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Intelligent Automation (IA) has the potential to transform human resources, but only when there is a proactive, people-oriented strategy behind it. IA combines artificial intelligence with automation to enable machines to sense, understand, learn and act­ – either independently or with human assistance. As HR moves from a business cost center to a profit center, IA can help bolster efficiency, improve productivity and foster innovation, enabling HR professionals to make smarter decisions, get more done with less and help HR shift from manual, repetitive tasks to a more strategic role by innovating. IA will help HR save time on non-value added tasks and focus on people activities like employee engagement, employee experience and culture, making HR a more valuable business partner. Cliff Justice, U.S. Leader of Intelligent Automation at KPMG, says, “Despite recognizing the huge potential of IA in cutting costs and driving efficiencies, business leaders seem to be struggling with changes it will drive for employees.” However, he notes, “IA will undoubtedly have a major impact on society and jobs but within those changes will be several benefits beyond cost and time reduction. It has the potential to make employees happier by automating mundane tasks and redirecting their time to exciting and challenging projects.” Cliff adds that companies need to document a strategy that clearly states the expected business outcomes and change-management plans before deploying IA, allowing HR to assess the scope of IA-led disruption and accordingly design training programs to upskill employees. Talent acquisition could benefit from IA by compressing recruitment and onboarding processes to help talent acquisition professionals focus on business growth.

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