Artificial intelligence (AI) is sweeping the business world, and it’s not a passing trend. In 2023, one-third of businesses used AI in at least one area, and 40% plan to increase their investment as the technology improves. AI is even making a stir in human resources, a function where the adoption of new technology often moves slowly. That’s thanks to generative AI tools,which use machine learning (ML) to produce new text, video, images, or other content.
With the release of ChatGPT, generative AI is now ubiquitous — it’s accessible and easy to use, and it can be immensely helpful for many HR tasks. Generative AI tools act as HR assistants, helping teams complete time-consuming tasks faster so they can focus on the work that demands a human touch. AI is allowing teams to get more work done and create the personalized experiences that employees want.
You should expect to see more use of generative AI in your daily workflows — 76% of HR leaders feel they’ll fall behind the competition if they don’t start using AI in the next two years. But no need to worry that it’ll replace you. AI can be a time-saving, efficiency-driving tool when used responsibly, but there are risks involved, so we won’t be handing operations over to technology anytime soon.
Even so, AI is here to stay, and understanding what it is and how to use it are valuable tools in an HR team’s toolkit. Let’s dig into generative AI and how it’s helping increase efficiency, productivity, and insights for HR departments everywhere.
76% of HR leaders say they’ll be falling behind if they don’t start using AI. Learn more about the transformative effects of generative AI on HR. 🌐🔍
Understanding Generative AI
Generative AI can create new material — whether that’s text or images, or even software code, video, or audio, including speech or music — using existing materials as reference, without recreating or repeating the data. What sets generative AI different apart from traditional AI is that it’s not just an observer but a creator. It analyzes data and then uses that data to produce content that didn’t previously exist. Traditional AI tools can only recreate patterns or regurgitate the data —they’re not creating anything new.
ChatGPT is perhaps the most well-known and widely used generative AI tool. Two months after its December 2022 release, the service gained 100 million monthly users and set a record for the fastest-growing user base. Today, ChatGPT has 100 million active users each week.
Even if businesses aren’t using the technology yet, they’re probably thinking about it —according to Mercer, 58% of companies say they plan to use generative AI by June 2024. 40% plan to increase their investment in generative AI, as well.
Generative AI vs. Traditional AI
Chances are, you already interact with traditional AI regularly —whether it’s asking your Amazon Alexa for a weather forecast or asking Siri to “Call mom.” It recommends products we should buy and shows we should watch; produces our Google search results; and corrects our grammar and spelling mistakes.
Traditional AI works by analyzing data, recognizing patterns, and performing preset actions based on the patterns it identified. Traditional AI tools can make decisions and predictions, but they’re based solely on the rules and algorithms set by human users. These tools don’t adapt or learn as we use them —their evolution depends on human intervention.
Generative AI, on the other hand, analyzes a dataset, learns from it, and then uses it to produce something brand new. You might think of generative AI as the more creative type of AI. It’s free to use its understanding of data to create new outputs rather than relying on rigid, rule-based logic.
Despite the popularity of ChatGPT, workplaces are still warming up to generative AI —just 22% of employees report using it regularly at work. But others report using it for personal tasks, and 79% have had some exposure to it, whether at work or outside it. As generative AI continues to advance, it’s only a matter of time before it’s as common as its traditional counterpart.
The Intersection of Generative AI and HR
HR technology today is constantly evolving to help teams increase efficiency, personalization, and strategic decision-making. Traditional HR systems like candidate databases have evolved into the powerful platforms we use today. These systems integrate data analytics, HR automation, and AI so HR teams can streamline their processes and enhance employee experiences.
Now, we’re seeing generative AI emerge as the latest in cutting-edge technology. According to expert research from McKinsey, Josh Bersin, and Gartner, generative AI has applications at every stage of the employee journey. Whether it’s helping recruiters craft the perfect outreach email for a top candidate or designing a custom career path based on an employee’s accomplishments and goals, generative AI is a transformative force that’s making efficiency and personalization all the more achievable for HR.
The Real Impact of AI
- By 2033, AI solutions will lead to the creation of more than half a billion new jobs.
- 62% of Gen Z employees are learning new AI skills to gain an edge over their peers.
- 40% of companies using AI say it’s decreased their HR costs.
Sources: Gartner, CNBC, McKinsey
Applications of Generative AI in Human Resources
HR is the one business function that’s all about a company’s people —it’s right there in the name. You’re the department that’s responsible for recruiting and hiring top-notch talent, building company culture, and designing an engaging employee experience. You’re also responsible for lots of communication with candidates and employees, who are expecting faster, better communication from HR teams than ever before. People are also looking for a level of personalization in their experiences that makes them feel more connected to their company.
