Published on January 28th, 2020 | by Emergent Enterprise0
This Tech Giant Says A.I. has Already Helped it Save $1 Billion
A person’s connection with a company may be tracked and guided by artificial intelligence from the recruiting process to retirement or termination. At fortune.com, Maria Aspan shares (account may be required) how IBM is using AI to help save time and money and to be more accurate and effective in its HR processes and policies. It can be unnerving to think that algorithms can plan and execute a person’s career path but the truth is that it has been happening for many decades with machine learning intelligent software. Be nice to that AI – it may give you your next promotion.
For employers embracing artificial intelligence, it’s not about the bottom line—but it’s not not about that, either.
Companies are increasingly using robots and other machine-learning technology to recruit, hire, assess, and manage their staff, as I report in a feature that’s part of Fortune’s February special report on artificial intelligence. Most of the employers and vendors I spoke with for that article told me they were automating some human resources functions because it saves them time, and because some A.I. technology can help them hire a more diverse workforce. Efficiency and greater diversity were also the top reasons cited by recruiters and hiring managers LinkedIn surveyed in 2018; meanwhile, only 30% of those surveyed said they were using artificial intelligence because it “saves money.”
Still, “efficiency” and “cost-cutting” are usually synonyms in corporate-speak — as several human resources executives acknowledged to me. “We haven’t really focused on the cost-saving element, but there is a financial component to filling jobs faster,” says Rupert Bader, senior director of people analytics for Expedia Group, which is using A.I. -enabled technology from startup Textio to recruit employees.
Using machine-learning technology in human resources can help companies cut costs by hundreds of millions of dollars, or more, in some cases. IBM, for example, estimates that it has realized “almost $1 billion in savings” since 2011 by integrating artificial intelligence and other modernization efforts in its HR department, according to global head of talent Obed Louissaint.
The technology giant has more than 350,000 employees, and receives up to 10,000 job applications every day. Machine learning helps IBM sort through the applicant deluge for the best matches, Louissaint explains: “Trying to find a needle in the haystack becomes a little easier when you have a magnet.”
IBM also has created A.I. -enabled systems that help its human managers handle employee training, performance reviews, and even compensation and retention conversations. The company has created what it compares to a Netflix for employee development, an internal program that tracks a worker’s skill set and recommends classes or training sessions to advance their professional learning. (Topics can range from leadership-focused sessions on public speaking or negotiation to more technical instruction on how to build chatbots or other types of programs.)