The future of HR is both digital and human as HR leaders focus on optimizing the combination of human and automated work. This is driving a new priority for HR: one which requires leaders and teams to develop a fluency in artificial intelligence while they re-imagine HR to be more personal, human and intuitive.
As we enter 2019, it’s the combination of AI and human intelligence that will transform work and workers as we know it.
I see the following ten HR trends leaders will need to prepare for as we enter 2019:
1. AI Plus Human Intelligence Enhances the Candidate Experience
For many companies the first pilots of artificial intelligence are in talent acquisition, as this is the area where companies see significant, measurable, and immediate results in reducing time to hire, increasing productivity for recruiters, and delivering an enhanced candidate experience that is seamless, simple, and intuitive.
One company that has delivered on this is DBS Bank. The DBS Talent Acquisition team created JIM (Jobs Intelligence Maestro), a virtual recruitment bot powered by artificial intelligence used to conduct candidate screening for those applying to be wealth planning managers, a high volume job in the consumer bank.
Following the introduction of JIM in May 2018, DBS talent acquisition was able to: 1) shorten the screening time from 32 minutes per candidate to 8 minutes per candidate, 2) improve completion rate of job application from 85% to 97% and 3) respond to 96% of all candidate queries through JIM, allowing recruiters to spend more time sharing the culture and values of DBS with candidates. While these metrics are impressive, says James Loo, Head of Talent Acquisition Group, DBS Bank, the key learning is that the use of artificial intelligence provides benefits for the recruiters as well. Recruiters no longer need to spend hours to screen thousands of applicants, freeing them up to perform higher-value work such as sourcing, recruitment marketing, engaging with candidates, and hiring managers. In fact, DBS recruiters built a new skill: training the Chatbot to assess candidates and answer candidates’ queries. The future job of a recruiter may add that of a Chatbot Coach!
2. Uniquely Human Skills Will Grow In Importance
The demand for uniquely human skills will grow, according to the Future of Jobs Report from the World Economic Forum. The World Economic Forum projects that 75 million current jobs will be displaced as artificial intelligence takes over more routine aspects of work.
However, 133 million new jobs will be created, and skills in both emotional intelligence and technical intelligence, like technology design and programming, will be important.
Figure 1 shows the Skills Demand in 2018 and Projected for 2022.
John Jordan who leads The Academy and Advisor Development at Bank of America calls this a “life stage navigation curriculum,” assisting Bank of America financial advisors in better understanding the priorities of their customers in various life stages from young parent, to widower, to retiree. Jordan says, “To date, almost 40,000 people have been through Academy programs, which all include some form of empathy training.”
According to Jordan, the need to develop empathy is growing as front line bank professionals must understand the concerns of clients at their life stage. There is also a business reason to develop empathy. Research from Center for Creative Leadership shows developing emotional intelligence and empathy predicts better job performance for both front line employees as well as leaders.
3. Artificial Intelligence Won’t Take Away Jobs But Help Workers Do Jobs Better
Gartner estimates that artificial intelligence will create more jobs than it eliminates. The focus for 2019 will be on deciding how to use AI to help workers do their jobs better. PwC forecasts 20% of executives at U.S. companies with artificial intelligence initiatives report that they will roll out AI across their business this year and expect AI investment to both re-imagine jobs and work processes as well as grow profits and revenue.
For HR leaders, we see this already happening. Oracle and Future Workplace conducted research with 600 HR leaders entitled AI At Work, to learn where AI was being used in the workplace to re-imagine candidate and employee experience.
Figure 2 shows how this sample of 600 HR leaders answered the question: Where is AI Being Used in HR?
Hilton is one company already on the journey useing AI for HR. Sarah Smart, Vice President of Global Recruiting says,”By using artificial intelligence to source, screen and interview candidates, we have increased our speed to hire by 85%. We have also experienced other business benefits; such as increasing the diversity of our talent pool and enabling our recruiters to identify a high performing candidate faster. Having started our journey using AI in 2014, we see future use cases for AI include improving new hire onboarding and providing internal talent mobility for Hilton employees.” To date, Hilton has invested in upskilling the recruiter rather than making the role redundant. Think of artificial intelligence as a tool in the recruiter’s tool belt to help them streamline the hiring process, while never making the final decision about hiring.
4. New Jobs Will Be Created Using Artificial Intelligence
Creating new jobs as artificial intelligence becomes more widespread inside companies will be a huge priority for C-suite leaders in 2019.
The Center for the Future of Work at Cognizant Technology Solutions tackled this issue with two reports, 21 Jobs for the Future and 21 More Jobs For the Future of Work. These jobs have been organized from low tech to high tech over the 10-year horizon from 2019 to 2029.
