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HR Tech | Episode 1 | Recruitment and Beyond Podcast

HR Tech

 
 


The latest HR Tech to help you grow your business

Ewan Anderson, Associate Marketing Director at Eden Scott, and Natalie OHare at BeyondHR have teamed up to delve deep into the challenging world of HR and recruitment to help answer your questions and solve your challenges.

In this first episode, Natalie and Ewan chatted about the technological advances supporting the HR and recruitment sectors. They uncover where the challenges are and what is stopping people from adopting the technology.

They also discuss strategies for implementing the latest tech and how AI can support your job rather than replace it. Natalie and Ewan also discussed the legal issues surrounding the data and what it might look like in the coming years.

There are three key takeaways from HR expert Natalie to help everyone develop their approach to technology, no matter what stage they are at.

Eden Scott also produced an HR Tech Report to support your adoption of the latest tech. [Download the HR Tech Report] 

If you'd like to review the full transcript: check it out below.

HR Tech | Episode 1 | Recruitment and Beyond Podcast


Ewan:
Hi, and welcome along to our brand new podcast, Recruitment and Beyond. I'm Ewan Anderson.

Natalie:
And I'm Natalie O'Hare.

Ewan:
And today, we're talking HR tech, including artificial intelligence.
So are people actually using artificial intelligence in their HR technology today?

Natalie:
Great question, Ewan. From one end of the spectrum to the other, people are absolutely embracing this or still very fearful. It's set to disrupt HR in a good way, obviously. There are many drawbacks, but we're not forgetting human resources. The human element does scare people. But I would say there are certainly intentions out there if people aren't using it, but maybe they need to know a wee bit more about it and what it can bring to the business before they start using it.

Ewan:
Are people scared to use it? Is it that fear factor, I suppose? Is there?

Natalie:
Absolutely. You read a lot of things. You hear a lot of things about maybe where it could go wrong, or people are still very cybersecurity conscious for potential issues that they might have with their data, et cetera. But for me, it's still maintaining that balance of having the human and human resources, and people are worried, robots taking over, that kind of thing. They're worried, but actually, the more maybe they get to understand and can know the potential benefits to the business. It's not designed to replace anyone, but it's actually moving people away from the traditional tasks that can absolutely be done. But as HR professionals, we need to be more aligned now to strategic and operational and really create our value there. So working with managers and senior leadership teams and let the other tasks do their own thing and let's get the help in order to make those things happen.

Ewan:
So is that what it's kind of doing? Is it taking away some of the day-to-day tasks and then helping people to be more strategic, do you think in terms of HR teams?

Natalie:
That's mainly where our questions have been, and where the value may be added would be what can it do? What is the capability of it? It may give more intelligence, though. It may deal with the traditional task, but if you look at training and development, for example, it can look at gaps where how long would that take the average human to do? But it can really get into the nitty-gritty. And training is massive.
We are just through, or maybe still through, a pandemic. We're in a time of skill shortages, and people, individuals, workers, employees have certainly assessed their own learning development and really good stats that are out there as well. People will move if they're not learning. People will leave jobs if they are not learning. It used to be maybe something that businesses would think about to complement, but now it's an absolute necessity. What are companies doing in order to push that learning through? But how can we use tech to be clever about it, to identify gaps, but also to look at personalization and resources? It's a minefield, isn't it?

Ewan:
Yeah.

Natalie:
If you were, for example, to go into Google right now and Google something, how many different resources and how does Google know what your learning style is either? How does it know? So hopefully, this technology can extract the information from yourself but also point you in the direction of what resources are good for you, what resources, or what interactions with training and development is good for your learning style as well.

Ewan:
I suppose is that what AI's doing. Is it taking the data that you guys are inputting, or HR teams are inputting and then just continually assessing and revising what people possibly need? Maybe even looking at an opportunity when somebody's set to leave the business, if they're at that position where an AI something could pick it up, that they're maybe ready to move on. Is that the sort of intel that you're getting from that?

Natalie:
Yeah, absolutely. The AI is very, very clever, and we need to give it its place because the capability, and as that develops, who knows what will happen. So it's used in recruitment, it's used in training and development. It can be used to extract information for trends, for levers to pinpoint to business where does it going wrong in the cycle. Where I will say, where is the ladder broken? So where is that ladder broken that we can maybe fix some things and try and rectify? Retention's a massive issue at the moment as well. But if you can use tech to certainly help some of that, then why not? But yeah, your question earlier, "Do people trust it?" It's... But try it. Try it, is what I would say.

Ewan:
Do you think that might be the best idea? You can't go from zero to hero, I suppose.

Natalie:
No. No, absolutely not.

Ewan:
So how do you introduce it? If somebody's feeling a bit apprehensive about it, do they test out, maybe, some smaller task? Is that the best approach to get it in?

