Flexible Work Arrangements: Pros & Cons

Flexible Work Arrangements (FWAs) have taken the traditional organizational practices by storm and are being dubbed as a “Revolution for the New-age Workplace”. More and more job seekers are choosing employers that promote flexible work arrangements in their organizational setup. As per a survey by Zenefits, 67% of the small businesses in their survey offered some form of FWA. Moreover, out of all the employees’ studies, 73% stated that such arrangements increased their job satisfaction.

While understanding Flexible Work Arrangements, one needs to focus on its various aspects. From being able to work from the desired location, choose the working shift or functioning additional hours on 3 working days as against the 5-day work culture, the traits of FWA majorly disrupt the conventional work culture.

However, like any new trend that comes up, Flexible Work Arrangements carry their own set of pros and cons. 

So, below are a myriad of merits and demerits that employers need to grasp before stepping into the realm of Flexible Work Arrangements.

Merits

  • Cost-effective

As employees are not restricted to the office workspace, organizations can save the transportation and infrastructure costs spent on them. For companies that function on the 24*7 model, FWA can enable better seat utilization of their workspace.

  • Business Continuity

Organizations that cater to the global market are bound to align their work shifts as per their clients. In cases like these, a platform that promotes FWA can ensure providing round the clock availability to their clients. With a robust system of business continuity, these companies are sure to garner new clients from the global market, thereby increasing their share and turnover.

  • Increased Productivity

FWA functions on the concept of focussed and measurable results. Employers decide on the results and the timelines that they’re planning to achieve, without restricting the employees to accomplish them in the 9 to 5 timeframe in the office workspace. This practice enhances productivity as employees function as per their ease and convenience, bearing the final result and timeline in mind.  

  • Employee Motivation 

A workforce that is given a choice to decide their work arrangements is sure to rank high on motivation. FWA allows the employees to manage their professional needs without compromising on the personal ones. Thereby, enhancing employee engagement and motivation.   

  • Reduced Employee Turnover

In numerous scenarios, companies tend to lose out on skilled and talented employees that aren’t able to focus on their personal life. FWA can prove to be a boon as it allows employees to make a choice in their work shift and the workdays in which they are effectively available. Once they are able to achieve a work-life balance, their loyalty towards the firm tends to increase. 

  • Quicker Results

Employees thriving on a flexible work model tend to be connected for the most part of the day, which goes beyond the 5 pm restriction that traditional workplaces have. This aspect of FWA helps in providing a quick turnaround to client queries and requirements.

Demerits

  • Difficult to Quantify 

Unlike the age-old practices of punching their shift time, FWA doesn’t allow a transparent time tracking system for employers. As it thrives on focussed results and not on the way of attaining them, employees can play around with the time at hand.   

  • Promotes Silos

Though FWA is seen to enhance productivity, it promotes the idea of working in silos and can narrow down the employees’ appetite for client meetings and discussions.  

  • Lack of Human Interaction

It is well known that employees function well in an environment where they have the opportunity to walk up to their manager’s cabin, turn to their neighbor for a light-hearted chit-chat or have a brainstorming session over coffee. Unfortunately, these ways seem to get lost with FWA practices seeping in the industry.

  • Lack of Supervision

As employees are not in the direct line of sight of their supervisors, FWA can cause performance issues as close monitoring is improbable.

  • Inapplicable to 100% Workforce

Irrespective of how great the results of FWA prove to be, it cannot be extended to the complete workforce. There can be cases of newly hired resources that need to undergo training, employees in client-facing roles, support functions like IT, HR, etc. who will not be able to avail the benefits of FWA. Partial application of FWA can be a cause of employee dissatisfaction.   

  • Chances of Misuse

Though FWA is sure to enhance employee productivity and motivation, we can’t disregard the fact that employees can also misuse this facility. Employees can distort the focus from professional to personal time.

Now that we’ve got a glimpse of both sides of the coin, it won’t be an exaggeration to say that FWAs are to the workplace, what ‘’Internet’’ was to the world of communication. The success of such arrangements is highly dependent on its users as to how effectively they can plan and implement it. 

So ultimately, it’s for the organizations to decide if offering FWAs aligns with their company goals or not. Akin to the internet, if not used with precision and prudence, Flexible Work Arrangements can also do as much harm as good.

How to Make the most of Social Media to Boost Recruitment?

