Only last month (June) research from content IQ provider ABBYY revealed that UK businesses are currently spending an average of £3.1 million each on artificial intelligence (AI) technologies, with this figure rising to more than £6.5 million at large companies.
But not everyone is thrilled about the possibilities AI brings. There is growing concern about the rate at which technology, and AI, is advancing, as well as its wider impact on the world.
In business, there has been much speculation about how it could disrupt the workplace and replace roles, leading to many HR professionals being reluctant to fully embrace its potential.
But while people are spending their time and energy debating how automation and AI might usurp jobs, the fact that these technologies may in fact be able to help find, secure and retain talent is, in many cases, being overlooked. For example, according to the World Economic Forum report published in September 2018, AI is expected to create 58 million jobs worldwide in the next five years.
Arguably from an HR point of view, the benefits of AI are countless; it is transforming the workplace to make processes more effective and efficient. This will, in turn, allow individuals more time to spend on the more human aspects of HR.
When it comes to finding top talent, AI can highlight any skills gaps and allows organisations to quickly and easily identify a diverse range of skilled individuals in a matter of minutes, if not seconds, compared to the weeks and perhaps even months it may have taken to establish a list of suitable candidates manually.
AI can also reduce the burden when it comes to the implementation, administration and management of employee reward and recognition programs, eradicating repetitive tasks and enabling resources to be allocated more appropriately. This then frees up HR professionals so they can spend more time communicating and promoting the provision, encouraging engagement and take-up.
Additionally, AI platforms can capture trends and themes, gathering employee feedback which allow organisations to respond to challenges within their businesses and tailor their solutions accordingly. All this points to a simple fact: AI has the power to transform HR.
Of course, it is natural for people to question if algorithms can really replace human instinct and responsiveness, but if they realise the true value of AI in improving HR operations then they can unlock its potential and reap the rewards it is sure to bring.