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Keeping your data clever

Who wouldn’t want to eliminate time-consuming admin tasks in favor of strategic talent management activity? It’s no surprise HR executives are so excited about the promises of AI technology for automation efficiency. Along with the anticipation, though, keep this caveat in mind: AI and automation technologies can deliver if, and only if, they run on a foundation of clean, secure data.  

The latest AI-powered cloud systems have a lot to offer HR professionals:

• AI-based recruitment is more quicker, more efficient, and eliminates human bias

•  AI can identify areas of job dissatisfaction and predict potential for churn

•  AI can analyse different types of performance data to personalize training and get the best from employees

In the current climate of skills shortages, finding and keeping the right talent drives the competitive edge. If recruitment data can be put in correlation with performance data, organizations can identify the people who will be successful in the long run. Brilliant HR leaders will use AI to support these core tasks as well as free time for more strategic C-level initiatives.

But this holy grail of HR AI only exists with guaranteed data security and trustworthy information. Take the example of using AI for CV-screening: AI technology can be ‘trained’—using thousands of relevant applications and CV—to accurately mimic human intelligence and analysis. It’s important the system be trained correctly avoiding any built-in biases against candidates from certain backgrounds, ethnic groups or age bands.  If the data includes any such biases, the AI algorithms will as well.

HR leaders need to start with the basics, building intelligent systems based on clean, secure and trustworthy data. If an organization bases employee management decisions on dirty data—different labels for the same role, multiple records for the same employee, missing elements—the value from automation and AI is minimal.

What are the basics?

• Cleaning out old data is a core part of the process. Companies need to retain employee files for certain lengths of time, but as soon as these are no longer needed for legal purposes, they should be purged.

• Identity and access management (IAM) policies should include automatic provisioning and de-provisioning of users. When new cloud applications come online, the same access authorisation process should occur.

• The right technology, designed to protect users, enhance data security, and ensure compliance. These will be cloud-based systems offering multi-layered security and including controls to evaluate risks, prevent unauthorised data disclosure and enforce data access controls.

• A single source of the employee truth, including access and permissions as roles change and extend, is vital to data security.

Smart HR leaders know deploying AI is core to improving people management innovation.  They also know data security and preparation need to come before full AI deployment. By integrating AI as a layer on top of a solid data foundation, they will see the full benefits on offer from artificially intelligent employee management systems.

Read more about how today’s HR leaders think about AI and data in our report here.

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