In the year 1921, Frigyes Karinthy introduced the theory of six degrees of separation. He explained how the chains of acquaintances can connect you with anyone on the planet using six or fewer connections.

Fortunately enough, social media has shrunk the gap even further and your prospective contact is only a click away.

As a matter of fact, people are scrolling their news feed almost all the time, so why not use it as an opportunity to seize your potential employees?

Here’s some insight on how to make the most of social media to boost recruitment:

  1.   Build an image

In order to kick start your recruitment journey through social media, it’s essential to build an image. Posts that speak about the company’s ideologies and practices are sure to create an impact on potential employees. Individuals with a shared set of passion and ideals will eventually merge into the hiring pool aspiring for jobs in the firm.

Adding to that, it is also important to understand that social media is not the place to build a sales pitch but to focus on the big picture of networking people.

  1.   Start a conversation

Unlike the recruitment portals that cater only to active job seekers, social media addresses both active and passive job seekers. These platforms are the best place for individuals keen to build communities and companies looking for their culture fit.

Hence, recruiters need to start and maintain running conversations with their audiences.

  1.   Work on the content

The biggest advantage of social media is that you can speak on a myriad of topics. Along with posting open job opportunities, companies can engage their followers on multiple subjects – be it world news, discussions trending in the industry, their policies or even employee recognition.

The more active and responsive you are, the better.

  1.   Involve employees

It is well known that employees are the biggest ambassadors of a company and getting them involved in social interactions not only creates validation but also enhances the outreach.

Companies should encourage their existing employees to post genuine feedback on social media platforms.

  1.   Understand the platform

Social media is a universe in itself and every planet in it has its uniqueness. Companies cannot follow the same tone or medium while posting on different platforms. While a video message from the leader will work well on Facebook, a motivational quote is best placed on Instagram. An article on the company’s performance trends can then follow on LinkedIn.

Unlike the traditional job hunt portals, deploying social media for recruiting will not only address the immediate hiring requirements but will build a talent cloud to use in times to come. 

All it takes is an investment of time.

9 Tried and Tested Methods to Improve Employee Retention

Employees are the biggest asset of any organization. So, it becomes absolutely crucial to take good care of one’s workforce so that they can work dedicatedly, which in turn enhances the reputation of their organization.  According to a study by SHRM, finding and training a replacement for an outgoing employee can cost as much as the equivalent of six to nine months of his salary. 

With the stakes of an employee leaving so high, it’s time companies started taking proactive measures to boost their employee retention. Below are ten tried and tested tips that companies can follow to ensure their employees stay and thrive:

  1. Emphasize on Hiring the Right Person

Pre-placement interviews enable to understand the adaptability of the talent beforehand. Carry out personality tests to evaluate whether or not a candidate has the right mental and social aptitude to be fit in your organization.

  1. Plan Proper Orientation and Induction

A new employee requires to understand how things work at a new place. Instead of leaving it all upon the employee, organizations should create a well-thought-of plan to align the employee mindset with the work culture. Carrying out induction programs help new employees feel less like an outsider and more like a part of the company that they join.

  1. Take feedback from your employees

Listening to employees and encouraging them to come up with feedback is very important for an organization. Feedbacks makes employees feel that their voice is heard and their opinions matter. But feedback should not be mistaken with criticism. The feedback system should be a  two-way road, where both employers and supervisors are transparent with each other. 

  1. Upgrade HR Policies

Dynamic employee-centric policies that adapt to the changing trends in the industry must be integrated into the organization. The more rigid and uncompromising the policies are, the more challenges your company will face in retaining employees.

  1. Appreciate Your staff

Everyone loves a pat on their back every now and then. Getting appreciated, be it from their supervisors or co-workers, offers a stimulating boost of self-confidence. This, in turn, makes employees loyal towards their organization and improved retention. 

  1. Have a growth plan for employees

Your employees will work efficiently if they are shown a clear path that leads to both professional and organizational success. It’s human nature to want to stay in an organization which cares about their individual growth and development.

  1. Lively working environment

For any organization to improve employee retention, creating a healthy and fun work environment should be the priority. Google is one such perfect example, which was ranked by Glassdoor in 2019 as one of the best companies offering a healthy work environment. So, make sure to include energy-boosting and engaging activities like tournaments, brainstorming sessions, and outdoor trips. Such activities provide a reprieve and improve their productivity, in turn boosting employee retention.

