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Using AI to accelerate recruiting and hiring at Ping An

A case study from The Future Chief People Officer: Imagine. Invent. Ignite

Future of Work|Talent|Total Rewards
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January 23, 2020

How Ping An Insurance Group implemented a Smart HR system with artificial intelligence (AI) and big data to accelerate its recruiting and hiring process. 

This case study is an excerpt from The Future Chief People Officer: Imagine. Invent. Ignite. The study reveals the key skills, mindsets and behaviors that will help the chief people officer of the future shape rigorous and innovative human capital solutions.


The challenge


Ping An Insurance Group, China’s largest insurer by market value, needed to accelerate its recruiting and hiring process in order to keep pace with changing roles and skill requirements. HR had to assist line managers in making basic decisions regarding job descriptions, recruitment channels and initial screening of candidates, which was slowing the process. 


The approach 


In April 2018, to address this issue, HR decided to implement a Smart HR system that uses artificial intelligence (AI) and big data to push much of the decision making down to the front lines. Ping An realized many benefits from this approach. Because frontline managers now have access to more robust information on skills and roles than previously available, they can quickly develop accurate job descriptions. Using system-generated recommendations, these managers select recruitment channels more rapidly than in the past. And once candidates begin to apply for a given position, the system screens candidates’ resumes and pushes the most appropriate ones to frontline managers who can request online assessments and AI-powered interviews. 


The results


The time to hire (from search onset to new-hire onboarding date) was cut by two-thirds; they estimated this return on onboarding improvement (ROOI)ii at nearly $17 million.

Ping An’s Bank division implemented this intelligent system to empower frontline leaders for their 35,000 employees and saw a staggering return on investment. The time to hire (from search onset to new-hire onboarding date) was cut by two-thirds; they estimated this return on onboarding improvement (ROOI)ii at nearly $17 million. They also found that this system dramatically improved the fit of the new hires in their role and calculated the return on hiring better candidates (ROH)iii was around $32.5 million. The use of this new system has freed up a tremendous amount of time for both frontline managers as well as HR team members, allowing them to focus on other projects and opportunities. Ping An has calculated the value on this improved efficiency (ROEI)iv at over $21 million. 

Phyllis Cai, CHRO of Ping An, anticipates that after one to two years, their intelligent HR system will become even smarter. As that happens she will need fewer HR team members doing transactional work (i.e., in their branch offices) and more HR members operating out of headquarters to continually make the system smarter. 

ii ROOI = Annual recruitment times number of days reduced to begin onboarding for the new employee times average profit generated by each employee 

iii ROH = Number of employees with better person-job fit times improvement of productivity times average profit generated by each employee 

iv ROEI = Number of days reduced on employee service times average profit generated by each employee


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