Here are the top news stories in talent & organization from this week.

Juggling data and humans as an HR professional

One of the biggest challenges of HR today is to leverage technology while keeping empathy for humanity intact, claims Sanja Licina. “Balance is always so interesting; you’re thinking of how to make sure you maintain somebody’s privacy,” she told HR Daily Advisor in an interview. “How do you make sure you always understand, when you’re using certain models, that you’re aware of the likelihood of error, that you’re aware of the confidence in your model?” Historically, HR’s role has been to relay the results of traditional surveys to management, which sometimes created a bottleneck. “Now, the thought is how you get data and insights into the hands of people who can act on them the quickest,” Licina says. “But you also have to consider how you prepare them to be able to make really good decisions and be able to understand that information and know exactly what to do with it.” She says bridging the gap between data and the human touch is key going forward in an era of rapid digital transformation. “How do you present business metrics and people metrics in such a way that you have to look at them together? That helps humanize data a little more and shows the impact,” Licina says.

Three steps to adopting AI

According to 2019 research by Oracle, 37 percent of businesses have already implemented artificial intelligence (AI), while another 41 percent plan to do it this year. In an Inc. blog post, Annie Gherini lists three steps to leverage AI this year: 1. Know what you are getting into and do your homework. “The first step in determining your AI strategy is to understand the strengths and limitations of AI,” she writes. “While humans are still far superior in social and creative intelligence, AI reigns supreme in tackling routine work.” 2. Identify the biggest problems AI can solve in your organization. 3. Move fast, but start small. “By starting small and solving one problem at a time, chatbots can still be incredibly powerful in your business” Gherini writes. “For example, they can answer routine questions from customers and direct them to more information. They can also assist your sales team in gaining answers to valuable qualification questions in a way that is more natural than filling out an endless form.”

Training is key to compliance

Managing HR compliance is like a game of Whac-A-Mole, Michelle Lanter Smith claims. “As soon as you master an employment law in one jurisdiction, another one pops up,” she writes in a blog post for HR Executive. “Furthermore, the perils of noncompliance are fierce: fines, penalties, potential class-action lawsuits—not to mention the hit to your company’s reputation.” Lanter Smith says training managers and employees is one of the key steps to maintain daily HR compliance. “Don’t assume that your managers—even experienced ones—understand the complex ins and outs of labor compliance,” she writes. “Make sure you have a comprehensive training program in place to keep them up to speed on new legislation and periodically refresh their knowledge.”

Breaking the glass ceiling in 2020

Gender pay gap and discrepancies in promotion rates between men and women in the U.S. workforce linger, according to a new study from SmartAsset. Using data from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), an independent federal agency that promotes equality through the enforcement of federal civil rights laws, SmartAsset examined national, industry and geographic trends in promotion rates by sex. Key findings include: 1. Managerial white-collar jobs are predominantly filled by men. 2. Within the private sector, the odds of promotion for men are about one and a half times higher than they are for women. 3. Women are promoted at higher rates than men in less than 10 percent of industries. Of the 55 industries with more than 200,000 employees reported to the EEOC, there are only five in which the odds of promotion for a woman are higher than for a man.

For more news on gender equality in the workforce, see our page here.

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