Natalie:
Yeah, absolutely. Think about what, what's maybe taking up their most time? Where are they spending a lot of time that they can't do on other things that they should be doing or would like to be doing and bring in an expert? Bring in an expert that maybe knows what they're doing that can guide and can set up properly. Because, I guess, it can go wrong. So the setup would be, for me, a key part.

Ewan:
It's critical. Yeah.

Natalie:
But bring in an expert. Don't muddle through it. You want this to do the best that it can do for you. So bring in that expert and then maybe pilot it for a couple of things. Look at maybe starting with recruitment, seeing how smart you can get with that, and then moving on to training, then moving on to analyzing levers, et cetera. But I would say bring in that expert. That's what it's all about, isn't it? We're not successful in business by being able to do everything. We bring in, and we pull the experts in to be able to do the things that we don't know or can't do.

Ewan:
You touched on this. People are scared about, "Well, look, I'm going to lose my job here. I find that you bring in this technology here. What am I going to be doing?" And, I suppose, is that the fear for a lot of people, and how do we allay those fears? How do people get over that and say, "Well, actually, it's just helping you? It's not taking over your job."

Natalie:
No, absolutely. I guess the job of any manager, any HR manager, is never done. They're always, in the week, things that you don't get to. But how good would it be that other things can be happening? Don't get me wrong. We still need the human element at the end to make sure the process is right, to have a look to see actually is it doing what a human would also do. Obviously, yeah, AI, since it's there to mimic human behavior, but is it maybe fitting with our culture and of our values? We'll still need someone at the end of that process to check. But it does mean that we can spend more time focusing where the business really needs us, e.g., upscaling managers, giving them the confidence to have difficult conversations, and doing all the strategic and operational stuff that we would love to get to but sometimes these tasks just take it away from us, and we're unable.

Ewan:
So it's just becoming more effective. I suppose it's a tool to make you more effective as a leader. Because HR is about helping people grow, isn't it? That's what you're there to do, rather than filling out forms or whatever it may be.

Natalie:
No, absolutely. And if we can get even more, we can never have enough data. We have many streams of data, but we can never have enough data. So if we have really good data that can complement what we're doing to map, the job's never done. Let's use it in our benefit, and let's plow through and let's get to the next step by using really clever data along the way as well.

Ewan:
So I suppose for those guys that are listening, what are some examples of that, then? Something like a chatbot, for instance. Is that of benefit to the company? Is that where that sort of AI comes in and helps answer those questions? You maybe get the constant phone calls about. Yeah.

Natalie:
Absolutely. No, this is where, obviously, human resources, human is massive. But when we think about even you've got maybe a query with your mobile phone bill, you've got a query, what do you expect? Now you jump on, and you chat, and you might be doing other things at that particular time, and maybe that will be good for some people. If we look at certain parts of the workforce, the Gen Z, the millenniums, they won't even blink twice about that. They are to it. They are surrounded. They have been brought up almost on the internet. They have their phone in their right hand at all times.
So when we have a look at chatbots, actually, they are very engaged with that. But we need to maybe adapt to everyone's an individual, and we can't lose that human touch. But it might mean that queries are reduced by far because it's the same kinds of things that might come in. What is my pay date? Have I been paid correctly? What was that deduction? When is the holiday year? How can I access my holidays? All those things. And that gives us time to do other things. And you have to do the things that we never ever get to do. But to answer the question, you'll have individuals that will really embrace.

Ewan:
They'll embrace it. Yeah.

Natalie:
Embrace, and there'll be companies that embrace. But then, on the flip side of that, it has to fit the culture. It won't be a one-size-fits-all, but for certain things, there'll be human in other elements of the process, and there'll be human other touchpoints. So, why not?

Ewan:
Mm-hmm. Because obviously, you need to get buy-in from the board or buy-in from senior management. You're presumably advising people on this. How would you go about doing that to get buy-in from senior leadership?

Natalie:
Find out their problems, first of all. Listen. What are their issues? If we had a magic wand, what would you like fixed? And then, does that complement that? Is it going to make their life worse? In most cases, no. But find out the problems and then offer solutions, but a toolbox of solutions. So it might be AI, but it might be something else. But giving them the option and the benefits and the drawbacks, I think, before someone signs up to something. It's good for them to know what are the risks here or how are we going to make this work, or the fact that there might be teething problems, but giving solutions too. But finding out, really, what are the problems? What do we want to do better? What are we not getting time for is really important.

Ewan:
Yeah. So is the setup, I suppose, quite a challenge? Because obviously, this is reliant on data. You need to get our data in. Is there quite a big bit of work in terms of getting it all in to start with?

Natalie:
Every business is different as well.

Ewan:
Yeah, I suppose that.

