Bottom Line: Every Chief Human Resource Officer (CHRO) needs a career roadmap that prioritizes building strong AI digital dexterity skills and continual upskilling, two key skills that are defining the future of talent management.
One of my favorite quotes is from Alvin Toffler, author of Future Shock, who wrote: “The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn and relearn.” It’s prescient for CHROs who need to start taking action to strengthen their AI-based digital dexterity skills and define their upskilling roadmap. Alvin Toffler’s quote also speaks to the challenge every CHRO faces today of creating programs at scale that help workers learn, unlearn and relearn valuable AI, machine learning, and digital skills.
CHROs and employees who participate in upskilling programs are learning more about how AI and machine learning can help them in their jobs. Many are outperforming their colleagues who have greater experience and tenure. It’s because they’ve learned how to use AI and machine learning to get the best data possible and are making more effective decisions than their peers as a result.
The Ability To Learn, Unlearn and Relearn Matters More Than Tenure
This is especially true for any C-level executive, including CHROs today. The greater the intensity to improve and develop stronger AI and Machine Learning digital dexterity skills, including discerning if and when AI makes sense for a given problem, the greater the career growth potential. Add to this the data-intensive demands of launching and staffing new digital business models and the need senior management teams have for these skill sets, and the future of anyone willing to strengthen their AI digital dexterity skills looks bright.
“The best leaders are very data-oriented, data-driven. A deep understanding of data analytics will be a foundational skill for every CHRO in the future,” says Jeff Hodge, Managing Partner, Boyden United States in the recent Boyden Senior Executive Survey: The CHRO And The Future Organization published recently. Dr. Robert Winterhalter, Ph.D., Global Leader, Human Resources Practice Managing Partner, Boyden Germany, writes in the forward of the survey, “At first glance, AI is just a tool for faster learning and operational excellence. Good HR leaders and other senior executives will both leverage it to improve operational efficiency and speed of transformation, and to affirm trust and respect from operational lines of management.” The greater the mastery of AI and machine learning at the CHRO level, the greater discernment and insight into if and how algorithm-based biases may be impacting an organization. Taming the bias beast needs to be the CHROs’ responsibility, and by leading their organizations to pursue greater AI-based skills and expertise, they stand a better chance than someone with no training at all.
Why Every CHRO Is Going To Need AI Digital Dexterity Skills
CHROs need to be able to discern which AI and Machine Learning technologies can help most and least with the recruitment process, real-time assistance to applicants and associates, talent management, staffing new business models, performance management, onboarding, and more. Harris Interactive, in collaboration with Eightfold, recently published the Talent Intelligence And Management Report 2019-2020, which provides insights into how CHROs are adopting AI today and in the future. You can download a copy here. A total of 1,350 CEOs and CHROs from the U.S., France, Germany, and the U.K. responded to the survey. The report is noteworthy because it shows how integral AI expertise is to the future role of CHROs and HR leaders on a global scale. The following are key insights from the report:
- 75% of HR teams in the U.S. have had to learn many new tech skills in the last few years, reflecting the urgent need to develop greater digital dexterity. CEOs and CHROs realize the only way they can overcome the challenges in recruitment, retention, diversity, and candidate experience is to make training a high priority for their HR teams. Forward-thinking leaders realize that the greater the AI-based digital dexterity they and their teams have, the more effective they will be at talent management now and in the future.
- 47% of U.S.-based enterprises are using AI today for recruitment, leading all countries in the survey. U.S.-based enterprises’’ adoption of AI for recruitment soared in the last year, jumping from 22% in 2018 to 47% this year based on last years’ Harris Interactive Talent Intelligence and Management Report 2018. U.S.-based enterprises lead in the use of AI to automate repetitive tasks (44%) and employee retention (42%). The results show U.S.-based C-level executives aren’t wasting any time developing their own and their organizations’ AI-based digital dexterity skills and expertise.
- The majority of CEOs and CHROs globally plan to use more AI within three years, with the U.S. leading all other nations at 73%. Over 63% of all CEOs and CHROs interviewed say that new technologies have a positive impact overall on their operations. CEOs and CHROs introducing AI into their enterprises are doing an effective job at change management, as the majority of employees, 54%, are less concerned about AI now that they see its benefits. C-level executives who are upskilling their employees by enabling them to have stronger digital dexterity skills stand a better chance of winning the war for talent.
- Candidate masking, or using AI to hide a candidate’s details, is an attribute enterprises with greater digital dexterity have compared to their peers today. Another indicator of how quickly AI-based digital dexterity skills are maturing is the rapid adoption of candidate masking. 58% of U.S.-based C-level executives say their organizations are using candidate masking today, and 79% report it is making the recruitment process better. C-level executives need to continue improving their digital dexterity skills and mastery of AI to keep truth-testing AI-driven results for any hidden biases as well.
By attaining greater AI-based digital dexterity skills as they relate to talent management, CEOs and CHROs will be able to make progress towards their Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) goals. Their roadmaps need to start with practical, proven use cases of adopting AI into HR. Candidate masking shows the potential to help reduce hiring bias based on a candidate’s age, gender, race, parental status, marital status, or disability. 43% of the U.S. workforce reports they have faced discrimination based on these factors. AI-based candidate masking can help reduce the impact of bias and, combined with greater AI training, provide CHROs and HR teams with valuable skills they’ll need to excel in their careers for the current generation of workforce.
Credit: Google News