HR Management

Artificial Intelligence Will Become a Regular Part of HR in Next 5 Years

Artificial intelligence and automation will have a major impact on HR and employment over the next few years, according to new CareerBuilder research. More than one in 10 HR managers (13%) are already seeing evidence of artificial intelligence (AI) becoming a regular part of HR, and 55% say it will be in the next 5 years.

automated work

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The national study was conducted online by Harris Poll on behalf of CareerBuilder from February 16 to March 9, 2017 and included a sample of 231 human resource managers across industries and company sizes in the private sector.

While the majority of HR managers said the thought of AI in HR does not make them nervous, a third (35%) said it does. Still, only 7% of HR managers say they think a robot could do their job.

“There are certain aspects of HR that are transactional in nature, such as how we capture candidate and employee information and maintain those records and reports. Automation is key in finding efficiencies in those processes,” said Rosemary Haefner, Chief Human Resources Officer for CareerBuilder, in a press release. “What robots and AI can’t replace, however, is the human element of HR that shapes the company culture, provides an environment for employees built on IQ and EQ, works hand in hand with company leaders to meet business goals and ensures employees have the training and support to thrive. You need living, dynamic people who can navigate the ‘gray’ to do that, not robots that can quickly work through black and white.”

Manual Data Input Causes Wasted Time and Productivity, Errors

HR managers who do not fully automate say they lose an average of 14 hours a week manually completing tasks that could be automated; more than a quarter (28%) waste 20 hours or more, and one in 10 (11%) spend 30 hours or more.

“We always say, ‘I wish I had more time to plan, to think, to keep up on new trends, to strategize.’ To have 14 hours back in a week, the majority of that would be well spent planning for the future instead of reacting to the present,” Haefner said. “Time would also be spent connecting with the business, with employees. That may mean catchups with company leaders, educating yourself on the company’s products/services, learning the industry, and networking outside the walls of your office.”

Below is a breakdown of the HR functions that HR managers say are currently fully automated, partially automated, or not automated at all.

HR Function Fully Automated Partially Automated Not Automated
Payroll 50% 42% 7%
Background checks/drug testing 39% 35% 21%
Applicant tracking 38% 35% 21%
Benefits administration 34% 49% 13%
Distributing job postings to different websites 30% 36% 28%
Compliance 25% 45% 27%
Performance management 24% 38% 33%
Sourcing job candidates 20% 47% 25%
Predictive assessments 20% 24% 25%
Training/learning 18% 47% 28%
Employee referrals 16% 29% 45%
Onboarding 15% 56% 26%

The survey found that a lack of HR automation can have a negative ripple effect on a business. HR managers who do not fully automate say manual processes have led to:

  • Lower productivity: 41%
  • More errors: 40%
  • Higher costs: 35%
  • Poor candidate experience: 18%
  • Poor employee experience: 17%
  • Less engagement: 17%
  • Poor hiring manager experience: 11%