Artificial intelligence in Human Resources

Artificial intelligence (AI) is supposed to make HR management easier, faster and more objective. There are areas of application, for example, in recruiting or in personnel development. The AI observatory and the HR Tech ethics committee advocate safe and non-discriminatory use.

Technical solutions that enable the processing of problems that previously only humans could solve are often referred to as artificial intelligence (AI). The term artificial intelligence is not clearly defined and is often used synonymously with machine learning, robot process automation or big data analytics. This means that it is sometimes difficult to classify such systems.

Artificial intelligence and HR

With machine learning, algorithms can independently recognize relationships in existing data sets. A classic example of this is image recognition: a machine learning algorithm uses a large number of cat photos to learn to recognize cats in other images. As large amounts of data are increasingly available in different areas, these algorithms can be applied to more and more areas of life and work. 

In HR management, too, increasing datafication enables the use of learning algorithms and similar AI applications. This means that more and more HR processes can be automated, for example the processing of employee inquiries, the search for suitable candidates or the coordination of training content. In addition, probability predictions can be generated, which can be helpful in making strategic decisions.

Descriptive, predictive and prescriptive analysis

The analysis of complex data to solve problems can be divided into different areas: Descriptive procedures analyze the data and describe relationships, predictive procedures derive future trends from them and prescriptive analyzes develop proposals to achieve certain goals in the future. The quality of the analyzes depends not only on the algorithm used and the amount of data, but also on the quality of the data. Many service providers therefore also offer pre-trained AI solutions. 

Before introducing an AI-supported application, it should be carefully checked whether the algorithms used, your own data sets and, if applicable, the external training data actually meet your own requirements and are usable for the intended use. In addition, it must be ensured that the deployment complies with all data protection regulations.

AI in recruiting

The recruiting  as a field of application for AI solutions is currently being intensively discussed. Since the recruiting process is already fully digitized in many companies and therefore broad data sets are available, the use of artificial intelligence is particularly useful here. Robot recruiting refers to this automated implementation of recruiting processes in which artificial intelligence plays a role. 

Fields of application of artificial intelligence

Artificial intelligence can also be used in other areas of HR. The following overview is intended to show some possibilities as an example:

Contact with employees and applicants can be managed with  chatbots  . Artificial intelligence enables chatbots to independently answer recurring inquiries. Questions that a chatbot cannot answer automatically are usually forwarded to the relevant employee.

In  personnel development  , some companies work with artificial intelligence and learning algorithms in order to provide their employees with targeted training offers that are classified as optimal based on their skills, tasks and previous training offers. 

Artificial intelligence and machine learning can also be used for the statistical evaluation of personnel data on a strategic level. In this way, probability values can be generated for future personnel development, for example for expected waves of layoffs. The analysis results can be derived from the personnel planning. 

AI observatory observes the effects on the world of work

The new technological possibilities also bring new problems with them. Algorithms, for example, harbor the dangers of discrimination . In addition, the scientific basis of certain applications is often questioned.

The debate about the use of artificial intelligence is now having an impact on politics and the Federal Ministry of Labor has become active: In March 2020, the “KI Observatory”, a project by the digital working society think tank, started the mandate has to investigate the effects of AI on the world of work and society. So far, among other things, key figures have been developed that should help to better monitor the effects of the use of AI on people and to develop recommendations for action on this basis.

HR Tech Ethics Advisory Board focuses on human resources

The AI observatory does not focus specifically on HR applications, but the human resources area is still affected by the debates. The HR Tech Ethics Advisory Board was set up at the end of 2018 with the aim of providing information on ethical issues relating to AI and encouraging discussion. With a catalog of ten guidelines , for example, the advisory board wants to develop an ethical standard for AI solutions and the handling of personal data.