The year of AI & Automation has arrived. On Wednesday 30th January we had the first myHRparty of 2019, and with it, launched HR into the future through a debate and Q&A surrounding what the future holds for HR professionals.
Back in December, we had our first session offering a sneak peek into our Vanguard Research, offering recent HR case studies from businesses leading the way. We brought to life the challenges, lessons learnt and opportunities for HR professionals across a variety of industries. This article will conclude the Vanguard blog series, ahead of publishing our research this quarter.
We’ve already looked at setting your level of ambition, the tangible benefits of AI, and what areas of HR to prioritise, so today we are going to be focusing more practically on where to start, the vast vendor landscape and some finally some case studies that should consolidate everything we’ve talked about in this series.
You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great
We have spoken in past blogs about where to start, and that of course involves looking at your existing processes, gauging employee feedback and identifying the most pressing areas to improve. Similarly, even if you want to bring large scale changes, start with something small to get over the initial hurdles, before pushing for those more ambitious and significant deployments. Achieving buy-in and preparing the involved teams and frameworks will accelerate your transition into AI, robotics and automation.
The vendor landscape
The most commonly asked questions we get in this space are:
1. How should I start the process of engaging with software?
2. Why are there so many options to choose from and how can I decipher between them?
To begin with, engaging with software can be quite difficult, but the best place to begin is by breaking down the various tools using our easy to follow diagram from the earlier blogs. This will give you a better understanding of the difference between RPA, predictive analytics and true AI. From there you can assess which of your processes you can automate, for example you may want to focus on recruitment or your HR helpdesk. It really depends on where you see the immediate value to your business.
The next stage is an intimidating one – the software itself. Go along to events, find online case studies, use the CogX database to find the best in class options for your chosen focus area. You may also want to use our intelligent HR assessment tool which will help to filter down the choices from the 1,000 or so on the market by helping you gauge the readiness of your organisation.
Ask the right questions, just as you would when getting a new builder in at home for example:
• How much will it cost?
• How long will it take?
• How long have you been in the business for?
• Can I see some examples of what you’ve done before?
• Have you got any customers I can contact about what you delivered for them?
• Do you do custom work or is it generally out-of-the-box?
• What kind of resources do you have to get the job done?
• What do I need to do to prepare for the work?
• How well will it fit with what I don’t want to change?
• Will it still be functional for years to come?
• How easy are you to reach outside of when you’re working on site?
There are some more technology specific questions that you should be asking too, but this is a good place to start. The picture below shows how we sift from 600 vendors down to the 10 or 20 that will suit your business and your challenges.
So why are there so many options to choose from, and how can I decipher between them? As mentioned, depending on how broadly you define automation and AI, there are about 1,000 tools out there that assist HR in its processes and hundreds of generalised tools that are not industry specific but could see use in HR. There are also some that claim to be able to do things that they can’t but also many that can do the incredible things they claim, Veran can help you separate the fact from the fiction.
With start-ups flourishing over the last couple of years, we expect the market to consolidate over the next year or so, as HR teams find out what really works and what doesn’t. It can feel like you’re taking a leap of faith, but fortunately the nature of these products is that they’re much cheaper than cloud HCM, take less time to set up and don’t in themselves prevent you from carrying out your day-to-day HR processes, most of the tools can easily be switched on and off.
Finally, to visualise these tools in action and the real value they generate, here’s a few case studies from our vanguard and others who are seeing real value in the latest technology:
Thanks for taking the time to read our AI in HR blog series. If you didn’t get a chance to read part 1 or part 2, follow the links and stay tuned for more related content in 2019 – the year of AI & Automation.
Missed out on our first AI breakfast?
Don’t panic! We’ve scheduled a second date for the AI, Robotics and Automation Breakfast. The event will;
• Demystify and define AI and Automation in HR
• Share practical case studies of leading HR teams leveraging emergent technology
• Explore the challenges and lessons learnt from early adopters
• Show you how to get started or move further, on your journey to Intelligent HR
Click here to register your interest for the 13th February.