TechHR 2017: HR in the Times of Big Data, AI, and Algorithms – Changing the Rules of the Game

By Published August 9, 2017
Tech HR 2017

Asia’s biggest HR Technology Conference 2017 was held recently at the Leela Ambience, Gurugram. The gala event spanning across 2-day saw a plethora of experiences and happenings from top-notch industry leaders in human resources, professors and motivational speakers.

Right from Tal Ben Shahar, Professor of Positive Psychology and Happiness at Harvard University to Abhijit Bhaduri, Leadership Coach to Ester Martinez, Founder, and Editor-in-Chief PeopleMatters, and even National Award Winning actor Ashish Vidyarthi all graced the event with their presence.

Tech HR 2017

Day 1 opened with the inaugural session Ester Martinez’s speech followed by Brian Sommers lecture on digital transformation in the world of human resources.

In the welcome note of People Matters TechHR17 conference, Ester Martinez mentioned that changing the game in the world of recruitment is about taking charge of defining the problem statement, which also happens to be the most critical step towards the whole process of design thinking a solution.

Similarly, when it comes to talent, human capital, and jobs – something critical is also changing. McKinsey Global Institute predicts that by 2020 there will 38 million to 40 million fewer working professionals with tertiary education than employers will require; 45 million too few workers with secondary education in developing economies or 15 percent of the demand for such workers; 90 to 95 million more low-skill workers than employers will need or nearly 11 percent oversupply of such workers. What research states talent paradox – while employers cannot find talent, employees cannot find jobs.

What can we do as HR leaders to prepare for these talent uncertainties? Should we play by the rules of the game or should the game be changed altogether? No action will mean backwards—so that is not an option.

In his session, Brian Sommers went on to emphasize about the digital exhaust people have been able to create with the cloud in HR, mobile technologies and other social media technologies that have been the feed-stock for much of the changes happening within the HR domain. But there’s another wave of change, which is ongoing and needless to say that its impact on work (not just HR) will be profoundly transformative.

TechHr 2017

People will work for technologies and not for other people; smart algorithms powered by insights from Big Data will end up predicting imminent failure of capital machine tools to home appliances. Not only failure will get predicted, but the software will be a pre-emptively order for replaced parts and also end up scheduling preventative maintenance. The software will dispatch workers, told what to replace, repair – all without any human contact. This new reality is already taking place in numerous firms. For HR departments who prepare the performance evaluation when an employee never interacts with other people.

Sommers continued with his talk on the impact of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the domain of human resources and recruitment. AI tools when used in conjunction along with video interviewing will help recruiters sort job candidates and then place the best choices. But when AI comes to play, an intelligent assessment will be doing the rounds, and proper evaluation of candidates can spot things like the person’s use of their creative parts of the brain, emotional intelligence of the candidate and other such stuff.

More advanced technologies like Robotics Process Automation (RPA) and Machine Learning are all set to redefine the overall process of recruitment and selection. This is where HR leaders need to pace up and learn to embrace new technologies and a new way of hiring candidates.

Going forward, Sommers says HR groups and leaders will need new skills. But what should they do? Here’s a look:

Get cosmopolitan. The best way to deal with the future is to face it directly. Exposure to new technologies is something that every HR should embrace.

Develop teams that are tasked with a RADICAL reinvention of HR and also other processes. Adopt new strategies and start implementing them considerably.

Create a sunset plan for all your old HR technologies, processes and all kinds of skills. Get a plan and do take proper advantage of the future.

Stay tuned for more interesting snippets from day 2 of TechHR’17 event.

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