Tech leaders and industry insiders have long known that one day AI (artificial intelligence) would change the world. In the past year, revolutionary advancements in artificial intelligence have begun to highlight the critical role that this technology can play in everyday life.
No industry is immune to the impact of AI, and that includes the human resources industry. Though leaders in the industry believe that the adoption of AI in HR will allow organizations of all sizes to better manage the employee life cycle.
What Is AI in HR?
Initially, it may seem like AI has no place in the HR world. Human resources is an industry that has long relied on human ingenuity, intelligence, empathy, and discretion to create HR strategies and policies that are effective and fair. However, AI for HR has been shown to significantly improve the following HR functions:
- Records management
- Payroll processing
- Performance management
- Talent acquisition
Recent data shows that more than 92 percent of HR professionals intend to use AI in the future to streamline workflow, improve processes, and enact consistent, fair policies across the board.
Why Is AI Important to HR Functions?
Advanced AI technology has been shown to improve HR systems, largely because AI relies on machine learning and intelligent algorithms to better understand patterns, processes, and human behavior. AI for HR can help reduce human bias, improve equity in the workplace, and streamline the process of attracting, retaining, and terminating employees.
Key Benefits of AI in HR Management
While AI may seem like a new advancement, particularly in the world of HR, the reality is that most HR professionals have been adopting AI in HR. In fact, according to Gartner, 81 percent of HR managers have started to explore the use of AI in HR functions, and nearly 76 percent of HR professionals believe that if their organization does not adopt AI technology in the near future, it will begin to fall behind the competition.
HR professionals across all industries and at all levels have found that these are some of the key benefits of AI in HR:
AI technology and machine learning solutions can easily be used to reduce the workload of existing employees. It's important to note that the purpose of AI in HR is not to reduce the HR workforce but, rather, to provide them with the tools they need to enhance their processes. AI tools can be used to complement HR functions in a way that increases efficiency and production within the office setting.
Some AI in HR examples that improve efficiency include:
- Streamlining the job applicant screening process. AI tools like applicant tracking systems can be used to review the hundreds of resumes submitted, automatically selecting the most qualified candidates.
- Providing recruiters and HR personnel with relevant information about candidates, reducing interview prep time and allowing them to ask the most necessary and insightful questions.
Those in the HR industry are finding that AI-powered software tools can uncover innovative cost-cutting measures that can easily be implemented in their organizations, allowing them to either reduce existing costs or boost revenue within the department.
The best AI tools for reducing costs include performance management software and workforce deployment software. These software programs collect and analyze data in a matter of moments, generating easy-to-implement solutions that can reduce costs.
Across the board, HR specialists and managers have found that AI-powered tools have helped improve decision-making within the HR department. First and foremost, by collecting and analyzing data and metrics, AI technology goes a long way toward eliminating conscious and unconscious bias within the department, which is critical when it comes to attracting and retaining the most qualified and experienced individuals.
In addition, AI technology helps to improve decision-making within HR by:
- Revealing information about job advertisement performance, allowing the HR department to develop more effective recruiting strategies.
- Uncovering key retention metrics to help HR professionals improve recruitment and retention practices.
- Highlighting when a bottleneck occurs during the recruitment process, allowing HR professionals to address inefficiencies and speed-up the recruitment and hiring process.
How Human Resource Teams Use AI
Human resource managers and specialists alike have been focused on the adoption of AI in HR, and they have found that this innovative technology can be used in a variety of ways within the department.
These are the most common HR functions that rely on AI today:
Recruiting and Hiring
AI technology is the perfect fit for recruiting and hiring. Previously, HR professionals were required to sift through resumes by hand and try to determine which candidates seemed most qualified for the position. This left plenty of room for error — some HR specialists would quickly get tired or burnt out from the task, and others would simply stop looking at resumes after they found a few from the top of the pile that seemed to fit the bill.
According to Jobylon, AI technology can streamline the recruiting and hiring process by:
- Automatically analyzing all resumes submitted, separating the ones that are most qualified for the position.
- Screening candidates prior to interviews.
- Conducting assessments that will evaluate how well a candidate will fit into the organization.
