Q&A With Empyrean’s Director of Automation, Stephen Higgins 

Q&A With Empyrean’s Director of Automation, Stephen Higgins 

Stephen Higgins is the Director of Automation at Empyrean. With over 10 years of experience in HR, Stephen specializes in integrating AI to enhance HR practices such as boosting employee engagement and optimizing workforce management. Under his leadership, Empyrean drives innovation in AI-driven HR solutions, continually adapting to industry demands. We wanted to delve into Stephen’s expertise and explore how AI is integrated into HR and its impact on the industry. 

Employee Experience & Personalization: One-size-fits-all HR approaches can fail to meet the diverse needs of employees, affecting their engagement and satisfaction. How does AI personalize the employee experience from onboarding to career development?  

Stephen: AI has the potential to revolutionize personalized employee experiences across various industries. By adapting training materials to specific roles and experience levels, and adjusting tone and language to meet individual needs, organizations can create a more engaging and relevant onboarding process. The use of generative AI enables the rapid production of custom-tailored onboarding videos, offering a polished and high-touch experience. This level of personalization not only enhances training content but also boosts overall employee satisfaction and engagement throughout their career development.  

Predictive Analytics for Retention: High turnover is costly and disruptive, making retention strategies a critical focus for HR departments. How can AI-driven analytics support HR in understanding and enhancing employee retention?  

Stephen: AI-driven analytics can be a powerful tool for identifying trends that might lead to employee turnover across different sectors. By leveraging key indicators, HR administrators can quickly pinpoint potential issues, allowing for proactive interventions. This predictive capability can support efforts to enhance employee retention by addressing concerns before they escalate, benefiting organizations looking to improve their workforce management strategies.  

AI Replacing Humans? There is a growing concern that AI might replace human jobs, leading to job losses and reduced human interaction. How do you see AI complementing rather than replacing human roles in HR, and how is Empyrean approaching the AI revolution?   

Stephen: AI won’t replace people, but employees using AI will! AI at Empyrean is designed to complement our human roles, not replace them. Like any technology, AI enhances our everyday work by improving quality and speed. While some roles may evolve or disappear, such as switchboard operators, AI sets a higher standard for performance across industries. We focus on training our workforce in AI tools and technologies, ensuring they are well-equipped to leverage these advancements. One of our strategies is to develop prompt engineering skills across our workforce, positioning us for scalable growth and future success.  

The Future use of AI in HR:  As AI technology continues to evolve, its future applications in HR are both exciting and uncertain. What future trends and innovations do you see of AI in the HR field and how can organizations best prepare to leverage these advancements for improved workforce management?  

Stephen: The future of AI in HR is poised for significant transformation. In the near future, digital personas will become increasingly important, serving as digital representations of employees when interacting with AI-driven technologies. HR teams should start considering how to create and utilize these personas to enhance the effectiveness of AI models and applications. Additionally, the adoption of Large Agent Models (LAM) and Edge Server products is expected to become the norm. This shift means users will access products and applications through their physical devices rather than directly. This is a fundamental change from our user experiences up to now. Organizations must prepare for these advancements by integrating AI into their workforce management strategies, ensuring seamless adoption, and maximizing the benefits of emerging technologies.  

Leadership & Innovation: Innovating with established HR processes can be difficult. As the Director of Automation, how do you believe Empyrean  has successfully implemented AI to help businesses streamline their HR concerns and improve operations?  

Stephen: At Empyrean, we utilize AI to manage repetitive tasks and non-decision-support roles, freeing up our resources to focus on the human element in customer interactions. This approach enables us to maintain high service standards at scale. AI acts as an administrative assistant, offering our workforce a wealth of knowledge and tools to enhance productivity and efficiency. By handling mundane tasks, AI allows our employees to concentrate on providing exceptional service and addressing complex issues.   

As AI continues to evolve and integrate deeper into HR practices, organizations must stay agile, embracing these innovations to optimize operations and empower their workforce for the future. This proactive approach will not only enhance efficiency but also drive significant competitive advantage in the dynamic landscape of HR technology.