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12 HR AI use cases that leaders should know

AI can help HR staff carry out various aspects of operations, though HR leaders should be aware of the drawbacks of the technology as well. Learn more about some use cases.

Many HR systems now include AI capabilities as the technology increases in popularity across industries. AI can help improve HR operations in various ways, but HR leaders must be aware of some of the drawbacks as well.

The early push for AI in HR mostly occurred in recruiting, but the technology is now part of other modules in HR systems as well. Currently, the most common AI HR use cases are data search and summary, chatbots, and job interview scoring. Newer applications for AI in HR include generative AI and employee experience.

What is AI?

AI performs tasks that are normally carried out by a person and does so much more quickly than a human. For example, a web search uses AI to examine billions of articles, websites and other data sources to identify the top responses to a question in less than a second.

With machine learning, AI learns from its previous tasks. A vendor first trains AI with a base set of knowledge, then as new data is added, AI expands its knowledge. Feedback from users can also affect AI's future responses. For example, if a user indicates that a chatbot's information was unhelpful, the AI system records the response and may offer a different reply the next time.

12 use cases for AI in HR

Here are some of the use cases for AI in HR as well as some drawbacks of using the tech for certain purposes.

1. Chatbots

Chatbots can help employees or job candidates by answering their questions. Recent tech developments have greatly improved chatbots' ability to provide meaningful answers, and a longer chatbot training time will lead to a better user experience.

However, a poor chatbot experience can reflect negatively on the company and HR department. For example, a job candidate who interacts with a company chatbot that has not received the proper training may become frustrated if the chatbot is unable to answer the candidate's questions. The experience may cause the job candidate to look elsewhere for work.

2. Onboarding

AI can help personalize content for new hires. Some new hire content may depend on an employee's location or department, and AI can help determine which content to send to a new hire.

Users must also properly train AI to carry out this task so the AI learns how to send the right content to employees.

3. Employee learning

Many learning management systems and learning experience platforms use AI to automatically recommend or assign courses to employees based on certain data points. For example, the system may ask employees what type of content they are interested in learning about and refer content to the employee as new courses are added. The system may also recommend courses that are similar to those completed by the employee or their peers in the same role.

However, automatically assigning courses may lead to a long list of courses for an employee to sort through, which could negatively affect employee experience.

4. Career pathing

AI can generate a draft set of career paths within the company using a list of current and past employees, open requisitions, employee resumes and information from other organizations. This ability could help HR and other company leaders with succession planning.

HR should regularly update career paths based on the changing needs of the company to make sure they don't include out-of-date information.

5. FAQs

AI can use past employee questions and its own answers to generate an employee FAQ list. An FAQ document could be helpful for new hires or employees training on a new system.

HR staff should review the FAQ document to make sure the AI isn't providing employees with incorrect information.

6. HR content creation

Products such as ChatGPT can compose text that can serve as a starting point for an HR policy or other HR text. AI may also be able to provide helpful suggestions for content creation. For example, if HR staff is hiring employees for a new company location, the AI system can share information that may be relevant to the user, such as minimum wage in certain states.

HR staff should also review the text to make sure it's correct and meets the company's needs.

7. Candidate data

Some recruitment platforms have AI capabilities that can pull candidate information from publicly available social media and websites and build a comprehensive candidate profile. This ability can save recruiters time and add a lot of information to a candidate profile.

AI may mix up a job candidate and another person with the same name, so HR staff must make sure the technology identified the correct person before using the information.

8. Candidate evaluation and identification

Most recruitment platforms use AI to automatically rank candidates based on keywords in their resume and automatically match existing candidates to new job postings. These capabilities can save recruiters time since they won't have to look up the existing candidates.

While AI's candidate ranking capabilities may also save recruiters time, judging resumes only on keywords may result in promising candidates ranking lower than they should if they didn't add the right keywords to their resume. Recruiters must also always consider the potential problem of AI bias in hiring, with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission working with companies and HR software vendors to share information about the issue.

9. Recruitment communications

Some recruitment platforms include generative AI features that help users create various types of written communication. For example, a platform may create a job description, employment agreement or job candidate email.

While these AI-generated communications can provide a good starting point, recruiters must always review the text, especially if the language is for legally binding communication and documents.

10. Performance reviews

Many performance management systems now include AI capabilities, including suggestions for improving text, sample text for goals and reminders for managers to meet with their direct reports.

As with recruitment communications, managers must always review AI-generated communication before sending it to ensure AI didn't add any errors.

11. Screening interviews

Some recruitment platforms include the capability for AI to perform an interview with a candidate. A recruiter adds the interview questions to the system, then the AI scores the interview based on the candidate's responses and provides the recruiter with the video and text of the interview.

While this type of interviewing can save time, candidates may dislike the interview approach and the fact that they are unable to ask questions during an AI interview.

12. Reporting

AI can mine data, look for patterns and provide insights. This ability can be particularly valuable for large companies with a lot of data.

However, HR staff must always review AI's conclusions to confirm they are correct and that their basis is sound.

Eric St-Jean is an independent consultant with a particular focus on HR technology, project management and Microsoft Excel training and automation. He writes about numerous business and technology areas.

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