Since the first report was released, many of the anticipated new jobs have come to life, such as Financial Wellness Managers, (which I profiled in Three New HR Roles in Age of AI featuring Financial Wellness Managers at Suntrust), to Memory Curator and Augmented Reality Journey Builder jobs currently at Facebook.
Rob Brown, Associate Vice President at Center for the Future of Work at Cognizant Technology Solutions, shares the drivers behind the 21 More Jobs For the Future of Work: “The vision behind our newest report is to profile futuristic jobs which leverage the power of artificial intelligence to b
lend technology with the “human touch” for jobs in the future workplace.”
Figure 3 presents the latest 21 More Jobs Of the Future.
Two of my favorites include:
Voice UX Designer: This role will leverage voice as a platform to deliver an “optimal” dialect and sound that is pleasing to each of the seven billion humans on the planet. The Voice UX Designer will do this by creating a set of AI tools and algorithms to help individuals find their “perfect voice” assistant.
Head of Business Behavior: The head of business behavior will analyze employee behavioral data such as performance data along with data gathered through personal, environmental and spatial sensors to create strategies to improve employee experience, cross company collaboration, productivity and employee well-being.
The question for HR leaders is: What are new job roles in HR that are on the horizon as A.I. becomes integrated into the workplace?
Chief Ethical and Humane Use Officer: This job role is already being filled by Salesforce announcing its first Chief Ethical and Humane Officer this month. This new role will focus on developing strategies to use technology in an ethical and humane way. As practical uses of AI have exploded in recent years, we look for more companies to establish new jobs focusing on ethical uses of AI to ensure AI’s trustworthiness, while also helping to diffuse fears about it.
A.I. Trainer: This role allows the existing knowledge you have about a job to be ready for A.I. to use. Creating knowledge for an A.I. supported workplace requires individuals to tag or “annotate” discrete knowledge nuggets so the correct data is served up in a conversational interface. This role is increasingly important as the role of a recruiter is augmented by AI.
5. An Artificial Intelligence Ready Workforce Will Be Critical To An Organization’s Future
As as we head into 2019 — with AI moving from consumers’ lives into the workplace – upskilling non-AI workers to learn how to work with AI is becoming increasingly important. Developing an AI ready workforce involves five key initiatives:
- Identify the business problem to solve using artificial intelligence and start collecting data on the current state of the problem and the key KPI you want to impact with AI.
- Build a cross functional team of key stakeholders to educate them on the business benefits of using AI to solve key business problems.
- Implement learning opportunities for key job roles impacted in HR by AI (such as those in Recruiting, New Hire On-Boarding and Corporate Learning).
- Identify new jobs and skills needed as AI is leveraged in the workplace.
- Change performance management and development skills needed in HR roles to include a fundamental understanding of how to use artificial intelligence across the employee life cycle.
When AI is leveraged in the organization, employees will need training on how to work with their AI team members. This will grow in importance, as Gartner predicts that by 2022 (just three years from now!) one in five workers engaged in non-routine tasks will rely on AI to do their jobs.
6. Skills-Based Hiring Gains Traction
In 2018, Future Workplace hosted a skills based hiring Hackathon where we asked, why weren’t more companies adopting skills-based hiring to widen the talent pool? Skills-based hiring is defined as the practice of setting specific skills and competency requirements for a job rather than rely solely on candidates’ credentials. Today, more FORTUNE 1000 firms are going on record hiring candidates without a college degree as a requirement.
Figure 4 lists fifteen of these companies below:
Skills-based hiring may start by changing a job description and removing a degree requirement, but it requires shifting mindsets on where and how a company sources talent. What’s needed is to change the mindsets of hiring managers and business leaders to source in new ways. These new ways to source non-traditional candidates range from Boot Camps, Coding schools, MOOC’s, Technical high schools like P-TECH (a joint high school diploma and associate degree in STEM), Job training conducted at community centers, high schools, or even sponsor a company wide Hackathon. Regardless of your industry, adopting a skills-based hiring approach requires educating business stakeholders, identifying benefits & barriers of widening the talent pool, and developing a strategy for both skills-based hiring as well as educational and learning pathways to upskill a more diverse employee population.
7. Workers Will Trade Money For Meaning at Work
The experience of meaningful work is a personal one, as Gallup reports we are working on average 47 hours per week with one in five working more than 60 hours each week. Increasingly workers are searching for meaningful work, a workplace that aligns to their values and a supportive and healthy work culture.
A recent report entitled entitled Meaning and Purpose at Work surveyed 2,285 American professionals, across 26 industries to find out how important having meaning was at work.
In fact, workers said they’d be willing to forego 23% of their entire future lifetime earnings in order to have a job that was always meaningful to them. This means that building greater meaning at work is no longer a “nice to have,” but a business imperative. Employees who find meaning at work are happier, more productive and hard working, and are absent less.
