AI & HR: the impacts on the transactional processes in Human Resources
The terms artificial intelligence and robotics are often used synonymously but are quite different, albeit complementary, in their application. Robotics, in simple terms, means process automation - using technology to remove human intervention in some of the lower value add activities such as information keying, data analysis and performing complex calculations. Artificial intelligence is a somewhat different concept – it applies a level of intelligent processing and learning, similar to that which a human brings when analysing patterns of behaviour and trends in data. The more AI analyses your data, the more it can learn about trends, behaviours and patterns that can provide genuinely useful insight for HR, for example being able to suggest corrective actions to take to retain a high performing employee at risk of leaving.
SD Worx believes AI can and is having a huge impact on the transactional side of HR. To date we’ve used AI in a number of ways, these include:
Data analysis and trend prediction
The AI engine that SD Worx utilises is able to look at an organisations data and then present back trends, future predictions and data anomalies. It provides organisations unique insights into possible future actions of their employees, for example SD Worx AI has learnt how to recognise the markers that show an employee might be looking for a new opportunity and is at risk of leaving. Of course, these are things that a human could find but are hugely labour intensive and prone to error. AI is able to do this quickly, reliably and efficiently. The more a human then interacts with the results allows the system to learn what is important and tailor the information provided. As AI gains traction we will see more and more providers utilising technology to drive this type of data analysis and prediction.
AI can also add value to any process heavy tasks. For example, one of SD Worx largest clients captures absence in a 3rd party system which emails the details to SD Worx Managed Payroll team for processing. SD Worx has developed AI that can monitor these emails, automatically key them into the SD Worx absence system and process the correct payment to the employee. Of course, a traditional import tool would have done a similar job but would not have had the same outcome – data would not have been put through the same rigour, validation and application of absence rules that happen when AI mirrors the actions an end user would take if they were keying directly into the system. Automation of this process alone has saved over 4 FTE per month.
AI is very real and an integral part of our day to day personal lives - think about speaking to Google maps to get directions, or asking Alexa to make a shopping list. So how will that translate to HR of the future? And more importantly how will it enhance the HR experience for employees and workers?
Chatbots are one way that AI can make a significant difference and help employees with any HR related issues. If you have ever used a Chatbot, you know that you can send them a message and receive an appropriate response right away. Employees can be constantly connected through their mobile devices communicating with HR on a wide range of topics from simple process queries, legislation questions or clarification on HR policy. But chatbots have far more potential than just answering questions – layered in with some of the other available AI technology and machine based learning they can be used to perform analysis, recommend process changes, predict outcomes based on direct employee interactions.
If Chatbots are a very near-term future for HR, and AI ‘personal assistants’ are with us in our personal lives the days of having a talking HR system are truly within our grasp. Imagine asking Alexa to book a holiday for you, provide you the latest headcount position ahead of an important meeting, swap a shift with a colleague or maybe even predict what you will be paid if you work additional hours this week?
At SD Worx we are investing heavily in leveraging technology to enhance the lives of our customers employees and workers in new and innovative ways; and we’ll be showcasing our vision for HR technology of the future at our upcoming European Conference in London on 6th February 2018.