At the same time, HR is also a business function that must meet its goals while adhering to rules and processes that vary by industry, location, and employee. For example, in the U.S., you’re required to verify employment eligibility for every employee before they’re hired. What’s more, many HR departments operate with just a few team members covering the entire workforce.
Between keeping up with these required tasks and comparatively small teams, it’s not easy for HR to find the time to focus on the “human” part of that acronym. As a result, good communication often falls by the wayside, and tailored experiences are rare. Candidates and employees can be left feeling overlooked, leading to disengagement.
Let’s take a look at how generative AI in HR can help teams put their people first.
Unlock the power of generative AI in HR. 🚀 Dive into the ClearCompany blog to discover how it’s reshaping recruitment, training, and employee engagement.
GenAI in Talent Acquisition
During the recruiting process, there’s often a need for various types of new content — writing emails, offer letters, and job descriptions are commonplace and critical. However, writing personalized messages and job descriptions can take longer than expected, especially if you run into writer’s block.
HR professionals can use generative AI for recruiting to help break through writer’s block and quickly write tailored emails and job posts. All you have to do is provide a prompt, and the AI technology can produce a draft in record time. Then, you can continue to prompt the AI to help you refine the content as needed. Writing brand-new content or making small tweaks to existing work has never been easier —or faster.
“AI implementation represents a valuable ally, not a substitute, for human judgement and decision-making. Strategically leveraging AI empowers leaders to refocus on their most critical asset, which is their people.” – Laura Selig, chief people officer at Model N
via HRO Today
Employee Learning and Development
Employees are increasingly looking for companies that can help them grow their skills. In fact, 84% of employees now say they expect it. But one-size-fits-all programs aren’t cutting it for people who also want a more personalized experience at work.
Generative AI can help you create an employee performance management experience that centers learning and development. With generative AI, you can build personalized learning paths that ensure your employees receive targeted, relevant training experiences. As a result, learning programs are more efficient and engaging because they’re aligned with what your employees actually want to learn.
HR can also use generative AI to make training and employee development more challenging and effective. Adaptive training programs use real-time data and feedback to make adjustments to training content, pacing, and complexity to fit individual progress and performance.
Dynamic training programs ensure that your employees are consistently challenged according to their skill level. Generative AI learns from the user, turning training into a responsive experience that evolves as they progress. This adaptive approach helps employees gain and retain skills faster while helping you develop a more agile, effective workforce.
Employee Engagement and Retention
Personalization extends beyond learning paths and candidate emails —there are plenty of opportunities throughout the employee lifecycle. Generative AI can leverage employee data to map out personalized journeys that take into account individual skills and preferences, work styles, and career goals.
With generative AI, there’s no limit to the kinds of tailored experiences you can create. From an employee onboarding plan that takes existing skills into account to giving great performance review feedback, generative AI can help you meet every employee’s needs. These personalized experiences foster a sense of belonging among your people and play an important role in driving engagement and retention.
Challenges and Considerations
As we mentioned, there are risks that come with using AI, and you shouldn’t use it for absolutely everything. It’s critical that decision-making isn’t left to generative —or any —AI tools alone. But if you’re aware of the risks and best practices for use, you can avoid misusing the technology and ensure you’re applying it responsibly.
Bias and Fairness
Generative AI is a human creation, and as such, these tools are susceptible to bias just like we are. It’s crucial to identify and address these biases to avoid making disparities in the workforce worse. It’s up to your HR team to actively tackle issues of gender, ethnicity, and other potential biases to maintain fairness and diversity in your hiring and employment practices.
Privacy and Data Security
Ethical AI use includes ensuring the privacy and security of all employee data. Cover these questions with your AI technology provider before the implementation of AI tools. Be transparent about how employee data is collected and utilized to maintain trust with your workforce.
Risk to HR Jobs
One of the biggest challenges in AI adoption is employees’ fear that it will replace them. Don’t ignore these fears —instead, address them. Talk to your employees about any AI tools your company is using or wants to use, and help them develop the skills they need to use the tools. Then, implement new AI tools thoughtfully and collaboratively with your people.
AI’s Future in HR
Generative AI has the potential to be more than just another piece of technology —it can be a catalyst for reshaping your HR processes. It has the power to drive efficiency, personalization, and strategic decision-making. Your HR team can harness its power to elevate HR roles, enhance employee experiences, and build future-focused strategies. Stay agile and adaptive to navigate the exciting journey that lies ahead for generative AI in HR.
Focus on your people first with AI. Learn more about artificial intelligence in HR and how it can streamline and simplify your HR workflows.