Artificial intelligence and algorithms in Human Resources
Artificial intelligence (AI) and algorithms have become a central component of businesses in recent years. The area of application ranges from recruiting and deployment planning to sometimes questionable performance analyzes that are intended to prepare termination decisions. In the area of recruiting in particular, numerous applicants position themselves on the market, advertise with a simplified and quick application process, but above all with the promise of being able to find the most suitable applicants, without any human prejudice and more objectively than any HR manager. Today, we examine which possible uses already exist, where there is potential for error and discrimination and how high the acceptance of AI is in general.
Importance of AI in Human Resources (HR)
After initial skepticism with regard to functionality and despite continuing considerable data protection concerns, algorithms and AI are now at the top of the agenda of many companies.
However, only very few of the following applications have so far provided such human intelligence. Nevertheless, the (imprecise) term AI has gradually established itself for algorithms. Companies should not underestimate their results either. If, for example, a company feeds the data of all employees into such a system, the AI can automatically find out which characteristics distinguish the employees or which parameters have resulted in more frequent problems in the pastby analyzing the data. The knowledge gained can help to select new employees who fit the company and the corporate philosophy or to anticipate possible conflicts in the workplace at an early stage.
Against this background, it is not surprising that almost 90% of companies are now thinking specifically about the introduction of AI or have already introduced certain applications:
Specific areas of application of AI
The areas of application of AI in HR are diverse, although a previous focus has been on the recruitment process.
1. Main area of application: Recruiting
The use of AI is possible and conceivable in all phases of the application process:
- By using so-called people analytics applications, applicants can be pre-selected on the basis of the application documents submitted. Other AI applications evaluate all publicly available information from applicants on social media, such as LinkedIn or Xing, and summarize the analysis results with a view to their professional relevance.
- Furthermore, personality profiles can be created through the use of AI. In practice, software systems for text or speech analysis are currently used primarily. If a job interview is recorded or the interview is even conducted by an AI application, a so-called voice analysis process is possible. The use of the applicant’s language is broken down into its digital components and compared with data sets, which enables the determination of psychological and communication-related properties. An analysis is carried out with regard to characteristics such as intonation, dialectics, sentence structure, vocabulary or the melody of the voice. This allows conclusions to be drawn about the personality structure and personality traits of the applicants.
- Specifically, companies advertise that their software can create an appropriate, extensive personality profile for the applicants after just a 15-minute (application) interview. The American company HireVue combines speech analysis with a video function and thus also enables the analysis of so-called micro-expressions in the face, which should allow conclusions to be drawn about the state of mind.
- Business ideas that would like to simplify the application process through automatic analysis of the private e-mail inbox and the accounts in social networks are highly questionable. Applicants give out their usernames and passwords during the application process. By using analysis software, the applicants’ communication style is to be broken down and analyzed in the following. The company receives an automatically created personality profile of the applicants, while in return, as an advantage, a letter of application, a detailed job interview, or filling in questionnaires should be spared.
2. Automated performance recording.
In addition to recruiting, AI is also being used to an ever-greater extent in ongoing employment. For example, providers are increasingly offering AI-based applications for workforce planning and overall performance management. This includes the creation of duty rosters and the assignment of tasks, the evaluation of target attainments, and the specification of new targets for the following period. According to a report by Bloomberg, the use of AI in the United States goes so far that employees are automatically terminated if they do not complete the tasks assigned to them sufficiently quickly, which is evaluated by algorithms or AI and ultimately decided. In the area of compliance, the topic of “predictive policing” is also playing an increasingly important role. Here, AI predicts at which place or by which person the commission of criminal offenses is to be expected in the future. This possibility, which comes from police work, is increasingly being seen as a suitable means in the employment relationship to prevent compliance violations by employees from the outset.
The development of the last two years has clearly shown that AI and algorithms will establish themselves in HR in the short to medium term.
The technical possibilities are diverse, discriminatory behavior in the selection of the correct data records can be avoided and the susceptibility to errors is likely to decrease with ever-larger data records. In Europe in particular, data protection regulations are very tight. The works council must also always be involved in the introduction, although this also brings opportunities with it, especially with a view to the acceptance of AI and algorithms in the workforce.
Melissa Crooks is a Content Writer who writes for Hyperlink InfoSystem, an AI development company in the USA and India that holds the best team of skilled and expert dedicated developers. She is a versatile tech writer and loves exploring the latest technology trends, entrepreneurs,s and startup columns. She also writes for app development companies.