Chris Mclellan

Regional Head of HXM Solution Consulting


The rapid emergence of AI in Human Resources and what to do about it


Chris Mclellan

Regional Head of HXM Solution Consulting


Chris Mclellan

Regional Head of HXM Solution Consulting

The utilisation of AI in HR is rapidly gaining momentum, presenting an opportunity for HR professionals to emerge as leaders in this domain within their organisations. HR departments should review their strategies around the adoption of intelligent technologies not just in the HR function, but across the organisation, as employees are both excited and nervous about the potential impacts.

Data shows that the utilisation of technology in the workplace directly influences the employee experience and this presents an opportunity for HR leaders when it comes to new advances in AI HR technology.


In a recent study conducted by the SAP Growth and Insights team, 83% of employees indicated that the implementation of technology was motivated by the desire to offer greater workplace flexibility, which was predominantly perceived as a positive development. When looking at younger employees within the same cohort, it was observed that they were 1.6x more likely to hold a negative perception and that the technology being used was to get them to work harder and longer hours. These contradictions continue when you look at how people perceive the ability of tech to create a sense of social connectivity. 45% said technology has improved relationships with co-workers whilst at the same time, 16% felt tech has hurt interactions with family and friends.

HR teams have a great opportunity to create positive change in the workplace, as long as the technology is used in a responsible and ethical manner.

The use of AI in HR

HR technology vendors are introducing AI so rapidly, that HR has the opportunity to become early adopters of AI within the workplace.

Talent Acquisition technology has been one of the first HR functions to use AI to identify and screen candidates. Despite concerns about data privacy and potential bias, there is no sign of the market slowing down. HR can position themselves at the vanguard of delivering the first productive AI scenarios to the out to the business. For example, allowing hiring managers to create job ads in seconds using generative AI (SAP Generative AI).


Learning and development processes are also becoming increasingly powered by AI. The identification of an employee’s skills was once a cumbersome manual process. Now, AI can infer which skills employees are likely to have automatically, as well as, determine their motivations and aspirations. More and better quality data sets, combined with machine learning, mean that the leading HR systems are now able to make intelligent suggestions about people’s career options, development and learning opportunities or even match them with mentors all without manual intervention. (SAP Opportunity Marketplace).

Additionally, the integration of virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) could redefine the concept of a physical workplace, enabling remote collaboration and immersive team interactions.

AI Increasing Productivity

The use of AI is also likely to impact efficiency. Tech vendors are exploring the use of AI to detect anomalies in payroll or to generate intelligent analytics which automatically detect trends and can be queried by asking natural language rather than by building dashboards or reports.

In navigating this next generation of HR tech, organisations should seek to strike a balance between leveraging the benefits of technology and addressing employee concerns. By embracing AI strategically, responsibly and ethically, HR has the opportunity to shape the future of work, creating a more flexible, efficient, and inclusive workplace for all.

Learn more about SAP SuccessFactors and the latest innovations in HR