AI: Slow death of HR?

AI May 27, 2021

Digitalization and the new technological possibilities that artificial intelligence (AI) bring drive a massive change in the workplace environment. But when we talk about this, a very influential and debatable question is likely to come up,

Will AI replace HR?

In the last few years, AI has gained a lot of traction in the HR domain. From asking questions like how AI will lead to job loss. How does this impact the future of HR? Can AI replace entire HR roles, or will this technology be a powerful enabler? We have welcomed the use of artificial intelligence.

These sophisticated computer programs excel at recognising patterns, planning, and adapting in ways that mimic human thought. Unlike people, however, who can grow tired or bored or bring unconscious biases into their decisions, AI programs are fast, tireless, and efficient.

“The 2019 study shows that AI is redefining not only the relationship between worker and manager but also the role of a manager in an AI-driven workplace.”

Humans have certainly made progress in this digitized age. In the field of business, artificial intelligence has generated improvements to almost every business process.

AI is shaping the way we work!

We know that artificial intelligence makes use of machine learning to mimic human intelligence. This intelligence uses its intellection to recruit new hires. It analyzes job applicants to find the best candidate for the job.

Natural language processing, chatbots, sentiment analysis, facial expression recognition and visual perception, speech recognition, tone analysis, and decision-making are artificial intelligence features used in the AI interviewing process.

Here are six HR tasks that have immense AI potential:

1. No more paper resume screening, at least for entry-level roles

HR departments at large enterprises receive hundreds of resumes for every opening. And every resume deserves a look if you’re to identify the best-fit talent.

Expectedly, this takes up many staff hours but cannot be automated through simple business rules either. Simple business rules wouldn’t be able to capture the nuances of what makes a best-fit candidate.

This is where AI comes in. An AI engine learns from your hiring history, analyzes the company culture, and ranks applicants in order of their fitment. But remember that as a recruiter, it is your role to ensure that AI is doing its job well and not reinforcing discriminatory hiring practices.

2. Remote AI proctoring

With AI-based remote proctoring and invigilation technologies, a recruiter can ensure that candidates do not indulge in unfair means during the assessment. It ensures the authenticity of the assessment taken by the candidates using AI proctoring.

AI-enabled Remote Proctoring can help in:

  • Detect Identity Fraud
  • Analyze cheating behavior
  • Discover Content Theft

Recruiters can use AI Technologies like pattern recognition, voice recognition, facial recognition, eye movement detection, and mouth detection for remote proctoring.

3. “Bigger and better” employee engagement surveys, fully automated

Another HR job that requires both manual and intellectual effort is employee engagement surveys. But you can use an AI chatbot to ask employees questions, record answers, and analyze them for insights. It would save HR hundreds of hours every year, not to mention increasing participation rates among the workforce.

AI could eliminate employee engagement survey tasks such as distribution across multiple channels or follow-ups with employees. And you could spend more time analyzing the responses and crafting a personalized employee experience strategy for your team.

4. Passive candidate at your fingertips, with a high chance of first-time-right

In a competitive hiring environment, recruiters often turn to passive candidates to fill openings. This requires a careful study of social media, professional profile platforms, and job boards to identify potential prospects.

AI can scan a wide range of sourcing channels to auto-generate a shortlist of candidates for you to peruse. You can integrate AI with historical company HR data to “learn” from past successes and failures.

AI can go one step further to identify which candidate prefers what platform for communication . For instance, a Gen Zer might be more comfortable with Instagram, while millennials may prefer Facebook.


5. Low-effort pre-hire assessments through AI video analysis

Pre-hire assessments require the HR team to carefully evaluate each candidate before conducting interviews with the business team. This step in the hiring process is particularly critical for mid-to senior-level hires. However, it takes a lot of time, and HR often has to work around busy candidate schedules to fit in an interview.

AI-led video analysis allows candidates to shoot a video at their convenience and share it with recruiters. The AI analyzes video data to identify work style, collaboration potential, and general cognitive ability.

6. The days of trial-and-error in workforce scheduling are over

Workforce scheduling is always a complex task. This becomes even more difficult when you have a large field workforce, contingent employees, or a remote team.

Traditional workforce scheduling relies on spreadsheets, to-do lists, and staff availability forms to keep running. But this often leads to a trial-and-error approach, particularly when work volumes spike or an unprecedented change in staff availability.

AI transforms this entirely by optimizing your workforce potential. It can auto-create schedules that match employee preferences while keeping a keen eye on labor law compliance. Further, HR doesn’t need to update schedules manually — the AI engine can configure the schedules and send alerts whenever new data comes in.

While artificial intelligence may imply smarter decisions, AI systems need training and monitoring to work well. In our domain, they can potentially harm a candidate’s chances, damage an employee’s reputation or create an incorrect performance appraisal. We have to be vigilant.

Challenges around using AI in HR

1. HR data is not managed effectively by most companies, and it is often in many different places. For instance, companies typically have five to seven different record systems; therefore, applying an algorithm against anyone's data set can give you misleading results. It is a major challenge for companies to get all the people-related data into one place to be analyzed.


2. The second challenge is policy. Explaining to employees how their data will be used and having policies to ensure that it’s not misused remains a challenge. Most employees agree to their company having access to data when they join. Companies inform them that the data will be used for positive purposes. Sticking to those policies is key.

3. The third is that no part of HR’s black and white. There’s seldom 100% agreement on who the best candidate for a job is or who should be promoted. Almost every decision in HR has some amount of judgment. So many of these algorithms may be helpful to eliminate that human judgment or bias, but that does not mean they are 100% correct.

Why HR Still Needs People Despite These AI Strengths


AI excels at tasks that rely on data processing and pattern recognition, completing these functions faster and more efficiently than human beings can, making it a valuable tool for automating many aspects of HR.

But the “human” aspect of human resources shouldn’t be neglected. From making the final hiring decisions to finding creative ways to keep workers engaged, HR directors know their employees and their organization how AI the software doesn’t. AI merely is a tool that can give HR team members more time to get to know employees, shape company culture, and address issues that crop up.

Also, not every employee is comfortable adopting unfamiliar technologies. HR staff can ease the transition to AI, showing employees how using AI in HR can help nearly everyone become more productive and efficient.

Science fiction often portrays AI as a futuristic technology driven by robots and autonomous machines. But the reality is different — AI can fit seamlessly into our daily lives. While it eliminates certain jobs, it frees us up to route efforts in different directions. And the same applies to HR as well.

We need to understand one thing that AI is here to stay. But,

AI Will Take Over Specific HR Jobs, not HR Roles.


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