• Mohammed Bari, Director |
  • Helena Corbin, Senior Manager |
4 min read

The world is changing, fast. Embracing disruption is critical to unlock value, drive profitability and accelerate growth. HR plays a key role in this. Transforming in an AI-era, whilst incentivising and developing talent is critical for businesses to respond to market disruption

Radical change is taking place across society – much of it enabled and accelerated by technology. Generative AI, in particular, is starting to change how HR functions are operating, with 60% of HR leaders saying they expect to change their operating model in the next two to three years.[1]

Meanwhile the rise of remote and hybrid working – enabled by digital technology and accelerated by COVID – means employees now expect greater flexibility in their working lives. They are prioritising well-being and, in many cases, pushing back against digital overload. Many are prepared to change employers to get a better work/life balance, with 40% of the global workforce saying they are considering leaving their job this year.

For businesses, these trends are creating pressing challenges. To stay competitive, organisations must simultaneously:

  • Retain top talent (a key challenge identified by 71% of CEOs)
  • Keep employees engaged and motivated to counter the trend of ‘quiet quitting’
  • Improve employee productivity to deliver on business targets with maximum cost-effectiveness

Embracing next gen tech to enable the right outcomes

The good news is that the same advanced technologies driving this change, are also bringing exciting opportunities for HR. Embracing technologies such as generative AI, machine learning and natural language processing gives the function new capabilities to achieve the right outcomes for the business. It enables HR to help the business respond to employees’ evolving expectations, including delivering an enhanced employee experience to drive engagement. This ultimately feeds into better outcomes for customers and, from here, for the business.

These advanced technologies are already in action in organisations with leading HR functions. These ‘Pathfinders’ are adopting new technologies at pace, re-thinking their ‘offer’ to the business and pioneering a new wave of HR transformation in the process. Here’s how they’re doing it:

Putting experience and well-being first

With employees increasingly prioritising their personal well-being, leading HR functions are deploying modern technologies to create a highly engaging working environment. Tools like ServiceNow, for example, deliver a single, unified portal for employees, making it easy for them to be part of the organisation and do their job well, wherever they are working.

Pathfinder HR functions are also capitalising on listening engagement tools to tune in to employee sentiment and understand where action is needed to increase engagement and address low motivation. Similarly, they are using natural language processing to analyse employee feedback or survey responses efficiently and understand sentiment across the organisation.

Driving productivity

Leading HR functions are improving their own productivity by capitalising on generative AI to tackle repetitive and time-consuming tasks. This includes, for example, using large language models to automate responses to common HR queries and draft high-quality job descriptions. AI tools are also being used to sort through resumes and identify top candidates. These technologies free up time for tasks requiring the human touch and empower HR professionals to focus on delivering strategic value-add for the business.

Delivering data-driven insights to guide workforce shaping

Advanced data and analytics are deployed by leading HR functions to support strategic workforce planning and ensure the relevant skills for the business are being invested in. Advanced analytics are being used to predict employee attrition or performance based on historical data, enabling HR professionals to design and target impactful interventions.

In both these scenarios, advanced technologies are being deployed to support skills development. An AI-powered coach, for example, can serve up personalised L&D recommendations for individual employees, helping to guide and accelerate careers and strengthen bonds between employer and employee.

Keeping pace with accelerating change

With generative AI accelerating the pace of change across society and the workplace, HR functions can’t afford to stand still. Like Pathfinder organisations, they need to adapt their ways of working and embrace advanced technologies to deliver the right outcomes for the business, employees and customers. Seizing the opportunities from new technologies is at the heart of Next Gen HR – visit our Next Gen HR page to find out more.

Over the next few months, we’ll take a deeper dive into Next Gen HR, to help enable your journey to Pathfinder. Up next, we’ll explore the AI-enabled tech landscape and its implications.

[1] The Future of HR: from flux to flow, KMPG in the UK