How HR Can Lead Al Strategy

Feb 20, 2024




Generative Al tools are already a part of our future as humans. Just look at ChatGPT reaching 100 million monthly users quicker than any other internet application in history.

Most people use it mainly for simple writing tasks, basic ideation, or general amusement. As HR professionals, many of us already use Al tools for recruitment, job advertisements, and email drafting. However, the possibilities of Al go far beyond rudimentary tasks and will have a transformative impact on how HR functions. 

The impact of Al on HR

Embracing an Al strategy requires HR to adapt quickly to constant change, navigate potential risks, and unlock strategic value in the organization. But it doesn't come without significant rewards.

Generative Al tools allow HR professionals to take on critical business responsibilities like strategic workforce planning, skills-based talent management, onboarding process optimization, and personalizing employee experience.

Benefits of Al tools in HR

  • Help optimize data-based decisions, such as recruitment, performance management, and leadership planning.
  • Improves employee engagement by allowing time to create and innovate rather than being occupied with repetitive tasks.
  • Evaluate data and deliver personalized suggestions to HR based on an employee's preferences, habits, and performance.
  • Ensures compliance by automatically updating payroll software to reflect changing payroll regulations.
  • Automates time-consuming tasks such as screening resumes, scheduling interviews, and answering employee questions.
  • Tracks employee performance to find areas for improvement and deliver feedback.

Challenges of AI tools in HR

  • Bias will result if you train your AI on biased data or if the variables used in the algorithms are inherently discriminatory.
  • The United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has determined that an organization using Al tools for hiring is liable for potential hiring practices.
  • Data privacy is always a concern online. Al collects a lot of data, so there's always the risk of it falling into the wrong hands.
  • Some worry that Al will replace the human element of workforce management, yet a recent McKinsey report shows that most executives expect more employees to be reskilled rather than laid off.
  • Skepticism and fear of over-reliance within an organization and even an HR department can constrain an Al strategy.

How AI is Changing Work

According to the latest global study from the IBM Institute for Business Value (IBV), organization leaders face various talent-related issues ranging from skills shortages to the ever-changing landscape of employee expectations.

Of the surveyed executives, 40% reported that their workforce will require reskilling over the next three years because of Al strategies and automation, which can affect 1.4 billion of the world's 3.4 billion employees worldwide.

The new IBM study also revealed that 87% of those executives believe employees are more likely to be augmented by Al, not replaced.

HR leaders are critical in how an organization adapts and navigates generative Al when shaping a new talent and operating model where humans and technology collide successfully to drive business value.

Why HR Leaders Should Lead Al Strategy

HR leaders are the most equipped to evaluate whether an Al solution will work for their company. For instance, an HR professional has the tools to identify skill gaps that may emerge when introducing new technology.

Al-generated data must be transparent and fair and adhere to ethical standards. HR teams have the knowledge and training to create policies to address biases in Al algorithms to ensure safety and trust between employer and employee.

How HR Leaders Can Enable Al Strategy

Leading a successful Al transformation requires HR leadership to get ahead of the curve by proactively shaping policy.

Audit HR processes

More and more HR professionals believe Al can help with complex problems and allow employees to focus on strategic work. However, HR leaders must first conduct an audit to identify where Al automates or enhances current processes.

Initial resume screening and talent acquisition are some of the most high-volume and repetitive tasks. Al augmentation for screening gives HR the power to analyze data to find trends to help develop an Al strategy tailor-made for your organization's HR priorities.

Al readiness assessment

Using a holistic analysis of people, technology, process, and strategy, Al readiness assessments help HR leaders evaluate the readiness and capabilities for adopting Al tools.

Adopt a hybrid approach.

Most HR professionals believe in a hybrid approach combining Al automation and human intelligence, empathy, and discretion capabilities. The balance of automation and human oversight is different for every organization.

Using a hybrid approach effectively allows an organization to capitalize on the efficiency of Al and keep human judgment as part of the equation to make important decisions.

Prepare your HR team for change

Thoughtful change management is the only way to introduce new technology successfully. As an HR leader, you will want to provide Al capability training to teams and address questions and concerns about how the change will affect employee roles.

Areas like data fluency will require skill gap analysis so HR knows which upskilling and reskilling programs it needs to prepare employees for new and developing technology, including automation.

Upskilling and reskilling opportunities enhance employee performance and productivity and increase retention rates, keeping your organization ahead of the pack.

Where do companies expect AI to add value?

Workday's Global CHRO Al Indicator Report: A Vision for Strategic Value surveyed 2,355 senior business executives. By analyzing those in HR roles, the report discovered what HR professionals think about Al technology and where they expect it to drive the most value and impact on a company.

According to the Al indicator report, HR leaders believe performance management, skills management, recruiting, and onboarding are the most immediate areas where AI adds value. But innovation doesn't come without skepticism—even from HR leadership.

Excitement about Al is a mixed bag in Al technology. The CHRO Al Indicator report determined that 39% of HR leaders are excited about using Al, while 33% are not.

HR leaders can quell some of the anxiety by partnering with IT professionals, upskilling HR teams in Al and data literacy, and beginning implementation in small increments.

How you can deliver impact

HR professionals play an integral role in developing and implementing a leading Al strategy. It's up to you to communicate Al's impact on the organization's value and employee well-being, including its benefits and challenges.

Al isn't perfect, and as an HR professional, you will continue to learn about new Al tools and how to use them, expanding your role. Al technology will allow you and your employees to focus on more important and creative tasks rather than repetitive work.

HR professionals have the best tools to create policies to address biases in Al algorithms, assess skill gaps, conduct audits and assessments, choose approaches, and prepare teams for upcoming changes. By being proactive, HR leadership can identify which roles might become automated, develop comprehensive reskilling programs, and ease any reluctance about the Al strategy.

Even if the reluctant HR professional is you.

About Pixentia

Pixentia is a full-service technology company dedicated to helping clients solve business problems, improve the capability of their people, and achieve better results. 

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