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HR’s lack of understanding of generative AI slows down implementation

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HR leaders lack of understanding of generative AI.
AI has potential to unlock talent intelligence, offering new tools for talent recruitment.
Josh Bersin emphasises need for HR leaders to become more comfortable with AI capabilities.

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AI has “considerable scope in unlocking talent intelligence” 

A new white paper suggests that HR leaders’ lack of understanding about generative AI may be the primary reason for its limited adoption within HR departments. The research conducted by The Josh Bersin Company reveals that although HR leaders recognise the value of this technology, they admit to having limited knowledge about generative AI.

The study, which involved interviews with senior AI-aware executives, engineers, and product leaders, as well as global HR leaders attending the Irresistible 2023 conference, highlights a hesitancy among HR leaders due to the lack of clarity surrounding the transformative potential of AI in HR. In a media release, CEO Josh Bersin emphasized the apprehension associated with the scope of AI’s impact on HR.

These findings are significant in light of the expectation that HR leaders would spearhead the integration of AI in the workplace. However, recent research by Gartner reveals that only a mere 5% of HR leaders have implemented generative AI in their operations, with just 9% planning to do so in the future. The majority of HR leaders are currently exploring ways to leverage this technology effectively.

According to the white paper, AI has significant potential to unlock talent intelligence, offering new tools for talent recruitment, development, and retention. Currently, HR leaders utilising generative AI primarily employ it for administrative tasks, document generation, and job description creation, as per Gartner’s findings. However, Josh Bersin’s white paper indicates that many HR leaders remain hesitant about AI’s role and its potential applications in HR and talent-related scenarios.

Bersin seeks to reassure HR leaders by reminding them that adapting to emerging technologies is not a new challenge for CHROs and their workforces. He aims to alleviate their concerns and make AI more approachable by translating AI-related barriers into relatable problems. Bersin emphasises the need for HR leaders to become more comfortable with AI and its capabilities.

“We demonstrate that AI can contribute to better targeting and reduced time to hire, as well as identifying less obvious talent pipelines, among many other use cases,” Bersin explained. “Ultimately, our goal is to clarify AI’s role in the future of HR, enabling employers to proactively harness its potential.”

Notably, HR leaders have previously expressed fears about AI potentially replacing them. Recent findings confirm that “most HR leaders” expect a decrease in headcount within their departments as AI continues to be implemented.

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