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Oct 31, 2023

The Future of HR: How AI Will Put an End to Conventional Business Practices

by Hugues Foltz Executive vice-president

Culture, Artificial intelligence

There’s a lot of talk in the news about how ChatGPT will replace all kinds of jobs, but what about the future of human resources? Is it at risk? One thing's for sure: AI won't be able to fully take over the recruitment process any time soon and I highly doubt that chatbots will ever manage a complete hiring process. That being said, there are plenty of ways you can incorporate automation and artificial intelligence into your HR processes that could drastically change how you do business.

Are you among the 79% of companies already using automation or AI in some aspect of their HR processes? Whether it's for recruitment, payroll processing, performance review or onboarding new employees, there are many areas where automation can be implemented.

Despite all the potential that AI offers organizations, I understand that it can still be scary: studies reveal that by 2024, 80% of the world's 2,000 largest companies will use AI not only for hiring and training, but also for firing employees. You may have heard the story of an Amazon employee who was fired by e-mail by a chatbot because his performance statistics didn't meet the company's standards. This happened two years ago, so imagine how far Amazon has come since then!

In the coming years, this trend will only be further accelerated by generative AI solutions like ChatGPT. Indeed, Forbes has identified communication with candidates as an excellent use of AI in recruitment processes. A significant number of candidates, around 63%, report dissatisfaction with the communication from employers during the hiring process. So why not use generative AI to automate and personalize the interactions with the applicant?

While AI can be an excellent tool to use in many areas of human resources, I'm still convinced that this technology should be used with caution and that the human touch should be preserved, especially when it comes to firing employees.

On the other hand, AI can be an excellent decision-support tool when it comes to promoting employees. Sounds more like a dream than a reality? Yet, 4% of companies already use such a tool. Imagine having access to data that would help you identify the strengths and weaknesses of your employees so you can place them in the right positions, or even pinpoint those at risk of leaving so you can develop a replacement plan in advance.

Do the exercise of identifying the performance metrics you could automate to accurately measure the value of your employees without being clouded by subjectivity!

Before you say you don't require such tools, ask yourself whether you really have the time to analyze all the relevant variables affecting an employee's performance. Beyond the accuracy of AI analytic capabilities, technology also represents a significant potential time-saver!

Obviously, I can't write this article without mentioning the ethical aspect of AI in human resources. You've probably heard about instances in the media where AI models were removed from circulation because they were racist or non-inclusive. It's evident that a company cannot afford to make headlines because its AI tool has shown discrimination against candidates for no reason.

According to a study, 19% of companies that have introduced AI in their HR processes have reported incidents where automation or AI accidentally overlooked or excluded qualified candidates. This shows that the automation process should not be taken lightly while choosing your next tools.

To avoid any bias, it is crucial to have high-quality and diversified data. Above all, call on an expert AI team who can identify potential distortions and correct them if necessary. But really, the question that arises is whether Human Resources is the right department to start full automation with AI.

Have you considered if other departments in your company could benefit from AI transformation? A department that is less sensitive regarding potential human bias and doesn't threaten to damage your business culture so much?

Ultimately, the important thing to remember is that AI will not replace jobs, but rather transform and enhance them. However, it will undoubtedly make you better at what you do on a daily basis and much more efficient! If you need help figuring out where to start, begin with small projects such as the automatic analysis of simple criteria in the CVs you receive.

The worst-case scenario would certainly be if a company goes too far with using AI in human resources, leading to the complete dehumanization of its processes. Nevertheless, it's also essential to consider AI can be a valuable solution if appropriately used. When implemented correctly, it can positively impact the HR department, just like almost every other department in a company.