31 (126) 2017
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Artificial Intelligence and Human Resources

by Aleksandra Kujawa, business unit manager, Antal IT Services
Header a kujawa


From time to time, strong trends emerge on the human resources market that everyone finds as revolution.

The world's first HR department was set up more than 120 years ago in the National Cash Register Company. A few years later, the first search and selection tests were introduced. As the Internet era began in the 1990s, candidates could forget about paper CV and the recruitment world begun to run.

Nowadays, more and more companies are based around developing and selling ICT solutions. According to Eurostat, one out of every five companies across the EU hires someone with ICT competencies, and there are more than eight million people already employed in the sector, with the most working in the UK and Germany. However, this is still not enough and the EU lacks millions of specialists. Can some of them be replaced with AI solutions?

AI is also often called machine intelligence or machine learning. That means highly developed cognitive functions based on the massive data collected, processed and transformed into actions that can learn from its own performance and improve. The best-known applications at the moment are autonomous cars, human speech recognition  such as Apple’s Siri and Amazon’s Alexa, or Cogito advising you on emotions, to help your business improve its customer experience. Amazing!

The first phase of AI is happening; solutions are being developed for e-commerce, continually improving customer service, making our life easier and helping us buy new things as effortlessly as possible. Next will come a time when we can use it to improve our skills, helping children learn such hard competences like programming form the scratch, using a friendly robot. Schools and training centres are already using virtual reality, so you can reach the peak of Mount Everest or explore underwater volcanoes without moving from your chair. Companies are working intensively on developing smart e-books that will adjust to individual’s learning approach, and systems that will learn every student's aptitudes, advising them continuously on improvement and providing them with ready learning solutions. On top of the far greater effectiveness this offers, it's also much more fun than another pen-and-paper questionnaire determining who you want be in the future.

If local economies are to have a ready supply of well-skilled specialists adjusted to the market's needs, the HR industry could also improve a lot from AI solution. Right now, in common use we can find chatbots, mostly based on Facebook’s Messenger solution, that give real-time answers, helping HR departments and recruitment companies. That’s really useful and time saving, especially when it comes to answering employees’ standard questions or during talent acquisition while processing the first selection. But that’s just the beginning. In future, HR management will be able to offer a personal virtual advisor to every employee. By learning and analysing, it can assist you on onboarding new staff, developing their skills, improving the structure of the working day, providing a business-news package and even alerting when it’s time for holidays as you start looking to increase effectiveness. It can also provide feedback about your performance and engagement to your boss and accelerate promotion! How often we discover that have had amazing people working in organisations... and we only notice them after they leave the job.

The recruitment process could also benefit from AI solutions that are still on the development phase. Most of us have changed the job several times across our career; however, some of us work on contracts or change it every couple of months. What if there existed a solution that will find you online whenever a great opportunity appears? Instead of waiting days for the recruiter to call, a velvety (though virtual) voice will guide you as to how you should tweak your CV for this job, tell you about its requirements, verify your skills, and advise you how much you should earn. Then each time you have a question or would like to check the recruitment status, the answer will be within a second.

AI will never substitute human beings. It can, however, be useful, especially in areas where machine learning and development performs properly. Instead of fighting with the technologies that may substitute human competences, we should focus on gaining new skills, retraining and concentrating on those areas where humans will be needed most.

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