It seems like new Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools are popping up every day. But what exactly is AI – and how will HR be affected?
In the past few years, AI has shifted from an emerging technology to a commonplace tool and a hot new buzzword. It’s become so common that 92% of HR leaders plan to increase their use of AI in HR in at least one area, according to a survey from Eightfold AI.
While some HR pros may use AI in HR and hiring decisions every day, some may steer away from the idea of AI altogether for fear that the rise of automated technology will put them out of a job.
But no matter what side of the coin you’re on, there are some things that HR pros need to know about AI in HR, like how it can be used and its limitations.
AI functions in HR
AI has been getting a lot of hype in the past few months, with tools popping up everywhere from Slack to Snapchat. But the capabilities of AI can go far beyond a chatbot.
In the HR space, you’ll mostly find pros using AI to save time. AI tools such as ChatGPT can help HR answer quick questions, automate tedious tasks and generate content in a matter of seconds.
A recent study from Eightfold Ai found that HR pros are using AI across many different areas of HR, including:
- Records management (78%)
- Payroll processing and benefits administration (77%)
- Recruitment and hiring (73%)
- Performance management (72%), and
- Onboarding new employees (69%).
Here are just a few examples of how HR departments can utilize AI across all functions of HR:
- Screen applicants to find best-fit candidates
- Draft announcements, updates and other company-wide communications
- Answer frequently asked questions from potential candidates or current employees
- Analyze documents and data to make faster, more informed decisions, and
- Automate payroll and leave requests
Benefits of AI in HR
Because there are endless uses for AI, there are also endless benefits. AI can be tailored to meet a user’s specific needs.
For HR pros, here are some main benefits of utilizing AI in HR:
- Free up time: AI in HR can save you time – and frustration – by automating those tedious, high-volume tasks like screening resumes.
- Simplify the recruiting process: Some AI tools help match you with the best-fit candidate, which can improve the quality of hire and may even lead to better retention
- Find information quickly: Instead of scrubbing articles and documents, simple HR questions can be answered by AI, and
- Improve decision-making: AI can help aid you make decisions about hiring and other choices by analyzing data.
Risks and limitations
AI can do a lot, but it shouldn’t be used as a standalone for any type of process due to the risk of bias or error. In fact, AI has learned to inherit some human biases, meaning that there is a risk of discrimination when using AI to make hiring decisions.
Some states have already begun to put restrictions on AI in hiring to prevent bias. New legislation in New York requires businesses to audit automated decision tools for hiring and to disclose their use to job candidates or employees no less than 10 business days before they’re used.
In Illinois, there are regulations on AI analysis of video interviews. It requires businesses to disclose their use of AI and offers protections for candidates with privacy and deletion rights.
AI also has limited knowledge, meaning that there can be a risk of error when solely relying on it to answer a question or find information. A recent study found that ChatGPT’s answers to common HR questions got less reliable as questions became more complex, so it’s always a good idea to verify any AI information with a real human.
Plus, generative AI like ChatGPT can only access information from 2021 or before. In a constantly changing world, AI shouldn’t be relied on to give up-to-date information or make any final decisions.
The future of AI in HR
AI and the future of HR are undoubtedly connected, but there’s little chance that AI will completely replace HR pros due to its capability for error.
The future of AI in HR will most likely look like AI taking on more advanced capabilities, such as hiring or firing employees and answering complex HR questions for employees. AI could also become the primary source for some HR functions, such as onboarding and recruiting.