Corporate themes

Reimagining Human Capital Management with Artificial Intelligence

 
November 26, 2018

Humans are fast developing future-proof machines by making them more efficient. However, the time has arrived when machines will help humans and organizations to function more efficiently and intelligently by tapping into the power of AI and IoT.

We have seen that in most cases organizations struggle to predict business results while leveraging the workforce. Factors which contribute to an organization’s poor performance are employee attrition, dissatisfaction, and inefficiency. To help present-day organizations manage the workforce better, human capital management (HCM) systems have evolved. Interestingly, according to a survey conducted by a global human capital solutions company, close to 72% of the employees feel that some roles within HCM will be totally automated in the next decade.

Why the human capital management function needs an AI-led overhaul

Organizations often strive to provide equal opportunity for employment. However, in reality, the recruitment process has never been foolproof – there always is an unconscious bias.

Most organizations have experimented with the evaluation systems but have failed to meet employee expectations. However, there are ways in which complaints can be appraised in a fair and objective manner by keeping biases away.

Slow HR procedures, evolving employee expectations: To match the expectations, progressive organizations aspire to effectively nurture their workforce and improve the services they offer to their employees. However, the HR procedures fail to keep pace with the fast-changing employee expectations.

Talent recruitment and retention: Often, there is a cost associated with talent training, hiring, and grooming. Despite the best HR practices and employee engagement programs, it is extremely difficult to assess whether an employee will continue to work with an organization.

How can organizations tackle these challenges? Could AI help? Without a doubt, yes!

Machine learning algorithms have the capability to address the above challenges. It is not uncommon to witness employee opinions on chat platforms and social media platforms. Machine learning algorithms and text analytics can help carry out sentiment analysis on large datasets, providing insights into employee feedback and opinions. As of today, the level of AI-led automation varies considerably across sectors. For instance, while IT services are the most automated, where the figure stands at 53%, in the case of HR services it is only about 37%.

It is wise for organizations to treat employees as customers and capture their behavior through qualitative and quantitative data. This would help them personalize the workplace environment, which will undeniably improve employee productivity.

Attrition is another area where AI can help. After all, which organization wouldn’t want to retain its best talent? Some organizations have started using machine learning algorithms to understand the reasons of attrition and draw out contingency plans so that business goals are not adversely affected.

AI enabled intelligent systems are capable of not only understanding behavioral and competency data, but can also recommend the ideal team for a critical assignment. Employee appraisal systems can be easily reimagined by capturing data in real time. AI systems will also enable organizations to mass customize training programs for employees. These will not only help employees upgrade their competency, but also guide them on what courses to enrol for depending on the particular stage of their career.

A glimpse into the future

AI systems help organizations with real-time decision-making that has a direct impact on customer engagement. By combining AI with HCM, organizations will be able to influence employee engagement in the same spirit, thereby building a significant competitive advantage. It won’t be untrue to say that companies which will dominate in the near future will have employee-centricity at their core, in addition to customer-centricity, and both these aspects will be powered by AI. By tapping into real-time data they will be able to predict the performance of employees, create future-proof talent strategies, and develop people-centric experience for their workforce. With adequate and accurate data, organizations will be able to drive employee compensation and reward systems and reduce the risk of biases during performance appraisals.

AI-powered HCM solutions will not only provide greater predictability but also offer more detailed insights into the workforce of an organization. The objective of focusing efforts on upgrading these systems is to shift toward more transparent, agile, efficient, and outcome-driven organizations. What do you think? How else will AI revolutionize the human capital management function? 

Rajeev has over 22 years of experience in working with several of TCS’ HiTech clients. His areas of expertise include solution design, relationship management, and project delivery. Rajeev has a Master’s degree in Computer Science from the Institute of Engineering and technology (IET), Lucknow, India.