Osideko: Talent Shortage, Retention Biggest Challenges Facing HR in Nigeria

Osideko: Talent Shortage, Retention Biggest Challenges Facing HR in Nigeria

The Chief Executive Officer, Eudoratech, Mr. Tunde Osidekosaid talent shortage and talent retention as a result of migration are biggest challenges facing HR in Nigeria. Osideko in this interview with Kayode Tokede speaks on the company’s latest software, among other key issues.

What are the challenges facing HR sector and how can the government, and key stakeholders address them?

The biggest challenges facing HR in Nigeria today are the key talent shortage and talent retention due to migration and this is also why employers need to complement their staffing with AI-powered solutions. Also, Government needs to address the root causes of migration and implement policies that will make Nigeria attractive to talent globally. Local employers must also adjust their cultural mind-set to the reality of the 4th industrial revolution.

How is the adoption of HR software in Nigeria compared to foreign software?

My view is that there is a higher probability of adoption of foreign software compared to local software due to brand power, simplicity of use, and advanced capability. However, with AI, the field is levelled especially if local firms are keeping abreast of technology advancement and integrate such insights into their products.

Can you tell us about your background and experience that led you to founding Eudoratech and especially SmartHR?

I practiced human resources for about 15 years and the last 13 years, I spent with the biggest telecoms firm in Nigeria, which has some of the best HR practices in the country. I think the most influential factor that prepared me is the 15, 000 worded and distinction grade dissertation which I did in collaboration with Schneider Electric UK where I explored the challenges of attracting, hiring, retaining and managing digital talent. Cumulatively, all these prepared me for the mission we are trying to achieve with Eudoratech, which is advancing technology as a force for good for business, community and nations.

What specific challenges in HR and business did you set out to address with SmartHR?

Our solutions are designed to address the challenges of productivity, employee engagement and retention and organizational effectiveness thereby elevating the strategic importance of human resources as a business enabler and value creator.

How do you envision SmartHR transforming the HR industry and impacting businesses in the near future?

Overall, AI-powered HR solutions have the potential to revolutionize how HR functions are performed, leading to a more data-driven, and efficient, and employee-focused approach. Embracing AI in HR can give businesses a competitive advantage by attracting and retaining top talent, optimizing HR operations, and fostering a positive and inclusive work culture.

How ready do you think Nigeria is for a solution like this, seeing that Technology adoption and internet penetration are believed to still be growing in Nigeria?

There are two things we need to deal with, one is the readiness of Nigeria for Artificial Intelligence (AI) powered solution and the second is the compelling requirement for AI powered solutions. In terms of readiness, I believe if you do a SWOT or PESTEL analysis of Nigeria, she has a fairly decent digital credential even though there is room for improvement. For example in 2023, her internet penetration is 55.4%, 31.60m social media users, and 88% of the populations are mobile phone users. The import of these fact is that for businesses most of your consumers and employees are internet ready and savvy, hence your businesses and organisations must be technologically inclined in terms of digitalization of business model, organizational processes and channels for engaging customers.  On the other hands, on the requirement, I believe that there are many problems in Nigeria and Africa that Artificial Intelligence can help us solve, whether it is in education, health, government and Human Capital. We need to be concerned about our global competitiveness and ranking on productivity index and AI can help leapfrog that significantly. Therefore, this requirement will compel further readiness. Overall, I believe that the level of technological advancement of Nigeria will not be a barrier to the adoption of AI powered solution because there are many AI powered product and services around us like the recommendation capability of Netflix, Amazon, TikTok and Facebook which are common among Nigerian consumers.

To what extent has Eudoratech approached the ethical considerations surrounding AI deployment in HR, and what steps have been taken to mitigate any potential bias, data privacy and security  in the system?

We take security and data privacy very seriously and we have on our team, experienced data security expert whose guidance and input are essential to our deployment. This is also reflected in our data and security policy as hosted on our website. We are also an ethical organization and we engage our client from that point of view as well especially with regards the algorithm and modelling that we use for our solutions.

Explain in details some of the features with which SmartHR seeks to create more value in the HR space

We have two products in our SmartHR’ suite of products – The first is the Smart Enquiry, a multifaceted AI-powered communication tool that revolutionizes enterprise communication both internally and externally. Externally, Smart Enquiry enables businesses to engage with their customers on a whole new level. Leveraging advanced natural language processing (NLP) algorithms and deep learning capabilities, Smart Enquiry provides real-time responses to customer inquiries, streamlining communication channels, and maximizing customer satisfaction. Internally, Smart Enquiry serves as a powerful knowledge base and search engine for employees. By utilizing its AI-driven capabilities, employees gain rapid access to relevant documentation and information, significantly reducing search time and enhancing productivity. Smart Enquiry acts as an intelligent assistant for employees, making on-the-job tasks more efficient and empowering them with the knowledge they need to excel in their roles. The second product is the Smart Shortlisting.

