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Human Resource Gets A Jeeves

Artificial intelligence not only takes the tedium out of routine hr tasks, but also handles them more efficiently.

Purba Das

For a moment, imagine you’re fresh out of college and you’ve been called in for your first job interview. Your parents give you great advice on how to dress and behave, friends and seniors explain how you should answer awkward questions, and the Internet gives you loads of advice on body language and negotiating salary. You’re nicely confused by the time you enter the room you’re directed to. And then, all you see is a computer. No intimidating panel of interviewers, no bosses or human resources people, nothing except a screen. Your only human interaction is with someone who tells you to answer all the questions that come up on screen.

Sounds like something out of that 2013 science-fiction movie Her, doesn’t it? Instead of falling in love with an operating system, you get hired by one. It’s not as odd as it sounds, though. And it’s not something that’s restricted to techies. Across industries, recruiters are relying increasingly on artificial intelligence (AI) and data analytics as tools to identify the best candidates. Like their global counterparts, Indian companies have been using AI to help in the hiring process.

Artificial intelligence, which scours through troves of data to recognise patterns,has changed the way companies do business around the world. Human resource (HR) professionals have been diving into data and analytics for a host of HR functions from recruitment and talent development to employee engagement and predicting the rate of attrition in the organisation.

In India, artificial intelligence is used primarily to streamline recruitment processes at the moment. Some companies have begun using data analytics for career development by understanding the skills, experience, and career patterns of employees and suggesting corrective training or skill-development sessions. But at the end of the day, AI is proving most useful in recruitment.

It’s not something that’s brand new; there have been companies relying on AI to provide recruitment solutions. One of the more interesting companies in this space is Entelo, a San Francisco-based company that uses AI and predictive analysis to identify potential people who fit a role, and if they want to move. In its six years, Entelo has signed up customers like Facebook and GE.

There are other firms like Talent Sonar and HireVue, which offer AI products specifically designed for recruiters. Interviewed is another company in this space; the company uses natural-language processing and machine learning to construct a psychological profile that predicts whether a person will fit a company’s culture.

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October 2017