Artificial Intelligence driven technology is becoming mainstream. As the next wave of cognitive, automated and immersive technologies changes the way we do business, experts state AI has the potential to transform HR.

The consumerisation of HR technologies – from recruitment to employee experience and talent management – has brought AI to the forefront of innovation in HR.

Sudhir Dhar, Executive Director and Head of HR, Motilal Oswal Financial Services Ltd, expects AI to be game-changing over the next decade, with the exponential growth of big data anticipated to contribute to the development of advanced AI applications.

Employee-engagement related activities

“Technology is moving from digital to an AI base which is transforming the employee experience. We have entered an era where AI is just not going to be a helpdesk in terms of employee experience. It is going to play a vital role in driving employee-engagement related activities across the organisation,” says Dhar.

Concurring with this, Prince Augustin, EVP, Group Human Capital & Leadership Development at Mahindra & Mahindra, says organisations are bound to see an acceleration of trends that have defined the world of HR. “The growing influence of technology, use of big data, coupled with AI, Robotics and Machine Learning, will reshape the world of work, worker and industry,” he adds.

It is no longer just about technology disrupting the marketplace or digital transformation providing better products and services to customers. The scene has shifted to how corporates can exploit digital assets to ensure long-term sustainability. The same holds true for HR.

Stating that technology will enable hyper personalisation and therefore employee experience, Augustin says while this used to be a mass commoditised approach earlier, it will now become personalised and hi-tech.

Employee reskilling

Given that employee touchpoints across the HR lifecycle and across HR processes generate huge amounts of data (read Big Data), Augustin notes insights into this data with the usage of analytics and interplay of AI and ML along with Virtual Reality/Augmented Reality is set to play a crucial role in hyper-personalising the experience employees look for.

Companies are increasingly realising the importance of building environments in the workplace that make people happy to work, and one in which employees feel valued, wanted and recognised which, experts say, could be possible with hyper-segmented interventions.

The technology market that caters to HR function is expected to be worth $34 billion by next year, according to a recent report. Almost $3.6 billion worth of that business is expected to come from Asia including India, with a sizeable chunk of almost $20 billion commanded by existing solutions largely in Human Capital Management.

Lakshmi Mittra, Head - Clover Academy, says organisations are being forced to place greater emphasis on transparency, agility, and culture at the workplace. Pointing to a recent study which states 54 per cent of the world’s workforce will need reskilling and upskilling by 2022, and a LinkedIn survey that reveals that 42 per cent of the core skills required for jobs would change, Mittra says to curtail the mismatch, organisations will need to embrace technology and invest heavily in employee reskilling.

Disruptive technologies

“Emerging technologies are transforming the way we work. Disruptive technologies such as AI, Data Analytics and RPA are reshaping how organisations do business and engage with customers. Organisations are also moving toward a data-driven culture. Employees will also proactively and necessarily reskill themselves for the future,” adds Mittra.

With IQ having taken the backseat and EQ (Emotional Quotient) predominantly driving employee experience, there appears to be another contender at the wheel - the happiness and fun quotient at the workplace. With millennials the growing majority at work today, who are neither intrigued nor engaged by traditional learning modules and mechanisms, organisations are being forced to amp up their tech quotient.

With AI and ML, organisations will be able to break away from traditional eLearning systems and outdated Learning Management Systems and graduate to immersive Learning Experience Platforms.

With millennials set to constitute 75 per cent of the global workforce by 2025, and their work preferences understandably encompass autonomy and flexibility at work, corporates need to reflect if the work and workplace are geared to these dominant preferences.