What to automate when automating HR

How best to leverage generative AI in your HR department.
article cover

Amelia Kinsinger

· 4 min read

With ChatGPT surging in popularity among employees and employers alike, generative AI is turning heads in HR departments. HR pros might be wondering where to start in terms of automating various processes, and how their department can take advantage of the AI revolution that’s been brewing under our noses.


Sourcing candidates is made easier when an algorithm can comb through the web for the right match. As HR tech analyst Josh Bersin recently told HR Brew, “If you’re a nurse, there’s a registry of all your nursing certifications, [likewise] if you’re a software engineer and you’ve uploaded your code to GitHub.” An AI tool can scour the web for these qualifications and match candidates to open jobs.

Tools like Beamery, Eightfold AI, SeekOut, and others cater to this cause, which is increasingly viewed as a useful innovation in recruiting circles: 68% of hirers surveyed by LinkedIn in February said they were “very hopeful” or “cautiously optimistic” about the use of generative AI in hiring.

Each tool works differently. Eightfold AI, for example, can allow candidates to upload their résumés and find open job matches, while Beamery can harness skills data taken from résumés and publicly existing resources and then funnel it into a recruiter’s talent pipeline.

Workforce planning

An AI tool can help your hiring forecast and inform your broader corporate strategy without toggling between cumbersome spreadsheets. Machine learning can help an organization understand when to hire and not to hire, based on the organization’s own economic data, and oftentimes, external data that an HR manager might plug into the tool.

A program like Anodot can help with business forecasting needs, such as providing insight on when to hire or not, while ObviouslyAI can make revenue predictions based on an organization’s historical financial history. Generative AI has also proven reliable when asked to manage scheduling: the Air Force, for example, has used it to manage the cramped schedules of some of its pilots.

There’s a retention aspect, too: Predictive attrition software developed by companies such as HR Signal and Retrain AI can decipher when an employee is at a higher risk of leaving a job. But it’s important not to wield the predictive attrition tools like a cudgel or use them to inform decisions to dismiss or punish workers. As Wilneida Negrón, director of policy research at the advocacy organization, told HR Brew, there needs to be “goodwill [between] both the vendor that’s creating this to help worker morale, and then goodwill on the side of a business, that they’re trying to use this to improve the workplace.”

Quick-to-read HR news & insights

From recruiting and retention to company culture and the latest in HR tech, HR Brew delivers up-to-date industry news and tips to help HR pros stay nimble in today’s fast-changing business environment.


AI can also untangle the complicated process of training employees and providing learning and development programs. As Bersin said, various tools, such as TalentGuard’s WorkForce GPT, scour the web for the most in-demand skills on the market, which can then be tailored into a training program. Docebo’s learning suite offers a full package that can be used to create learning content via external and internal data, in addition to generating ways to test the curriculum against business results.

Overall benefits of automation

As various experts have previously told HR Brew, consulting an AI tool can save time. By automating certain processes, HR departments are able to eliminate lower-hanging fruit and carve out more space to work on the meatier questions of strategy and business ops.

With enough things automated, like, say, using a chatbot to answer routine questions related to employee PTO, “We can then focus our time on other things, such as design-thinking principles, or improving the customer experience for our employees and our candidates,” Eser Rizaoglu, senior director in the Gartner HR practice, told HR Brew in March.

Other factors to consider about automation

As with any HR tech, the challenge might be making the business case for implementing generative AI in the workplace. According to 2022 PwC HR Tech survey data, the key is “to identify and quantify top opportunities for gains in efficiency, quality, and productivity.”

Also, a note of caution: Generative AI is in its nascent days and poses many risks related to bias and inaccuracy that have given some HR leaders pause. Nearly one-third of US workers feel the use of AI in the workplace will hurt more than help them, according to a recent Pew survey.

Quick-to-read HR news & insights

From recruiting and retention to company culture and the latest in HR tech, HR Brew delivers up-to-date industry news and tips to help HR pros stay nimble in today’s fast-changing business environment.