Guest Post by Chelsea Cook
Noting tweets sent from a 2018 AI HR convention, it seems AI captured the industry’s attention – but may not have kept it.
Sensationalism aside, this might be a lens worth looking through as AI takes center-stage. At the very least, if a smaller company doesn’t use an IT service yet, they might be looking into utilizing such a service now, which is part of the IT/AI family.
The person whom you contact for support would be using sophisticated programs to streamline your business, improve candidate selection, or bring your brick and mortar store online. Very few businesses these days don’t use technology in some capacity. If you follow tweets from HR Tech conferences, you’ll still find resistance to AI. Could it be that too much time is being spent on complex technology while the people working are unappreciated, even side-lined?
One tweet expressed how dehumanizing the job hunt can be, and others suggested AI is in the limelight when it should be in the background.
There might be something to uncover in these tweets.
Business Sense and Tech Sense
If tech itself becomes a box to be ticked, companies may find they’re using the wrong software for their needs or have tech options go unused.
It’s not about being flash, on trend, or modern. It’s about using new technological developments to improve and enhance the product or service you provide. The tech you use shouldn’t be the selling point.
Being too tech-focused could result in missed opportunities to improve HR for the people in the business – not the bots working for it.
Having the Human Eye in the Right Place
Could HR be the area where AI doesn’t redefine job specs? Of course, you can choose software which does the best candidate evaluation for you, but without a human eye trained to supervise this, what you get may be an employee perfect on paper – but not in practice.
It’s the nuances of human nature that can be missed by AI. What we have in the world today is narrow AI, as opposed to General AI – still an idea, but not yet a product.
Narrow AI comprises the programs that function on command. Whatever the command, your input determines the output you receive. As yet, you can’t buy an HR director that needs to be charged or uses simple batteries in a General AI sense. Meaning, if you think you can get an artificial HR manager, you might be heading into a space where sci-fi meets reality.
What you would need is one who knows what tech is available to improve the product or service you provide. Having AI in your company doesn’t automatically improve it.
Putting Tech in Second Place
“Candidate experience isn’t a technology, it’s a mindset” was another tweet. What the writer of this tweet may mean is candidate experience can be argued to be relative to the job and the interviewer. What an employee can offer is more than the sum of their experience. It’s how a person is and how they form part of a team that can only be measured by another person, not a program that assesses their abilities.
An AI supporter may argue bias forms a part of mindsets, and as such, can be avoided with a more impartial program.
Is it possible that both perspectives are acceptable and can inhabit the same space?
A program can be programmed to be both biased and unbiased, but a human must answer to a team and should be kept in line by company policy and ethos.
Investing in AI Suitability
It’s about improving HR with technology, but not letting AI undermine the human side of HR.
If something’s popular, don’t just accept it. Question it. Learn about it. Think about whether it really can benefit your business. If so, implement and move on. Simply having AI in HR doesn’t improve the recruitment process overnight, either. For example, it only works well if those using it do so well, and only then will you see a return on your investment.
What every business should be doing is setting aside time and resources to invest in efficient computerized systems which suit the company you have. The HR team would be able to trial software instead of being forced to use product X, Y, or Z.
If you were to walk around a conference – taking note of the main features presented by vendors – is AI related tech a selling point? Often, the answer is yes. If you find it off-putting, is it because of overkill, or do you genuinely find it seems to undermine HR rather than support it?
Gimmicks are only gimmicks when they have no purpose or function. They can be distracting and add no value. If AI is being used as a gimmick, is it the fault if the tech or the one using it? The latter is more likely.
Adverse reactions to AI in HR should be taken seriously. Undermining confidence in a team by making them feel secondary to technology can only create more resistance when what you want is a team motivated by streamlined services.
About the Author
Chelsea Cook is an outreach manager and content creator for various businesses.
She’s fascinated by technological innovations and cutting-edge solutions that help make the world a better place.