The First Word: Beyond the buzz: Unlocking the potential of AI in HR

It’s here. It’s palpable. It’s evolving rapidly.

Artificial intelligence is no longer something we’re looking at in the future; it is already touching our lives and transforming the way we work. Generative AI has brought the technology a lot closer to us, enabling people to see up-close the power of AI with AI-driven tools doing everything from creating realistic images, content, and more. Organizations of all sizes, across industries, across the world are adopting the technology to increase efficiency, reduce manual labor, and improve business performance.

We’re in the midst of major transformation and unprecedented changes in the way humans and technology interact. Particularly in the world of HR, AI technology has the potential to radically enhance how the HR function operates, and elevate the role of HR in any organization.

A McKinsey report notes that current generative AI and other technologies have the potential to automate work activities that absorb 60% to 70% of employees’ time today.

The Power of Data

Let’s start with data analytics, which is among the first few things that come to mind when we say AI.

The HR function is one that collects mountains of data every day, about every employee. These discrete data points can be converted into actionable insight using AI-driven tools. AI can, for instance, be used to study employee data to tease out trends in attrition or productivity levels. It can help flag anomalies in employee behavior and predict trends so HR leaders can be proactive and fix issues before they get out of hand. Machines are also assisting leaders with taking smarter decisions based on data-driven insight.

Exceptional EX

Then there’s Employee Experience (EX). The concept of EX has gained prominence over the last couple of years, with companies investing a lot of effort into delivering exceptional experiences for their employees. AI, here, has the power to capture and understand every individual employee’s requirement and preference and help HR professionals provide them with personalized experiences. AI-powered self-service helpdesks, for example, are now gaining popularity across organizations.

AI-driven features such as chatbots, voice bots, or voice-to-text can make the lives of employees easier and help get things done faster than before. AI can be used to curate responses tailored to the employee’s needs, significantly improving the over employee experience.

Efficiency, Redefined

The lives of HR professionals are changing as well, with AI helping improve efficiency in operations and processes. Organizations are taking to AI to automate basic, repetitive tasks so humans can spend more time on strategic thinking and innovation.

For instance, generative AI can greatly help the process of creating job descriptions (JD) – by improving the efficiency and effectiveness of a JD and by saving the time and effort that would go into having an employee create one.

Employees are now empowered to explore and expand their scope of work and reimagine the future of work, with AI-driven tools assisting them in bringing their ideas to reality. Generative AI could enable labor productivity growth of 0.1 to 0.6 percent annually through 2040, the McKinsey report referenced earlier, says.

Reimagine Talent Management

The future of work and talent management is centered on skills. The approach to talent management has flipped, with AI making it easier for companies to understand their employees’ skills and assist them in charting out people strategies based on employee capabilities and organizational requirements.

The field of recruitment was perhaps among the earliest to adopt AI, using machines to read resumes and match them to open roles. With generative AI, things are much easier and more efficient now. Organizations are taking advantage of AI for other aspects of talent management such as career planning, learning and development, talent search, skill development, etc.

Unlocking Employee Time and Potential

After several decades of research, AI has now become not just a reality but is clearly on its way to becoming a commonly used technology – AI-based tools will perhaps soon be as common as internet-based voice communication. The world of work is advancing and evolving equally fast.

As companies are navigating this phase of adopting AI, it is important to pause and ensure that we mindfully weave AI into what we do, balancing the adoption of AI with retaining the role of humans. AI can never replace certain things that humans do, but it is also so unbelievably powerful with certain things that can significantly improve the work humans do.

And that’s what makes this phase we’re in so exciting. We’re in a place where, if used smartly, AI can help us do things we otherwise couldn’t dream of doing.



jayant-paleti-co-founder-darwinboxAbout the author

Jayant Paleti is the co-founder of Darwinbox and heads all sales and marketing activities.

Given his exposure to corporate organizational structure and human capital-intensive decision-making practices, he strongly believes the HR function can be a source of great competitive advantage for an organization. And also that this underlying potential can be optimally harnessed through technology.

Prior to Darwinbox, Jayant was an investment banker at Ernst & Young. Jayant worked across functions like M&A and private equity by having started his career in 2007 with Modelytics as Business Analyst. In his impressive span of 12 years of professional life Jayant has advised several large corporates on big investment and strategic decisions.

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Chief of Staff Asia