Look to Artificial Intelligence to Solve Talent Challenges

Facing the global talent shortage, CEO and CHROs around the world are set to shake up talent management and mobility through technological innovation and artificial intelligence.

 Around the world, countries continue to face glaring talent shortages. As a result, companies are increasingly interested in artificial intelligence (AI) for recruitment, retention, and talent management. The adoption of AI and other tech solutions will also benefit mobility as it plays its crucial role in HR and talent management for companies moving talent around the world. 

A recent study from Harris Interactive in collaboration with Eightfold provides insights into how CHROs are adopting and using artificial intelligence. A total of 1,350 CEOs and CHROs from the U.S., France, Germany and the U.K. participated in 1,500 interviews in the summer of 2019. The study reveals that in response to the talent shortage, enterprises are embracing artificial intelligence to help with HR functions that will address talent management challenges going forward.

In response to the talent shortage, enterprises are embracing artificial intelligence to help with HR functions that will address talent management challenges going forward.

Such challenges include finding suitable candidates, succession planning, and focusing on internal mobility. Notable results from the EU show that 73% of French companies believe they would benefit from more efficient succession planning, and 65% of German companies can’t find enough suitable candidates. Seventy-one percent of U.S. companies say they don’t have enough staff to wade through resumes to find suitable candidates, while 79% of U.K. companies believe that clearer career paths would motivate most employees.

Despite these challenges, HR teams are growing more tech-savvy, with companies in the U.S., France, Germany and the U.K. all reporting high levels of tech skill learning in the last few years. At the same time, all four country groups believe they’re behind the curve, and are not capitalizing on all available new technology. Those that are highly interested in tech solutions are turning to artificial intelligence. U.S. companies in particular are interested in using more AI for recruitment, retention, and repetitive HR tasks.

AI’s Impact on Mobility

The potential for AI to impact talent management, including mobility, is immense. In an article on the transformation of mobility, Plus Relocation CEO Susan Benevides, SCRP, GMS, predicted that AI will add efficiencies that will allow mobility professionals to focus more closely on the individual customer service needs of mobile employees. In a panel at the Worldwide ERC® 2019 Global Workforce Symposium in Boston on the future of the workforce, CEO of IQTalent Partners David Windley, Global HR Leader of IBM Corporation Horst Gallo, and Global Staffing Leader of Technology Google Patrick Sullivan noted that despite its early stages, AI and analytics are making the HR process easier through predictive analytics and automating tasks so HR professionals can focus on problem solving. Worldwide ERC® Board of Directors member Merritt Q. Anderson noted in an article that data and analytics will also drive innovation and lead to new business opportunities. Additionally, AI will allow HR to grow in importance as the workforce becomes talent-based as opposed to job based.

With the adoption of AI comes particular challenges and concerns around whether jobs will be lost or gained, and if bias will factor into the hiring of job candidates. While the threat of job loss cannot easily be answered, bias prevention measures are taking shape. “Candidate masking” refers to hiding a candidate’s personal information to prevent bias in the hiring process. According to the survey, leading this effort is the U.S., with 79% of companies masking candidates to make the recruitment process better. Regulation measures are taking off in places like Germany, where the government recently decided that businesses are free to develop AI tools, but must weigh a variety of ethical factors first. Efforts like these seek to address the potential bias issues as AI grows more prominent.

Despite the challenges faced in the adoption of AI, the chance for it to positively alter the mobility and talent management process and the employee experience is increasing. To address talent shortages, CEO and CHROs may continue to reach for innovative tech solutions, positioning artificial intelligence as a key talent management strategy to watch in the coming years.

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