The two years of the COVID-19 pandemic scare have arguably been the worst years of workforce disruption in the history of staffing and employment. When governments announced lockdowns and social distancing protocols, businesses across the globe had no time to shift their focus to making themselves a digitised workplace. The remote working schedules and logistical issues were dealt with eventually, and the trend of remote workplaces seems to have now caught up with employees across sectors and industries.

Gartner suggests that 47% of business leaders plan to allow employees to work remotely full-time after the pandemic, while 82% said they would at least allow it part-time. Alluding to this scenario, HR departments across industries have raised concerns that their workload will increase because of the longevity in remote working schedules. 

The mental health concerns of employees working remotely (due to increased work pressure, support required during the pandemic, and stress calls) have expanded HR’s role as a pacifier. Coronavirus has also hastened the shift to innovative ways of working, creating new and virtual modes for employee engagements. 

Today, irrespective of geographies, AI and automation of HR practices have been a boon for the employees handling an already overworked HR department. Acceptance or rejection of job applications, approving business-related receipts, fair processing of automated pay based on AI attendance, and geotagging make the process more efficient and allow no room for discrepancy. A 2019 Gartner survey predicted that 70% of organizations would use AI-powered HR solutions by 2021. As we start the year 2022, the numbers would have probably doubled.  

AI and automation in HR have made human resource professionals more agile. With the processes streamlined, the managers hiring potential candidates can:

  • Perform analysis on identifying the right fit for the job 
  • Conduct a detailed background verification
  • Interview the candidates anytime and anywhere
  • Roll out the offer letter and complete the registration processes with just a click
  • Host induction meets without any human interventions
  • Resolve queries via app-based solutions
  • Schedule appraisals in a more transparent way via app-based interaction between managers and employees

With businesses conducting operations virtually and employees adapting to the AI-based remote working lifestyle, HR as a function has become far more automated compared to the years before 2019. 

Today, HR chatbots help reduce the time taken for recruitment and employee assistance and resolve queries on payroll and sick leave with just a click, easing the burden on an HR professional and providing results in record time. Now, smart solutions via AI have allowed us to gauge the prospects of the probable departure of an employee. IBM’s AI technology is a brilliant example of AI’s understanding and communication with HR about keeping a talent pool ready to address this foreseen gap. If numbers are to be believed, it predicts which workers plan to leave with 95% accuracy helping HRs to have carefully planned exit interviews and other formalities. Astonishing, isn’t it?

With the world coming back to offices, do we think AI and automation are here to stay? Yes. Does intervention of disruptive technologies at the workplace leave people jobless? No. We believe that AI is here to stay and will increase the skill of human resource managers since the pressure of redundant work would be off them. It will ensure that better human relationships are made, and an enriching work environment is created when the world gets back to its original workplaces.