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The HCM World 2018 Diaries!

Padmini Murthy
Director, Product Marketing

AI and Conversational AI – The Words of the Year at HCM World and Beyond

The HCM World in Dallas just wrapped up! Lots of exciting conversations, keynotes, and announcements related to AI and the HCM Cloud, as we scouted the floor. There were some excellent opportunities to talk about the power of the Oracle Cloud Platform and how it is powering the HCM SaaS center.

Undoubtedly, AI and conversational AI were hot topics. Right from Mark Hurd’s keynote, where he talked about the impact of AI and Machine Learning on modern HCM systems to all the recent announcements at the HCM world and beyond.

AI and HR are ironic and touchy. Thee approach to introduce AI for HR has to be soft, but the adoption is inevitable. In a recent article, Emily He, SVP, HCM Product Marketing talks about how AI is helping to make work more human with some irony in it as mentioned. Quoting her – “The other day I went to a customer meeting, and while there was a break one customer came to me and said, ‘When you have AI, does it stand for A-1 or A-I?’. This is a very new concept to HR professionals, and there is a great deal of fear about whether this is going to take away jobs and what’s the best way to start experimenting with AI.”

In the Trenches – Unraveling AI for Human Capital Management

There was lots of excitement around Oracle adding AI capabilities to the HCM Cloud. The new enhancements included a better interface and layout, better search capabilities, ‘smart onboarding,’ and AI-enabled Chatbots for recruiting to name a few.

The Chatbots strategy for HCM is to create a personalized candidate experience. Employee and candidate experience are the linchpins of human capital management. Jacob Morgan, author, speaker, and futurist talked about this integrated employee and candidate experience quite eloquently as part of his keynote. Culture, technology and physical space becoming the catalysts to drive that, according to him. 

So going back to the tech for candidates - It starts with behavioral targeting to better connect job seekers. For example, if I were interested in community or non-profit work, the bot would talk about the community benefits. The Facebook Messenger’s open API also allows job seekers to connect to the company’s job portal from the Facebook page. It also introduced a social network style “newsfeed” that uses machine learning to highlight the data and details folks care about.  Candidates can also receive alerts about updates and actions needed on jobs of their interest.

The recruitment features are based upon filtering candidates and their capabilities of more than 200 elements to determine the best fit for a particular job. With Machine learning, the engine will tune over time to see which factors have more impact.

Machine learning is also used to manage employee performance and ensures that the candidates are getting the feedback they need to succeed. New performance ‘check-in’ capabilities are introduced to ensure that coaching and feedback are aligned with the goals, and a ‘self-driving’ promotion process helps employees reach objectives by providing proactive results.

I’ll leave this section with an interesting video on how AI ‘augments’ humanity by creating simple, powerful and intelligent systems.

Interesting Notes from the Keynotes

Shifting gears from technology to talk about some exciting stats shared at keynotes. Cara Capretta, VP, HCM Transformation Practice for Oracle, shared fascinating market stats during her overall introductory keynote. According to a survey by PwC almost 40% of the CEOs stated availability of key skills as a considerable gap apart from other externalities like cyber threats, and geopolitical uncertainties. 

According to another survey by Development Dimensions International, one of the most pressing challenges for the CEOs is to acquire and retain the talent, and develop the ‘next-gen’ leaders. ​

According to Gartner, the Top HR Technology Trends for 2018 will include AI, Intelligent Apps, and Analytics, and of course conversational platforms.​

All in all, a great conference with lots of tech talk, AI and conversational AI dominating most of that discussion. It’s the time of human capital engagement with intelligent apps and the power of technology platforms!​

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