Artificial Intelligence in HR with Ben Eubanks: Part I

On my podcast Workforce 2030, I recently had the chance to talk with an old friend who also happens to be a genius when it comes to evolving HR technology. In addition to our conversation, I’m sharing some highlights from Ben’s book, Artificial Intelligence for HR.

Which processes are best suited for automation?

Ben suggests that high-volume, highly manual processes that have a high occurrence of mistakes are the best place to start. Some examples of these processes are hiring and selection, workforce scheduling, and payroll.

How does “swivel chair automation” play out in HR systems?

Swivel chair automation involves algorithms that pull data from one system and insert it into another. Ben provides the example of a provider of automated chatbot tools for recruiting purposes. One client of the company was a large cosmetics firm looking to hire a series of brand ambassadors with large social media followings in order to capitalize on the reach and influence those people would offer. In the actual chat interactions with candidates on the website, the algorithm would ask the person about their most active social media channel and username, and then it would automatically go and pull in their data in the background, storing it with their application.

What are some advances in machine-driven communication?

Traditionally, voice-powered AI systems that required a human user to initiate contact, but other opportunities for voice interactivity can take two paths: proactive responses and proactive initiation. For instance, a proactive response to the question “How much vacation do I have?” might be, “You have 65 hours of vacation. Would you like to schedule some time off?” On the other hand, a proactive initiation might be a notification from the system based on an analysis of vacation balances across the organization compared to the individual’s balance. For example: “Alex, I noticed you have accrued 118 hours of vacation. Our policy limits accruals to 120 hours, which means you will not receive any additional hours for the coming pay periods unless you take some time off. Would you like to schedule this now?” In each instance, it’s almost as if the employee has a coach guiding them through the conversation, yet it’s nothing more than a voice-interactive algorithm programmed to interact based on preset criteria or parameters.

Look for more ideas from Ben on our blog and Brainwave newsletter next month!

Alexandra Levit