AI’s Growth in HR May Happen More Slowly Thank You Think


For all of the buzz we hear about generative AI – not to mention the drumbeat of product launches, the assurances that AI is already an important arrow in the quiver of HR, and the urgent analyst notes urging businesses to adopt AI or perish – on-the-ground growth may not be as advanced as some think.

Just 5% of the HR leaders say their department has implemented some form of generative AI, according to Gartner, while another 9% report they’re conducting some kind of pilot.

More than half said they are currently exploring how they can use generative AI although they have nothing in place yet, said Dion Love, vice president of advisory in Gartner’s HR practice. At the same time, 14% of HR leaders have no plans to use generative AI at all in the near-term.

HR operations – including administrative tasks, policies and document generation – are among the “most prioritized use cases” right now, along with recruiting, including the creation of job descriptions.

Gartner sees the growth of AI continuing as some companies “begin to broaden how they use generative AI,” said Helen Poitevin, distinguished vice president analyst in the Gartner HR practice. For instance, a survey in June “revealed more than one-quarter of HR leaders are planning to use generative AI to develop personalized career development plans,” she said.

Plans for the Future

More than 60% of the HR leaders responding to the survey said they’re participating in enterprise-wide discussions about the use of generative AI. Fifty-eight percent said they are collaborating with IT leaders, and 45% are collaborating with legal and compliance function to explore potential use cases.

“HR expects to take a leading role in the evolution of generative AI,” said Poitevin. “Thirty-five percent of HR leaders … expect to lead their organization’s enterprise-wide AI ethics approach.”  

Well more than three-quarters — 84% — believe generative AI will make existing HR activities more productive, Gartner said, and two-thirds think the technology will eliminate redundant activities within their department.

That, said Love, could lead to a reduction in HR headcount “once generative AI is implemented due to the increased efficiency.”

“Our survey revealed that most HR leaders expect a decrease in headcount within the HR function once generative AI is implemented due to the increased efficiency,” said Love.

Image: iStock

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