Recruitment processes have never been smoother, thanks to Smart Shortlisting. This AI-driven marvel ushers in a new era of HR efficiency by intelligently sifting through mountains of applicant data to identify the most promising candidates. By employing advanced algorithms and machine learning, Smart Shortlisting shortens the recruitment lifecycle, empowering HR teams to make data-driven decisions and secure top talents swiftly and effortlessly. The result is a more agile and competitive workforce that propels enterprises toward unprecedented growth.

From the features listed on the product, SmartHR has the potential to streamline HR processes and decision-making. What’s the percentage of accuracy and how trustworthy is the result?

Unlike the ChatGPT that has error due to hallucination on the basis of the source of data it is referencing, our Smart Enquiry product, which works like ChatGPT has a higher degree of accuracy because the information it is feeding off, is the information from your organization. For the smart shortlisting, based on several test, we believe the accuracy of the algorithm is 90% and above.

What kind of support and training programs does Eudoratech offer to ensure clients can make the most out of SmartHR’s capabilities?

Our mission is not just to sell AI powered solution, it is to advance technology especially AI as a force for good, therefore we are committed to creating awareness about the importance of AI for business, community and the nation. As we deploy SmartHR, we offer support to our clients in form of training and after support and while we have off the shelf solutions, we also want to customize solutions to the clients’ needs, thereby supporting our client to optimize the solution. We believe that businesses can improve their productivity leveraging technology and this can have cascading effect on the Nigeria’s competitiveness.

How do you plan to maintain a competitive edge in the market with SmartHR, considering there may be a growing number of AI-based solutions in the HR sector?

AI- based HR solutions are growing but not necessarily in Nigeria. There is a difference between automating your processes and integrating predictive capability of AI into your processes. That is where we have an edge in the Nigerian market. The digital maturity of most HR organization is low and one of our value propositions is to support the human resources community to increase this so that they can be more strategic in partnering with their leadership.

SmartHR’s offerings seem exciting and capable of optimising workforce planning. How do you envision this will affect businesses’ bottom lines and overall efficiency?

The overall mandate of all products is to improve employee productivity, organizational effectiveness and talent retention, all of which have direct impact on the organization bottomline. With our solutions, employers can save cost by automating repetitive tasks, and increase revenue by modernizing and innovating processes to elevate employee experience and increase competitiveness by predicting future outcome based on past data. There’s always a fear about workforce and technology. With SmartHR, how do you see the future of HR professionals evolving, and how will Eudoratech support them in adapting to this shift?

The future of the work will usher in a workplace that will accommodate both humans and machine through a collaborative intelligence, where humans and AI actively enhance each other’s complementary strengths. There are things that humans can do very well, that machine can not do very well and there are things that machines can do very well than humans, therefore human resource practitioners must understand that there is a revolution going right now called the 4th industrial revolution and they must be curious to understand what it is and be humble to adapt. At Eudoratech, we have established a foundation that is focused on creating awareness about the impact of AI across industries and we will be supporting HR professionals to allay their fears about their functional existence and help buid their capabilities to shine during this revolution.

What is your long-term vision for Eudoratech, and how do you plan to leverage AI and other emerging technologies to drive innovation in the HR and business sectors?

Eudoratech envisions becoming a global leader in providing cutting-edge AI-powered solutions for the HR and business sectors. The company’s objective is to transform traditional HR practices and enhance business operations through innovative technology solutions. Eudoratech aims to empower HR professionals and businesses with AI-driven tools that improve decision-making, optimize talent management, and foster a more engaging and inclusive work environment. By combining AI and emerging technologies, Eudoratech aims to revolutionize the HR and business sectors, creating innovative solutions that drive efficiency, effectiveness, and a thriving workforce. The company’s commitment to ethical AI implementation and continuous improvement will be the cornerstone of its success and impact in the long term.

Lastly, Eudoratech has a reputation for innovation. Are there more in the pipeline and will they be in line with HR too?

We are currently building AI powered solution for the HR professionals and though we have launched two products, there are others in the pipeline. However, because we are an AI firm that is currently building HR solutions, the implication is that we have plans to build solutions for other sectors of the economy in order to increase our national competitiveness and global productivity index as a nation. So I will say watch this space.

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