Generative AI for HR: Keeping the Human in Human Resources
Organisations have begun exploring how generative AI can improve the working lives of HR practitioners and employees. Various use cases are being experimented with, and new ones will continue to arise.
In discussions about generative artificial intelligence (AI) for HR, the topic of how humans experience it is likely to come up. While generative AI can help us do great things, it can also raise concerns about its impact on people, especially in the labour market context.
Generative AI will continue to affect our working lives, but could it also benefit us? Could generative AI for HR propel HR professionals into a more efficient workplace of tomorrow? Even though it's not human, could it help us keep the human in human resources?
The answer is yes. Creating human-centric workplace experiences with generative AI is possible, and it's already happening.
Benefit: Proactively nudging HR practitioners, employees
Proactively nudging HR practitioners and employees about tasks they need to perform, steps they should take or information they need to review — a human-machine interplay being added to today's HR software — can help productivity flourish.
"Your interactions with these systems are going to change," says Jack Berkowitz, chief data officer at ADP. "We're working on this idea of human-centric or human-sensitive nudges: When do you get the right push or the right information at the right time? What's meaningful to you? These types of human-centered nudges, this interplay, is where we see this technology going in the short term. In technical terms, it's called mixed initiative: The human takes the initiative; the computer takes the initiative; it doesn't really matter as long as you're partnered."
If you need a term for it, call it what Berkowitz calls it: a nudge engine.
"It's a nudge engine; it nudges you about HR problems or things," he says. "It could tell you that a person hasn't taken a vacation recently and will burn out. Or it could tell you that, even though you just gave a job to someone, two other people applied for it and have applied for the same four or five other jobs but haven't gotten them. You might want to give them a call."
Benefit: Summarising HR service desk calls
Generative AI for HR is also helping service representatives summarise their phone calls, benefitting both representatives and clients. The critical point is that generative AI is not replacing the representatives but empowering them as humans at work.
"It can help them summarise their phone calls so they don't have to summarise them at the end," Berkowitz says. "It gives them an efficiency gain. It is exact and provides a better experience."
So, how does it work, exactly?
"At the end of the call, there's a summary," Berkowitz says. "And if the client calls back, there's a summary. There's a summary if an agent is sick and someone else has to take the call. We've all been frustrated by that, where we call a company that says they can't find something in their notes. The next step will be to give the representatives solutions to the problems."
Benefit: Payroll reporting, processing assistance
Part of using any worthwhile HR and payroll solution is using its reporting features. Generative AI is helping payroll practitioners answer common and important reporting questions.
"It's a system that can help you solve complex problems," Berkowitz says. "It can give you regulations for retirement benefits or tell you who is past the minimum contribution. The system automatically gives you those people and everything else. It's this idea of helping people get information from these systems quickly."
Generative AI can even help with payroll processing.
"It can process payrolls. It can tell you if there are any errors ahead of time, make sure there are none and give you insights as you go," Berkowitz says.
The future of data, generative AI at work
HR companies, including ADP, are just now beginning to explore how generative AI can improve the working lives of HR practitioners and employees. Various use cases are being experimented with, and new ones will continue to arise. Because the technology depends on data, working with an HR company with the most extensive workforce dataset is a safe bet.
"Because we have such a breadth of data, and we see all these interactions and transactions, not only can we solve a specific problem for somebody, but we can also chain our data and generative AI together," Berkowitz says. "Using our data with these large language models is super interesting and allows us to solve complex problems and deliver efficiencies for people."
ADP's use of generative AI for HR
In addition to experimenting with generative AI to benefit its clients and their employees, ADP has adopted rigorous principles and processes to govern its use of generative AI and AI in general.
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