Here is your July guide to the latest trends impacting the world of work. Every month, we provide perspective on the biggest news affecting the industry and explain what to expect as new trends continue to emerge.
GAI: Where Wonder Meets Disruption!
How powerful is generative AI? From recruiting and performance management to chatbot-enabled professional growth, talent leaders Bryan Hancock and Bill Schaninger talk with McKinsey Technology Council chair Lareina Yee and global editorial director Lucia Rahilly on the McKinsey Talks Talent podcast about the promise and pitfalls of using generative AI in HR.
Lucia Rahilly, global editorial director at McKinsey, sets the stage by acknowledging the recent buzz surrounding generative AI and its revolutionary tools like ChatGPT. She highlights the mix of wonder and fear surrounding these technologies. The technology’s widespread applicability across various job types is another remarkable aspect that differentiates generative AI from previous advancements. “The genie is out of the bottle,” and it’s time to embrace this powerful tool for productivity and safety.
Key points from the talk that employers, talent acquisition teams and leaders should have in mind are:
- Limit the augmented human decision making: While generative AI can offer options and insights, it should not replace human decision making entirely, especially in selection processes.
- Enhance the training and onboarding processes: Generative AI can be particularly valuable for getting new workers up to speed quickly, providing them with institutional knowledge and improving their productivity. Of course, it’s not meant to replace human decision making entirely, but it can sure make things easier, especially for new employees trying to get up to speed.
- Keep the imperfections in mind: Generative AI doesn’t always provide 100% accurate results, as it makes logical assumptions similar to human thinking. This phenomenon is sometimes referred to as “hallucinating.”
Americans Divided on the Future of AI in the Workplace: Will it Be a Savior or a Menace?
When it comes to AI’s specific effects on hiring processes and evaluation efforts, Americans express both support and concern. An overwhelming 71% oppose using AI to make final hiring decisions, while a majority also opposes its use in firing decisions. However, there is a degree of support for AI systems monitoring driving behavior during work-related trips.
The survey conducted by the Pew Research Center reveals a public skeptical of AI’s role in crucial workplace decisions. Additionally, a significant portion of the population opposes AI’s involvement in reviewing job applications and determining promotions. Moreover, large majorities reject the idea of AI systems tracking workers’ movements or monitoring their desk presence.
A few important insights from the report:
- About two-thirds (66%) of Americans say they would not want to apply for a job with an employer that uses AI to help make hiring decisions, while 32% would want to do so.
- Lack of ‘human factor’ is the most common reason for not wanting to apply for a job that uses AI in the hiring process. Among the 66% of adults who would not want to apply, a plurality (44%) mention ways AI-aided systems might ignore the “human side” of evaluating job applicants – or that they would just prefer the human touch. Without humans in the hiring mix, people fear the process would become impersonal and that the lack of person-to-person interaction would be detrimental to both the employer and the prospective employee.
- Roughly half (47%) say AI would be better than humans at treating all applicants similarly, while just 15% say it would do a worse job. By contrast, the public is more likely to believe AI would do worse than humans at seeing potential in job applicants who may not perfectly fit the description or at figuring out which applicants would work well with their co-workers.
The adoption of AI in HR is undeniable. But it is important for organizations to strike an appropriate balance between AI and the human factor in the candidate evaluation and hiring process. There’s still a certain level of human judgment that is needed to assess other factors about the candidate aside from what’s included on their resume.
2023 Work Trend Index: Will AI Fix Work?
“It’s fascinating that people are more excited about AI rescuing them from burnout than they are worried about it eliminating their jobs.” –Adam Grant, author and organizational psychology professor
The current pace of work, inundated with data, information overload and constant communication, has become overwhelming. People are craving relief, and business leaders are under pressure to increase productivity amidst economic uncertainties.
According to Satya Nadella, Chairman and CEO of Microsoft, the new generation of AI will remove the drudgery of work and unleash creativity. To prepare leaders and businesses for the AI age, a survey of 31,000 individuals across 31 countries was conducted, along with the analysis of trillions of Microsoft 365 productivity signals and insights from the LinkedIn Economic Graph.
The findings unveil three crucial insights that business leaders must embrace for a swift and responsible AI adoption:
- Digital debt is costing innovation. It is important to identify and address the productivity disruptors and protect the focus time for creative work that leads to growth and innovation.
- There’s a new AI-employee alliance. Business leaders are looking to empower people with AI rather than replace them. They’re two times more interested in using AI to increase productivity than to cut headcount.
- Every employee needs an AI aptitude. Consider how roles and functions evolve, creating opportunities for reinvention.
- AI could not simply “fix” work. Instead, it will create a whole new way of working which can help lift the weight of work for both employees and leaders. Organizations need to ensure that they are helping their employees learn how to work responsibly alongside AI to reap the rewards of the AI-employee alliance.