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39% of Employees Believe Current Level of AI Involvement in HR Processes is Appropriate; 20% Prefer More

Research reveals different perspectives between HR professionals and employees related to AI

A new study from Paychex, Inc. reveals the benefits and challenges of artificial intelligence (AI) in the human resources (HR) industry, and how opinions on its use and effectiveness differ between HR professionals and employees. The first in a new series of 2024 Pulse of HR Reports entitled “Balancing Tech and Touch in Human Resources,” found that 41% of employees surveyed prefer less AI involvement in their company’s HR processes, while more than half are content with the current (39%) or an increased (20%) level of AI. Of the HR professionals who responded to the survey, 85% say AI provides useful data and analytics, and 79% believe it’s helping to reduce bias.

Increasing Efficiency
The survey of 325 HR professionals in organizations with 20 or more employees, and 1,017 employees found HR professionals using Al are saving nearly a full workday every week (7.5 hours) with more than half (56%) saying it speeds up employee recruitment and screening.

Additionally, HR professionals surveyed say the top three functions that AI could transform the most are:

  • Analytics and data management (58%)
  • Talent acquisition (46%)
  • Onboarding/offboarding processes (43%)

“Our survey found that over half (56%) of HR professionals are already using AI in their role today and I expect that number to increase over time. Knowing these important trends and leveraging the right tools and technologies is critical to our national team of more than 600 HR business partners at Paychex. We work with our customers every day to find a balance between realizing operational efficiency and the human aspect of HR that employees clearly desire,” says Alison Stevens, senior director of HR Services at Paychex.

“It’s clear there’s work to do before achieving an effective balance between HR departments and employees when it comes to artificial intelligence,” adds Stevens. “Transparency will be key, as well as maintaining balance with human interactions. At Paychex, our HR business partners serve as advisors to customers, helping them to better understand and interpret data-driven insights, creating personalized responses to individual company and employee situations, and providing information on regulations that may impact their organization.”

HR vs. Employee Perspectives
The majority of HR professionals surveyed have adopted AI in some aspect, yet only 11% of employees say the process is transparent. Almost half (41%) of employees surveyed prefer less AI involvement in HR decisions, with 39% stating the current level of involvement is appropriate, and 20% preferring more AI involvement. The top HR function that employees surveyed think should stay human-led is conflict resolution and employee relations (78%), followed closely by sensitive issues like layoffs or disciplinary actions (76%).

Additionally, nearly one in four HR professionals expect AI to become integral to their functions in the next five years. A majority (71%) of employees surveyed are not comfortable with AI-led HR departments, and 46% would consider leaving their company if AI were to replace human-led HR teams.