AI a tool for Employee Professional Development

Pravir Ishvarlal
May 4, 2023

AI a tool for Employee Professional Development

Researchers of human resources have investigated the trends within the workforce. One research looks at the workforce from an age group vs behaviour perspective. The reports have revealed that there is a correlation between the patterns of behaviour and the generation group. These behaviours include conduct in the workplace but also factors that retain a generation in the workplace. Based on the noted correlation, an understanding of the formation of the workforce is important because by knowing who your employees are, you can tailor make solutions – especially in human resource planning. Numerous reports revealed that much of the workforce in this era is Millennials – i.e., people born between 1980 and 1994. This generation, according to a report by Workfest, are the biggest job hoppers that base their job decisions primarily on pay and benefits but more so, on professional development opportunities. An employer that provides prospects that eliminate stagnation and feelings of reaching a dead end – in a role, are employers of choice for Millennials. By providing professional development opportunities, employers can retain top talent, but also ensure that the organisation has a pipeline of skilled and experienced workers that can take on leadership roles in the future.
Artificial intelligence (AI) has been identified as a tool that can aid employers to map professional development plans for their employees. By using strategic data sets collected from employees, and within the organisation, AI can be used to identify and develop professional opportunities that can progress careers of employees within organisations – thereby ensuring retention of the best talent.

Benefits of AI to Employee Professional Development

Organisations that implement AI as a solution for employee professional development can eliminate the headache, the mountains of administration and the potential human error that may result from attempts by organisations to run this process 100% manually. By using data, made available to it, AI can help organisations improve the following processes:

    • Training needs Analysis – AI can provide personalised learning opportunities. By analysing an employee’s past performance, skills, and goals, an AI system can recommend customized learning and career development programs. An AI system can recommend courses or training programs that align with an employee’s career aspirations. It may also suggest mentorship opportunities with coworkers who have expertise in similar areas. By doing so, this can help employees to develop new skills and advance their careers more rapidly.
    • Growth and Promotion
      As a system, AI can be used to identify potential career paths and opportunities for advancement within an organization. By analysing data on employee performance, skills, and the various internal job requirements, an AI system can recommend potential promotions or job openings that align with an employee’s strengths and goals. This can help employees to take educated steps towards advancing their careers. AI can also be used to support employees’ career progression by providing access to a broader range of job opportunities within the organisation. For example, an AI system might be able to match employees with job openings in other parts of the country or even internationally. By doing so, this can open new career avenues that an employee might have not been privy to in the past. This can be particularly beneficial for employees who are looking to take on new challenges and expand their horizons.
    • Coaching and mentoring
      AI can support employee professional progression through providing real-time feedback and coaching. By using machine learning algorithms, an AI system can analyse an employee’s performance and provide immediate feedback on areas for improvement. This can be particularly useful in industries where skills need to be constantly updated and refined, such as the technology sector. By providing employees with regular feedback and coaching, an AI system can contribute to the employees’ continuous skills improvement and staying up to date.
    How to Activate AI for Employee professional development

    Historically, organisations relied on employees to recommend their own professional development paths. While this was prudent, it had limitations because employees were making decisions based on limited knowledge of available career paths that are in line with current roles but also, the lack of a wholistic view of the opportunities that are available within the organisation. AI can be used to support employees’ professional progression, thanks to the types of data that are typically collected to power the AI models. To power these AI models, and support employees better, as a base, an organisation must have access to the following data:

        • 1. Employee performance data: this encompasses a summary of the employee’s performance in the current role. It also includes past roles held within the organization. This data can be used by AI to identify areas of strength and improvement and can help to inform recommendations for professional advancement or training.
        • 2. Employee skills data: through a collection of data related to the employee’s skills and abilities as well as the relevant certifications or qualifications, AI can be used to identify potential career paths and opportunities for advancement in line with employee’s skills and qualifications.
        • 3. Employee goals and aspirations: employees must make their goals and aspirations available for the AI system to process and analyse. This can help to refine the recommendations for learning and development.
        • 4. Job requirements and descriptions: data related to the requirements and responsibilities of different roles within the organization is a key enabler of the AI system. By giving the system access to this data, it can identify potential job openings or promotions that align with an employee’ s skills and goals.
        • 5. Employee feedback and evaluations: by analysing employee feedback and evaluations, an AI system can identify areas for improvement and provide personalised coaching and feedback to support employee career progression.


    For the AI system to perform optimally and assist an organisation in its plight to better support its employee’ professional aspiration, it is important that the organisation removes all biases that may be present in the data used to train AI models. This can be achieved by ensuring that employees and managers of the system maintain honesty, integrity, and transparency. Additionally, it is important for organisations to be transparent with employees about the end-to-end implementation of AI and how it will be used as a tool to support career progression. Further to that, it is important to note that while AI can be a powerful tool for supporting employee professional progression, it is not a replacement for human decision-making but a supporting tool thereof.

    By effectively integrating AI into employee professional development strategies, organisations can support their employees to reach their full potential, and this can consequently drive the long-term success of the organisation.