I have an insatiable interest in artificial intelligence's (AI's) impact on MarTech. Today, I'm witnessing very specific internal business to employee (B2E) applications. That's because as I write this article, I am in Las Vegas attending SAP SuccessFactors' SuccessConnect conference (which you can attend virtually for free if you are so inclined).
Penny Stoker, Global Leader of HR Services at EY, demoed a new onboarding mobile app called "Onboarding Buddy". It's basically an AI chat bot that fully integrates with SAP SuccessFactors. What's fascinating about this new chat bot is that it allows a brand new employee to ask the "dumb" questions they might otherwise feel embarrassed to ask their boss, but still need to somehow figure out.
For example, EY has 250,000 employees globally. If it's your first day on the job, you might discover that you are missing your computer. You now can use the EY mobile app to ask the AI chat bot a question like, "Who in the IT department do I need to speak to in order to get my laptop?"
In the demo, not only did the chat bot identify the IT person you'd need to speak to (including a photo, email and phone number), but also provided a floor map with Google Maps-like turn-by-turn cubicle lane walking directions to get there.
Parlor Trick or Profound Impact?
I admit it. I LOVE technology more than most - especially when things just work. One could argue that some of these AI add-ons are little more than parlor tricks. For example, you could navigate your way through a corporate intranet designed to answer most of the questions you have. The difference, however, is your ability to skip and ignore all the pages you don't care about in order to get the very specific information you need, quickly, in order to do your job.
I believe what we're really seeing is the beginning of a transformation that empowers employees to access what they need, when they need it, and in precisely the way they want to receive it. As companies work harder to attract, keep and connect with Millennials, they are discovering just how important a role frictionless technology plays in attracting, onboarding and retaining this generation of talent.
Predictive Analytics in HR
I spoke with Jana Kanyadan, CIO of Mohawk Industries, and he said, "No one believed that we would be able to leverage predictive analytics in HR, but that's precisely where we're going."
When you have thousands of employees, you have a wealth of data flowing inside your company. Predictive analytics decodes and deciphers that data in order to provide the kinds of insights you need to say predict when you're going to need to hire more people in different regions of the world.
Or perhaps you'd like to be alerted when a key strategic hire may be looking to quit his or her job. With the right machine learning, you can start to capitalize on all the historical data and the predictive nature of how individuals come in, grow and eventually leave your company.
Business Beyond Bias
In a previous article, I wrote about how SAP SuccessFactors is working hard to stamp out bias in the hiring process (see Businesses Beyond Bias: How AI Will Reshape Hiring Practices). With the help of machine learning, SAP SuccessFactors is looking at the text that is being used in job posting. The premise here is that words that have bias, so beyond the analysis, they are providing revision recommendations to illustrate how a job description can be adjusted and thereby stamp out unintended bias.
With 6,200 unique customers in 189 countries and a total of 100 million people using SAP SuccessFactors across the globe, this Business Beyond Bias initiative should make a significant impact in creating more diversity in the workforce.
Putting People at the Center of the Business
At this years SuccessConnect conference, the theme is about putting people at the center of the business. With more and more of the workforce being made up of Millennials, it is highly likely that we will continue to see AI's growing impact on HR software; especially as the war for talent continues to grow.