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The Future of People Ops: Unleashing AI in the HR Ecosystem

Nothing like technology to completely rattle and disrupt how we've "always done things." While AI is definitely a game changer, we've been here before: pocket calculators, Google search engine, CD's, then streaming your favorite music. Stop saying "I'm not use to new tech!" You've been embracing it for years!

I've worked for several Fortune 500 companies and have implemented HR systems, policies and programs in a variety of industries. With AI now an everyday force, I started thinking about how I would use AI in an HR space today. Here's my take on AI use in HR teams.

How AI Can Improve the Employee Experience

AI can give employees a streamlined, easier way to get answers to everyday questions around benefits, payroll, or extended leave programs such as parental leave or short term disability. Tools that are AI based will help your HR Business Partner better utilize their time by not being so transactional with routine issues that employees need regular on-going assistance with.

AI could also be of use to HR with the Talent Acquisition team. Can candidates ask a chat bot questions on their interview times, participants or more information about the job description and salary? This saves TA reps time in follow up and getting answers to basic questions quickly and easily to the candidate. AI can certainly help the candidate ahead of time by comparing and contrasting their resume to the responsibilities and skills expected of the role.

Benefits of AI for HR Teams

The benefits of an AI system can be beneficial to HR teams, particularly those that are small with high employee counts. For example, HR Business Partners (HRBPs) may be the go-to person for a pay issue, a benefits question, or understanding the process for taking time off for short term disability. These are typically standard programs and policies outlined in an employee handbook, but employees most times want to speak to someone for additional feedback and questions.

An AI system can be beneficial to help employees by being a chat bot, connecting to an employees HRIS record and giving specific answers around matters such as “Have I accrued enough time to take a sabbatical leave?” Or “Who do I contact to initiate my FMLA leave and how much time can I take?” These are typical questions that require an HRBP time to look up records, calculate time, or run a report out of HRIS to determine eligibility. AI can access this information easily and provide faster answers.

In turn, HRBPs can be better utilized for strategic work such as succession planning, performance management coaching, or other HR project work. HR can certainly use AI to identify that pesky pay inequality - for women in particular - that we hear about Every. Single. Year. Senior leadership frequently says they want HR to “be strategic” (clearly solving pay inequity is strategic) but then bog them down in employee matters that can be managed by their supervisors. (Post about THAT little scenario loading!)

Best Practice Advice!

An HR, Legal, and IT partnership is a must. All 3 should be involved in how AI will be utilized, who will monitor it, what systems it will access, and what checks and balances will be in place for fair and consistent use. AI inevitably has been shown to deliver inaccurate or biased information at times, so it will be critical for HRIS to have clean data sets and provide good data to feed an AI system up front.

Want to chat with me about AI and leadership development at your organization? Contact me on LinkedIn or view my website to learn more about how I can help serve your company!

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