Here consideration is of front-end rather than back-end system integration. This implies, anything a human can do by accessing a system and entering data via an interface, can probably be done using RPA to imitate human actions.

Artificial Intelligence is being increasingly implemented by organizations in resume scanning and video interviewing. However, organizations are still at the infancy stage when it comes to the use of automation in a recruitment process. It’s all about ensuring that candidates have a personalized journey right from the moment they apply for an open position with your organization.

Very often there's this common question popping up about the distinction between talking to a robot versus a human. We are living in an era where AI-powered voice assistants like Alexa, Siri, Bixby, Hey Google, Cortana are becoming household names with the increased popularity of smart homes and offices. A lot of pomp-n-show encompass the use of chatbots to render personalized experiences and to streamline portions of the hiring process. However, we have to give time to these technologies and tools to evolve. Though Google Duplex can match actual human voice patterns as well as the pace of conversation, it’s still-in-development phase. Many thought, leaders believe that it’s unethical not to declare during any interaction that it is not with a human, rather with a virtual assistant.

During the hiring process, assessment of skills is a very important aspect. Though advanced companies are deploying machine intelligence to assess the first level of technical skills, there’s very little scope for bots to judge specific behavioral aspects (SBA), culture and attitude that an individual brings to a company. However, the rate of innovation in AI, ML, and robotics is so high that it may take you to a stage where more sophisticated chatbots and machines will keep you wondering if you are interacting with a machine or a human.

According to Montage 2018 survey, talent acquisition leaders agree AI is an accepted concept in recruiting but remain cautious about adoption. Nearly half (46%) have considered using machine intelligence to automate their hiring processes, while 51% believe they are confident in using machine learning to inform their hiring decisions. Artificial Intelligence that enables recruiters to be more efficient and strategic with their time is showing greater adoption.

At present, talent acquisition teams are excessively loaded with operational redundant tasks, like scanning through resumes and conducting initial screening interviews. But, as organizations adopt recruiting tools that make the best use of the power of AI, like text-based interviewing and automated scheduling solutions, these tedious administrative tasks will be eliminated. It will give room to the recruiters to be more strategic with their time and focus on intellectually inclined activities like engaging, interviewing and hiring the right talent. Top Organizations like Google, take only 10% of applicants to the next level of interviewing, as it is believed that a top performer is seldom identified through the inbound application.

The Deloitte study also found that the emerging technologies like AI, ML and robotics are opening new opportunities for HR ecosystem. Software applications can now recognize faces and identify gender, listen to voices and identify mood as well as decompile video interviews to identify education level, lying or forged response and cognitive ability. Analytics based tools can intelligently select candidates, identify employees’ career options and coach managers on sharpening their leadership skills.

However, at the grass root level, HR as a practice needs to understand the skills required in a business enterprise and how it will be adding value to that organization before it even delves into the world of technology and AI. Companies will need to try and identify what type of value addition the tools are doing and cautiously scan the available apps at their disposal. Some of these tools are technological, while some are people in your business and it’s about combining different types of solution. It’s about considering the best technology present in the workplace and how organizations will leverage as well as interact with that technology. It is also about how people will want to work and the planning needed to be put in place. It’s about a transition to an automated workplace and the skills needed to facilitate that transition. The challenge to the HR practice is that in the next five to ten years, some jobs within the profession will be displaced due to automation. AI will continue to support HR roles where clearly defined policies and processes need to be applied, such as resume screening and the initial round of technical interview.

The real power of inculcating technologies like artificial intelligence into talent acquisition process is to free up human resource professionals from repetitive monotonous tasks which tools can perform. So human leaders can dedicate more time into bringing more of their emotional intelligence to their role, which the practice seriously lacks at the moment.

Until recently, the profession used to be considered as the safest from employment perspective, but not anymore. With technology getting inducted into the system, organizations migrating legacy apps and data to the cloud, service providers implementing powerful algorithms, it is becoming important for organizations to maintain accurate HR data, carefully analyze tools for accuracy and take corrective action as soon as deviations surface. In order to have a better workplace with a smarter workforce that consistently strives to raise the top line, it is best to allow technologies to complement human resources.

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