  1. Maintain Transparency and Trust

It is important that organizations remain transparent with their employees and ensure clarity regarding their performance and the expectations from them. It’s equally imperative to cultivate team spirit to strengthen interpersonal relationships and create a social framework that makes it hard to quit the company.

  1. Develop a standard training system

Training is the core activity that prepares employees as per their organization’s needs and ensures they work efficiently. So, develop an effective training regime with a properly planned structure that propels employees in the right direction, It will help you to ensure that they work in a manner that aligns with the company’s goals.  

From the above steps, it becomes abundantly clear that with the right methods, companies can not only retain their employees but even help them grow. Making employees feel valued, providing regular feedback, enabling work-life balance and offering growth opportunities. can go a long way in retaining employees and creating a productive work culture.

5 Ways to Engage Gen X & Y in your Workplace

Gen X and Y have become the most frequently used phrases in the corporate circle. Gen X is grouped together as people born between the 1960s to 1970s while Gen Y implies those born between the 1980s to 90s. Owing to their environment and upbringing, these demographic cohorts show greater love for independence and technology, making it important to understand their mindset to better engage and entertain them. 

According to a report by Deloitte, both Gen X & Y together account for 34% of the Indian population, making it a big chunk of the Indian workforce. Such a large number makes it paramount to develop strategies that fulfill their needs, in turn making them more productive for the company. The risk of not doing so is high employee turnover that occurs when employees feel disconnected from the company’s goals and vision.

So, below are five full-proof techniques that when employed, would go a long way in engaging Gen X and Y in your workplace.

  1. Recruit and Onboard Right: An organization should clearly convey the value proposition while recruiting candidates, especially Generation X & Y. These generations expect to be challenged and perform the type of work which interests, fulfills and excites them. So, it’s important to set the right expectations, define clear goals, and share organizational values that can motivate them.
  1. Keep your communication honest: As an employer, if you want to ensure an engaged Gen X & Y, consider creating a workplace culture that is open and encourages honest communications. Gen X & Y are attracted to a transparent workspace where they can communicate with their seniors about the company’s vision as well as their personal development. So, make sure to create a similar workplace.
  1. Foster a sense of belongingness: Companies should make Gen X & Y feel that they are a part of the organization and that their contribution matters to the company. These particular generations are known for valuing satisfaction as well as success and switch when they feel left out or undervalued.
  1. Offer work-life balance: Many studies have found a work-life balance to be the top priority for the newer generations. Quality time with family and friends is considered as important as performing well in their work. So, organizations should especially care to balance a hectic work schedule with appropriate leaves or celebrations during festivals.
  1. Create a fun environment: A fun and relaxed organizational cultures is one of the easiest methods to ensure happy and spirited employees, especially if they belong to Gen X and Y. It’s important for companies to engage their employees in fun activities regularly. Not doing so could lead to monotony in the workplace, compelling Gen X & Y to switch and move on to happier pastures,

As has been shown, companies need to improve their communication and culture to engage Gen X & Y and provide them with the best working experience. An environment with authentic leadership, workplace equity, and meaningful work experience would engage employees, in turn driving organizational growth.

5 Science-Backed Ways To Improve Employee Productivity

Business runs smoothly only when backed by a productive workforce, but unfortunately, employee efficiency often gets hindered by the stress and challenges of daily responsibilities. Over the years, productivity has become an important subject for corporate researchers, who have come up with simple to ingenious ways to help employees perform at their best. 

From minor details like interior design and color to workflow processes like when and how the employee takes breaks, organizing the workplace can influence the overall productivity of employees to a large extent. Even though the attitude and aptitude of employees are important, as per science, the workplace environment is an equally critical element determining employee efficiency.

