AI in HR: Finding a hybrid approach

Technology has evolved to do things we could have never imagined.

Drew Dotson
July 16, 2021

Technology has evolved to do things we could have never imagined. Drones deliver packages, cars park themselves, and robots perform kidney transplants. Though artificial intelligence (AI) aims to improve our lives, some of its uses are raising eyebrows. AI has become increasingly common in human resources — from hiring all the way to firing.

When it comes to hiring, AI can act as a matchmaker by pairing job searchers with openings. Plus, the selection process is made more efficient by using technology to screen résumés, and this automated initial review can create a fairer system for applicants. AI can even help rank candidates based on their qualifications and certain required and/or preferred skills.

However, like most technology, these hiring tools are only as fair as the data that informs them. If the data set is too small or historical decisions were biased, the tools can quickly and inadvertently inherit prejudices. As with most machines, algorithms aren’t good for complex situations. Though there are increasing concerns about AI leading to fewer jobs, some argue that technology could create more openings if companies spend less time on routine tasks.

Terminations are more complicated. Amazon, for example, is under scrutiny for using algorithms to fire delivery drivers by automated email. Algorithms can analyze delivery times, but they can’t account for road work or inaccessible apartment complexes. When dealing with nuanced situations, humans outperform machines. Plus, people have better conversational skills anyway.

The Onwards HR automated termination solution serves as a hybrid approach — with technology performing routine functions and helping inform decisions ultimately made by people. During separations, businesses waste time on routine, non-value-add tasks, like generating agreements and calculating severance. These administrative tasks are error-prone, so it’s advantageous to have technology ensuring accuracy.

Even better, the platform has built-in compliance assessments to help companies comply with federally mandated regulations instituted by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the Department of Labor (DOL). Onwards HR leverages data to evaluate terminations for adverse impact, enabling companies to deliver fair and equal employee treatment by eliminating sources of bias. Who stays and who goes is determined by people, but there is added peace of mind knowing that data was analyzed for compliance, and the resulting severance agreements are correct.

Technology is a blessing in countless ways, but it should serve to facilitate decisions made by people —not replace them.

Onwards HR is a data-driven separation platform that automates severance and mitigates human capital risk.

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