For senior HR leaders who do use AI in recruitment, help with sourcing candidates was the most popular use (done by 54% of respondents), followed by help with interviews and selection (44%).
More than a quarter (29%) said they used it to help with screening candidates, and a similar proportion (27%) said they used AI for onboarding, for example, to automate parts of the process.
REC deputy CEO Kate Shoesmith said candidates are ahead of the curve when it comes to AI and employers have to catch up.
She said: “HR professionals must start to embrace AI if they want to successfully attract and retain top talent.
“AI can speed up and make processes easier for HR professionals such as scheduling and personal training plans. After all, there is nothing more productive for organisations than to hire the right person, optimise their performance and keep them.”
The findings are also at odds with how the REC is seeing recruiters applying AI to their work, Shoesmith said.
She added: “Recruiters are charging ahead on AI as part of their delivery, advisory and consultative work.
“Many recruiters are using AI to deliver transformational experiences to workers and their clients.”
Separate research from Asana’s Work Innovation Lab in August found that UK workers generally were lagging behind those in US when it comes to AI adoption.
In June, HR software company Personio also found that 61% of HR managers in the UK were worried that AI will replace them.
As concerns about the technology have risen, in September the Trades Union Congress (TUC) launched a taskforce dedicated to ensuring AI is regulated fairly at work.
The REC's research was based on a survey of 167 senior HR leaders in the UK and conducted between 2 and 24 August 2023.