To understand how this type of technology can assist recruiters spot and take on the best talent, Digital Journal interviewed Behera.
Digital Journal: Should today’s workforce fear automation and robotics, in terms of job losses?
Rajeev Behera: Quite the opposite. Job loss and unemployment in the bigger picture will most likely decline as a result of more automation and robotics. AI and machine learning enables employees at all levels and across industries to focus on higher-value work, to grow new skills, and make better decisions based on greater access to and use of data-driven insights and tools.
Similar to prior periods of innovation including the past two decades of computing, software and the internet – new industries and technologies will emerge and continue to stimulate job growth. Change can be unnerving but we recommend embracing innovation opportunities rather than being fearful of them. As society and our organizations become more connected and real-time, automation will continue to enable us to improve decision-making, multitasking, security and peace of mind.
DJ: How do you see artificial intelligence unfolding for businesses?
Behera: AI has been part of work processes for several years now and will continue to be utilized to augment human intelligence rather than replace humans in their roles; more transactional work will go away. Most people don’t understand or use the data that’s available to them at work. This creates an opportunity for people management processes platforms enabled by AI and communication technologies to help instrument and humanize data in more meaningful and specific ways.
People-centric platforms continue to become a necessity for businesses serving emerging customer and employee expectations and needs, while also creating competitive advantage. Because we’re all consumers first in the Digital Age that is well underway, empowerment and instant gratification are now the norm rather than the exception.
DJ: Which areas will see the biggest growth in AI?
Behera: Managing repetitive, discrete tasks and synthesizing information for learning and decision-making are areas of growth supported by AI. Take mobile phone applications as an example. Apple’s QuickType keyboard, which suggests the next word based on the context of your message and prior behavior, is an AI-enabled functionality that hundreds of millions of people rely on every day.
Consumerism is a significant driver for technology investments, new products and experiences powered by AI and machine learning. With consumer behaviors and desires well established throughout society, these same behaviors and expectations are taking root in businesses of all sizes across industries. There is no turning back from an “experience” perspective, so we can anticipate AI growth that delivers personalized employee experiences and real-time work from anywhere.
DJ: How can AI help with human resources specifically?
Behera: The workforce is the most connected it has ever been when we consider the number of computing and communications devices, applications, networks, and things (IoT) that are affordable, easy to access and use. Day by day, connectivity is growing and becoming mainstream, and there is a wealth of information and services powered by software that help people be their best selves and thrive as individuals and teams.
The reality is that twentieth century HR mentality hasn’t kept up with the pace of change from a connectivity perspective. So there’s a big push now to focus on automating recruiting, onboarding, learning, performance management and retention processes that tie behaviors and available data to bottom line results. HR is absolutely becoming a more scientific business function to help improve productivity, retention, and sustainable revenue growth in the midst of major disruptions across industries and workforce generations.
DJ: Are there risks that recruitment AI tools will fail diversity and inclusivity tests?
Behera: Tool failures are possible because all tools and technology-based systems have some level of human dependency; humans make mistakes. AI is only as good as the people working on it to set up and manage to help avoid errors, biases and uninformed decisions.
DJ: Can human resources AI assist with internal promotions?
Behera: Yes, promotions are based on performance and recognition by others. Technology assists with enabling work that can be measured in terms of collaboration, output, goals, personal achievements, and overall business performance as measured by established key metrics. AI can reduce biases and help people track and learn from individual and team performance in real-time, rather than an annual assessment traditionally know as the annual performance review.