2022 Outlook: AI for HR (and Everything Else)
Despite evidence to the contrary, untruths about artificial intelligence abound, even today. That’s why Socrates.ai joined a panel of industry experts at the HR Tech Connect Summit to help HR understand and learn how to adopt the technology sooner rather than later. During the session, Melissa Swisher, CRO at Socrates, sat down with Ben Eubanks of Lighthouse Research & Advisory, Teresa Smith, Senior Manager and HCM Strategic Advisory at UKG and Terry Bustamante, Sales Director at DaXtra Technologies to bust common AI myths and share insider knowledge.
How Does AI Fit the Picture?
Kicking off the discussion, the panel looked at what AI for HR is – and what it isn’t. Noting that some find AI intimidating, the group agreed the technology’s helpfulness outweighs the hesitance. That’s an important distinction, especially when considering how AI supports the HR mission rather than supplants. Swisher reinforced this, showing how AI further fits the picture, bringing simplicity to the employee experience. She said, “From an experience point of view, there are ways to make work more efficient for you as an employee and your ability to get things done. It’s removing friction and frustration points from the organization, like when you are looking for something when it really matters to you as an employee, and you can’t find it, that bogs you down.”
Swisher went on, “The second part though is the high impact moments when an employee is going through something personal like being a first-time parent, having a baby, and not knowing how their life will change.” In this instance, Swisher shared that the convenience of AI enables the employee to celebrate the moment rather than worry about finding the information they need to know while their manager struggles to fill their spot. Drawing a parallel to consumer experiences, Swisher pointed to the evolution of encyclopedias, once physical in nature and now live online, easily accessible from any device. AI makes it possible to move the employee experience – and everything it encompasses – from a full set of books to the Wikipedia app.
The Time is Now
Given all that’s transpired these last few years, the AI conversation is growing in importance as companies look for new ways to connect and engage employees outside of traditional office settings. As the team from DaXtra put it, “A litmus test of sorts, AI can gain insights on how employees feel and offer resolutions and give incentives like flexibility and growth within the company.”
Beyond automating routine tasks, simplifying the search for answers and helping employees in high-impact moments, AI enhances our ability as humans to connect with one another. In turn, employers can learn more about employees and curate a culture that better reflects its workforce. On the topic of meeting employees where they are, Swisher explained, “Many things have changed. People are going through a lot of stress. We need to understand what is going on with employees and build awareness of what they are feeling and going through, then take action on it.”
Agreeing, Smith of UKG commented, “We need to be able to take data and insights and marry them with human insights to drive results and create an experience where people truly do want to come to work every day.”
Recognizing that the myths about AI are just myths, it becomes clear that there’s an opportunity to leverage AI-based technologies to augment the reality of work and improve the employee experience. Not the future, not the past, the reality – and that’s here and now in 2022.