Technology, especially AI, is really changing the way we work and has huge potential to improve HR processes. Whether it’s streamlining laborious tasks or analysing information with greater effectiveness – AI is ensuring that employees work smarter not harder. Many organisations are already harnessing the power of the technology and it shouldn’t come as a surprise that AI spending in on the up. The technology is being adopted by many organisations across a wide range of industries, including human resources departments.

The benefit of artificial intelligence is clear but there is also a huge worry that the technology could take away jobs. However, HR managers needn’t panic, the technology will improve areas such as recruiting, assessments and management practises, but it won’t entirely take over from the responsibilities of HR managers and the department itself.

Ensuring HR remains human

The technology slots very easily into daily working practices and can help HR departments with compliance issues as well as employee onboarding and expense claims. Looking more closely at expense claims, machine learning technology is well placed to help companies enforce their expense policies. This prevents HR teams from sifting through endless piles of receipts and searching for VAT numbers and dates. AI engines have the ability to read receipts and audit expense claims, along with flagging irregularities for human interrogation and sign off. This ensures that the claims submitted to HR departments are precise and legitimate, as well as refusing those which aren’t – like claiming two meals on the exact same date. Ultimately, this relieves the HR department from time consuming tasks, helping them to bring more value to other activities such as training and staff retention.  

With automated AI engines carrying out calculations, enforcing compliance and verifying information, HR managers will be better equipped with more reliable and accurate data. This eliminates factors such as human error and offers a greater level of clarity around total business spending and claiming behaviours. This deeper level of insight will enable HR teams to make more educated decisions and evaluate policies and spending habits.

AI won’t replace jobs

There has been significant value put on AI’s ability to transform the HR department and 66 per cent of CEOs feel it will have a positive effect on employees and organisations as a whole. But how will AI influence the roles of HR managers in years to come?

For many HR departments automation is removing the need for people to perform physical checks and with this we’re seeing a job transition rather than a loss. The technology is enabling HR professionals to improve staff experience, helping to lower costs and gain highly beneficial new insights. This focus on value-added contributions is supporting HR professionals to work more openly with their colleagues in other departments, such as accounting and operations. By converting data into the practical information, HR managers can easily analyse data and proactively contribute to strategic business decisions.

Alongside the automation of tasks, AI is also improving the accessibility of areas such as duty of care. For many HR personnel, verifying drivers and vehicles is a massive burden which impacts their duty of care responsibilities both financially and environmentally. Failing to adhere to these rules and regulations can lead to financial penalties, which HR professionals are keen to steer clear of. Often validating employee driving licences can be a laborious process which involves filling and managing countless forms in order to gain access to the DVLA’s database. Automating this process through an expenses system means that checks can be automatically carried out – saving the HR team much time and money.

HR in years to come

It doesn’t come as a surprise that technology and internet-enabled devices are set to create more interesting and personalised experiences as time goes on. Gartner research suggests that by 2022, 80 percent of new mobile devices will have built in AI functionality. This development will affect HR departments and we’ll very quickly see the roll out of optical character recognition (OCR) technology. Enabling HR professionals to easily edit and search different types of documents, like scanned paper documents and pictures – giving teams the reliability and performance they desire. We’ll also see greater intelligence from smartphones when performing specific tasks. For example, if a member of staff is driving, the device may help them to action a claim for their mileage, or automatically produce an expense claim by scanning a receipt through the camera function.

Ultimately, the uptake and implementation of AI and machine learning technology has the power to create more opportunities than ever before. The speed of AI deployment throughout business processes is yet to slow down, so it’s vital to integrate these automated tools into HR teams in order to boost efficiency and productivity.