British HR leaders require essential data analysis and soft skills for AI-readiness

British HR leaders require essential data analysis and soft skills for AI-readiness

Research published in the report, SuperHuman: AI adoption shaping the future of HR, by cloud HR and payroll platform, Employment Hero, has found a gap in essential skills required by HR leaders for AI readiness with data analysis (36%), soft skills (31%) and ethical and responsible AI use (26%) most required by them.

The research from a survey of 301 British HR leaders also found that the biggest benefits of AI to them are better HR analytics, faster and more efficient operations and smoother HR processes. 

Eighty-five percent of HR professionals are already using AI in some shape or form in their day-to-day activities, and 64% are finding it is saving them time and making their jobs easier. Whilst over half (55%) of HR leaders expect to increase their use of AI tools, with 15% expect to increase the AI usage significantly in their role. 

However, as the use of AI increases, so too does the need for HR leaders to possess more soft skills to ensure their critical thinking and ability to identify and manage business risk isn’t affected by an over-reliance on AI.

Charlotte Boffey, Head of UK Services, Employment Hero, said: “With an increase in tools helping us to understand and interpret data, it would appear from the survey findings that HR leaders see a gap in their capability to analyse or perhaps strategise using larger quantities of data. It is also clear that HR leaders really want to put an emphasis on the ‘human’ element of HR practices when using AI tools by ensuring the learning of soft skills and ethical and responsible use of AI are top of their priority list.

“The AI landscape is ever evolving, so it is important for HR leaders and their teams to navigate this through the learning of new skills and communicating effectively with the wider business about the changes that are coming. Employees may have concerns about the use of AI in HR practices, so being prepared with Q&As and keeping communication channels open is crucial to drive positive outcomes.”

How best to embrace and harness the potential of AI tools

1. Consider exploring AI-powered tools that can help with content creation and data analysis.

2. Focus on analytics and insights – develop you and your teams’ skills in data analysis and HR analytics. Familiarise yourself with tools and techniques for analysing and interpreting data effectively.

3. Stay informed about the latest advancements in AI-driven recruitment tools and platforms. Consider leveraging AI tools for tasks such as applicant tracking, job posting and onboarding processes.

4. Invest in developing your soft skills such as communication, critical thinking and empathy. These skills will not only be crucial for leveraging AI but also mitigating potential risks. 

5. Tackle scepticism and concerns head on. Acknowledge and address concerns about AI by fostering open discussions and providing information on the benefits and limitations of AI in HR.

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