Five reasons AI can be an HR gamechanger

Leading HR experts reveal the reasons they turned to AI to solve business challenges

By | 2 minute read | July 9, 2019

Wondering what artificial intelligence (AI) could do for your HR department? The IBM Smarter Workforce Institute has some suggestions. We interviewed 20 of IBM’s HR leaders responsible for bringing AI to HR to understand their experiences and to help other HR teams on their journey.

Here are the top five reasons we identified for implementing AI in HR:

  1. Solve business challenges. The most successful AI deployments are linked to business challenges. This is not about implementing technology for technology’s sake, but rather, bringing tangible improvements to the business. Perennial challenges, such as quickly finding and hiring the best candidates for critical jobs and optimizing the allocation of compensation budgets by aligning with the business strategy, can be addressed through the thoughtful application of AI solutions.
  2. Attract and develop new skills. The skills needed for business success are continually evolving and organizations need to respond quickly to these changing demands. AI can help by identifying skills gaps at the macro level, as well as sourcing and prioritizing candidates based on the likelihood of success. AI tools can also provide highly relevant learning experiences and personalized career guidance to help people realize their full potential.
  3. Improve employee experience. Previous research shows that employee experience is linked to retention, discretionary effort, and individual and organizational performance. One of the best things about AI, in my view, is its ability to create positive employee experiences while solving business challenges. AI allows for personalization at scale, and it brings benefits to all employees rather than a select few.
  4. Provide strong decision support. A key objective of AI in HR is to help managers and employees make better-informed decisions by providing data-based insights when and where needed. The area of compensation is a great example. To make the best possible compensation decisions, managers need access to multiple internal and external data points, and they need to make sense of those factors. The right AI solution can access, interpret, and contextualize the data and then provide informed advice to managers. Most importantly, the solution should explain the reasons for its advice so that the manager can choose whether or not to implement the recommendations.
  5. Make the most of HR budgets. Any technology implementation requires an investment, but the good news for budget-constrained HR departments is that it is possible to embark on your journey to AI with what IBM describes as a ‘self-funding model.’ By automating routine tasks, enabling better decisions and freeing up time for higher value work, the upfront investments pay for themselves quickly in overall cost savings and better performance.

While each of these five reasons for deploying AI in HR is compelling, organizations will often see multiple reasons addressed by a single AI application. In fact, I encourage you to aim for all five when embarking on your own AI in HR journey.

For practical guidance on using AI in HR, including five steps to getting started, read The Business Case for AI in HR

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