AI in HR: Are We Ready for the Future of Work?

AI in HR

In the world of human resources, every day brings new challenges and opportunities. As we look across product developments in HR technology over the past few quarters, one thing becomes abundantly clear: AI is not just a buzzword; it’s a potential game-changer.
In Valoir’s recent study, “Is HR ready for AI?,”

we found that the HR sector is no stranger to the wonders of artificial intelligence. By mid-2023, over three-quarters of HR professionals had dabbled in generative AI, trailing only behind their IT counterparts, and that number continues to grow. This surge in experimentation shows how the accessibility of AI has grown, but also how HR is excited to potentially tap into its potential.

We also found that HR is truly willing to embrace automation. Over the past two years, the average HR employee has automated nearly 20% of their tasks, showcasing a proactive stance towards leveraging technology for efficiency gains. Although some of this was fueled by necessity because of the new demands placed on HR during COVID, with AI, HR can drive a further level of automation.

Many hours of the average HR leader’s workday are also ripe for automation. We found that 35% of an HR employee’s workday is spent on tasks like email responses and data entry – well-suited for AI-driven automation.

The areas where AI can make the most significant impact in HR today are recruitment, learning and development, and talent management. These domains offer immense opportunities for streamlining processes and enhancing decision-making. However, they also come with inherent risks that HR leaders must navigate carefully.

Recruitment stands out as a frontrunner in AI adoption, with nearly a quarter of organizations already utilizing generative AI in this realm. An additional 30% are gearing up to implement it within the next 24 months, signaling a rapid shift towards AI-driven recruitment strategies.

Despite the enthusiasm for AI, roadblocks remain on the path to widespread adoption. Lack of AI expertise, compliance concerns, and resource constraints top the list of hurdles cited by HR leaders. These challenges underscore the need for targeted investments in training and infrastructure to support AI implementation and adoption.
A key part of this will be the policies around the use of generative AI, and training employees in HR and beyond on skills such as critical thinking that will be important for the safe and effective adoption of AI. Worryingly, only a small fraction of organizations (16%) have formal policies governing the use and ethics of generative AI.

When it comes to training, the numbers paint a similar picture. A mere 14% of organizations have dedicated training policies for effective AI utilization, while only 8% have programs in place for workers whose roles might be impacted by AI-driven automation.

Whether we’re talking about the HR team or the broader employee base, the potential benefits of AI are clear, but so are the risks, and HR professionals must move to bridge these gaps in AI policy and training. Investing in robust policies and comprehensive training is not just a matter of staying competitive; it’s about future-proofing organizations against the uncertainties of an AI-driven world.

Whether you like it or not, the era of AI in HR is upon us. As we navigate this transformative landscape, the key lies in harnessing AI’s potential responsibly, ensuring that it enhances human capabilities rather than replacing them. The future of work is AI-enabled, and HR leaders need to get ahead of it.


Rebecca Wettemann

Rebecca Wettemann, CEO and principal analyst at Valoir

Rebecca Wettemann is CEO and principal analyst at Valoir, an independent analyst firm focused on the value of technology.