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Companies large and small are increasing their use of artificial intelligence (AI) for recruitment and employee development.  Human Resource managers should embrace the new technology and learn how to work with it.

No longer the subject of science fiction, AI is the wave of the future and already being applied in many industries. Some companies have been slow to invest in it for HR, however, citing cost, the difficulty involved in integrating it with other technology and a lack of trained staff.

Artificial intelligence will change the way both managers and employees work, but it also will enable companies to streamline their workflow and make it more manageable if AI is set up correctly.

Where is AI used today? Screening candidates, choosing candidates based on social media profiles, onboarding, employee development, recruitment, using chatbots to look up company policies or benefits and employee self-service are just some of the areas in which artificial intelligence can be used in HR.

Artificial intelligence, for example, allows HR staff to reduce the time-consuming tasks of copying and entering data, freeing them up to focus on such higher-level tasks as interpreting data and developing strategies to improve the workplace for employees. Don’t waste time and money in areas that can be done by automation.

New legislation

A state law that took effect in Illinois last year sets standards for the use of artificial intelligence in HR processes. The law affects employers filling positions that are based in Illinois. According to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), the law’s mandates include:

  • Informing applicants that AI is being used to analyze video interviews before asking them to submit to the interview.
  • Explaining to candidates how AI works before video interviews.
  • Obtaining an applicant’s consent to be evaluated by AI before the video interview.
  • Destroying the video and all copies within 30 days of an applicant’s request.

In 2021, legislation concerning artificial intelligence was enacted in Alabama, Colorado, Illinois and Mississippi. Proposed legislation or resolutions have been introduced in 17 other states, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

AI can significantly reduce the workload in the hiring process. Some large companies, such as Rolls-Royce and Hilton, receive hundreds of applications for each job opening. That can add up to a million or more resumes annually. With the use of a screening mechanism, the bulk of applicants can be winnowed to a reasonable number of people who are qualified for the position. This saves time for employers and candidates alike. And time is money.

Process criticized

The use of artificial intelligence in screening job candidates, however, has been criticized. Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) may filter out applicants with gaps in their resumes or who don’t have college degrees, but do have the skills and experience to be well-qualified for the job. The technology may make obtaining employment more difficult for older workers, the long-term unemployed and family caregivers who had to leave jobs because of a lack of childcare or elder care.

A study by Harvard Business School’s Project on Managing the Future of Work and consulting firm Accenture, “Hidden Workers: Untapped Talent,” recommends employers update job descriptions and configure automated systems to include applicants who have the skills and experience to qualify for the position.

AI training

As with all new technology, AI requires training. A series of online courses, “AI for HR” has been developed to help human resource professionals understand this new technology. The courses were designed by a task force of HR professionals and developed by Jeanne Meister, founding partner of Future Workplace.

If you would like more information about AI, how to implement it or where to find out about the online courses, contact me at melody@melodybeachconsulting.com.

Stricter recommendations issued to protect unvaccinated employees

The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration has issued new guidance concerning the protection of unvaccinated and at-risk employees from COVID-19 and reporting workplace exposures to the virus. Employers must have a game plan to comply with the guidance or risk being fined.

The updated guidance makes recommendations for employees who are fully vaccinated but are in areas of substantial or high community transmission – which includes most counties in the U.S. as of early September. Masks are key for everyday protection of unvaccinated and immunocompromised workers.

[Read more]

HR helps employers go green

Human Resource managers can play a vital role in helping businesses reduce their carbon footprint and attract new employees by developing strategies to save trees, energy and consumables.

Companies are increasingly focused on protecting the environment through initiatives for cleaner manufacturing processes and reducing energy and waste. In addition to saving money, earth-friendly policies can make them more desirable employers.

[Read more]

50+ Job Seekers programs TBA

The 50+ Job Seekers Networking Group will begin new programs mid-fall. Stay tuned!

The Massachusetts Library Collaborative meets from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. the first and third Wednesdays of the month from July through December. For information on the programs, go to the 50+ Job Seekers website at https://50plusjobseekers.org/.

Drop me a line

You can contact me by downloading my digital business card by texting HRPRO to 21000 or emailing me at melody@melodybeachconsulting.com.

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Melody L. Beach Consulting Group
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AARP (American Association of Retired Persons)
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Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce
BNI Referral Champions Worcester Chapter
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Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce
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Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce
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