Asticom CEO Shares Ways to Integrate New Technology Towards Thriving Workplaces
In an era where Artificial Intelligence (AI) and automation are often perceived as job thieves, Asticom Group of Companies President and CEO Mharicar Castillo-Reyes offers a revolutionary perspective: AI is here to enhance, not replace, human work.
Being at the helm of Asticom, a tech-driven shared services powerhouse, Castillo-Reyes has overseen a strategic pivot towards AI-enabled HR solutions. To create not just more efficient but more human-centered workplaces without compromising job security, she provided a comprehensive blueprint for integrating AI into HR practices at the recent Strategic HR Summit by the Management Association of the Philippines (MAP).
During her talk, she emphasized AI's transformative capabilities in HR technology, specifically with the creation of personalized systems for employees, managers, and candidates. These tech advancements have led to efficiency, seamless communication, and effective collaboration within organizations.
"The increased investments in HR tech, driven by automation and AI, have paved the way for robust reporting and data analysis tools, enabling us to make data-driven decisions in our HR strategies. With the ability to process vast amounts of data, AI empowers us to uncover valuable insights, identify trends, and make informed decisions that drive organizational growth,” she said.
These tools enable HR to focus on strategic endeavors, freeing up valuable resources from repetitive tasks.
Castillo-Reyes highlighted the success of Globe, where Asticom is affiliated, in implementing an AI-powered virtual assistant to address employees' HR-related concerns, ultimately enhancing productivity.
She also underlined how emerging tech trends are opening new possibilities for organizations. From the Metaverse to people analytics, AI empowers HR departments to innovate their practices, offering immersive training experiences, revealing patterns in employee data, and streamlining talent acquisition processes.
Nevertheless, the integration of AI isn’t without challenges. From data availability to infrastructure readiness, expertise, and costs, Castillo-Reyes outlined hurdles companies may face, suggesting strategic methods to overcome them. The key, she believes, is to provide comprehensive training programs to employees, enabling them to effectively harness AI's potential.
“We should explain to our employees how AI can enhance their work, improve efficiency, and potentially create new opportunities for growth. The management should create use cases that demystify the tech and make it easy for them to reapply and replicate. Employees might also be hesitant to start using new tech because they lack the knowledge and skills to do so. By offering comprehensive training programs to help employees learn the necessary skills, we can ensure that we have the right people with the right skills," she said.
While Castillo-Reyes is enthusiastic about AI's potential, she stressed the importance of ethical considerations and balancing tech advancements with the indispensable role of human empathy in HR. Bias, privacy concerns, transparency, and the need for human judgment override are some of the ethical concerns that must be addressed.
"AI has become a key driver of digital transformation, reshaping the way we operate and paving the way for better efficiency and effectiveness. However, it is important to recognize that while AI offers immense potential, no technology can fully replace humans. The true essence of HR lies in our connection to people, and it is vital for us to strike a balance between harnessing the power of AI and recognizing the importance of human touch," she said.
While AI can provide immense benefits in productivity, efficiency, and cost reductions, Castillo-Reyes said its true advantages lie in intangible outcomes such as improved employee experience, better work-life balance, and talent retention.
By harnessing the potential of AI while prioritizing people, Castillo-Reyes is confident that HR professionals can lead the way in creating a future where technology and human connection coexist harmoniously while being mindful of its potential pitfalls.