How HR Should Prepare for the AI Revolution

By Special Guest
Leena Boor
February 14, 2019

The biggest disruptor in the modern world of business is that of artificial intelligence. AI is forcing every aspect of a company to change and adapt, not least the human resources. So, what should HR know about AI?

The world is slowly but surely finally starting to wake up to the new kind of industrial revolution. This is likely going to be led by robots and smart machines and the consequences could be profound. As automation and AI are entering the workforce in big numbers and across different industries, it is the task of the HR professional to deal with it!

Preparing the workforce for AI with skill training

HR professionals have to pay attention to the changes AI will pose for the workplace. The robotic revolution is already changing how, when, who and where we work and HR has to be on top of talent acquisition.

This means that the HR sector must readjust how it hires and trains people. The emphasis must be on those future skills: problem solving, emotional intelligence and creativity. Of course, as the world is automating and becoming more digital, HR must also keep an eye out for technical expertise.

It is not just about finding the right talent and keeping in mind these future skills when hiring today. HR also has to start adopting the workplace and training with these skills in mind. This means implementing new training programs and taking advantage of better human resource management systems and analysis.

Getting ready for AI with the right software

But it’s not just about the skills in the workplace that HR should get ready for with the AI revolution. The other main component HR professionals will have to start considering is the IT – both in terms of infrastructure and software. It’s important to start adopting new ways of working, including the popularity of things like flexible and distant work. The modern workplace is not tied to a physical location but people can work in the same organisation from various different spaces. This is a big challenge that the HR personnel has to overcome.

One of the ways to do it, and the other component of IT, is implementing the right software choices within the organisation. A good human resource management system can solve multiple problems, utilise the AI functionality in terms of decision-making and help the HR understand its workforce slightly better. The new software solutions open up huge possibilities and it’s vital to look into them as comprehensively as possible. If the whole organisation approaches AI and machine learning openly, it’s not just the HR that’ll benefit. Across the organisation, the right human resource management systems can save costs, improve productivity and boost employee satisfaction.

Understanding the importance of value work

The same time as AI is changing the way we work, it’s also supporting the shift in how people want to work. For HR, it’s crucial to use this to its advantage and help the organisation provide more valuable work environments. This can easily be achieved with the help of the earlier points. by improving skill training and adjusting the technology to help employees, HR departments and companies can attract the right talent with more meaningful work.

This is important – in a recent report, many workers highlighted the importance of meaning. They do this to the extent to which people are willing to exchange some money for more valuable work. This means that HR professionals have to adjust to the inevitable changes AI will bring about by ensuring the value and meaning of work doesn’t just disappear. There are many ways to do that but again AI itself can help. It can remove certain aspects of the jobs away that employees might find meaningless or slightly boring. Meaning can also be achieved by creating stronger career progression tracks – this is definitely an area to highlight.

No time for gloom and doom

The above might sound like doom and gloom. To many, the AI revolution is about swapping the human for the robot. But the above should show that this isn’t the case. HR simply needs to understand the realities of the modern workplace and help everyone adjust to the new rules, procedures and requirements.

This is not, unfortunately, happening all across the board. According to a Deloitte study, there is a so-called readiness gap. This means that while the recognition of AI’s importance is exceptionally high, many feel ill-equipped to respond to it. however, the positive news is the fact that, as the above shows, there are human resource management systems out there responding to the challenge. The ball is now at the hand of HR professionals and companies to adopt these tools and make the most of adjusting to the future AI-led world.

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