Onboarding is the process of transitioning employees into their new roles and providing them with the training and tools necessary to succeed in their positions. Onboarding can be a cumbersome process for HR professionals, but AI technology is revolutionizing how onboarding is done.
According to LinkedIn, there are several types of AI onboarding solutions available, allowing HR professionals to select the technology that works best with their organization. AI onboarding technology helps to personalize the onboarding experience for the individual employee and ensure that each employee receives customized information about their new role and responsibilities.
As companies look to improve efficiency and productivity, employee monitoring software has become a key component of HR strategies. AI monitoring tools will collect metrics related to employee performance, and that data can be used as part of employee evaluations, allowing HR professionals to regularly evaluate employees fairly and accurately.
Learning and Development
Workplace learning and professional development are essential to retaining top talent and encouraging employee growth. HR professionals are finding that to create effective and engaging learning and development opportunities, they are increasingly reliant on generative AI tools. According to LinkedIn, generative AI tools can help HR managers with:
- Creating adaptive development programs that accommodate the needs, strengths, and interests of individual employees.
- Allowing HR professionals to perform a skill gap analysis, giving them an opportunity to refine their recruitment and hiring practices.
- Improving communication within the organization by relying on AI chatbots and other AI communication tools to solicit feedback about learning and development programs.
AI software also can help evaluate performance and identify key performance metrics that make employees eligible for promotions, allowing HR professionals to accommodate internal mobility opportunities as well as plan out succession within the organization. With AI technology in place, it is easier for HR professionals and individuals on the leadership team to identify employees with leadership potential and provide them with the support they need to grow within the organization.
AI Considerations for HR
For the most part, AI is enhancing HR processes and functions at every level of the industry. However, there are important considerations that must be made for HR professionals to effectively and fairly utilize AI.
These are the most important AI for HR considerations that you need to be aware of:
While AI is incredibly powerful and capable of streamlining many HR tasks, it is not a one-size-fits-all solution to every HR function. An awareness of the limits of AI can allow HR professionals to understand how they can use these tools to complement their current processes without over-relying on sometimes flawed technology.
For example, there are hiring managers who have found that AI algorithms can inadvertently overlook qualified job candidates simply because their resumes did not include specific keywords. Others found that the algorithms ignored resumes that had employment gaps, even though plenty of applicants have employment gaps for legitimate reasons.
Knowing that AI has limits will allow you to utilize these tools more effectively within your HR role.
Data Privacy and Cybersecurity Risks
Prior to implementing any AI technology solutions into your HR policies and practices, it's important that you and your leadership team work to establish a robust and reliable cybersecurity plan. The use of any AI technology typically results in a need for data storage, meaning that the company will store critical business data and employees’ personal information. By putting a plan in place and providing your workers with transparent information about the cybersecurity protocols that are in effect, you will gain the trust of your employees, and they will feel more confident about the use of AI technology in the workplace.
Adopt AI to Benefit Employees
While many of the best AI tools in HR are designed to improve productivity while reducing costs, it's important to keep in mind that AI can also be used to benefit the employees who work for you. Adopt AI technology that benefits employees in a variety of ways, such as:
- Providing employees with personalized development opportunities.
- Promoting and rewarding employees based on key metrics analyzed by AI.
Building Better Business
AI for HR is specifically designed to improve the organization, but you won't want to ignore the importance of humanity within HR. Using AI as a complement to HR functions rather than as a replacement for HR employees will ensure that you strike the critical balance between technology and humanity in the workplace. As an HR professional who understands that ethics and empathy are critical to your success in the industry, you will be able to effectively balance AI advancements with tried-and-true HR practices.
Launch a Dynamic HR Career at Lindenwood University
At Lindenwood University, we pride ourselves on our ability to provide students with a future-forward education. By recognizing the changing landscape and the influence of AI, we can offer skills-based degree programs that align with the professional and personal needs of our students. Our bachelor's in human resource management and online master's in human resource management allow students to develop a foundation in the best HR practices while discovering the critical role of AI in HR.
Request more information about our HR degree programs today.