Artificial intelligence (AI) is changing the way we do business and could transform how HR and talent acquisition teams operate. In this blog, we’re examining AI’s possible impacts on hiring, onboarding, and employee engagement, as well as some potential pitfalls.
What is AI, and how is it being used?
AI leverages machines and software, rather than humans, to understand and process information. Generative AI, which has also become a hot topic, takes things a step further and uses AI to create new content, including text and images.
AI is already being used in our everyday lives via online tools like customer service chatbots and ChatGPT and smart devices such as Alexa and Siri. Businesses are also utilizing AI to automate processes, detect fraud, optimize supply chains, deploy targeted marketing campaigns, and much more.
In a recent survey of HR executives, more than 60 percent of respondents shared that their HR teams are not yet using AI or generative AI for any functions, including talent sourcing, interviewing, onboarding, learning, and managing employee leave—but they appear to be exploring its use. 52 percent of HR leaders who participated in a June 2023 Gartner survey stated they were exploring potential use cases and opportunities when it comes to generative AI.
Workers skeptical of AI in the workplace and hiring process
In general, workers right now are wary of AI. Four out of five say their employers don’t have guidelines for using AI, and barely half welcome the arrival of AI in their organization, according to Axios.
However, these attitudes may shift as people learn more about the technology and if their employers take steps to use it responsibly and in a way that supports them. A Workday survey found that 61 percent of employees hope AI delivers a “transformation” in their organization, compared to 32 percent who prefer AI to stick close to the status quo.
When it comes to talent acquisition and HR, many discussions have focused on the role of AI in the hiring process. A 2023 Pew Research Center survey found that people oppose the use of AI in making final hiring decisions by a 71 percent to 7 percent margin.
There are other reasons for HR leaders to be cautious about widespread adoption of AI. Workers are also concerned about AI’s use in performance reviews and how it might worsen existing racial and ethnic biases in evaluating workers.
How are job seekers utilizing AI?
Despite their skepticism of AI, particularly when it comes to hiring, many job seekers are using the technology in some form or fashion to aid their search. A Canva survey found that nearly half of job seekers have used AI to improve their resumes. Others are leveraging AI to write cover letters, prepare for interviews, and apply to large volumes of jobs with one click.
The Canva survey also showed that hiring managers are largely receptive to the use of AI to make their resumes look more creative. 90 percent of hiring managers said it’s acceptable to use generative AI in application materials, with 46 percent saying it should be used minimally to augment an applicant’s own ideas and content.
Keeping it personal
AI has the power to streamline many processes—giving back time to HR, talent acquisition departments, and even job seekers—and will make it easier than ever to access information. All of this should increase productivity for some workers in the long-term, but as noted in Glassdoor’s 2024 Workplace Trends report, growing reliance on AI may also exacerbate the social isolation that has become more pervasive in American workplaces and throughout our society.
The antidote for employers, according to Workday Chief Technology Officer Jim Stratton, is creating AI principles, communicating them clearly, and appointing a broad-based team to manage them.
Organizations embracing AI should also be mindful about maintaining a personal touch in how they operate. After all, there is a human element to work that automation simply can’t replace.
This blog was authored by Broadleaf’s Director of Client Delivery Brian Seleyo.