Natalie:
How do we feed culture and values? That is something that, over time, it just gets a bit cleverer at. But I would say maybe not try that yourself. You might need to bring in the expert to find out and to then make the. If you're looking, for example, embedding it into the recruitment process, what are they looking for in a CV, et cetera? What does the human brain look for, and how do we teach so that we can look? But on the flip side of that, for recruitment, for example, it removes any of the bias that we all have, unfortunately, or fortunately.

Ewan:
But then I guess some of the bias because it's learning from the people that put the data in.

Natalie:
Absolutely.

Ewan:
So the challenger here is how do you unlearn that bias, I suppose, for the machine? But I suppose that's what it's there to do, isn't it? Is to learn and grow and look at the results going forward and say, "Well, actually, that person didn't work, but that person did." Because from a recruitment point of view, we've been asked quite a bit about this. I suppose it helps with the early sifting or if it's a mass recruitment process.

Natalie:
Certain stages, certain stages. Yeah.

Ewan:
But if you're doing CEO recruitment, for instance, you're probably not going to use an AI bot or any AI system to sift through lots of CVs. It's an expert, isn't it?

Natalie:
It has to fit, doesn't it? There are many examples of it, but it has to fit. It has to fit for what you're looking for. And you're right, there might be drawbacks, but the more you get familiar with it, you realize actually we could use it for here. We can't use it here. You get a bit more familiar with what you might want to use it for, but yeah, you're right.

Ewan:
And as the people analytics side of things, do you find people are using that quite a bit? Is there a certain type of company that uses that are big, small? I don't know. What is it?

Natalie:
People are embracing tech or shying away from it. If people can see a clear advantage of it, then they're absolutely going to maybe at least try or reach out to someone that knows a bit more about it. But if it's going to give you better stands to make better business decisions, then why not? Isn't it? Why not use the technology to get advantage? Whether it's in any part of the business, but certainly for people analytics, if it can give you some really good data to make really good business decisions, then I would encourage, yeah. I would encourage not on isolation but using it alongside other tools.

Ewan:
So is there any legal issues with AI tech? Is there anything that people need to be aware of when they're putting this in?

Natalie:
Data breaches. Obviously, people are a bit fearful of data breaches from a tribunal perspective. Computer says, "No." I'm not too sure in terms of what their thoughts would be. It wouldn't just be good enough for computer says, "No." So having that person at the end that is still overseeing the process from start to finish, I guess. "Mr. Judge, computer says, 'No,'" would not be, for example, if you were rejecting an applicant through the recruitment process, what else was in place? Other safety nets and safeguards in order to stand up to say, "Computer did say, 'No,' and X, Y, and Z as well." So I guess the setup would be particularly important there. But for a tribunal's perspective, not sure their thoughts.

Ewan:
Yeah. Because I suppose you still need that human element, even though you're bringing this tech in, you need that, I suppose, recruitment, but any other side of HR, you need some kind of decision-making process that compliments that as well as, so you're not opening yourself up to just one source of a solution.

Natalie:
Absolutely. The solutions could even go to identify talent needs in an organization as well. So clever. Absolutely clever, isn't it? In terms of the predictions of the company moving forward and in order to keep up with demands, supply, customers, tech, what would the organization need, and that tech can identify what skills are currently there, but also future job opportunities. What's the ridiculous stat, which is fascinating, is that 80% of jobs in 2030 currently do not exist at the moment.

Ewan:
Don't exist?

Natalie:
Don't exist. That's baffling, isn't it? Those jobs do not exist, and with 2030 not even that far away.

Ewan:
It's not. Yeah.

Natalie:
But again, it will be really interesting to see what part will the tech play in this trend as well.

Ewan:
It'd be interesting to see where it's getting its data for that sort of thing. How does it predict what we're going to need in 10 years time or whatever it is?

Natalie:
Absolutely.

Ewan:
But the AI will be able to do that for us in the future, plan our recruitment, as well as any other HR needs that we might need, I suppose. Yeah.

Natalie:
Yeah.

Ewan:
Okay.
So, Natalie, we've talked quite a lot. And actually, we've covered a lot of areas there. So do you want to give us maybe three top tips or three key areas that people can take away from today?

Natalie:
Top one would be do your research. Speak to the experts and see if it will add value. Then find out where the value could be added. As we've talked about, it can be used in recruitment, training, retention. Pick one of those. And for the last takeaway, pick one of those to start small.

Ewan:
Okay.

Natalie:
Yeah, have a look at one area. Really make an impact, and then decide where you move after that. But pilot it, make sure it's doing good for you, and then move on.

Ewan:
Great. Well, that was good. Thanks very much. That was a good discussion in HR tech. There's so much there, and there's lots to find out about. And obviously, this is continually growing. So if you would like us to discuss anything else, if there's any technology you'd like us to look at, or anybody you'd like us to interview, just get in touch. Like, follow, subscribe, engage with the podcast. Leave us a review if you're listening to it as a podcast. That'd be great. And yeah, we'll see you next time.


 

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