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AI key to talent management

Almost a third (29%) of HR managers believe artificial intelligence and robotic process automation will be the greatest opportunity for their business from a talent management perspective

The survey from Alexander Mann Solutions found that 50% of HR professionals are now using talent analytics to plan and manage workforces, with 14% indicating they are using this technology ‘extensively’. A further 27% said that while they were not already harnessing people data, they're planning to do so in the near future.

Andrew Wayland, chief technology officer at Alexander Mann Solutions, said that the increasing use of AI is not surprising given mounting evidence of its economic benefits.

“With recent research from PwC finding that global GDP will rise by 14% by 2030 as a direct result of AI, it is little surprise that the HR community is increasingly exploring the potential emerging technologies," he said.

Wayland added that HR must also be at the forefront of discussing the limitations of AI, however: “Practitioners clearly see the positive impact that AI and automation can have on the workplaces of tomorrow, and are exploring ways to harness technology to make operations more efficient. However, while robotic process automation [RPA] and intelligent systems can boost accuracy and productivity within talent management functions – and throughout the wider business landscape – the HR leaders we work with understand and value the limitations of machines.”

The research also explored barriers to business profitability in general. It found that 68% of firms are currently witnessing skills shortages that have the potential to affect their commercial success.

When asked about their biggest concerns surrounding talent, building an employer brand that appeals to a diverse talent pool was top of the list, with 23% of HR managers citing this a key challenge.

Retaining high performers without large financial incentives was the greatest hurdle for 11% of respondents. This represented a notable fall since 2017, however, when 22% cited this as their primary concern.