Will AI take the human out of human resources?

Pamela Drake

Artificial intelligence (AI) has made its way workplaces nationwide, changing how organizations operate and make decisions. In some cases, employees could use AI tools without their employers’ permission or knowledge.

While this technology presents opportunities for organizations, including improved operations, work flows and customer experiences, AI comes with limitations and exposures employers should consider. Implementing policies ensure employers understand the potential business, legal and reputational risks associated with using AI tools and protect against them. Now is the time for employers to start considering how best to create and enforce policies that address the use of AI technology in the workplace.

By the way, the above was written by artificial intelligence.

What is artificial intelligence? The simple definition: It’s a field of science concerned with leveraging and building computers and machines to mimic the problem-solving and decision-making capabilities of the human mind to reason, learn and act in ways that would normally require human intelligence.

Examples of AI in everyday life include Alexa, ChatGPT, Echo, Siri and face detection on phones.

The advantages of AI include automating repetitive tasks, saving time and streamlining. The disadvantages include breaches of confidentiality, costly implementation, lack of emotional creativity, plagiarism and potential human job losses.

AI also changes human resource departments and could offer a useful tool. AI can improve onboarding, payroll, records management, recruitment and performance management. But, will AI take the human out of human resources?

Recruitment and talent acquisition constitute some of the first areas in which HR has used AI to improve efficiency. Automating manual tasks reduces time spent recruiting new employees. AI has proven a powerful tool in sourcing technical talent and providing insights into employee performance and candidate outreach. In addition, AI has been used to facilitate customized sequences of messages and communications for candidates, assisting in engagement and response rates. Programmatic job advertising platforms as well as interview question generation and question answering has made these processes more efficient.

AI can streamline the onboarding process and actually increase personalization by providing guidance through the process, answering questions and providing information and prompts. This prevents a candidate from being ghosted, which is beneficial for a company’s image and essential in today’s competitive market.

Employee behavior, engagement and performance can be monitored through analysis of such data as chats, emails, disengagement, work patterns and even misconduct. This helps HR monitor work flow and address performance issues before they escalate. Further, AI can help create personalized training to maximize employee career development.

The overall benefits to HR departments include better decision-making and efficiency along with reduced costs.

It’s important, though, to remember AI can’t offer a complete picture of any situation, cybersecurity should remain robust, due diligence is required before purchasing products and tools and implementation and enforcement of policies is crucial.

Before implementing AI in the workplace, determine if AI offers the best solution to achieve defined goals, identify potential risks, assess compatibility with existing technology, maintain legal compliance and establish policies and cybersecurity measures

Without oversight, AI algorithms can unintentionally perpetuate and amplify existing biases. Policies ensure organizations address and mitigate biases and promote fairness. Policies should include a clear description of tasks for which AI will be used, guidelines for frequency of use and protocols to follow if tools do not work.

Present all employees with the policy and ensure they understand it. Consider ways to support employees through the transition of AI introduction. Some employees could believe their jobs are threatened. Communication and training are imperative.

As AI changes the employment landscape, HR departments will adopt AI to benefit humans. However, AI will never replace the human touch in employee relations. There will always be a need to strike a balance between technology and human involvement for an organization to operate a successful workplace.