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3 Ways Artificial Intelligence (AI) Is Changing Human Resources

November 24, 2020

Well-known organizations are devoting more resources to understanding and utilizing artificial intelligence (AI) in their HR practices. AI tools are being used for everything from recruiting to hiring assessments, development, and promotions.

iStock-1153675389Maria Aspan mentions several examples in an AI article for Fortune. For example, Expedia is using AI for their job postings. Chatbots are being used by Domino’s Pizza and L’Oreal. Amazon has AI in place to flag individuals for promotion or demotion based on reaching productivity goals. And IBM has an AI system that can warn managers and provide suggestions for how to retain employees that might be planning to quit. There are several ways in which AI is influencing HR, and here are three of them.  

1. Video Interviewing 

Interviewing is one of the major pain points for many hiring practices because it takes time, effort, and can be difficult to measure objectively. And even if it’s done right, a hiring manager could still go with his/her gut” based on the interview. Bias can enter this part of the process whether we want it to or not. So many organizations are wondering, "what if we take the human and bias out of interviewing?" Delta Airlines and Hilton use automated video interviews as well as others. Using natural language processing, different key phrases and tones are measured during the interview. Video interviews (auto-scored) are not actual interviews; rather, they’re simply another method used in a selection process to collect information. These videos can be shared later with other key stakeholders or used in the overall data collection process during interviewing.  

2. The Need for AI Experts in HR 

In any field, it is difficult to make strides and progress without an expert. So many HR departments are lacking the AI expertise that could lift them into a new level of automated processing for HR-related tasks and projects. In an article by Mike DiClaudio for KPMG he states  

“Only 14% of companies invested in AI for HR over the past two years. A full 50% of those polled admitted to being not at all prepared to respond strategically as AI and machine learning emerge. HR’s entrenched task-oriented culture is the chief obstacle to digital innovation.” 

As time goes on, there’s no doubt that the number of companies invested in AI for HR will increase as they break through the task-oriented mindset and move toward HR innovation. This will be a vital measure of success for HR in the future for adapting and incorporating AI and other new technology.  

3. Litigation and Government Regulation 

As more and more new AI technology comes into practice for organizations, so does the scrutiny of it from a legal point of view. One of the reasons for this is that the algorithms that various AI models use to analyze data is unknown to the users and, many times, the vendors.  

For example, AI can help assess job applicants by using algorithms to analyze video interviews based on word choice, facial movements, and more. The scrutiny here is that there may be a possibility that it adversely impacts candidates that do not fall in line with what the majority of data has marked as traditional (with regard to race, ethnicity, or gender, for example)Whether a product like this is good or bad is not the point here, but the point is that some may argue that there is a need to have some sort of regulation around AI hiring tools to ensure candidates are all getting a fair chance in the hiring process. In an MIT Technology Review articlethey state that it will be difficult to regulate, as most companies won’t release their data or explain how the algorithms work. Therefore, it will be difficult to prove any bias.  

In Illinois, they passed a law in 2019 that states organizations must inform each applicant that AI may be used to analyze video interviewsprovide each applicant with information on how the AI works, and obtain prior consent from the applicant to be evaluated by the AI program.  

These are just three of the many ways that AI is impacting the world of HR. The one thing we know for sure is that technology will continue to provide paths to innovation for all areas of business, and HR is no exception.  

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Trevor McGlochlin Trevor McGlochlin is a Research Consultant at PSI. He leads the Financial and Automotive verticals within R&D. He earned a Master of Science degree in Industrial and Organizational Psychology from Florida Institute of Technology. His areas of expertise include selection, employee turnover, organizational development, applied research, and statistical analyses. His analysis work is centered around validation, adverse impact, turnover analyses, assessment scoring, and other data analysis.