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How to use Artificial Intelligence in HR – Watson and Chatbots

Giant robot holding a resume, having a job interview with a hiring manager, EPS 8 vector illustration, no transparencies

The most exciting digital trends in HR software include artificial (and virtual) intelligence and big data. Which applications are relevant in HR and how can these change recruiting, employee and talent management as well as the collaboration within the company? We wrote in our last article about Big Data in connection with Artificial Intelligence in HR, this article is about chatbots in recruiting and what impact artificial intelligence has on the HR work of the future.

Chatbots in recruiting

Even in recruiting chatbots already do their job. On career pages, for example, they automatically answer questions about vacancies, career opportunities or about the company. But the “knowledge” of chatbots is limited. You can only give correct output to the question for which they are specifically programmed. Any different formulation brings the virtual assistants to their limits. That may also be one of the reasons why so far only a few chatbots have managed to be a part of human resources management. Just 3.3 percent of the top 1,000 companies offer such a digital assistant, according to the study Recruiting Trends of the University of Bamberg. But that could change. The subject of chatbot for businesses could become really interesting, if after the first generation of the rather simply structured chatbots the next generation is ready, which uses the full force of artificial intelligence through machine learning and access to big data.

Smart chatbots

Despite all this technologies are still in their early stages of development. But adaptive chatbots are anything but a future vision. For years, Computergigant IBM has been working on IBM’s “Watson” cognitive system. Its artificial intelligence is designed to understand, to draw conclusions and to learn. To do this, Watson extracts knowledge from structured and unstructured information from databases or the Internet, combining and analyzing them.

A HR chatbot linked to Watson would be of a different league than the virtual peers already on the market. Not only processes, markets or the state of machines can be analyzed in detail by his artificial intelligence – but also the suitability of employees can possibly be judged by these systems in the future.

For example, HR managers might ask him, “Would this candidate fit into our team?” Or, “Does this candidate have the personality for a leadership job?” Watson would then be able to identify psychological characteristics that could be included in the decisions based on specific personal and social media data.

Personnel Management 4.0: Many questions not answered

Until this type of personnel management has prevailed, a lot of time may elapse. Too many questions are still open: What happens, for example, if the interpretation and networking of data happens fully automatically, but the algorithm has errors and nobody notices it? Or what if hackers reprogram the system so that the bot deliberately sorts out the candidates that best fit?

Incidentally, the use of artificial intelligence is also conceivable in the field of corporate health. For example, smartwatches could collect employee health data. A prerequisite would be, however, that each individual employee has consented to the data collection.

Healthier employees through Artificial Intelligence

Then, when the anonymized health data is processed and the employees are underperforming, the employer’s involvement in the cost of a gym membership could be a suitable way to prevent illness and improve the well-being of the personnel. Health competitions are also conceivable: If all the participating employees reach a certain number of steps, the prize will be a joint company trip.

Until all these trends arrive in reality, it will take some time. Some may never make it to reality. Often too big are the concerns that face these applications.

Marc Coleman, CEO and founder of HR Tech World in Amsterdam, understands this, but at the same time advises a degree of openness: “New technologies are bringing massive social changes. But maybe sometimes we focus too much on the risks and too little on the positive effects of those changes. People, societies, and organizations have successfully mastered change in the past and learned to use it to their advantage. We should learn from the past. That way we can create a better future. “

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