The potential uses of AI in HR are growing rapidly, but many organizations are concerned their teams don’t have the skills needed to capitalize on them.
When Korn Ferry asked CEOs to name their biggest obstacles to integrating AI into their talent management systems, 40% cited a lack of AI-related skills inside their HR teams.
At the same time, many HR teams are shifting towards becoming a skills-based organization—one that can identify how individual capabilities, mindsets and skills can be put to work more effectively. And this is an area where AI has great potential.
At the HR + L&D Innovation & Tech Fest, which took place in November 2023 in Australia, AI dominated the two-day agenda.
“AI tools are changing very fast,” said Bryan Ackermann, Korn Ferry’s Head of AI Strategy & Transformation, at his breakfast keynote speech. “They may be easy to pick up, but they’re harder to master.”
But they can’t be ignored. Generative AI can analyze skills and capability data, as well as provide real-time performance feedback, coaching and development at scale. Uses for people and organizational performance continue to evolve, and now include writing job roles, real-time learning, content development, always-on engagement analytics, personalized feedback and more.
Nonetheless, Ackermann’s Tech Fest speech noted the need to separate hype from reality. For example, fully automated candidate matching might be possible one day, but there is still a need to find solutions to some significant challenges, such as the quality and consistency of applicant data.
Rethinking career progression
AI is emerging as a way to enable internal talent mobility in a more equitable and effective way. It can give HR leaders better visibility into the skills within their workforce, and employees the chance to explore different opportunities that could fit their goals and abilities.
This is critical since careers are no longer seen as purely a ladder to the top. They’re more like a connected web of paths, or a climbing wall where the next step could be across, down or up, depending on individual interests, skills and capabilities. And this makes talent mobility decisions a little more complex.
AI-based solutions to talent mobility couldn’t come at a better time, says Esther Colwill, the APAC President of Technology, Communications & Professional Services at Korn Ferry. At a Tech Fest panel on revolutionizing the workplace, Colwill said upskilling and reskilling is top of mind for clients. “We’re in a period of labor hoarding, so they need to combine talent acquisition with internal talent mobility,” she said. She added that Korn Ferry surveys also show that career development is number one for employee engagement and retention, followed by learning and development.