How Artificial Intelligence is Reinventing Human Resources

By Harry Osle, Anthony DiRomualdo, and Amanda Newfield
April 18, 2024
Season 5, Episode 23

Listen to learn how artificial intelligence (AI) is changing the way human resources (HR) professionals do their jobs, and find out how HR leaders can drive AI adoption within their department and throughout the broader organization. Hear a candid conversation with CHRO Harry Osle, Senior Research Director Tony DiRomualdo and Associate Principal Amanda Newfield.

Welcome to The Hackett Group’s “Business Excelleration Podcast,” where week after week we hear from experts on how to avoid obstacles, manage detours and celebrate milestones on the journey to world-class performance. This episode is hosted by Tony DiRomualdo, senior director at The Hackett Group. He is joined by Amanda Newfield, associate principal and executive HR advisor, and Harry Osle, CHRO at The Hackett Group. Today’s episode will discuss generative artificial intelligence (Gen AI) – the new technology taking the business world by storm.

To begin, Harry explains why Gen AI is so important for human resources (HR) and what he believes chief human resources officers (CHROs) should be doing about it. AI has a tremendous capacity for transformation by eliminating manual work, automating processes and defining content. HR should be at the forefront of understanding the tool and what it can do. His best advice for CHROs is to read as much as they can on the impact of the tool and the use cases that apply to the world of HR. Amanda shares the current state of implementation of AI in HR. A recent study revealed that 41% of HR respondents had participated in some scale of AI implementation – 67% of which met the expectations. Gen AI is essentially a digital co-worker in its current state. Organizations are leaning into this in capability areas that are low risk like crafting job descriptions, conducting research and writing emails.

The first step to implementing AI is to determine the tools that AI would be most useful automating. The best way HR executives can help support business leaders in the enablement of  the workforce with AI is to understand that tool set clearly themselves. Then, they can determine the organizations’ pressure points, and how they may be addressed with AI. It all comes down to HR being able and willing to educate the workforce about AI on a consistent basis across all functions. As Gen AI itself matures and improves, we will continue to see growth and changes in the market. Today, providers are specifically focused on the aspect of content creation. Gen AI is already being integrated in our daily actions as HR professionals. We are also starting to see enhanced chatbot capabilities as the chatbot learns through a larger history of inquiries.

Next, Harry identifies the most important things HR organizations should be doing now to improve HR function capabilities and performance. He believes this all comes from a foundation of educating the entire HR function around the capabilities of the Gen AI tools. Providing key insights to best leverage your AI tools is the first step. Second, conduct assessments to utilize the tools that will best drive process efficiency and higher associate engagement. The next step is to start on a small project with the new technology.

Finally, Amanda looks toward the future to predict AI’s long-term impact on HR. She points out that Gen AI is just one component of a much broader set of intelligent automation and content creation capabilities that are continuously evolving. What we are seeing today will likely be so different six months from now. This means HR must be prepared and flexible enough to quickly upskill and move in the new direction of AI. However, she does believe we are still a few years out from HR seeing the total possible benefits of AI.

Time stamps:

0:49 – Welcome to this episode hosted by Tony DiRomualdo.

2:08 – Why is AI important for HR?

3:43 – The current state of implementation of AI in HR.

6:20 – How HR can help leaders implement AI across business functions.

9:22 – How Gen AI is currently being incorporated across the HR tech market.

14:40 – The most important things HR organizations should be doing now.

18:18 – How will AI impact the future of HR?