By Ben Thompson, above, CEO and Co-founder, Employment Hero
Technology, including AI and automation, is enabling us to work in ways we have never done before. Not only is it making us more productive, but it’s saving us time and money so we can focus more on business growth and employee happiness.
We know businesses do well when they embrace new technologies, and AI is nothing short of a game changer, especially for smaller businesses who struggle to compete with the larger, corporate giants with vast resources. For them it is levelling the playing field.
With the use of AI, decision-making processes are streamlined. Algorithms offer the ability for business leaders to process facts and information in a fraction of the time it would take humans to process that information.
AI can streamline repetitive and dull tasks
For HR professionals and leadership teams, AI has the capability to streamline manual processes and administrative burdens, enabling them to focus on strategic initiatives that make their business a great place to work, such as engagement initiatives for employees to be involved in the business’s wider goals, or for HR professionals to be working on recognition and reward schemes for their employees.
AI helps with a range of HR and recruitment functions from writing job descriptions to creating templates for personal review letters. Soon, businesses will be able to match suitable candidates to promising job openings before an employer has even advertised the role – using AI to consider candidate’s skills, verified work history and qualifications to determine whether they are a good fit for a role.
With technology advancing so quickly, we are only months away from businesses being able to predict their future hiring needs based on past growth and streamlining each step of the recruitment process to get the right person in the right role, faster.
We’ve already started using AI at my company and the results are fantastic. Tasks that once took half a day now take an hour.
And this is clearly just the start. AI is getting better and better at data analysis day by day – gathering huge varieties of data from disparate sources like pdf documents, email, or websites, then completing custom analyses for the user.
This will make assessing the workload and performance of teams far easier and more holistic than some of the simplistic KPI metrics currently in use. If programmed right, it will also avoid some of the biases humans can introduce – whether those be based on gender, race, age, or just an HR manager’s relationship to a certain employee.
The limits of AI and the need for the human touch
While AI serves as an assistant in the employment process for both employers and employees, it by no means replaces the human elements. It shouldn’t automate every interaction but be there to help people be more efficient and productive.
We’re busy creating AI tools for business leaders and HR teams at my company. But we don’t want to even consider the idea that these could replace them. I want AI to give teams more time to do things like celebrating milestones and achievements or offering counsel when things go wrong. People shouldn’t just be sitting behind a desk writing another document.
A five-year study compiled by the Harvard Business Review on five leading companies: Google, Haier, Apple, Zappos, and Siemens – found that the reason they are thriving isn’t because they are the most technologically-driven companies in the world, but rather, because of organisational transformation.
These new, successful business models are all about bringing machines and humans together to complement and bring out the best in each other. AI adoption isn’t a zero sum game, it’s about using it as an effective tool to further business goals.
If anything, artificial intelligence helps to shape better leaders, not replace them. AI is powered by machine learning, and that means leaders have more data at their fingertips than ever before, enabling them to make smarter and more informed decisions.