Is AI in human resources helping or harming?
London School of Economics recently carried out an interesting study on the impact of AI in human resources. Artificial intelligence has to some extent existed in HR but perhaps not as much as it has in other business functions. However the pandemic has brought significant changes that impacted all business functions.
AI-powered chatbots and virtual assistants are performing an array of tasks that include administrative support, customer resolution, organizing schedules and carry out tasks using voice commands. All this is quite impressive and innovative. But where does it leave actual humans in the workforce? Is the reduction of unemployment just a facade? These are jobs that could have been carried out by high school grads or even fresh university graduates.
AI and data science measures, collects and quantifies high quality performance indicators such as mindset, communication style, personal attributes and intellectual capabilities. What it does, is it narrows people down from being multi-dimensional to being one-dimensional “robots” if you will. And it is happening at a pace that we can’t even imagine.
Many recruiters have lamented that they find recruitment software such as applicant tracking systems (ATS) more harmful than helpful. It simplifies the selection process by reviewing profiles against pre-determined criteria and that’s great, but this means that companies miss out on exceptional talent and transferable skills because AI doesn’t have the human capacity to see people as a whole, but rather as a set of data in a profile. Next thing you know we’ll have AI-powered recruiters.
AI has so many advantages in that it can help the individual perform their job functions better and that is exactly what it should do, but to replace the individual completely does make one wonder what the end game is for human resources. Are we going too fast? Who sets the bar for AI in HR?
“Rumor” has it that AI helps human resource management understand and improve motivation and a company’s social climate by assessing real-time engagement levels. Where have HR managers failed in their ability to assess other human beings themselves that they need artificial intelligence to do it for them? While it may help to understand the data it can’t help understand workplace emotions, lack of motivation or social climate.
We’re living in a time where everything is “smart,” from smart phones to smart cities, where you could find yourself being checked into a hotel by a robot receptionist or served by a robot waiter. But where does it leave people?