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    February 26, 2024

    The Limitations of AI for HR

    With more HR teams implementing AI solutions, there are concerns and potential barriers, in addition to the benefits. The upside is the potential for saving time and reducing errors. But it’s important to have an understanding of some of the challenges that come with using AI.

    The biggest issue is the potential for bias. It’s important to fully understand how any vendor providing AI HR services is modeled to eliminate bias. During the purchasing process, employers should require vendors to fully explain how they address bias and have the opportunity to test AI technology before implementing it for their organization. And there are legal considerations about this challenge. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has made it clear that employers using AI are liable for potential discriminatory hiring practices.

    Some employees may not trust or feel comfortable with the information they are getting through an AI solution. It is important to have a training and communications plan for employees to help them better understand the AI solution and how it benefits them. They need to feel confident that the information they are receiving is accurate. Using a chatbot for basic questions, without educating employees, can end up meaning more calls to HR to verify the information they have received.

    There can be a trust issue for job candidates. Being transparent about how AI is being used in the application process can build trust with them. As part of that communication, it can be beneficial to make clear how the company has human oversight of the technology and how that is being done.

    Another potential barrier can be AI’s challenge with reacting to something outside the predefined algorithms built into the product. HR professionals can react more quickly to unexpected situations and provide more of a personalized approach. HR should know the limitations of any AI solution before launching it for your company.  

    Privacy concerns can also be a barrier to employees using AI. During implementation and on an ongoing basis, highlighting the security built into AI should be communicated. Older employees may have more of a hesitancy around privacy issues than younger employees. 

    HR should have fully developed cybersecurity guidelines available for anyone in the workforce to read to build more trust in an AI solution.

    AI has the potential to eliminate good job candidates. Harvard Business School did a survey that shows that 88% of HR executives found that their AI solution rejected qualified candidates. Some of the reasons were that the job descriptions had a long list of requirements. 

    This was challenging for the algorithms to accurately check resumes and the AI solution would then reject good candidates that were only missing one or two skills. There can also be a problem when receiving resumes from candidates who had more than a six-month gap for life events like childcare, eldercare, or military deployment. In addition, AI has the potential to misunderstand a more nuanced candidate submission and misjudge their qualifications.

    AI can be seen as not delivering on the expected level of service by both candidates and employees. At its best, AI can adapt to a wide variety of instructions and build a sense of familiarity. But more flexibility can also mean more errors, the potential for violations of workplace ethical codes, and can hurt an employee’s physical or emotional well-being.

    A new AI solution may be viewed by the workforce as something that impacts job security. It can positively reshape job tasks or even eliminate specific job-required components, but employees need reassurance that the technology is not being used to replace them. A good approach to addressing this fear is to prioritize the development of skills that AI will not replace and take the time to consider what type of training and communication has to be done with employees who will be using the new technology.

    Bringing AI into your organization can have a very positive impact. To ensure that it will provide what you want for your company, there needs to be a focus on how employees and AI work together. No matter how sophisticated the AI product is, it still can’t fully replace human input. Bringing intelligent systems into a workplace can help employees find new solutions and improve areas where these systems fall short and it can save HR time when implemented in the right way for your work culture.

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