Conversational AI and Intelligent Automation need to be strategic HR priorities to find and keep the best talent.
The Great Resignation, the labor shortage, the war for talent, the shift to a hybrid workplace – the list of challenges and changes that HR leaders currently face goes on and on.
Employees are quitting jobs where they feel undervalued, unsupported and overworked, leaving gaping holes in organizations around the world. As HR departments scramble to fill job vacancies, they find themselves competing with other companies like never before to attract and hire top talent. All the while, HR leaders are also tasked with supporting a fluid workforce of both in-person and virtual employees as pandemic-related restrictions start to ease.
The labor shortage is expected to persist, and many organizations anticipate that flexible work, with a combination of virtual and in-office workers, will become the norm going forward. If HR departments do not adjust their current operations, they risk losing out on top talent, as well as losing more employees to companies with better employee services.
Solutions such as Conversational AI and Intelligent Automation can help HR departments navigate these turbulent times in three notable ways.
Streamline the Recruitment Process with AI
Given the current competition for talent, HR departments cannot afford to waste time in the recruitment process. Human latency created by manually sifting through resumes, creating net-new offer letters and managing email chains can cause HR departments to miss top candidates.
HR departments need to expedite their recruitment procedures and reduce their “time to offer,” according to Qualtrics. A recent Forbes article on top HR trends for 2022 presents a similar picture, emphasizing how recruiters will need to do away with their traditional “lengthy and disorganized” procedures if they wish to remain competitive.
While most would argue that interviewing job candidates is a uniquely human responsibility, AI can be deployed to sift through high volumes of resumes, LinkedIn profiles and emails at beyond-human speeds, particularly in initial rounds. This helps identify candidates with the proper skills mix and experience earlier in the hiring process. HR professionals and recruiters can then spend less time manually going through resumes – a typically time-consuming and tedious task – and more time crafting eye-catching recruitment emails and scheduling timely interviews. However, it is of utmost importance to eliminate bias when deploying AI to select candidates for interviews. Engaging a team of diversity in AI testers is one way to help to avoid bias when utilizing AI in recruitment.
From an operational standpoint, solutions such as Amelia, the market-leading Conversational AI, can help to orchestrate all the disparate and disorganized tasks that make up the recruitment process. Instead of logging in to separate portals or sending ad-hoc emails, recruiters, prospective candidates and managers can be kept up to date on the next steps by speaking directly to Amelia.
Conversational AI agents can even be programmed to contact individuals with reminders to complete tasks in their inbox. This can streamline the entire application-to-offer process, enabling HR departments to reduce the time it takes to offer jobs to top candidates, and secure highly talented people more quickly.
Onboard Better, Faster, Smarter
When the world switched to pandemic-era remote work back in March 2020, no one anticipated that nearly two years later many job functions, including onboarding new employees, would continue to occur remotely. Most HR leaders now expect that “at least some of their employees will work remotely after the pandemic,” says Gartner.
Regardless of whether new employees are onboarded in-person or remotely, both circumstances would benefit from clearer communication and more seamless support enabled by AI. With employee experiences under increased scrutiny, it is crucial that employees feel welcomed and supported from their first day on the job onward.
Amelia can be deployed as an IT Service Desk agent or an HR agent to provide new hires with onboarding support right at their fingertips. If they need help with VPN troubleshooting, Wi-Fi connectivity, account set up and more, they can simply speak to Amelia over the phone and through other channels, and she will resolve their issue in real-time. When new hires need help submitting benefits selections, setting up direct deposit accounts, or accessing required compliance training, they can message Amelia via webchat for instant guidance.
By providing new hires with AI-powered IT and HR support, they can be up and running in their jobs faster than ever before, which is good for both employers and employees.
AI Empowers Existing Employees
Instant IT and HR support enabled by Intelligent Automation and Conversational AI is not only beneficial for onboarding new hires, but also for retaining existing employees. Many employees today are “underwhelmed by their current technology and office experiences,” and want “consumer grade experiences” according to Qualtrics. With high numbers of employees leaving jobs where they feel undervalued, exceptional employee services are no longer a nice-to-have but rather a business necessity.
The labor shortage is also putting a strain on employee bandwidth. To bridge gaps left behind by former employees, some companies redistributed work amongst remaining employees. Although this may work as a short-term solution, the labor shortage is expected to “persist for several years,” meaning HR leaders will need to deploy a more sustainable solution.
To mitigate the impact of a smaller human workforce while also positioning their organization for growth, HR leaders can build a digital-human hybrid workforce where digital employees handle time-consuming and repetitive tasks while human employees take on more creative, complex and higher-value responsibilities. For example, scheduling medical appointments, making outbound calls to follow up on invoice payments and handling internal IT tickets are tasks Amelia can handle at scale.
All eyes are on HR leaders to enhance employee experiences. With Conversational AI and Intelligent Automation in their tool belt, HR leaders can implement, adjust and add new techniques, procedures and policies that will attract the best talent, and keep it long term.