Natural Language Processing's Impact on Your HR Transformation


As much as we love data, there is only so much a human can understand. We are swarmed with data daily, but until recently, we were only able to comprehend numerical data. When we focus too much on numbers, we miss out on a ton of nuance and leaning opportunities. Thanks to advances in artificial intelligence, we can get a better grasp on the qualitative data we gather every day. Today, we are going to discuss natural language processing (NLP) and how it can impact your HR transformation.

What is Natural Language Processing (NLP)?

Before we talk about how to use NLP in human resources, let’s discuss what NLP is. According to SAS, NLP is a "branch of artificial intelligence that helps computers understand, interpret, and manipulate human language." NLP is fantastic for helping us get a deeper understanding of the language we take in every day. Humans can only process so much information, and you have to wonder if they are listening to the data or building connections between data points. NLP helps humans interpret data in a way that was never possible before.

NLP's Impact on Your Human Resources Transformation

Now, let's talk about NLP and how it can impact your human resources transformation. Human resources professionals are at the front line of so much in the business world. From training to onboarding to continued employee engagement. If you are an HR professional, you are probably wondering how you can work smarter, not harder, while giving your employers the data they need to make better company decisions.

Natural Language Processing helps you drill into data and use it to help you grow your business. Instead of sitting on a goldmine of recordings, survey answers, and resumes--you will have the power to act on the data you are inundated with. Let's face it. Data is only as great as our ability to interpret and utilize it.

Five Use Cases for NLP In Human Resources

Now that you know what NLP is, let’s discuss five specific use cases for NLP in human resources.

Prioritizing the Best Candidate Resumes

Thanks to the power of the internet, your job listings are not short of job applicants. Some jobs can garner the attention of thousands of applicants. As a recruiter, sifting through these applicants used to be cumbersome. Even applicant tracking systems can be challenging because it depends too much on humans to look for the right skills. Using Natural Language Processing allows AI to understand the ways humans communicate their expertise so you can find the best candidates every time.

According to Plug And Play, NLP can also, “help remove subconscious bias and increase diversity in candidates.” If you are looking for the best of the best without the bias, NLP can be a tremendous tool to have at your disposal.

Analyzing Employee Survey Data

Employee surveys are vital to creating a healthy workplace. Surveys need to be acted upon, though. Your employees take time to fill out surveys, but it’s almost impossible for you to understand what they are saying, especially if you are asking qualitative questions.

Quantitative questions are easy to measure, but they don’t give you the full picture. For example, People Doc states, "In the past, an employee survey might tell you that 71% of sales associates are dissatisfied with senior leadership. With today's new data models, they can tell you why they're dissatisfied." There is much more information we could acquire by analyzing unstructured data like open-ended survey questions.

Finding Untapped Potential Among Your Employees

Some employees fly under the radar. As much as we'd like to give equal attention to every employee, it's just not possible. Our employees are learning skills and showing interest in new opportunities every day. If you want to tap into that potential, you can use NLP to analyze your employees and figure out how you can help them succeed at work. Like employee survey data, our best team members are already telling us who they are. We need to be able to listen to them.

Identifying Training/Learning Opportunities

As our company grows, we have to keep up with skills and training. Where do our employees need to improve? What are they struggling with? Through NLP, you can use tools like chatbots to see what your employees have questions about. From there, you may want to create training to address common employee questions.

Social Listening

Last but not least, you can use NLP to organize and analyze social media content from your employees. What are they saying about you online? How is that impacting potential candidates? What are the strengths and weaknesses of your employee advocacy program? You can answer all this and more with the use of NLP.


Natural Language Processing can help our human resources teams be more efficient. Instead of wasting the data we collect from our employees, we can dive into the information we are given and use it for the betterment of our organization. To start using Natural Language Processing, consider a part of your business where data is rampant, but company knowledge is low. Grab that data and find a way to process it through Natural Language Processing. What information can you uncover by digging deeper and using AI?