The role of the HR department is crucial for every organization in modern society. The world changes and the generation gap becomes increasingly noticeable. While the leaders usually represent the conservative part of the company, young specialists want to make changes and have more carrier opportunities. The aim of the recruiting staff is not only to find the solution to the problem but to develop an innovative strategy to avoid such issues in the future. What is more, professionals in this sphere are responsible for the general atmosphere in the team, their comfortable environment, and their productivity.
Nowadays, the science of HR management becomes significantly complex and challenging as society faces the trend of globalization. International organizations grow rapidly, which requires considerable effort from the employment back office to create a unique community of workers all over the world (Stobart, 2016). To make it succeed, the specialists have to establish short-term and long-term strategies depending on the situation and the goal. The purpose of this paper is to describe the role of the HR department in the process of internal changes in the company on the example of the Coca-Cola case of the implementation of Artificial Intelligence technologies.
Description of the Company
The Coca-Cola Company is one of the most famous organizations that provide non-alcoholic drinks. The story of the corporation began in 1886 when the pharmacy worker John Pemberton created the first version of the well-known beverage. At the present moment, Coca-Cola produces several types of drinks, including Canada Dry, Vanilla Coke, Dr. Pepper (Purdy, 2017).
Despite the wide-known fact that it is not a healthy product, people still buy it regularly. Nowadays, this business is among the most expensive brands on the planet. It is sold in every country except Cuba and North Korea. The organization highly cares about its reputation and the perception of the clients. It is important to mention that the leaders of the marketing and public relation departments are always aware of the latest trends in the global community. For example, in the current ecological situation, people are concerned about the future of the planet. Coca-Cola has an initiative project of recycling plastic near places of natural beauty. The company executives pay special attention to the brand of the organization and its marketing strategies.
Integration of Artificial Intelligence
The pace of the development of the company increases year by year. It requires the implementation of new technologies in the process of work. However, it does not concern only the production of the drinks itself, but also the optimization of the office in general.
The managers decided to delegate some types of tasks done by the employees to the robots. This initiative was realized in various ways depending on the country, region, and department. For example, in America, the company decided to use AI robots for creativity: it invents new types of sodas and liquors (Purdy, 2017). It is a crucial case as the machine does not perform simple and easy programmed actions, but it seems to have some sort of imagination and taste.
The other issue is from Russia – there the specialists invented the robots to hire the employees. They work as the representatives of the HR department and call the potential staff members to have them interviewed (News from Coca-Cola HBC Russia, 2020). The integration of AI in the ordinary working process is not only technically challenging, but it is also real stress for the employees who are concerned that one day they also might be replaced by one of the robots. The organization might face a crisis situation and a decrease in the reliance of its members; that is why the HR department has to establish a strategy to overcome these controversial changes.
Role of HR in American Case
The HR department is essential in the situation of crisis or significant changes: it plays the role of supporter, interpreter, or and defender of the employees. First of all, the strategy should be established before the beginning of the renovation. It should aim to calm the workers and to give clear and argumentative explanations of what is supposed to be done. In the American case, it was not realized in a very efficient way – the staff was not ready for any changes, and it caused problems in the process of production.
The best way to introduce innovations to the employees is to invent all the new technologies together with engineers and AI professionals. This would help the members of the recruitment department understand the specifics and provide the rest of the company staff with comprehensible information (“Enterprise Management,” 2019). In the American case, they did it after all the implementations that are also not the worst variant (“Enterprise Management,” 2019). Artificial Intelligence causes restructuration of the departments because of the reassignment of the workplaces (Marr, 2017).
This was previously assessed by the HR managers in America; they even renovated the official information on the site to provide the actual facts about the structure of the organization (Career Areas, 2020). It improves the loyalty to the brand both by the employees and the clients. Care about the members of the team is an essential part of the tasks of the recruitment unit. Nevertheless, they should provide not only one-time aid but a regular support strategy.
Role of HR in Russian Case
The Russian case is the ideal illustration of the reallocation of resources inside the company by the integration of Artificial Intelligence. The first interviews with the potential workers were guided by the robots. The department of this country was the first to introduce this technological experiment. If it were a success, the idea would be spread over all the regions where Coca-Cola is represented. It is necessary to mention that the initiative itself was from the HR department. The interviews took a lot of time, and the specialists did not have enough hours to concentrate on global strategic issues (News from Coca-Cola HBC Russia, 2020).
They addressed the technological office and, after a while, presented the HR robots to the world. At the present moment, these AI androids have already interviewed more than 5000 candidates (News from Coca-Cola HBC Russia, 2020). This implementation turned out to be efficient for both sides: the potential employees can have a conversation at any time and from any place, and the HR specialists have more time to improve the existing system in the company.
In this case, the members of the recruitment system worked in a very efficient way. First of all, they introduced the new technology to their colleagues and tested it among the staff. Thanks to this idea, no one was afraid of the latest AI technology. Secondly, that type of interview worked in the test mode, so the potential employees had a choice of the way to have a conversation. The last point is that the technology improved the work of the whole department and can ameliorate some more after several modifications.
Role of HR in the Change Process
The Coca-Cola company has a significantly strong brand that was being established over the last decades. The HR brand is an essential part of it as the perception of the organization highly depends on its way to treat the employees. All the changes that occur in the structure of the office are rapidly announced on the official site, and it helps to understand the global strategy and the preferences of the executives for the nearest future (Career Areas, 2020). What is more, the recruitment staff regularly updates the information about the latest activities and events (Coca-Cola Energy invites fans to “Show Up”, 2020). It is an integral part of brand communication with customers and potential employees.
To sum up the information and the observations of the analyzed cases, it is necessary to describe the main actions of the HR department that were crucial during the changes. The first one is the explanation of the reasons for the advances and their potential results. The second one concerns the establishment of the strategy before starting the integration of AI technologies. The last one is about the focus on people who are the members of one big team and who need support, care, and a friendly atmosphere to provide high-qualified work.
In conclusion, the role of the HR departments gets highly influential in the circumstances of globalization and international collaborations. However, it is vital to notice that the recruitment office is effective not only in crisis situations or in the period of significant changes but also in ordinary times. It makes the work of employees more comfortable and productive and establishes the plans and strategies for the harmonious development of the whole organization.
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- Purdy, C. (2017). AI told Coca-Cola to make Cherry Sprite. So it did. Quartz.
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- The Coca-Cola Company. (2020). Coca-Cola Energy invites fans to “Show Up” to the Big Game. Web.