Following are five simple, science-backed ways that can give a substantial boost to your employee productivity:

  1. Create the ideal office – Several studies have shown that positive changes incorporated in the interiors including windows, enhanced ventilation, and calming colors can enhance productivity. Working in closed spaces make people feel trapped and impedes their creativity, in turn, affecting their productivity. So, investing in an office space that evokes positive emotions will go a long way in enhancing the efficiency of your employees.
  1. Provide timely breaks – Breaks aren’t just important from a compliance viewpoint but are essential to enhance productivity as well. According to a study by Humanyze, when co-workers take their breaks together, it often reduces stress levels and leads to an increase in their individual productivity. The human brain works best when it gets optimum breaks, so regular intervals with engaging and inspiring conversations will act as a boon to your employees’ mental health.
  1. Experiment with seating arrangements – A simple change in a seating arrangement can act as a source of refreshment and boost creativity and collaboration. Research by an assistant professor at MIT named Christian Catalini demonstrated that the act of shuffling seating arrangement of the researchers led to marvellous breakthroughs. Therefore, just changing where your employees sit can have a considerable positive effect on their operations. 
  1. Encourage Physical Activities – Office work demands hours of sitting and working in front of computers every day. This can lead to laziness and fatigue among the employees and lower their energy levels. So, companies should encourage regular physical activities to give their employees an opportunity to move their bodies and experience a change in routine.  employee Activities like tournaments, yearly excursions, and team-building events will not only improve their physical health but also help employees perform well at work.
  1. Promote a culture of Fun and Leisure – Occasional fun and frolic in the workplace directly lead to a happy and healthy employee. Companies should indulge their employees in fun activities at regular intervals. Doing so will prevent boredom and exhaustion in employees and recharge their brand to resume work afresh.

The above factors have been tried and tested by researchers over the years and generated tangible positive effects. From enhanced productivity, self-motivation to improved teamwork, companies have enjoyed innumerable benefits by just experimenting with their workspace and encouraging engaging activities.

HRMS – Injecting Automation

Connecting the Human Resource with a process-driven system either through an HR software tool or any systematic or well-defined methodology is today’s need of the industry. Various functions of an organization are getting optimized by utilizing software tools. HR professionals should also free up some of their time by automating some of their tasks and invest in an employee, which is said to be the asset of the organization.

Organizations are now considering HR with different perspectives. It can be more diligent and dynamic in contributing to the overall growth of the business if engaged well with a clear vision. HR is no more a traditional support function, but it is more of a business function now. It is the key to every task that can give astonishing market research and intelligence that can help to develop strategies and get the desired outputs. For the statement mentioned above, companies need a sophisticated and flexible HRMS tool that can transform the landscape of HR by collaborating the information and assignment at an easily accessible place for employees and managers. HRMS can assist organizations in making effective decisions and flattening the structure to get the desired outputs. HR can also contribute to various business intelligence, e.g., by enablement in providing data, Headcount, different trends, etc. For the management, the organization is in a better situation to predict outputs.

Automating the payroll and workforce management is an old trend in the industry. Now, businesses are optimizing this trend, and with the technical inputs, HR professionals are making their life more comfortable and faster. As HR Professionals or business, we improvise ourselves from an attendance register to cloud-based systems for handling remote teams and employees. Technology made our platform and device-independent. We started using web-based portals to access employee’s attendance, performance, and task success activity. We have optimized options like web-based or mobile-based applications to handle basic as well as critical HR functions starting from attendance management to performance appraisal and training and development.

 AI-based HRMS software is also available in the market, which is helping organizations in the process of recruitment and selection. Chatbot or AI-based screening software is getting used for preliminary assessment of candidates, which is saving time, money, and effort in the process of selecting the right fitment for the organization. This software is so convenient that they smartly pick-up the resumes and interact with the employees at their convenient time to collect the basic as well as critical details to analyze the essentials and fitments. Software companies come up with new features and facilities like video hiring, web conferencing, situational and psychometric quiz, etc. With these features, searching and inviting talents without geographical or any other constraint becomes more comfortable. Many software tools are available for Talent Management, Payroll Management, Benefits Administration, Learning Management, Grievance Management Systems, etc. These tools help to reduce the workload of the HR professionals and enabling them to focus more on the organization and people development.

And now, when companies have started shifting towards cloud-based HRMS Automation, effective utilization is the most concerned area. Currently, most of the companies are implementing HRMS automation for their basic needs of payroll processing, record keeping, etc. The question is whether companies should shift to HR Automation or not. They should, because we can sense the positivity of this transformation, but real apprehension is WHEN and HOW. While payroll management and talent management solutions are there, the overall set of HR services which is making life easier. 

