HR teams are looking ahead in 2024 and charting the course for AI’s potential. Fortune spoke with several executives and talent strategy experts about what to expect in the new year. Below is some of the advice and insight they shared.
1. Investments and streamlining
For many HR executives, 2023 was an exploratory year for AI. But in 2024, HR leaders seem keen to invest further into AI.
“(2023) has been a year of announcements, excitement, innovation,” says Megan Smith, SAP’s head of human resources for North America. “Going into next year, it'll be closer to proof of concept, looking at implementation, [and] bringing it to life.”
This implementation pairs with the financial pressures HR faces to determine where AI tools can automate tasks that improve the employee experience. According to a recent Conference Board survey of 194 CHROs, 61 percent plan to invest in AI to streamline HR processes in 2024. Similarly, ServiceNow chief people officer Jacqui Canney’s team piloted an AI program that helped solve low-level tasks for them over a short period. Within three weeks, the AI tool helped improve productivity by 31 percent.
“My team could spend more time on something more complex, more personal, more human,” says Canney. “The more we keep going, the more productivity I'll see because my team will become more comfortable with it.”
2. Attracting top talent
While job ads mentioning genative AI remain a sliver of all postings, the share still grew exponentially from the beginning of 2023 and likely will continue in 2024. Inevitably, companies will fight for this relevant skill set.
“There's going to be an insatiable demand for AI talent over the next decade, and many talent leaders are trying to figure out how to build a brand [for] that audience,” says Dan Shapero, LinkedIn’s chief operating officer. Shapero advises customers to attract candidates by showcasing the talent they’d work alongside. “People are often asking themselves: Who do I want to work with? Not, who do I want to work for?”
3. Developing the workforce
“Companies are acknowledging that every job is going to be changed by AI, some more than others,” says Shapero. Companies should identify which tasks AI can help simplify or take over, thus bolstering employees' willingness to embrace the technology.
“I encourage companies not to ask: “What's my AI strategy?” Shift it to: What's my AI win?” says Shapero. “If you can put one win on the board, you can start to learn what works, get comfortable, and bring your team along with you.”
4. Preparing for regulation
Companies must closely watch for new federal, state, or local laws and establish AI policies accordingly for employees. When establishing guidelines, HR teams should first determine what they don’t know.
“Because of the way AI is rolling out into U.S. workplaces, in an organic and unregulated fashion, what we've seen in our practice is that a lot of [clients] don't know what they don't know,” says Adam Forman, a labor and employment attorney at law firm Epstein Becker and Green. “They're shocked to find out that the business unit has implemented this tool, and it has implications from a work perspective that they don't even think about.”
Forman advises HR or legal teams to conduct an AI audit to identify what AI tools employees use in the workplace and whether there are processes to ensure that these tools comply with any rules or regulations the company has to follow. He also recommends organizations approach vendors with prepared questions, such as whether the vendor will indemnify the organization if sued for using the tool, where the vendor stores its data, and whether it performs data bias audits.
This article was written by Joseph Abrams and Paige McGlauflin from Fortune and was legally licensed through the Industry Dive Content Marketplace. Please direct all licensing questions to email@example.com.