Even if you’re running a small business, having an HR team is incredibly important. The HR department can handle new employee onboarding, interpersonal disputes, and more when necessary. However, the odds are that your small business’s HR department is stretched thin — you may even have only one HR employee.
Fortunately, new artificial intelligence and machine learning tools can improve your company’s HR processes and procedures. Today, let’s break down some specific benefits you might see if you start using AI for your small business’s HR processes.
Why Is AI Needed for Human Resources?
Simply put, AI allows you to stretch your HR resources even further. If your small business can only afford to have a few team members focusing on human resources tasks, AI and machine learning technology can maximize their productivity. In the earliest days of your business, when your budget and resources are stretched thin, AI can significantly improve the effectiveness of your HR efforts.
AI enables your small business to provide 24/7 availability for various employee needs. Chatbots, for example, are tools that can now simulate person-to-person conversations extraordinarily well. With their help, just a few HR representatives can handle a much larger workload.
The right AI tools can direct employees to resources or knowledge bases. They can also connect those who need help to the right HR representative. Bottom line: AI improves your HR team’s availability and efficiency.
Additionally, AI tools can significantly streamline the onboarding process. As your small business grows, you’ll need to bring new talent into the fold if you want to continue growing and scaling as planned.
Onboarding new employees doesn’t need to be overly time-consuming. Instead, various ad technologies can streamline the new applicant hiring process. For example, AI tools may allow job applicants to apply to open positions faster and more efficiently than ever before. This will, in turn, make your company seem much more attractive than others.
Furthermore, AI technology can:
- Direct new hires or onboarded employees to tutorials or resources on their first day of work
- Help provide insight and advice for new employees
This can be incredibly beneficial since onboarding is essentially the “first impression” that new employees have of a company. You only get one chance to make a first impression, and maximizing its impact on new hires could lead them to dive into their work with gusto.
More importantly, an excellent initial onboarding experience is a recipe for employee loyalty for a long time to come. Lots of companies struggle with immediate employee turnover (where new hires work at a place only for a few months before jumping ship).
With an AI-powered onboarding experience, new employees may quickly feel more comfortable at your organization. This, in turn, could help inspire them to produce better work performance and stay with your business for much longer.
You can’t forget the automation benefits that AI technology can bring to your company’s HR processes and procedures. Automation allows your team to:
- Save time and energy on rote, monotonous tasks that would otherwise have to be completed by hand
- Focus more on the complex HR processes and problems that require a human touch
For example, AI tools can take over any automatic transactional or repetitive work your HR staff normally needs to handle. With AI’s assistance, your limited HR staff will be able to handle a bigger workload or produce better results for your company.
Not only does this improve your work performance across the board, but it also leads to a more satisfied HR staff. In essence, your HR personnel will be able to balance their energy and task needs better, resulting in improved workplace performance and higher morale.
Lastly, AI and machine learning tools can make a massive difference in personalizing communications. These days, employees expect to be able to access HR resources and communications at a moment’s notice.
With AI tools, your HR team can use personalized information about the people they are speaking to. It can include their preferences, language of choice, and so on. It will allow your HR team to connect more directly to your employees, leading to better outcomes all around.
For example, many employees feel an initial pang of nervousness when the HR department contacts them. But with AI technology creating personalized communications, messages from your HR department could be customized to:
- Alleviate employee concerns
- Reassure employees that they have nothing to worry about
- Be more direct with employees who prefer straight answers
It’s all about maximizing the efficacy of HR communications overall. AI tools are the best way to reach optimal outcomes in the shortest possible time.
Should You Implement AI in Your HR Department?
Whether or not you implement AI into your small business’s HR department will depend on your business needs. Given the significant benefits described above, there are many reasons to start implementing AI and machine learning tools in your HR department’s tech stack as soon as possible, including time-tracking software and CR management platforms.
However, AI tools and HR software will add to your operation costs. If your small business is running on a tight budget, you may need to evaluate further whether the benefits of AI for your HR department justify the cost.