The approach towards this system is still reactive, whereas the need of the hour is to get a proactive system in place to utilize the resources effectively. Companies are looking for solution providers that can offer a better and flexible product. And using the product can support in fulfilling the expectation for the betterment of the industry. Businesses are either outsourcing or opting for automation most of the HR functions by installing HRMS Software. They are doing this for better control over employee engagement and workforce management. As a business owner, you need to set your priorities before you take any of these two steps to enable HR as a critical function, contributing to the overall growth of the organization. The choice is yours. 

We can see the future of automated HRMS as more independent,  controlling, and facilitating. Also, the software tool will be efficiency booster, automated recruiting & other vital functions. Carrying out manually as of now and more flexible to support the business functions continuously. HRMS playing a philanthropic role is what we would like to see in the industry, with a ZERO error platform.

-By Anjani Kumar from Spectrum Talent Management

5 ways Social Media can Amp your Chances of Getting Hired

In today’s world, the wonders which Social Media is creating needs no introduction. With the constantly evolving technology, new apps and sites are being created for communication. 

Due to these changes, online media has transcended from merely being a platform for posting pictures and chatting with friends. Its horizons have advanced immensely in the past few years. One such growth in the online space is Social Media Recruiting.

Social Media Recruiting involves the mechanism that businesses use to integrate social media into their hiring processes. Since companies capitalize on the various online mediums to boost their recruitment, you can also make the most of it to amp your chances of getting hired. 

Among the many ways you can leverage social media, the following methods are the most critical to get seen by your desired company:

  1. Mark your presence: Keeping in view the vast talent market, you must have impressive and visible footprints on the internet. To make the most of social media recruiting, the first and foremost step is to make your social media presence. 

To do this, start by making a strong profile on professional platforms such as LinkedIn. Such profiles work as an online CV and offer a global means to showcase your expertise and experience. 

  1. Search for jobs on social media sites: Previously, social media sites were limited and used only for chatting purposes. But, with the emergence of job-related apps like LinkedIn, social media has achieved new dimensions. 

For instance, LinkedIn features a specific section known as “LinkedIn jobs,” where candidates can search for their desired profile in their desired location. Similarly, some job seekers take advantage of Twitter hashtags to find companies that are recruiting.

  1. Build Networks: Having connections with people related to your job profile increases your chances of getting hired. So, you should build connections on different Social Media platforms. 

Tools like Career groups and Job Seekers Group on Facebook and Linkedin can help to make professional connections and associate with like-minded people. Once you build healthy relationships, you can even ask for recommendations and provide the same.  

  1. Do proper Research: Before applying for any job profile, it is imperative to research the company that you are interested in. You can do this by following the company’s Social Media channels. 

This is a great way to know about the company culture and what it has to offer to you. It will also enable you to understand whether you are suitable for the company or not.

  1. Prepare an Impressive Bio: Posting positive details about yourself on Social Media can play a significant role in attracting interested recruiters. So, whenever you post your personal information on sites like LinkedIn, try to make it impressive. 

Mention your achievements and accolades that help you stand out from others. Highlight your credentials and skills will throw light on the areas of your expertise. 

Social Media can turn out to be a boon in job searching when used in the right way. Accentuating your impressive details to getting referrals from industry experts will go a long way to give you an edge over other candidates and boost your hiring chances.

Transparent Work Environment: The Need of the Hour

Over the past few years, the desires and demands of employees have evolved immensely. These changes, can at times turn out to be challenging for organizations. Employers are continuously bombarded with a huge range of suggestions to keep up with the changing generational trends. For attracting and retaining the best talent, employers must understand what aspects are most critical for the current generation. Among the many virtues candidates seek, transparency in culture is one of the biggest factors that attract new hires and motivates them in the long run.

Transparency in an organization is a reflection of honest and open communications with your team members and direct supervisors. In such a culture, information flows freely among workmates and managers provide honest feedback to correctly guide their juniors. Transparency offers a means to fill the gap between employers and employees by providing everyone the same access to information.

