The cost of AI for HR

Cost should not be a barrier to accessing AI technology but is the top concern cited by HR professionals when considering recruitment options

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There is a growing interest in the topic of AI (artificial intelligence) for HR with a flood of opinion pieces being published daily. According to research by CIPD (2017), it was found that there are only 62 peer-reviewed journal reports in AI, robotics, and automation. In my daily research, rarely do I find the opinion pieces citing the few academic works out there.

At CognitionX, we are trying to change this by being the trusted third-party research house for all things AI in HR. We mix together industry research, academic research, and our primary research to create a clear understanding of the market landscape; which also includes understanding topics relevant to HR professionals and the application of AI technology.

Recently we conducted a short-survey regarding the state of AI in HR, with respondents from all major regions in nearly all industries and we found some clear trends. One of the questions asked was regarding concerns about technology. The top five concerns of HR professionals regarding this new technology are highlighted in the graph below.

Top AI-powered technology concerns for HR

In this article, I will examine some of the use case studies that we have researched that show cost should not be a barrier to accessing AI technology.

The power and potential of AI means that businesses need to be ahead of the curve to remain competitive (Deloitte, 2018). However, to stay current with trends can be difficult. That is why there will always be an adoption curve of new technology. Innovators and early adopters will test out new technology, however not all technology will pass the chasm into mainstream technology. 

It is easy to argue that AI-powered technology is either about to take this leap or already has. By passing this milestone it will transition from fad into megatrend and in the process redefine the profession. Some of the challenges AI-powered technology will face to make an impact are highlighted in the above-mentioned survey. The greatest challenges will be for new products to prove that they will save time and money. However, there is already a prescription that it will be expensive. 

During my research, I have come across situations that shows AI technology doesn’t cost more than traditional services. Though, this may not be true in all cases, it does warrant further investigation to understand if AI can provide cost savings for cash-strapped HR departments. 

1. Some AI-powered technology can make traditional services, such as executive coaching, affordable. Sidekick, an AI-powered coaching platform that uses a mix of datapoints to monitor employees to identify micro-behaviour changes which require interventions. Using a subscription fee that is comparable to a one-time executive coaching session, Sidekick can offer on demand 1-on-1 coaching session with highly-qualified coaches online. For organisations looking to provide executive coaching for teams, this is a cost-effective and time saving way to provide valuable insights, monitoring and coaching.  

2. 15ten15, a UK based recruitment firm, is using an AI-powered platform to disrupt the recruitment industry. Instead of only offering the standard resourcing services, 15ten15 in partnership with TribePad is offering SMEs one-time user licences and support to use the platform. Smaller businesses that need to source one or two employees can use the AI-powered platform and asynchronous video-interviewing technology at a fraction of the traditional resourcing cost and without investing into their own platform.

3. Sourcing platform Arya by Leoforce is saving clients time by sourcing quality candidates for difficult to fill positions. During an interview, a client shared that Arya could source a quality short-list within 20 to 30 minutes. A task that would have taken a recruiter 2 to 3 days to complete. The system is also able to find qualified candidates that recruiters had not identified. Don’t worry, the department isn’t about to get rid of any staff, rather they are able to fill more positions in a shorter period of time. It also means that there will like be a shift away from less productive technology and greater investment into Arya.  

In summary, though AI-powered technology is not free, there are situations which are proving to be cost-saving or cost-effective. With results like this, AI-powered technology is likely to pass into mainstream use. Before discounting AI-powered technology as being too expensive, an investigation is warranted. Check out CognitionX’s directory of AI-powered HR products to find out more about the solutions available. 

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