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How will AI transform the workforce landscape?

(Image credit: Image Credit: Geralt / Pixabay)

Artificial Intelligence is known for driving the reinvention of workflows and technology. It's rightly said that AI can enable humans to focus on parts of their role that add the most value. A plethora of applications has permeated into every fabric of an organisation, determining an enterprises’ digital maturity over time.

The number of executives trying to leverage AI has increased exponentially. AI has automated processes using sophisticated technologies which helps employees and business owners make important analytical decisions.

AI has proven itself capable of unlocking hidden value from unstructured data and monitor trends, which strengthens strategic decision making. While we haven’t quite reached that phase where we would blindly trust a smart machine’s intelligence over human judgment, an organisation’s human resource department can still benefit from getting in on the action.

When it comes to closing skills gaps and staffing businesses with the right quantity of potential, you would need a system that narrows down the search for the right candidates from the applicant pool.

Let’s take a look at the ways AI will reinvent the HR landscape:

1. Competency tracking

Advertised positions that go unnoticed and unfilled for long is disastrous for workforce productivity. It means more work for your existing talent pool, and delays to work on account of a lack in crucial skills.  It’s essential to fill these gaps, but with competent people.

Sifting through a pile of applications, screening them and matching them is arduous. In this situation, relying on technology that can help automate and streamline certain tasks of recruiting workflows, especially those which are high-volumed and repetitive is convenient.

AI has driven the automation of these tasks to a great extent. Using potential applications like sentiment analysis, Intelligent screening software and digitised interviews, screening of applications or scheduling of interviews are done more quickly. This helps HRs to focus on other high-valued tasks, such as setting up the next round or determining an applicant's cultural fit. To simplify it further, an AI enabled resource management tool gives complete visibility on your existing resource pool, from skills availability statuses for the work in mind, to future effort estimates required for jobs in the pipeline. It not only forewarns HRs about the required skills but also helps them take strategic decisions about full-time or part-time hiring measures. This saves their time and also cuts last time hiring costs of the company.

2. Employee training

Employees are the backbone of an organisation. Their skills and productivity determine the quality of your deliverable. In order to meet customer’s expectations and maintain quality standards of your organisation, it’s crucial to train your employees and up their game based on their skills. With so many employees on-board, it’s challenging to keep track of their skill set and when was the last upgrade or certification obtained.

AI has managed to cover this aspect of managing workforce too. It analyses large data sets of information on past skills and job-profiles prove to give training suggestions and tailored training programs which is an excellent base for e-learning platforms.

By learning and understanding employee’s profile and company needs, the e-learning platform can facilitate employees to fill the skill-gaps and also polish their present skills. This not only serves an organisation’s purpose of maintaining work quality but also gives a chance to the employees to grow professionally and enhance their skills.

3. Employee engagement

Employee engagement is imperative to maintain a healthy workplace and keep the talent pool motivated to serve your organisation. It keeps their stress-levels in check. Further, it boosts productivity which directly leads to better quality of work.

To achieve this, team building strategies devised should be communicated on a collaborative platform in order to inform employees of what the organisation is doing, and when. Scheduling timely meetings to boost their morale and provide feedback on their work will keep them motivated to drive themselves to work everyday.

Besides scheduling meetings, you can also gamify work in certain ways to make your workplace even more interesting. These gamifying techniques could range from making quizzes with scorecards to enrolling consistently exceptional staff onto reward programs. It will not only boost their competitive spirit but also encourages others to follow suit and play to their strengths. By structuring performance improvement plans around a clearer picture of an individual’s strengths and weaknesses, no important skill gets overlooked. It’s a win-win situation for both employers and employees alike!

4. Employee retention

Employee satisfaction is crucial to retain the talent pool of your organisation. Hence, it’s important for talent acquisition experts to track their progress, stay informed about their strengths and weaknesses to make sound decisions. AI enabled software and tools can simplify the overall process. By interpreting performance-related data, AI can broaden HR’s perspective on employee’s progress, job-related attitudes and health of the workplace. Based on these insights, HRs can decide which resource is suitable for a raise or has to be enrolled for performance improvement plans. 

Employees feel valued and understand that their contribution is adding meaning to work and also gives them a chance to upgrade their skills to meet company’s expectations. There’s more to it! AI provides better work-life balance by preventing over-allocation of tasks using systematic scheduling software and also automating time-off requests. In fact, IBM’s AI can forewarn the head-hunters about which employee is planning to leave down the line with 95 per cent accuracy using analytical insights. It will provide enough time to HRs to take retention efforts to prevent talent attrition. So, with sophisticated and innovative technologies, AI can enhance overall work experience and reduce employee turnover immensely.

5. Visible forecasting

To avoid last-minute hassles and reduce resourcing costs, HRs like to stay forewarned about skill requirements for pipeline projects down the line. Doing this manually is practically opening doors for errors because you can miss skills you didn’t know you needed, which can stunt project’s progress. With data-driven technologies and intelligent software, AI enables HRs to foresee future skill requirements ahead of time which helps them take strategic decisions. 

HRs can decide if they need to hire someone on a contract basis or provide training sessions to existing employees who need upskilling. This prevents them from taking on more full-timers where the job demands a more on-demand, contingent worker (i.e. freelancer, contractor). Not only this, they also get alerts on whose contract is about to end, which gives them enough window to hire someone new or extend their contract and also gives you complete visibility of your on-demand workforce position. AI forecasting also alerts you about expiration of certifications. 

HRs can leverage these predictive insights of AI to manage their workforce better.

Over to you

AI and its machine learning and automation capabilities have collectively transformed the workforce landscape. Self-regulation of tasks frees up time for HR professionals to strategically identify those applicants that possess role-specific traits, like creativity, critical thinking and empathy.

While they are indulged in focusing on more human tasks, technology can also handle repetitive tasks at the same time. This also helps the organisation to develop AI enabled systems which gives them a platform in technologically advanced industry. Eventually, an advanced business landscape strengthens their brand reputation, attracting top talent and eventually enhancing the employee experience. which eventually enhances employee experience reducing turnover.

Mahendra Gupta, research and development, Saviom Software

Mahendra Gupta is a PMP certified expert on workforce management and resource scheduling solutions. He currently directs Saviom Software's research and development wing and can be reached on LinkedIn.