Once you’ve decided that AI solutions are suitable for your HR department, it’s easy to get started. Since many different management platforms and AI tools are available, you can dive right into implementation immediately. This isn’t to say you should pick up any AI tool you find; you should do lots of research and make sure that a given tool is likely to mesh well with your current HR department and your business needs.
Overall, taking advantage of current tools is essential. Using the latest technology for your business can help you stay ahead of your competitors and make your organization a more beneficial place to work for your employees.
How to Leverage AI for Small Business HR Processes
Now that you know the benefits of leveraging AI for your HR team and tasks, let’s discuss how you can do just that with specific examples.
1. Smart Digital Forms for Applications & Onboarding
As noted earlier, AI tools could make the candidate application and onboarding processes much easier and more streamlined. For many modern job candidates, job hunting is time-consuming and tiring. They must manually enter their resume information each time they apply to a new position, even if they apply to multiple jobs within the same company.
Your small business can streamline this using smart digital forms powered by AI technology. With these forms, resume information for potential employees is automatically transferred to your HR department, where it can be looked over by human eyes or an AI tool. This is just one example of how AI tools can streamline hiring.
2. Efficient Employee Referrals
Furthermore, AI can help your HR team better understand employee referrals. Specifically, AI tools can:
- Analyze performance data from all previous referrals for employee candidates
- Allow HR staff members to interact with and improve candidate or employee experiences
- Offer insights when deciding between two similar employees
This is advantageous when growing a small business; after all, you want to ensure you hire the absolute best candidates for each open position in your organization. More importantly, you want to avoid hiring employees that won’t be great long-term fits.
This process can be complicated for humans to navigate. Even the most experienced recruiters have trouble determining whether a potential candidate will be a good fit for their company for years to come, not just in the short term.
But with employee referrals and analyses powered by machine learning, recruiters can better determine whether a candidate is potential future management material or has the potential to move up the corporate chain at your company. The best employee sticks with your company for years to come!
3. Insights into Employee Needs or Desires
On the day-to-day side of things, AI tools for your human resources department can give your staff members critical insights into the wants and needs of your employees. This will make your business a much better workplace and lower the likelihood of employees jumping ship for competitors.
For example, AI tools can analyze employee complaints, comments, or chats. These insights may tell you:
- Whether you should add a snack machine to the employee lounge
- If a specific employee is causing trouble
- How employees feel about the current work scheduling system
Once your HR personnel has this information, they can leverage it to create a better workplace for everyone involved. They can also use solutions like synthetic data generation to access employee data to get key insights. For example, they can:
- Improve the employee lounge
- Provide better employee incentives for things like sales seasons or big profit drives
- Handle problematic employees more quickly and capably, which in turn improves morale for the entire office
- Determine which employees are likely to be good management material or candidates for promotion
4. AI Chatbots
AI chatbots, as described earlier, can significantly improve your HR team’s response time and enable that department to provide solutions to more people in your business.
Many modern chatbots are more sophisticated than you might imagine. They can even be personalized to offer nearly-human conversations when directing employees to necessary support resources.
Even better, you can use chatbots in other areas of your organization. For example, you can implement chatbots on your corporate website to speak to visitors and prevent them from leaving if your customer service department is already speaking to other customers. Chatbots can direct traffic, manage complaints, connect visitors or customers to resources, and much more.
5. Improved Workplace Analytics
Lastly, AI tools can analyze real-time data and provide important insights into customer reviews, testimonials, employee concerns, and time management.
For example, if many people in your organization are asking the same questions or expressing similar complaints, AI tools can tell you this and help you quickly find solutions to those needs. It can also help you determine whether certain content, such as sales enablement content, is working or is just a drain on the budget.
As you can see, AI can seriously improve your business’s HR processes and bring significant benefits across the board. AI can streamline employee hiring and resume analysis, offer important data insights, and make your business a better place to work both for your HR team and all other employees. Start taking advantage of AI technology sooner rather than later.