In 2020, there has been a dramatic change in how HR teams interact with current and future employees. With the “new normal” of work-from-home and social distancing, HR teams are finding they need to tweak the methods they have used for years.

While many organizations continue to hire across sectors, the fact remains that most people aren’t going to an office anymore to conduct business. Given the new challenges, technology tools are emerging that can enable swift and smart decision-making, save capital and also build the future with smart sourcing and realignment of resources who could be quickly upskilled or cross-skilled based on their competencies.

One of the technologies making a significant impact for recruiters is Artificial Intelligence. AI in recruitment is designed to streamline or automate some part of the recruiting workflow, especially repetitive, high-volume tasks.

Some of the repetitive, time-consuming tasks that HR has to perform daily include payroll, employee data, report generation, data management, etc. AI can sort out and automate all these tasks and thus HR employees can focus on business and building meaningful human relationships.

Automation and AI can help companies effectively manage and optimise costs. For example, technologies such as RPA, Natural Language Processing (NLP), and Natural Language Generation (NLG) can automate 25–50% of processes.

Research from Gartner predicts that in 2020, one in five workers engaged mainly in non-routine tasks will rely on artificial intelligence to help them do their jobs. AI can provide a solution to many if not all of these HR problems. Let’s have a look at a few HR virtual assistant use-cases.

FAQ on Covid-19 Outbreak
With the threat of COVID-19 outbreak looming large, it’s obvious that the HR team will be receiving tons of questions. And this sudden influx of questions from the concerned workers just adds onto the already crowded inbox of the HR managers. But think of an AI assistant answering questions on COVID-19, clarifying doubts on work-from-home policies for the new employees and letting the HR team focus on other complex tasks.

Easy communication
Finding the right candidates during these unique times is only half the battle. Once you find the suitable employees, you need to create a work environment that allows for seamless communication and the chance for everyone to thrive. Effective communication is key when everyone is working somewhere else. Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, a fluctuating workplace landscape was developing. Using natural language processing — translating human communication into the computer’s processing language — we can conduct automated content evaluations.

Increased focus on Wellness
After dealing with the anxiety and stress of the COVID-19 pandemic, employers will need to put more focus on the mental health and overall wellness of its employees. Employers now know that ensuring employee wellness is core to creating a positive employee experience. HR could integrate, associate, and possibly brand AI applications for collaboration as wellness and “employee experience” tools where HR applications for AI come in.

Virtualizing Training Programs
With employees and companies, both trying to find a balance between how to manage the new working equation, there could be questions that are very specific, complex and extraordinary. Employee engagement and interaction is crucial. From behavioral to capability assessments and training programs all can be carried out within a virtual environment. The HR AI assistant can run these programs without requiring the HR team or employees in person.

AI can successfully plan, organize, and coordinate events and processes for all staff members. At the heart of this change management process is people and AI can be the binding agent for organisations during this time when employees are dispersed remotely.