Canadian Managers Magazine / Spring 2024 - Issue 2, Vol. 48 / Article 2

AI-Powered HR Approach: The End Of HR Management As We Know It

Today, we face countless opportunities and threats from artificial intelligence. The HR models require new changes in this new era of AI disruptions. This has been combined due to operational risk management. The reason is that identifying problems and providing solutions to senior managers is not enough today. Leaders also need to be able to offer and execute solutions. Artificial intelligence (AI) has placed leaders in what is known as a dual role. In this article, I examine the challenges of the current HR models and provide an alternative way for large consulting companies and medium to small organizations to re-emerge with sustenance. Taking advantage of these opportunities and avoiding the growing threats of artificial intelligence requires adopting a new approach to HR. This new approach considers "people" as one of the pillars of success and increases effectiveness in the era of artificial intelligence. I call this new HR approach the AI-powered HR approach. Much of what I share in this article comes from my interviews with 81 senior executives in Australia, Hong Kong, and the United Arab Emirates.

By Mostafa Sayyadi | Chartered Managers Canada



Unfortunately, the current HR models have been immune to change for years. The inertia that managers have been trying to debunk has hit home. The current HR models have worked in the same way for more than a century. But now, with the onslaught of disruptions, AI, diversity, equity, and inclusion, the tried-and-true HR models have seriously endangered the survival and continuity of organizations. My conversations with 81 senior executives in the United States, Australia, Hong Kong, and the United Arab Emirates revealed that many senior executives still believe in outdated HR models and underestimate AI disruption. Perhaps the survival and continuity of both large and small companies will be to engage in more agility, diversity, equity, and inclusion, and more adaptable HR models that offer a full suite of services from human resource management to strategic HR management.

As organizations enter the age of artificial intelligence there are a plethora of unique opportunities. One opportunity is to create an AI-powered HR approach. Developing a technological infrastructure is one important component but there is another that will likely make or break the traditional organization. Success in the era of artificial intelligence does not only require money and investment in technology infrastructure, but it also requires a change in the way leaders think about human resources. In this article, I call this effective approach the AI-powered HR approach and provide leaders with the best practices for the development and design of this effective approach.

The best practices for the development and design of an AI-powered HR approach depend on how senior managers can create a "rapid technology change program." There needs to be a strong emphasis on maximizing the performance of the artificial intelligence development and implementing a human resources development project to begin designing and developing a new form of HR approach, what I call an AI-powered HR approach.

The Increasing Role of Artificial Intelligence
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is changing the form of business all over the world. Decision-making is focused on gaining insights from data from a more decentralized organizational structure. Organizational processes are becoming increasingly automated to bring benefits to companies around the world transforming their relationships with their customers to be quicker and more responsive. Google is the crème de la crème of high-tech AI built on algorithms with minimized error rates. This technology gives organizations the power to break free from the limitations of traditional processes offering unique market opportunities. AI coupled with continuous learning allows organizations better performance.

Alibaba, another successful company that has developed AI is now ranked among the most valuable companies in the world. Algorithms are their main criterion for decision-making reducing error rates similar to Six Sigma. Most executives and senior executives are not considering AI initiatives in their corporate strategies. Leaving them left at a station that is not only moving at extenuating speed but also leaving them less competitive product-wise. Some CEOs have been considered for immediate replacement due to AI. Thus, the key is for CEOs to develop an effective AI-powered strategy.

AI coupled with data analysis and digital core is going to be the strategic advantage of the future. Here is how to do it:

  • assess organizational capabilities and needs
  • effectively evaluate human capabilities and technological infrastructure
  • implementing an effective knowledge management system
  • develop strong human resources infrastructure

The lack of an effective knowledge management system causes insights such as these to create bottlenecks in communication channels. Chatbots, the way of the future, can also lead to the development of a data-oriented approach in companies and eventually strengthen the data analysis side in AI-powered strategy.

Digital core knowledge refers to the software on which algorithms are derived from data analysis. Here, decision-making is redefined in the most scientific way, and algorithms are fully automated processes. CEOs Should not be influenced by vendors who seek to only sell their software. The lack of accurate evaluation and the implementation of inefficient software can delay the effective implementation of an AI-powered strategy. Organizations still need to redesign many processes and effectively divide work between humans and robots.

Furthermore, effective implementation of an AI-powered strategy requires the extensive participation of human resources and the strong support of CEOs. CEOs must highlight that AI does not mean eliminating the role of human resources, but rather enhancing their role more effectively. The key is to reduce resistance and better align human resources.

Designing an AI-Powered HR Approach
Human resources are usually managed around participation in centralized meetings, teamwork, trust, and learning:   

  • Participation of organizational members through cohesive collaboration in which the entire organization is rowing in the same direction.
  • Team building and better sharing of organizational knowledge through greater collaboration improves data quality.
  • Trust is basically a framework of satisfaction coupled with safety. People need to know that when they wake up in the morning that they will have a job waiting for them.
  • Organizational learning is a given mantra throughout the organization with professional development by vendors and experts in the field that add the glue that creates an ambiance of growing and developing.   

After the human resources are set upon these four tenets, there needs to be expansive advertising of activities and milestones. A newsletter or means of communication includes accomplishments not only within the organization but also for those who left for better positions based on their knowledge gained, training and development, and tenure at the organization. The intention to keep all employees is a good one but we must consider natural attrition levels and movement up the organizational ladder or the risk of people leaving for better positions. Thus, while a culture must be the glue that keeps the organization together, it must be elastic and realistic too. Trust is a double-edged sword, one in which, leaders must trust their subordinates the same way that they trust them. We run studies in which we find which employees want to move up the organizational ladder, linear, those that want to keep learning and growing in their current position, technical expert, and those that may be transient and looking to change careers when the spirit moves them to do so. Putting people first, and then offering the technology employees need to stay up to date in artificial intelligence encourages them to keep up with rapid technological changes. Team leaders encourage risk-taking for their teams, and they attempt to be optimistic about innovation. This new mindset offers greater flexibility and agility.

In Conclusion
There is no doubt that developing human resources that supports AI can play a critical role in business success for organizations. The development and design of an AI-powered HR approach requires the courage of top managers. An AI-powered HR approach should effectively involve all members of the organization and initiate trust, continuous learning and development, teamwork, and a sense of camaraderie throughout the organization. Organizations can benefit from their human resources development and achieve prosperity and effectiveness in the age of AI.

About the Author:

Mostafa Sayyadi works with senior business leaders to effectively develop innovation in companies and he helps companies – from start-ups to the Fortune 100 – succeed by improving the effectiveness of their leaders. He is a business book author and a long-time contributor to business publications and his work has been featured in top-flight business publications.

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