Like so many things for the year ahead, changes probably are coming to the workplace. We asked several human resources experts and employment lawyers what they think we'll be talking about regarding compensation, benefits and how bosses manage their people. It's long been a corporate rite of passage: the 2% or 3% annual merit raise. But human resources consultants say more companies are questioning whether the annual approach is best. For one, when spread out over a year, the small bumps are typically meager, barely registering in many workers' paychecks.
The future of HR is both digital and human as HR leaders focus on optimizing the combination of human and automated work. This is driving a new priority for HR: one which requires leaders and teams to develop a fluency in artificial intelligence while they re-imagine HR to be more personal, human and intuitive. As we enter 2019, it's the combination of AI and human intelligence that will transform work and workers as we know it. For many companies the first pilots of artificial intelligence are in talent acquisition, as this is the area where companies see significant, measurable, and immediate results in reducing time to hire, increasing productivity for recruiters, and delivering an enhanced candidate experience that is seamless, simple, and intuitive. One company that has delivered on this is DBS Bank.
Artificial intelligence has been hailed as a great equalizer in employee hiring -- technology that has the potential to hide demographics, match candidates based on skills rather than resumes, and get around the biases of hiring managers who gravitate toward people who look or act like them. Companies that offer such tools have been touting those benefits, and more employers are turning to algorithms to help diversify their workforce. But a report this week by Reuters about an experimental project at Amazon to use algorithms and artificial intelligence to recruit workers was a reminder that while such high-tech isn't always a cure-all. The Reuters report said that the tool -- an experiment that was scrapped by the start of last year -- was trained to evaluate applicants by observing patterns in resumes submitted over 10 years, most of which came from men. The system effectively "taught itself that male candidates were preferable," according to Reuters, including penalizing resumes that included the word "women's" or graduates from two all-women's colleges.
We are living in interesting times, where digital assistants schedule meetings, chatbots work alongside humans as teaching assistants, and your suitcase can now become self driving luggage as showcased at CES, 2018. The implications are just starting to be felt in the workplace. In 2017, I wrote about how The Employee Experience is the Future of Work. Now, as we enter 2018, the next journey for HR leaders will be to leverage artificial intelligence combined with human intelligence and create a more personalized employee experience.