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HR managers worried AI will replace them

AI taking over HR in the future is a major worry for 61% of HR managers, according to research from HR software provider Personio.

As HR roles become more automated by AI, 43% of the 1,000 UK-based HR managers asked said they were worried they'll lose their job.   

Ross Seychell, chief people officer at Personio, said although AI will change HR, it cannot replace all human capabilities. 

Speaking to HR magazine, he said: “As more AI technology and tools are introduced, HR leaders naturally have questions about the impact of these, and what they mean for their jobs.  

“Whilst AI provides major efficiencies, it also has limitations. On its own, AI cannot give a complete picture of a situation; it doesn’t understand empathy, and ultimately, businesses can’t communicate anything produced by it blindly.” 

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Zofia Bajorek, senior research fellow at the Institute for Employment Studies (IES) said AI development will mean uniquely human skills are valued more. 

Speaking to HR magazine, she said: “One thing you cannot replace is the ‘human’ in human resources. For many, work and the workplace relies on the nature of the social interactions we experience at work.   

“If employees are encountering a stressful situation, need a policy explaining to them, or want to discuss HR issues such as pay, disciplinaries or recruitment decisions, this needs to be done empathetically, with understanding of an individual's situation – not based on an AI algorithm – and undertaken with sensitivity.” 

The research also found nearly three quarters (74%) of business leaders think their business needs to become more efficient and productive and 66% believe AI and automation have a lot of potential to deliver this within the HR department. 

Dan Phipps, HR solutions director at HR technology provider AdviserPlus, said HR leaders can use HR as an opportunity to improve productivity and focus less on administrative tasks. 

Speaking to HR magazine, he said: “HR professionals can adapt, upskill and use AI as a tool to enhance their work and provide value-added services. 

“AI can generate valuable insights from data, spotting trends, improving data-driven decision-making and analysing employee relations cases for patterns and trends.  

“It can also automate repeatable tasks that don’t require the specialist skills of HR professionals, helping to simplify ways of working and free humans to spend their time on tasks that require empathy and human connection.” 

In the next five years, 60% of business leaders intend to incorporate more AI and automation into their HR department. 

Seychell said HR should embrace AI innovation in order to drive their own career development. 

 “HR has a remarkable opportunity to embrace and harness AI as a tool — neither underestimating its potential nor overcomplicating its application,” he said.

“As of today, by harnessing advanced technological tools, HR finds itself in an incredibly advantageous position to step up and assume a leadership role as a crucial catalyst for business success.”