On average, American workers who place a higher value on meaningful work are in a more senior position, and if they are working in a company that offers meaningful work they stay longer. Employees who find work highly meaningful are 69% less likely to plan on quitting their jobs within the next six months, and have job tenures that are 7.4 months longer on average than employees who find work lacking in meaning.
As the quest for meaning in the workplace grows, more HR leaders are putting a greater emphasis on communicating their company’s culture and sharing their purpose and meaning across the employee population. This involves creating opportunities from training to mentoring and coaching to promote a shared vision and a healthy and supportive work culture.
8. Two Powerful Employee Perks Emerge: Access To Natural Light And Career Development
The news headlines about which perks create a compelling employee experience seem to be dominated by fads — think treadmill desks, nap pods, and “bring your dog to work day. ” However, a new survey by my firm, Future Workplace called “The Employee Experience” reveals employees crave something far more fundamental and essential to human needs. In a research poll of 1,614 North American employees, we found that access to natural light and views of the outdoors are the number one attribute of the workplace environment, outranking traditional benefits like onsite cafeterias, fitness centers, and premium perks including on-site childcare (only 4-8% of FORTUNE 100 companies offer on-site child care). A great example of this is The Spheres, an Amazon workspace in downtown Seattle that’s a curated jungle with over 40,000 plants. Amazon’s Spheres relies on the premise that natural light, plant life, and healthy activities reduce employee stress and improve job satisfaction more so than a standard office building. (Note that in contrast to many of its peers, Amazon has chosen to invest in Spheres rather than other office perks such as free lunches and snacks).
In addition to designing the physical environment to promote employee well-being, companies are also creating more opportunities for internal career mobility. With more than 7 million jobs unfilled, companies are recognizing the importance of creating internal mobility and job rotation programs to keep employees motivated and engaged. Both MasterCard and Intuit stress career planning and invest in internal career mobility and navigation. The Wall Street Journal reports each company is a leader in their industry in terms of profitability.
9. Virtual Reality Is Transforming Corporate Training
A growing number of heads of global learning & development are piloting Virtual Reality (VR) to train employees. And the most interesting use cases revolve around using virtual reality for compliance training. Verizon is using virtual reality to train store managers on protocol in case there is a store robbery. Lou Tedrick, VP-Global Learning & Development, Verizon, says, “We’ve found that virtual reality is the best way to effectively replicate learning experiences that were previously challenging or impossible, such as our Retail Store Robbery. The feedback we’ve received from our participants in these difficult learning scenario trainings justifies the additional investment involved in VR over a more traditional instructional method.”
In addition to Verizon, MasterCard is using virtual reality to help employees improve their soft skills as well as train them on what to do in a crisis situation, such as an active shooter in the workplace or a building fire. Walmart is also using virtual reality to train 1 million associates across 4,700 stores in the U.S. on various aspects of store operations from taking care of produce to handling crowds on Black Friday.
Virtual reality training has clearly expanded from early use by the Arizona Cardinals who started using virtual reality headsets to prepare for games, to the design of virtual reality learning experiences. Derek Belch, founder of STRIVR, and Scott Schneider, CEO of HTXLabs, both see companies no longer asking “What can I use AI for?” but rather “How can I widely deploy AI across the organization?”
10. HR Call To Action: Preparing For The Future of Work Is a Team Sport
Deloitte Capital Trends reports a key challenge for business leaders is the need to work more closely together: acting as a symphony of experts playing in harmony.
But, three-quarters of those surveyed said C-level executives do not agree on common priorities or in concert. Often, the CHRO focuses on HR, CIO on IT issues, CFO on numbers, CMO on marketing — and now new C-level players are appearing – Chief Digital Officer, and Chief Ethical Officer. As the pace of change accelerates, it is more important than ever for C-level executives to agree on a shared vision in the age of AI.
Sahil Sahni, Co-Founder of AllyO sees the importance of this in working with clients. Clients need to build cross-functional alignment between CHRO, CIO, CDO and CMO in order to agree on the business problem that needs to be solved and this is especially important in the age of artificial intelligence.
What HR trends are you preparing for in the age of artificial intelligence?
Article originally published here.
Jeanne Meister is Founding Partner, Future Workplace and a faculty member of Using AI 4 HR to Enhance The Employee Experience. Jeanne is passionate about the impact of using artificial intelligence to re-imagine the employee life cycle. Jeanne is Partner, Future Workplace, co-author of The Future Workplace Experience, and created Using AI 4 HR, the first online course for HR leaders to use AI. Enroll in Jeanne’s online course “Using AI 4 HR To Enhance The Employee Experience”: https://usingai4hr.com/
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