Human Resources with AI Now Play 69% Role in Strategic Business Planning 

Most company executives are taking notice of how human resources have become an active contributor to strategic business planning (69%) — especially in high People Dependency Index companies that are growing fast and formulating future business projections (60%), according to a study by Mercer.

This is a sizable accomplishment, especially compared to just three years ago, when 73% of executives found their HR team unable to provide them with actionable analytics to improve their decision making, thanks to data and the digitization of businesses.

Workforce analytics now have plenty of insights as opposed to just data. Armed with insights, organizations are shifting their focus toward gaining measurable value from analytics and honing their market-sensing and analytics capabilities to enhance talent management practices across the organization. But it’s still a long road ahead. 

The challenge is how to harness the power of data to answer the questions that matter to businesses. AI and automation have already surpassed the heavy lifting, with AI making decisions on its own in many areas.

It has been said, though, that the real opportunity comes with a lift in people’s skill and intuition around data — the ability to see beyond workforce problems and apply a scientific method to uncover actionable intelligence from the data that is now becoming available.

Investments made in aligning human capital management (HCM) systems, structuring data taxonomies and leveraging third-party tech to create meaningful dashboards has started to clear the view. Workforce science, which Mercer has been discussing for over a decade, is a gathering force. .

HR and global mobility managers have moved data up the value chain and have quadrupled its use of predictive analytics in the last five years — from 10% in 2016 to 39% in 2020. The number of HR leaders who say they use predictive analytics today varies widely by geography from China (18%), Hong Kong (28%) and India (28%) finding their feet, to more than half of HR leaders in Brazil (52%), Germany (52%) and the US (55%) leveraging it today.

What’s clear this year is that the move by a number of HR teams to work across silos and partner more closely on the strategic agenda is paying dividends: In 2020, more than half of HR leaders are answering executives’ top talent questions, up from a third in 2019.

As companies increase technology investments, the analytics required to harness opportunities offered by automation and AI (that is, the combination of people and digital on performance) should be a priority, yet far fewer companies apply these today.

Here are some ways to improve recruitment of talents using AI and automation.

1. Datafy HR for the business

Integrate analytics teams into the business to stay close to projects and priorities. Why? When analytics is focused on solving business challenges it attracts the best talent.

2. Leverage discipline knowledge

Build a cross-disciplinary team leveraging the expertise of industrial/organizational psychologists, economists, data scientists, machine learning programmers, and employee representatives. Why? Diverse analytics functions are more likely to create strategic insights.

Sherpa no more: AI delivers both insight and action AI is proliferating across all parts of the business. With high adoption of AI already in sales and marketing and human resources (both at 43%), this year organizations are piloting AI in legal and compliance (43%), finance

(38%) and product development (36%) functions.

Yes, California Corporate Housing has reported the use of automation in HR and global mobility, but AI in recruitment has been slow to happen. It’s beginning to change. Today, AI is also making its own decisions and learning as it goes — most notably in selection and candidate decision-making. HR and AI will work in unison, rather than as the final arbiter of decisions.