Intelligent virtual agents’ (IVA’s) evolving capabilities: Key changes in the IVA market in the last 12-18 months are enabling IVAs to handle much more complex interactions which is driving the ability to serve specialized needs across industries and horizontals
The 2019 Economic Report of the World Employment Confederation shows that while agency work remains a core activity within the private employment industry, other services gained traction in 2017. Overall, the industry recorded positive growth rates, expanding its footprint worldwide. The evolution is also positive across all regions with countries like Mexico, Brazil, Spain, Italy and Japan becoming strong performers.
“We are constantly striving to improve that process and for this 2019 edition, we have updated our methodology to deliver a more accurate picture of our industry. We also work with external partners such as Staffing Industry Analysts and Everest Group to ensure the most complete assessment of the different HR services.”
Employers might consider a multi-faceted approach to better manage absences and accommodate for worker disabilities, and the index provided a few suggestions. They included using data to benchmark against industry competitors; investing in formal return-to-work and stay-at-work programs to support employee engagement and productivity; adhering to Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) best practices; and building a robust training program to teach managers how to identify conditions and communicate with employees, among other solutions.
Many companies, though, have turned to third parties to help them better manage their leave practices. Forty percent of companies with 1,000 or more employees outsource their FMLA management, as do 27% of companies with 50 or more employees, according to recent research. Additionally, the Everest Group has predicted that the global HR outsourcing market will continue at a rate of 6% to 8% growth for at least the next few years, exceeding $5 billion by 2020.
Everest Group, an outsourcing consultancy and research group, said outsourcing in HR is growing at 4% to 5% a year, according to its survey data. Outsourcing by HR is used mostly for transactional processes such as employee data management and the administration portions of payroll, benefits, recruitment and learning, according to Arkadev Basak, vice president at the company. Everest put the savings due to HR offshoring at 30% to 35%.
Research VP Anurag Srivastava will lead a session titled “Skills of the future: implications on talent acquisition” at the June 14 HR Club meeting in Poland hosted by ABSL (Association of Business Service Leaders).
Other experts in the industry will join Anurag at the ABSL event to discuss new development and trends, as well as their biggest concerns and how they are addressing them.
June 18, 2018
Colgate-Palmolive Services (Poland)
Sp. z o. o. ul. Taśmowa 7, 02-677 Warszawa
Anurag Srivastava, Research VP, Everest Group
Most people talk about how AI will transform both the transactional and strategic HR functions across recruiting, performance management, career guidance, and operations. Technology vendors such as Belong.co, Glider.ai, Hirevue, MontageTalent, and Talla, are often quoted as transforming the HR functions across different facets.
So the burning question here is, will AI technologies eventually transform the HR function for good? Or will it dehumanize it? Let’s look at some fundamental issues.
Focuses on creating individual-centric training, incentives, performance management, and career development plans are noble. However, HR may well not have the budget, and the organization’s processes may well not allow these in reality. Most organizations have a fixed number of roles (bands) and employees are fit into them. And there is a fixed L&D budget, which is treated as a cost that prevents meaningful investment in programs for individual employees.
Most of today’s enterprises are looking to hire “digital HR” specialists who understand the confluence of technologies and HR. Because very few exist, the businesses themselves need to teach and handhold non-digital HR people about the value of AI principles in their mundane tasks, such as CV/resume shortlisting, as well as in their creative work, such as performance management and employee engagement.
While every enterprise claims that their employees are their greatest asset, they don’t always perceive HR to be a strategic function. Many senior executives view HR as a department they need to deal with when team members are joining or leaving the organization, and that everything in between is transactional. This perception does not allow meaningful investments in HR technologies, much less AI-based services. As AI systems are comparatively expensive, they require senior leadership’s full support for business case and execution, and HR will likely not be on the radar screen.
Most HR departments consider themselves to be recruitment, training, and performance management engines. They fail to strategically think about their role as a crucial enabler of a digital business. Because most HR executives don’t perceive themselves to be C-level material, their view becomes self-fulfilling. Many HR executives also silently fear, that their relevance in the organization will be eliminated if seemingly rote activities are automated by AI.
I believe that AI systems provide tremendous opportunities for HR transformation – if the HR function is willing to transform. It needs to make a strong business case for adopting AI based on hard facts, such as delay in employee hiring, number of potential candidates missed due to timelines constraints, poor retention because of gaps in performance management, inferior employee engagement due to limited visibility into what they really want, and compliance issues.
However, there is a tightrope to be walked here. As HR is fundamentally about humans, AI should be assisting the function, not driving it. A chatbot, which may become the face of HR operations, is just a chatbot. AI should be leveraged to automate rote transactional activities and mundane HR operations, and help enhance the HR organization.
Unfortunately, many enterprises myopically and dangerously believe that AI should lead HR. Because HR is not about AI, those that do are bound to dehumanize HR and drive their own demise.
HR’s broader organizational mandate will have to change for AI adoption to truly succeed without dehumanizing the function and its purposes. Doing so will not be easy. Various enterprises may take a shortcut, such as deploying chatbots for simple HR operations, to appease their desire for a transformational moniker. But in today’s digital age, these organizations will be short lived. Enterprises that weave AI into their HR functions – akin to ambient technology – to fundamentally enhance employee experience, engagement, and creativity, will succeed.
As enterprise HR increasingly shifts from a process-centric to an employee-centric approach to address recruitment and retention challenges and technology advances, HR services also need to pivot from HR outsourcing to HR orchestration, the focus of which is building capability to orchestrate the technology, process, and people components rather than necessarily owning all of them