Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), Natural Language Processing (NLP) are rapidly transforming the way world’s do business and HR is no exception to this. Emerging technologies are forces that will drive the new employment economy and organisations are betting big on them. In an exclusive interview with TechObserver.in Sanjay Singh, EdGE Networks Founder and CEO Arjun Pratap says, “AI coupled with analytics is gaining fast ground within the HR domain. From talent acquisition and workforce optimisation to workforce transformation, technology can act as a strategic enabler for HR.”
What are your views of emerging technologies like Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Natural Language Processing, Data Science, and cognitive technology and how they can overhaul HR systems?
Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), Natural Language Processing (NLP) are rapidly transforming the way we do business today and HR is no exception to this. Emerging technologies are forces that will drive the new employment economy and organisations are betting big on them. From fiction in the movie Transformers, to an impressive reality (Watson and Deep Blue), AI algorithms are challenging human intelligence. With their inherent pattern recognition, self-learning and cognitive capabilities, AI powered algorithms have the ability to perform complex jobs with speed and accuracy. In a future, where humans and machine will work closely together, Machine Learning and NLP are proving to be the key tools for driving human-machine collaborations.
We believe that AI coupled with analytics is gaining fast ground within the HR domain. From talent acquisition and workforce optimisation to workforce transformation, technology can act as a strategic enabler for HR. In the talent acquisition space, it is bringing about a sea change in the speed, accuracy and timeliness of delivery. Auto-sourcing, just-in-time hiring, and self-serve hiring are expected to improve utilization and drive revenue growth. AI driven applications can act as HR’s weather man helping them analyse the engagement level of employees, determine flight risk, uncover great talent in the frontline and more.
Companies that espouse AI-driven solutions will enjoy significant competitive advantage in the recruitment market too. Needless to say, that advanced and cognitive analytics and artificial intelligence form the base of all our products.
What role do you see for HR technology solutions to cope up with the growing challenge of re-skilling, up-skilling and finding the right talent?
With the advent of the emerging technologies, it has become imperative to re-skill and up-skill our existing talent pool for them to stay relevant with changing work scenarios and ensure organisations are able to drive ROI from their workforce. Corporates are actively taking up this approach as an important focus area in HR. But the challenge is not in deciding to re-skill or up-skill the workforce, but in identifying the right candidates and matching them with the right emerging skillsets. We must understand, just because a certain tech skill is emerging to create a massive impact, it might not be the right fit for every employee to be skilled in. Business leaders must gauge the potentials and take informative decisions.
This is where HR technology comes into play. The biggest advantage of technologies like ML, AI, analytics and NLP is that these react faster than humans in identifying insights and inferences that might otherwise take plenty of manpower and time or not be identified at all. Algorithms can be used to identify and suggest talent upgradation measures in a more accurate way.
Similarly, finding the right fit for a job role is an equally challenging space, especially matching the right skillsets and going through the numerous job applications. There are other times when we struggle to find the perfect matches for vacant positions due to the inferior quality of job descriptions shared by hiring managers. This is where, NLP and analytics can play their cards in extracting the key-words and parsing through the resumes to find the best fit. Also, with technology in the scene, the human errors and biases can be avoided and thus the recruitment process can be made simpler, faster and more accurate.
Thus, with HR tech systems, especially recruitment and workforce optimization can turn out to be a smooth and time and cost saving process.
Do you see automation taking away the IT jobs? How this challenge could be addressed?
Automation is a necessity for corporates to streamline working processes and making them more efficient and time-saving. While there’s concern about automation taking away jobs, it’s not the complete picture. The fact is automation will do away with the redundant and repetitive jobs, but it will create far more number of meaningful jobs, where people will have to put their cognitive thinking, creative and decision-making skills to use. This will create a way for employees to put their best of skills forward, which will be benefial both for them and their organisations.
Technology in all forms and means are only to support human efforts and not to make human beings out of being. We must acknowledge the need of automation of certain processes and invest time and resources in up-skilling and reskilling the workforce and the future talents.
As experts predict, the future of the workplace will involve a human-machine collaboration and that can end up being a good thing. The future is very exciting for HR.
With NSDC, Government of India is focusing on skilling. How has been your experience with this programme? Is there any area that need improvement?
NSDC has chosen EdGE Networks to develop an eco-system of skilled manpower that provides trained candidates to employers, placement options to training partners and employment to candidates. Our platform, HIREalchemy, provides efficient recruiting and resource management and aids job seekers and employees identify and build the right skills for their careers, using Artificial Intelligence and Data Science. The platform processes both structured and unstructured data to provide analytics and insights on the workforce. HIREalchemy manages and analyses talent in organisations based on skills, personality, career path and other characteristics of job seekers. It helps with skill-gap analysis and recommends relevant training programs thereby ensuring employers get rightly-skilled talent.
What kind of solutions EdGE Networks offers and how they impact HR processes?
Our clients are C-Suite and HR leaders looking to staff projects with talented people, quickly and without having to rely on inefficient channels of recruitment and allocation. Additionally, our tools help employees and job seekers realize their career goals and aspirations either within their organisations or outside. To enable this, we have built a neural network of skills and jobs that will learn and grow with time using our source-validate- connect algorithms run with Natural Language Processing (NLP). While our product and solutions are based on some of the most cutting-edge technologies, we have also worked towards creating a responsible and agile organisation that is ready to partner with customers to build game changing HR tech solutions.