With such incredible value, here are many more reasons that make transparent work environment the need of the hour :

  1. Upsurge in Performance and Accountability – A transparent work culture fosters teamwork, accountability, task ownership, and better communication. This is because when individual responsibilities are visible to the entire team, employees accept accountability and show honesty in their performance. It’s one of the best means to motivate employees to work hard and deliver on their commitments.
  1. Rise in Clear Communication – When transparency is encouraged in a workspace, employees become more engaged and interested in what goes on within it. The resultant feeling is of belonging and being an integral part of the organization. Such a culture dispels the sense of being left out and discourages politics. Employees kept in the loop lack nervousness when talking to their seniors, bolstered by the regular and open interactions. The ultimate effect is the active participation of each and every employee towards resolving a company problem, staring from offering a plan of action to chalking and implementing redressal strategies.
  1. Boost in Innovation – Transparency enables employees to be aware of the problems of the company. It removes fear and hesitancy from their minds, encouraging them to come up with new and better ideas for different challenges. It has an enormous effect on the morale of the workspace and enhances how employees relate to the company. One of the best results is a boost in innovative solutions as different members pool to tackle a problem and come up with ingenious answers.
  1. Growth in Relationships – A transparent work environment means open discussions and stronger relationships between employers and employees. As the barrier of hierarchy disappears due to regular communications, organizations enjoy a sense of warmth during interactions that boost employee morale and further strengthens the inter-relationships.

So, given the humongous benefits which transparency offers, companies must make serious efforts to maintain an honest and open work environment. While it costs nothing, it pays astoundingly by creating a happy and cooperative workforce, which is eager to come up with new solutions and propel the company forward.

How are Virtual Workplaces Disrupting the Traditional Work Structure?

The last few years have brought a disruption in the traditional workplace structure and work culture. Humans have witnessed the emergence of a gig economy, the development of remote work, and increasing mobile technologies facilitating day-to-day tasks. 

Closely integrated with digital solutions, companies are updating their traditional work practices, resulting in a remarkable enhancement in their productivity. The use of advanced technology is also offering a massive competitive advantage to such businesses. One such evident transformation is the rapid adoption of mobile devices for businesses and the practice of retrieving data from any location at any time. 

The result has been a growth in virtual workplaces where a mobile workforce uses portable technologies to conduct business with high efficiency.          

Through a myriad of ways, these virtual workplaces are transforming the conventional office environment, some of which are described below:

Redefining Job Roles 

With the advancement of technology and the large-scale impact of globalization, the role of virtual employees has changed. Jobs are broken as per the project and the levels of the task, where the members of each team member are fluid and based on their need for a particular task. 

Virtual workplaces pay less attention to the number of working hours and more towards project completion. Team members located in different geographic locations work interdependently to complete a defined project within a specific deadline.

With a flatter organization structure, individual employees don’t follow a traditional hierarchy and display reporting behaviors that differ from the conventional office culture.

Redesigning Workspaces 

Each office activity needs a specific environment to get done efficiently: an auditorium to announce an idea to a large number of people, a private room for taking interviews, a coffee shop to get familiar with a new team member, break rooms where staff can have a leisurely discussion, etc. 

Traditionally, conventional workspaces needed to have one or more of the above areas to carry out their tasks. With the increased use of mobile technologies, companies have become capable of delivering positive experiences without depending on physical spaces to hold meetings.

Workspaces that cater to virtual employees have made it possible to explore environments where employees can connect productively, communicate, build, and think. Irrespective of their geographical location, the practice of working collaboratively enables the virtual workforce to be more productive, thereby, enhancing their efficiency and output.

Re-envisaging the Capabilities of the Workforce

In the coming years, the world will witness the emergence of many next-generation technologies with significant effects on conventional workplace culture.

For instance, an amalgamation of AI (artificial intelligence) and machine intelligence will enhance employee performance by automating redundant and repetitive tasks. While most backend processes will get automated, virtual team members would be involved in tasks requiring high-level strategizing, implementation and development.

Similarly, the advancement in 5G technologies will facilitate business communications, improving cellular performance and enhancing global correspondence between far-off team members. Virtual reality (VR) and real-time video technologies will remove further hindrance and enable seamless conversations all across the globe. In a nutshell, the evolution of technologies will empower human resources to be more productive, flexible and efficient. 

EndNote

Virtual workplaces, defined as the integration of hardware, human resources, and online process are bringing a major shift in employee culture. Aided by the development of Avante-Garde, innovative technologies, the online processes involved are redefining traditional job-roles and restructuring the conventional concept of workspaces. 

With globalisation making outsourcing a common practice, it’s critical for organisations to explore the possibilities of virtual workplaces and assess its potential for organisational growth.

Are We Losing The Human Touch With Artificial Intelligence!

With the evolution and global adoption of technological solutions, society is changing faster than most businesses can naturally adapt.

