Embracing Generative AI: The Future of HR in 2024

Connex Staff |

2023 saw generative AI tools like ChatGPT come to the forefront of public discourse, and many HR teams and human capital technology providers spent the better part of the year finding ways to intelligently embed generative AI into their workflows. Now, 2024 is expected to be a pivotal year of change and advancement, with generative AI fully cementing itself as a cornerstone of daily processes.


Connex has a unique vantage point as an organization that cultivates HR thought leadership, enables HR professional networking, and regularly works with and assesses HR solution providers. This afforded us the pleasure of spotlighting some of our most innovative thinkers in a recent panel discussion on generative AI, and while we highly encourage everyone to take a listen to it HERE, we also wanted to provide some insight into industry trends. 

Based on our own research of the space and our conversations throughout the third and fourth quarters of last year, we expect to see rapid adoption of AI tools within. 

1. Recruitment & Onboarding 

One of the most often cited use cases for generative AI among our Members is within the recruitment process. More specifically, it’s being used to enhance job descriptions, making them more accurate, less biased, and more attractive to job seekers. Perhaps even more importantly, it’s dramatically slashing the time that it takes to produce new descriptions or overhaul existing ones, giving HR teams additional bandwidth to focus on more strategic initiatives. 

The utility of AI expands into the candidate assessment process as well. The HR technology space is quickly advancing, and there are now tools to evaluate candidates’ resumes and assessment results in a truly predictive fashion. Their accuracy is steadily increasing as more data is fed into their models, which not only quickens time-to-fill, but ensures better overall candidate and role compatibility. AI thereby helps employers find and attract higher quality candidates while also evaluating which roles and advancement opportunities will make the most of their unique skillsets. 

Lastly, AI is dramatically improving overall onboarding efficiency and efficacy. Efficiency is being maximized – as one might expect – through the intelligent automation of otherwise mundane onboarding tasks. Onboarding efficacy, however, is poised to see dramatic shifts as AI tools begin to enable a more personalized new hire experience. AI can be used to assess an employee’s unique learning style, communication preferences, resources, existing talents, and learning pace, and subsequently tailor onboarding to those specifications. Doing so fosters a more inclusive and supportive workplace environment, dramatically improving new hire retention and engagement at a time when labor is still at a premium.


2. Performance Management & Skills Development

While there are concerns about the ways AI tools galvanize existing biases, they have significant potential to transform performance management in a more objective direction. Performance management tools that have incorporated AI are using it to take a more data-driven approach to understanding not just KPIs, but the intrinsic employee motivators that can help align day-to-day activity with org strategy. AI-backed analysis can help managers uncover where bias is skewing their perceptions; improve the way in which they word and deliver feedback; provide reminders, choose calendar slots, and prompt employees and managers both to have ongoing conversations; and even uncover complex, underlying relationships between KPIs that may have otherwise gone unnoticed. 

These tools will never be able to replace the actual human element of performance management, nor should they be making the actual performance evaluation in a vacuum without oversight. However, they can help focus efforts on both sides of the employer-employee divide to help both parties achieve their goals. For example, on the backend of a performance review, AI tools can help employees better understand and address their skill gaps. They can provide recommendations on which courses to take, or which workflow models they’d benefit from; the content that’s delivered to make those improvements can then also be custom tailored to the employee’s preferences and schedule, much like the previously mentioned onboarding examples.

In fact, AI has the opportunity to return empathy and the human connection to the forefront of HR strategy. As it takes on more problem-solving tasks and analysis, managers and organizational leaders have more time to think strategically and innovate around the employee experience. Employees will likely need to be reskilled as they transition into new roles or learn to leverage AI tools themselves, and the more rote or otherwise transactional tasks get pushed onto AI, the more space leaders have to meet with their teams, discuss their progress and concerns, and connect as peers.



3. HR Strategy & Planning

Every way that AI can be used to assist managers and employees in understanding their performance, hurdles to success, and best path forward can be applied to HR strategy on the whole. AI will likely be instrumental in crafting more data-driven policies, which could in turn not only reduce waste and maximize productivity, but help identify and weed out many of the systemic biases that have become so engrained in the corporate landscape. 

The perception and role of HR have been steadily shifting away from that of an administrative cost center towards being a truly strategic lever of organizational success – AI has the power to see that transition through to its logical conclusion, offering unparalleled insight, efficiency, and personalization to the human capital functions that need it most. Those improvements are likely to foster organizational culture and engagement, both of which not only boost overall satisfaction, but have well-documented effects on productivity, creative thinking, and innovation. 

Furthermore, AI could help futureproof HR strategy and processes. Generative AI models are designed with flexibility and adaptability in mind, and excel at taking in new information and adjusting their outputs accordingly. By building those tools into core systems, they’ll be better prepared to change course in the event of organizational restructuring, shifting expectations and market pressures, or major disruptions like we experienced under COVID


Embracing the Change

Generative AI has rapidly moved from novelty to necessity, and that pace is only expected to accelerate. It’s a tool not just for efficiency, but for catalyzing transformation and fundamentally reshaping what it means to be a manager, employee, or HR leader in the 21st century. Much like the rise of the smartphone, the internet, or modern transportation, we can expect monumental shifts that are, paradoxically, unknowable. They’ll beget all manner of questions: 

  • How can these tools be best implemented to minimize disruption? 
  • How can employees and managers be best trained to take advantage of them?
  • How must we change the way we think about and interact with enterprise technology? 
  • How best can organizations protect their data and safeguard employee confidentiality while using them? 
  • What steps should be taken to demystify AI and assuage employee concerns about being “replaced”?

Thankfully, the Connex Community provides a resource to ask those questions and get answers from peers with genuine lived experience. For more information on the Connex Community, its library of industry panel discussions, and ongoing calendar of events click here.