The Good, the Bad and the Useful Impact of Artificial Intelligence

Throughout the month of February, we highlighted one of the top trends in #HRTech: Artificial Intelligence. AI is touching everything lately – and it fits right in with HR Tech! However, there are some negative findings and opinions around jumping fully on board with AI. At BTR, we pride ourselves with approaching every aspect of HR Tech with a full understanding – all pros, all cons, all details. So we found ourselves wanting to wrap up the February trend with a breakdown of AI – good and bad.

Eliminating Bias

Artificial Intelligence is often brought up as a new way of recruiting and hiring – with the selling point of eliminating bias. However, the question this raises is “What if the builder is bias?”. HR Technologist published an article in October 2018 that broke this down wonderfully. Building off the Reuters scoop that Amazon’s bot-recruiter was unable to look past gender bias, the article highlights the most important aspect of creating a truly unbiased algorithm to eliminate bias

“It all comes down to what kind of data AI is using to make hiring recommendations… when AI-based hiring solutions rely on skills and knowledge, such as resume and social media scraping tools, it’s just perpetuating the same biases, but at a larger scale.”
                                       –  Caitlin McGregor, CEO at Plum.

Forbes ran an article on AI in recruitment as well, explaining the pros and cons. Many AI experts were quoted, some stating that AI can avoid and eliminate bias and discrimination if it is built and trained correctly. Others believe that AI in its “purest form” can eliminate these negatives of the recruitment process.

AI is very beneficial in minimizing work time throughout the recruiting process, but it is imperative that the algorithm is carefully and correctly built & trained to avoid discrimination and bias. Training AI based on skill sets, rather than work accomplishments or education achievements will help eliminate this as well. Seeing “leader” or “creative” over “Princeton” or “Manager” is a good way to attract the true best of the best.

Replacing Human Processes

The oldest arguments when it comes to Artificial Intelligence, or robots simply, is that they will take jobs away from human workers. The commercials for the Super Bowl this year heavily featured robots and AI, many of them focusing on the things robots can’t do – easing the minds of the viewers that robots are not taking over (yet!)

The reality is AI can assist the HR process, streamline it with automation, and take a workload off the shoulders of HR professionals – but someone will still need to review the data. BTR believes AI can be adopted, without eliminating many roles in HR – these roles will simply shift. According to HR Tech Outlook, new jobs will open up that will further AI – such as trainers, ethical officers, AI Support, etc.

HR professionals will be able to use these tech advances similarly to how they utilize HR Tech Solutions – to drive business forward, while solving challenges quicker and more efficiently. HR Technologist broke this down in another piece in their AI series:

“AI is fueling HR’s transition from administrative to strategic to mission critical.”

                             – Sushman Biswas, HR Technologist

Employee Experience

When we speak to clients about choosing their next HCM solution, they constantly strive for a better employee experience. This is not something that is only housed within technology – more and more offices are creating environments that help with productivity, while considering an employee’s mental and emotional health. Creating a better employee experience in tech – and every aspect of the workplace – can reduce turnover and maximize employee engagement. AI fits right in here.

The struggle with accepting AI into the employee experience can come if your workforce is tech-challenged, or if you favor the personal connection. But utilizing AI to improve the employee experience is not calling for locked-in employees talking to robots on screens. AI can cultivate employee data to analyze their behaviors – allowing HR professionals and employers to create the best environment. This can extend to compensation and benefits as well, two core areas for HR.

Artificial Intelligence is vast and complicated – and like anything, it comes with the good and bad. Responsible building and implementation of AI in HR Tech can allow AI to thrive as a positive addition in a company’s HR department. Accepting that AI can assist HR professionals, not replace them, is step one. BTR will continue to follow AI’s entrance into HR Tech – not just in Benefits Administration, but throughout all HCM modules, and bring only the best to our clients.



Emily Fleming is an HR Technology Analyst & on the BTR Project Box Team. She has been working for BTR for just under a year and has experience in Employee Benefits, HR Tech and customer service.