A 2008 report shows that the companies which are adaptive to the digital transformations are more profitable and have high market valuations than those that are not.

In this era of Digital Darwinism, recruiters also need to adapt to technological changes to succeed. One such technology, Artificial Intelligence (AI) is taking the recruitment world by storm. 

Its use is expanding and saving precious hours and energy of talented recruiters. However, with its advancements, AI has also introduced many risks and pitfalls.

Why is it Important to Compare Automated activities with Human operations?

Whether it’s AI or the human touch, both can never replace each other. They might be interdependent or independent but equally important factors for the current digital age.

AI can’t think but humans can. For a better operation of AI, human ideas are very crucial. With the perennial development of AI, it becomes very important to maintain an effective balance between manual and automated work.

Regarding the recruitment sector, AI has streamlined the one-way conversations and video interviews of the candidates. It has enabled the recruiters to interview candidates remotely. On the contrary, human touch in businesses is more about two-way conversations, leading to better relationships with the customers and job candidates.

Artificial Intelligence is Gaining Importance in the Recruitment Sector

Recruiting firms employ machine learning and artificial intelligence to automate various tasks such as screening resumes, sourcing and shortlisting candidates.

Some AI innovations in recruiting are the intelligent screening software that automates resume screening, recruiter chatbots that engage candidates in real-time, and digitized interviews that help assess a candidate’s relevance.

Data in the resumes is augmented to train the software to find the perfect candidate. Since no emotions are involved, it removes most kinds of bias that impede recruiting, making it one of the reasons such software is highly used in companies like Google and Microsoft. It also minimizes the high volume tasks of the recruiters and enables them to focus more on building relationships with the employees and applicants.

Artificial Intelligence Poses Certain Risks    

  • Taking Over of the Jobs that Require Traditional Intelligence

AI has been known to streamline most operations, one way by pulling and evaluating the information in real-time and helping in decision making. As per many corporate research firms, AI is on its way to replace humans in jobs requiring mundane and repeatable tasks, especially in the assembly line and accounting sectors. 

A Hubspot report showed the following jobs to have the highest chances of being taken over by Artificial Intelligence:

  • Telemarketing
  • Compensation Managers
  • Bookkeeping Clerks
  • Receptionists
  • Proofreaders
  • Couriers
  • Market Research Analysts
  • Computer Support Specialists
  • Retail Salespeople
  • Advertising Salespeople

While such hard skills might get overrun by AI, soft skills (a USP of humans) will experience much more demand in the market. A machine that employs AI will always lack emotional intelligence. So even if automation adds ease and convenience, it would never be able to replicate empathy, compassion, and persuasion. 

One such example can be understood by imagining a hiring process. A major aspect of recruiting is making the candidate comfortable. If machines were to get involved, not only would candidates find it uncomfortable to interact with a machine but it might also impact their performance. 

  • Can lead to Partiality in Screening during Rare situations

AI tools are designed in a way that they detect and analyze patterns. Such tools for recruitment guarantee to diminish bias by overlooking irrelevant data, like age, ethnic background or gender in most cases.

However,  if the data is biased or the algorithm is not programmed to eliminate definite patterns, then it might screen the candidate database in a partial manner. A similar phenomenon happened in Amazon’s case whose AI was biased against women.

Human Fate in the wake of AI Revolution

Logic and creativity will remain the most critical elements in most jobs, be it in the present or the future. Although AI can replicate human logic, it would be hard to emulate human creativity and artistic ability. 

Contrary to the job insecurity that’s pervaded with AI adoption, global experts believe that automation would enhance the way humans work while creating a plethora of new jobs.

A PwC report predicted (via Guardian) that in the U.K. alone, AI would lead to the creation of 7.2 million jobs over the next twenty years. Similarly, a  McKinsey report showed that more than 75% of companies surveyed “expected no net change in their workforce size as a result of implementing AI technologies and automation”

So, the concept of AI making human skills obsolete is debatable at most.

From a wise perspective, AI will enable recruiters to conduct proactive strategic hiring rather than wasting time in reactive backfilling. Recruiters will have to interview only those candidates suitable for the required job and possess the right qualifications for the same. 

Therefore, while AI will surely bring a paradigm shift, it would hardly replace a human’s ability to think, invent and create. The Human touch will always be relevant, even in the era of artificial intelligence.