How Artificial Intelligence Is Changing The Way We Look At Layoffs

Artificial Intelligence (AI) use in the workplace has steadily increased over the past few years. Companies are turning to AI to automate tasks, analyze data, and make decisions that humans previously made. However, this shift towards AI has challenges, particularly regarding employee layoffs.

With the increasing use of AI, companies use technology to decide which employees to lay off. AI algorithms can analyze large amounts of data and identify patterns indicating which employees are underperforming or which jobs can be automated.

This has the potential to result in more efficient and cost-effective staffing decisions. Still, it raises concerns about the ethical implications of using AI to make decisions about people’s livelihoods.

Hundreds of Google’s former employees recently laid off from the mass job cuts of 12,000 positions have found solace in an online chatroom. There they can mourn the perplexing manner in which they were unceremoniously separated from their employer.

The Washington Post could not independently verify it. Still, one person suggested on a Discord post that the ax drops could be due to “a mindless algorithm carefully designed not to violate any laws.” They discussed and speculated theories related to how management had made their decisions.

No algorithm was used when Google carried out job cuts. However, the intensive use of Artificial Intelligence-based tools in place of organizations raised staff worries. Former employees suggest there is reason to pause and consider if algorithms were included in the decision-making process.

Human resources managers apply Machine Learning software to produce notable data points related to employment and suggest what individuals should be considered for selection, promotion, or retention. Millions of these points are evaluated to inform this advanced approach.

As Silicon Valley’s prosperity begins to recede, some suggest that the software tools commonly used by human resources teams may be put to an even tougher challenge: deciding who gets terminated. HR analysts and workforce professionals believe various computer systems can be deployed to help determine layoffs.

Over 300 human resources leaders from U.S. corporations have demonstrated that this year, a commitment to software and algorithms will help them with their decisions to lay off staff; 98% affirming these findings in a survey conducted in January.

With the mass layoffs going on, it’s difficult for people to be able to cut out so many at once. Machines, however, have not been immune from these employment reductions and can prove helpful in executing (the job) workforce reduction.

Joseph Fuller, a Harvard Business School professor who leads their project on Managing the Future of Work, has noted that huge companies such as tech firms and manufacturing businesses typically use computer programs to identify the most suitable employee they need for specific tasks.

Managers use the powerful “skills inventory” – a database of employees – to determine the work experiences, certificates, and skills needed for job titles to be highly successful. These products create and maintain an inventory, helping them recognize effective personnel traits.

These same tools can help in layoffs.

Fuller says:

“They suddenly are just being used differently.”

“Because that’s the place where people have … a real … inventory of skills.”

Using AI, recruitment companies leverage many data points collected from resources, including online career profiles and knowledge stores, thus decreasing the number of applications that might go untapped. Eightfold AI, a leading name in this domain, consists of algorithms analyzing billions of such facts.

Brian Westfall says:

“Incredibly data driven.”

Since the 2008 recession, human resource departments have drastically adapted their practices. Capterra’s senior HR analyst Brian Westfall states that numerous changes have been implemented to keep up with the times.

He added that turning to algorithms can be particularly comforting for some managers while making tricky decisions such as layoffs.

As more and more companies implement AI into their hiring and firing decisions, it’s important to stay ahead of the curve. If you’re worried about being laid off, brush up on your skills and watch for opportunities. You can weather this storm with the right attitude and hard work.

Source: Washington post

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