Annette Kreuz | Vice President, Employee Benefits

The age of artificial intelligence (AI) is now and It’s time for HR leaders to get on board and embrace the benefits of this powerful technology. AI-powered HR tools can automate repetitive, time-consuming tasks, such as payroll processing and benefits administration, onboarding new employees, performance management, and recruitment and hiring. AI-powered recruitment software and AI-driven algorithms can map talent needs, attract new talent, and efficiently collect and analyze data. Automation-powered efficiencies are changing the game regarding the time it takes to complete basic tasks.

For years, AI was broadly described as “machine learning” and “predictive analytics,” but it’s been AI all along. And it’s been mostly invisible and has now transformed industries from retail to banking, auto insurance to tax prep, and healthcare to video games.

The first consumer applications of AI are here and allow people who don’t have the resources of Microsoft or Google to avail themselves of its potential. You only need an Internet connection and to know where to click for text-generating AIs like ChatGPT and image-generating AIs like DALL·E 2.

A lack of familiarity has made many HR executives reluctant to turn to artificial intelligence for help performing these time-consuming duties. If you’ve been hesitant to implement AI in your organization, here are five reasons why HR leaders should consider incorporating AI into their talent strategies.

1. Simplify HR Functions and Streamline Recruitment

AI-powered HR tools can take over tasks such as approving PTO forms and answering common employee questions about procedures, policies, and paid holidays. Eliminating this low-value, time-consuming work puts time back in the day and frees HR associates to develop strategies for improving employee relations, mentoring, and completing high-value tasks that move the needle.

One of HR’s primary duties is recruitment, which means opening and reviewing resumes, but the average corporate job opening receives roughly 250 applications. AI-powered recruitment software can automate application tracking, quickly analyze candidate skills, rank resumes, and accelerate the recruitment process.

2. Talent Acquisition

AI can generate custom job listings by targeting specific candidate pools. To add top talent to your roster, train the artificial intelligence with resumes of your current superstar employees, then tell the AI to search applications for the same traits and metrics. AI-powered recruitment software will search its database of candidates to find the best fit for your team. Don’t forget to consider and workaround inadvertent biases that may come from this use of historical data.

3. Track Performance Management and Employee Engagement

AI assists performance management by tracking employee productivity and time to complete tasks. Depending on the culture of your organization, some iteration of the following options can be applied to reach your objectives. AI-powered automation could scan communications and analyze data for signs of employee disengagement and burnout and help identify the signs of employees with substance use/misuse addictions, such as sporadic periods of high and low productivity, failing to meet deadlines and frequent absences without notification.

By tracking engagement, morale, and productivity, businesses can find out what’s driving employees away and make the necessary adjustments. While HR interaction with employees is typically limited to performance reviews and process-related questions can continually gather real-time data, track employee mood via pulse surveys, and provide the meaningful data insights HR needs to help engage employees.

4. Improve Onboarding Processes

New hires commonly experience delays in onboarding, which leads to a negative association with a company on the first day.  AI-powered chatbots reduce the wait for onboarding since there’s always a bot free to help set up direct deposit, complete tax forms, and provide employee handbooks. AI-powered onboarding can train new hires, verify documents, and provide essential information regarding benefits, policies, and handbooks to create a seamless experience for the employee.

Instead of requiring a three-day orientation to read aloud from the company handbook to cover company goals, mission, vision, and culture, chatbots can answer questions like, “What federal holidays do we observe?” “How many sick days do I have left?” and “How can I update my 401(k) contribution?”

5. Succession and Workforce Planning

The future of HR can help plan the future of your business. As companies grow, thrive, and age, identifying, creating, and filling leadership roles becomes necessary. AI-powered assessment tools can optimize succession planning using data-driven insights from performance reviews, office communications, and achievements, as well as identifying pathways for diverse candidates leveraging transferable skills and alternative career paths. From there, AI can help find matches for leadership roles and create a ranked talent pool for consideration.

It’s natural to be apprehensive about change but AI is not so new. It has already infiltrated our daily routines, transformed jobs, and profoundly affected our lives. And it will continue to transform industries. Naturally, humans will continue to watch out for the nefarious workings of sentient AI from science fiction, but AI is undoubtedly a worthwhile efficiency tool for any business.