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Outsource magazine: thought-leadership and outsourcing strategy | February 20, 2018

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The Rise of AI in HR – Are We More Ahead Of The Curve Than We Take Credit For?

The Rise of AI in HR – Are We More Ahead Of The Curve Than We Take Credit For?
Outsource Magazine

It is no secret that effective talent acquisition and management is absolutely integral to wider business success. Any organisation is only as good as its people, but a tight labour market—coupled with notable skills shortages—has created a climate where the ability to attract and retain the right skills and expertise is becoming increasingly difficult for many leaders.

Against this backdrop, it is unsurprising that decision makers are scrambling for a solution to ongoing staffing challenges – and the meteoric rise in the potential of Artificial Intelligence (AI) within the public consciousness means that technology is viewed as the obvious solution. However it’s important that organisations not chase AI solutions without fully understanding the potential benefits – and limitations – of robotic process automation and machine learning.

According to new research by global talent acquisition and management firm, Alexander Mann Solutions, almost all (96%) senior HR professionals believe that AI has the potential to enhance talent acquisition and retention, and over 70% of senior HR professionals believe that robotics will have a positive impact on their organisation over the next three years.

However despite this, figures from LinkedIn’s 2017 Global Recruitment Trends report reveals that internal teams are only investing 17% of their budget into new technologies—a figure which continues to be dwarfed by investment into job adverts and recruitment agencies, which combined account for over 50% of their total spend. Consequently, just 25% of senior HR professionals already claim to use robotics in their HR or talent acquisition function with 57% believing that innovation within their organisation is too slow.

Given the media fascination with all that is robotic, this view is understandable. But it is interesting that many of the clients we work with are further ahead of the curve than they give themselves credit for.

In an increasingly competitive employment market where skills shortages are escalating at an unprecedented rate, the business benefits of utilising robotics have never been more clear, and it is somewhat unsurprising that almost three quarters of senior HR professionals believe that automation will have a positive impact on their organisations.

Software automation holds significant opportunities for HR professionals and can augment the repetitive tasks associated with talent acquisition, including data migration, sifting and aggregating. In fact analysis from Great Recruiters revealed that as much as 60% of recruiters’ time is devoted to sorting candidates, and that by automating the top of their funnel process recruiters can gain between three and five hours a day which can be used for truly productive tasks.

It is certainly promising to see that an astounding 96% of senior HR leaders understand the benefits of utilising AI in their HR and talent management functions. AI technologies and data analytics tools both hold significant opportunities for candidate sourcing, selection and retention. And with figures from LinkedIn’s 2016 Global Recruiting Survey finding that 46% of HR leaders are still struggling to attract candidates in high demand talent pools, it’s clear that organisations which embrace technology will have an edge over their competitors.

That said, I’d advise caution around joining the ‘race to innovate’ for the wrong reasons. The buzz around AI means that business decision makers are eager to jump on the AI bandwagon through a fear of being left behind. And I would argue that many who believe that innovation within their own business is not fast enough may be more progressive than they realise.

Leaders must understand the capabilities of their existing technology as well as the desired business benefit of any procurement exercise before making the rash decision to invest heavily in AI solutions through a fear of missing out. They may, after all, be sitting on the functionality they need already.

150x150 Laurie

Laurie Padua’s role is global and diverse in nature, leading the technology and operations consulting team across Alexander Mann Solutions since the acquisition of the Talent Collective in early 2014. Laurie leads a highly skilled team of subject matter experts delivering consulting, implementation and training solutions to corporate talent acquisition leaders and their teams around the world.


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