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SuperHuman: AI adoption shaping the future of HR

What do you think of when you think about the future of HR?

A robot conducting interviews? AI making hiring decisions? Human-less HR? Whatever it may be, chances are it’s a complete overhaul of traditional HR as we know it. 

While those scenarios might seem futuristic and maybe even unrealistic, the reality is AI is already here, and it’s causing huge disruption to the way we work.

AI has the potential to create more innovative and efficient teams by streamlining many of the manual processes HR professionals complete every day. With ChatGPT, Google Bard and many other AI tools entering the space, it’s clear that this new era of digital transformation is changing everything.

So, what exactly is the impact AI is having on HR professionals today?

Is it taking the human out of human resources, or is it powering more strategic, efficient teams who end up working smarter, not harder?

Top findings

  1. AI is already embraced by most HR leaders (86% use AI-powered software)
  2. Leaders should expect a shift in L&D as AI’s biggest impact is predicted to be in training and development (identified by 34%)
  3. Australian and New Zealand HR leaders prioritise time and cost savings when measuring AI ROI (52%-41%)
  4. In-demand AI-ready skills for future-thinking HR leaders: privacy, data security and cybersecurity (50%)
  5. While older employees and smaller businesses face skills gaps and job loss aversion AI adoption in HR is set to rise (72% expect increased AI usage)

How is AI affecting HR in Australia and New Zealand?

We all know that everyone has questions about this new era of technology and we’ve got the answers you’ve been looking for… Who’s using it? How are they using it? What are they using it for? Are people embracing or rejecting this futuristic, yet somewhat foreign technology?

To help you understand how AI is impacting the world of HR and small businesses in Australia and New Zealand, we surveyed 521 HR professionals across businesses in May 2023.

The findings might surprise you, resonate with you, or give you a keen insight into the what, where, how and why of AI in HR right now.

We hope this report helps you better understand this emerging space and gives you some transparency on how AI is going to impact and improve things for businesses in the years to come.

Read it, share it, challenge it and let us know what you think — we’re all ears.

The team at Employment Hero 

What’s inside the report?

We carried out quantitative research with 318 HR professionals in Australia and 203 in New Zealand. Respondents were primarily responsible for Employee Experience, Human Resources and Payroll. YouGov conducted the survey from the 5th to the 10th of May 2023.

With the data, we explore how:

  • Job loss is a fear
  • AI use is predicted to increase
  • AI is already enhancing our analytics
  • Time and cost savings are also sought after
  • Speed & efficiency top-of-mind for HR leaders
  • Australian sentiment compared to New Zealand
  • AI is expected to enhance the employee experience
  • There may be a knowledge gap in smaller organisations
  • Where there’s a skills gap, there’s increased uncertainty
  • It could be time to look at your data security knowledge
  • There’s less of a push to delegate personalised tasks to AI
  • However, businesses may be on the lookout for coding skills

What HR leaders can do to embrace AI

Want our advice on how you could use this report to take your next step into the world of AI and HR? Here’s some advice based on our findings:

Embrace the potential of AI tools

Our findings reveal that AI tools are already being used by HR leaders, particularly in analytics and content creation. Embrace these tools and explore their potential to improve your HR practices. Consider leveraging AI for tasks such as data trend analysis, content generation‌ and employee matching. By adopting AI tools, you can enhance your efficiency and gain valuable insights.

Consider personalisation and bespoke tasks

While HR leaders are currently less inclined to delegate personalised tasks to AI, it is important to evaluate the potential benefits of AI in areas such as program personalisation and optimising compensation packages. Assess how AI can support your role in recognising and rewarding employees while maintaining a human touch in sensitive areas. Strive for a balance between automation and personalised human interaction.

Address knowledge gaps

Our findings highlight potential knowledge gaps in smaller organisations and among older HR leaders regarding using AI in their software. Take proactive steps to bridge these gaps by investing in training and upskilling programs for your staff. Ensure that your team has a general understanding of AI tools and their benefits within your current tech stack. By addressing knowledge gaps, you can maximise the value of AI in your organisation.

Focus on efficiency and analytics

HR leaders recognise the potential of AI tools to enhance speed, efficiency,‌‌ and analytics. Prioritise these aspects in your AI adoption strategy. Explore tools that can streamline HR processes, improve analytics capabilities‌ and increase employee engagement and well-being. Consider measuring success through metrics such as time and cost savings, improved HR analytics‌ and streamlined processes.

Prioritise data security and ethics

Privacy, data security‌ and cybersecurity are identified as top skills in demand for HR leaders. As AI tools handle sensitive employee data, prioritise data security and ensure responsible use of AI technologies. Stay informed about ethical considerations and legal regulations surrounding AI in the workplace. By prioritising data security and ethics, you can mitigate risks and build trust among employees.

Address concerns and fears

Despite optimism about AI, there are concerns about job loss and ethical use. Acknowledge these fears and engage in open discussions within your organisation. Provide reassurance about the role of AI as a tool to enhance HR functions, not replace human professionals. Share success stories and case studies that demonstrate the benefits of AI in improving HR practices. Foster a positive mindset and encourage a culture of continuous learning and adaptation.

By following the advice off the back of our research, we hope you can navigate the evolving landscape of AI in HR effectively. Embrace the potential of AI tools, address knowledge gaps, and prioritise efficiency, analytics, data security‌ and ethics. By doing so, you can leverage AI to optimise your HR practices, improve employee experiences‌ and drive positive outcomes for your organisation.

If you’re looking to find out how AI can benefit your business, our platform already hosts AI-enhanced HR and recruitment features designed to help you work easy. If you’d like to learn more, reach out to one of our team and get your demo booked in today.

Methodology and sample profile

We carried out quantitative research with 318 HR professionals in Australia and 203 in New Zealand. The length of the survey was 4 minutes on average. Respondents were primarily responsible for Employee Experience, Human Resources and Payroll. YouGov conducted the survey from the 5th to the 10th of May 2023.

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