As the world becomes more interconnected, the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) has also been adapting to new technologies to improve their business processes. One of the areas that have seen a significant impact from Artificial Intelligence (AI) is Human Resources (HR). In this article, we will discuss how AI is impacting HR in the GCC, highlighting a few areas where we see it having a big impact and some of the new powerful tools.
An employee’s HR journey begins with recruitment and AI-powered recruitment tools can significantly reduce the time and effort it takes to find the right candidates for job openings. One such tool is a recruitment agency marketplace, which leverages AI to connect employers with the best matching recruitment agencies to find the world’s best candidates. Our data shows that it can reduce the time to hire by up to 60%, the effort involved in recruiting by up to 85% and also improve the quality of candidates.
AI can also help in improving employee retention rates by identifying and predicting high-performing employees who may be at risk of leaving the company. By analyzing employee data, AI-powered tools can identify patterns and trends that HR managers can use to develop retention strategies. This is critically important in the GCC as the region’s expat labour is very high, e.g. in the UAE over 90% of the workforce are expats and in Saudi Arabia it could be as high as 70%. So the cost of replacing an employee can be high due to the significant investment required to onboard and train new expat staff.
The biggest disruptor, however, is ChatGPT. ChatGPT is an AI-powered conversational chatbot that can provide quick and efficient responses to employee queries. Imagine an employee in the GCC who is looking for information related to their healthcare benefits. Instead of waiting for a response from HR, they can simply ask ChatGPT and receive an immediate answer once it has been trained on the company’s data. This can help to reduce HR response times, increase employee satisfaction, and ultimately improve employee retention rates.
Although there is a lot of promise, there is a lot of work to do in the gulf region. A challenge facing GCC companies in using AI is slow adoption. According to a survey conducted by Deloitte in 2021, 7% of GCC companies have a sound AI strategy with solid ability and technology with the majority 57% having only a semblance of an AI strategy with no ability or technology. Although senior leaders saw it 1-2 years off from becoming a reality, there was a significant discrepancy between leaders and management who still saw it 3-4 years off.
In conclusion, AI is poised to have a significant impact on HR in the GCC. From recruitment to employee engagement and retention, AI-powered tools can help HR managers to make data-driven decisions that improve the overall efficiency and effectiveness of their HR processes. With the increasing popularity of AI in the GCC, we can expect to see more companies adopting these technologies in the future, it is just a question of speed and when.
Opinion Piece: Dr Evan Shellshear is the Managing Director and Group CEO of Ubidy, an innovative global recruitment marketplace connecting employers to specialist agencies, and an expert in artificial intelligence, with a Ph.D. in Game Theory
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