COVID and HR Tech: How HR can use smart AI tools

By: |
May 4, 2020 3:10 AM

From wearables like Tracesafe to AI tools from Ahura, many digital devices can be mainstreamed by HR for better productivity.

Covid-19 and the resultant impact on the economy have necessitated growth oriented organisations to rethink their business offerings, processes and business models.

Covid-19 and the resultant impact on the economy have necessitated growth oriented organisations to rethink their business offerings, processes and business models. Business leaders are engrossed with the thinking around how to rejuvenate their businesses using lean principles with an eye on preserving their cash. HR leaders are therefore required to support their business leaders in purposeful ways which would enable the businesses to continue to function while the changes are being introduced.

At the heart of this change management process is people and this is the time that businesses would need to know what talent to retain, what new specialist talent to hire and how productive is the talent that is working from home. There are many digital technologies that have transformative impact on HR but have not yet become mainstream. Now is the time that business and HR would see significant advantage in adopting them.

AI and analytics tools, for instance, have been implemented in various functions but not so much in HR. In these times, these tools could enable swift and smart decision-making that can not only save capital but also have the ability to help build the future with smart resourcing and realignment of resources retained who could be quickly upskilled or cross-skilled based on the detailing of their competencies.

With work from home having become an essential way to continue to do business, HR managers would have to work in close tandem with IT managers in the areas of data security, confidentiality and compliances. Many organisations ‘certify’ employees for their knowledge of compliances based on the online courses employees are advised to take.

Smart AI tools from startups like Ahura are now being deployed for checking the exact time spent on the material vs watching TV or spending time on social media during the course and by monitoring their eye contacts it is now possible to provide meaningful feedback to the employees as well as their managers on the efficacy of learning.

Wearables have been touted as fashion accessories and there have been attempts to use them in the context of fitness and health but have not become mainstream so far. Covid- 19 is probably the reason why employees could be encouraged by HR managers to adopt wearables as they would be able to access data related to corona virus parameters and alert employees from the likely infection or coming to work or manage quarantine processes. Smart wrist band Tracesafe used in Hong Kong could be used to suggest which employees should work from home necessarily and thus prevent the entire office going into quarantine mode.

Since remote learning has come to stay, L&D managers have to identify learning platforms which not only have the ability to host content but can deliver content to employees as per their individual needs based on skill requirements. Since organisations would be interested in deploying a talent pool comprising employees as well as gig economy workers, HR and business managers would benefit by using learning and HR systems that provide real-time skills status and enable planning for upskilling or new resourcing based on this information.

New business models, changes in work norms and new methods for assessing people – not by experience or education but on their sheer capabilities would be adopted by organisations. Digital transformation that has skipped HR function in many organisations has now assumed urgency and as a result we would see several digital technologies that have been given cursory consideration in the past getting assimilated and becoming mainstream.

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