How closely are you looking at AI for your HR function?

How closely are you looking at AI for your HR team (you probably should…)?

AI's potential in the HR world

At the beginning of this year a few of the LACE Partners team made some 2020 predictions for HR. As part of his predictions Aaron identified AI as a hot topic. Whilst many experts have talked up AI for some time, it is fair to say that the take up of these types of technology by HR functions has been limited. AI and the automating of processes have been used from a talent acquisition perspective by more progressive organisations. Both recruitment businesses and in-house talent acquisition teams have long used CV parsing tools, applying AI to sift through large numbers of applications to increase the efficiency of finding talent. Predictive analytics in talent and performance (some of the big HCMs - like Oracle - has these built in, for example) are prevalent in some systems and we have already seen chatbots in frequent use for automating the chat channel for shared services.

But from what we’ve seen and heard in the last 18 months, there has been little other development across other HR services.

At the end of January this year, Gartner ran a webinar which looked at 2020 workplace predictions and AI was a key topic of conversation. Gartner also acknowledged that, for many other aspects of HR services, we are still at what they call the ‘Innovation Trigger’ stage i.e. early adoption where companies are starting to test the potential use in different parts of their own business for different use cases. AI and RPA has been talked about since the 90s, but there is now available tools, data points and compute power that allows them to become main stream and more use cases to appear.

AI & Ethics in the workplace

It was also interesting that Gartner backed up Aaron's prediction that we will see the potential of some form of ethics scandal in 2020 as a result of AI intervention. Gartner suggested a variety of use cases where this could happen, such as facial recognition bias in the talent acquisition process, or through AI applying its logic on review processes for remuneration and benefits packages.

All the big HCM providers in 2020 (and beyond) are talking about how AI and blockchain could become a game changer in areas such as accreditations and certifications. So it is clear that, if you haven’t already started to look closely at AI and its impact on the future of your business, you probably should. Sooner rather than later.

In a few weeks we’ll be delving into the detail of this with a partner business of ours who focus on the legal considerations of AI.

AI is no longer an exciting possibility on the horizon so understanding the ethics implications of how you will choose to apply the new tools and when they will appear in your evergreen cloud landscape is critical.

Our people_tech webinar on 18th March will look at what various vendors are promoting in this space as well as other emerging trends in HR tech. AI is no longer just exciting future possibilities, they are here and now, so join our webinar to find out more.

The balance between tech and people

One final consideration: at LACE Partners we believe there is always a balance to be struck between automation and employee experience depending on the needs and preferences of the workforce and the talent you are looking to attract. The key is to look at how technology will affect your workforce and as Emma said in our 2020 trends piece, we should not be looking to over-digitise; when you are working with people there will always be a need for HR to customise a service for an employee or candidate to achieve the optimum experience, combining the digital with the human element.

Where is your business at from an AI perspective? How far along your journey are you? If you’d like to talk about how AI could affect your team, your business, or the changes that may be coming along the way, please feel free to reach out to the LACE Partners team on +44 (0) 20 8065 0310, or email us at