How AI in HR is transforming the way we work

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  • Date posted

    Aug 22, 2023

  • Estimated reading time

    6 minutes

The world is buzzing with recent advancements in artificial intelligence. Innovations like generative AI have already infiltrated the modern workplace. But, to make the most of this new tech, it's important to consider both the innovative use cases of AI in HR—and its potential pitfalls.

To better understand how this novel type of technology is transforming the way we work, we’ll explore some of the pros and cons of AI, and how AI is poised to impact the employee experience, and potential risks like AI biases.

What exactly is AI technology?

AI technology refers to computer programs and systems that are designed to mimic human intelligence and decision-making.

At a high level, AI completes tasks by learning from data and making decisions based on the patterns it identifies. The specific techniques and algorithms used can vary depending on the type of AI technology being applied (e.g., machine learning, deep learning, reinforcement learning), and the complexity of the task at hand.

In the corporate workplace, AI technology can take on various forms to improve efficiency and decision-making. For example, AI-powered chatbots could handle customer inquiries, freeing up human employees for more complex tasks. AI algorithms could also enhance data analysis, helping companies make better predictions and strategic choices.

Overall, AI technology in a corporate setting aims to streamline operations, enhance productivity, and enable employees to focus on higher-value activities.

Use cases of AI for HR departments

The application of AI in HR is not designed to simply replace humans but rather to maximize their impact. AI can assist HR professionals in everything from recruiting to career development, and it can serve a range of roles in HR processes.

Many human resource professionals are already using AI in their daily operations. According to Zippia, 65% of recruiters currently leverage AI in their recruitment process and 96% of senior HR professionals believe AI will greatly enhance talent acquisition and retention efforts.


of recruiters currently leverage AI in their recruitment process.


of senior HR professionals believe AI will greatly enhance talent acquisition and retention efforts.

IBM uses a range of AI tools to enhance the employee experience and essential HR tasks, including a Blue Matching system that helps automatically find suitable opportunities for employees.

To better understand the possible impact of AI on the human resource field, let’s look at some of the broad AI use cases in HR.

Recruiting and hiring

On a basic level, recruitment teams can use tools like Chat GPT or Bard to draft outreach emails, write job descriptions, answer questions on a wide range of topics, brainstorm ideas to improve company culture, design pitches for new initiatives, and more.

AI tools like Fetcher or Findem are designed to quickly analyze large amounts of candidate data. Each tool uses a form of automation to source candidates by intelligently recognizing and interacting with eligible individuals. This can help screen candidates and make the application process more streamlined.

Gauging employee sentiment

AI tools can also play a pivotal role in performing employee sentiment analysis, helping HR departments understand and address their workforce's emotions and opinions. Platforms like Talla use AI to decipher the underlying sentiment behind text to identify patterns of satisfaction, discontent, or neutrality.

By gauging employee sentiment, HR departments and managers can gain valuable insights into employee morale, identify areas for improvement, and make informed decisions to enhance productivity and address employee burnout.

Professional development or career wellbeing

HR teams can also use AI tools to revolutionize professional development initiatives by recommending learning paths for employees based on their skills, interests, and career goals.

Resources like Coursera for Business and Degreed use AI-driven algorithms to assess employees' existing competencies and aspirations, curating a diverse range of courses, workshops, and resources to enhance their skills. AI also facilitates continuous learning by tracking progress, suggesting relevant content updates, and adapting recommendations as employees grow.

This tailored approach can also empower employees to improve by complimenting initiatives HR teams already have in motion to foster a culture of growth and adaptability.

Potential pitfalls of AI in human resource functions

The potential for AI in HR is certainly exciting. However, like with all new technologies, it’s essential to practice caution and consider the employee perspective.

While many recruiters are thrilled by recent AI advancements, employees largely feel the opposite. According to the Pew Research Center, 66% of Americans say they would not want to apply for a job if AI were used to help make hiring decisions.


of Americans say they would not want to apply for a job if AI were used to help make hiring decisions.

And at times, this fear is warranted. For example, Amazon abandoned an AI-based recruiting service after recognizing that it discriminated against women. That’s not to say you should throw out all your favorite AI tools, but it is wise to practice caution.

This goes beyond gender bias to include data analysis. Experts like Emily Killham, Director of Research and Insights at Perceptyx, recommend always double-checking the work churned out by AI resources. Here’s what she had to say in a recent SHRM article on the topic:

While it's possible to ask GenAI to tell us the statistical differences between two groups on some outcome like retention or productivity when the data are clean and perfect, only a human analyst could see there was an issue with the data and do something to adjust for it.

And just like any digital system that’s connected to a network, AI systems can be hacked. This creates an additional security risk in some cases and opens the door to privacy concerns around AI as well.

The bottom line of AI in HR

The transformative impact of AI in HR is undeniable. On the positive side, AI tools are revolutionizing talent acquisition, streamlining administrative tasks, and enhancing employee engagement through personalized learning.

The efficiency gains and data-driven insights generated by AI are reshaping HR practices, making them more strategic and employee-centric. However, there are potential downsides to consider, such as concerns about bias in AI-driven decisions, job displacement due to automation, and the need for careful management of employee data and privacy.

Striking a balance between harnessing AI's potential for efficiency and innovation while addressing its ethical and social implications will be key as HR professionals navigate this dynamic landscape.

Ultimately, by embracing the benefits of AI while remaining vigilant about its limitations, the HR industry can truly harness the power of technology to create workplaces that are more productive, inclusive, and adaptive to the evolving needs of the modern workforce.

For more ideas on how to improve the lives of your employees, dive into this blog on the ROI of holistic wellbeing initiatives.

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