Is Gen AI Redefining How We Do HR? (Part 1)

When I started working in HR all those years ago, I never imagined that one day I’d be using technology so much and even be delegating some of my work to robots. I don’t like sci-fi, never watched Star Wars, and I’m certainly no Trekkie! In fact, I’m what you’d call a “late-adopter” when it comes to tech changes, updates, and innovation. That said, I saw the value of Generative AI (GenAI) technologies like Copilot and Chat GPT in the HR space almost immediately, when two things happened in 2023.  


My first “close encounters” with Gen AI 

When Teams introduced, I was admittedly startled. That’s because it was added as a guest to all my meetings – even the ones I couldn’t join. That’s until I found the settings and took back control!  

Initial irritation aside, I was soon receiving real time summaries of the interviews which gave me tremendous insights and context into the candidates we were interviewing and the hiring decisions we were making.  

Secondly, one of my colleagues (a.k.a. “HR technical advisor Ed”) built us an AI robot and we uploaded our company policies to it. This meant that our employees now had a quicker and easier reference point for policy enquiries while reducing the dependency on HR to repeat information regularly.  

My interest was piqued, and this last financial year our business has been looking at various opportunities to collaborate with AI in constructive, safe, and more effective ways. But the age-old question comes up regularly, “Will robots take my job one day?”  

I hope to help you answer this question for yourself (if possible) by using the illustration below. 


The role of Gen AI in the workplace 

I asked a Gen AI tool what the role of compassion was in the workplace and how it impacts on the HR Manager’s role? One of these answers below is written by a robot, and another by me. I should mention that the site I used was likely no better or worse than any other, so I assume that it was a run of the mill AI bot that, for the purposes of my illustration, I’m calling “Aila”.  

I, on the other hand, have been a human for more than forty-seven years, I have been working in HR for over two decades, and I’m a daughter, sister, niece, cousin, friend, scholar, undergraduate, traveller, business owner, employee, teacher, colleague, postgraduate, co-parent, mother, sister-in-law, and aunt (in the order I became those things). 

Read the two responses below and guess whose answer is which. 


Answer 1 

Compassion in the workplace is a fundamental element that fosters a positive and supportive environment. It involves understanding, empathy, and genuine concern for the well-being of employees. In the HR Manager’s role, compassion is pivotal in creating a workplace culture that prioritizes the needs and happiness of the workforce. Compassionate HR managers are better equipped to engage with employees, address conflicts with empathy, and implement initiatives that enhance overall well-being. This approach positively influences employee morale, job satisfaction, and retention rates. Additionally, a compassionate HR Manager contributes to the development of a healthy organizational culture, where open communication, understanding, and support are valued, ultimately leading to a more productive and harmonious workplace. 


Answer 2 

Core to any organisation’s success is its people and compassion has increasingly become a core “soft skill” for leaders within businesses. A myriad of research and evidence from the last four years speaks to the powerful role that compassion plays in creating and sustaining a successful business, especially in the current socio-economic and geo-political circumstances we are experiencing across the globe. The HR department has always been the administrator of the people, and in the last decade this has shifted significantly to being the champion of the people. With the effective utilisation of technology and the revision and improvement of processes, HR has been given more time and resources to focus on employees. Consequently, organisations have evidence to support the impact of a more compassionate approach to employee management on performance and the achievement of strategic goals. And while HR certainly drives compassion as a strategic advantage within the organization, it lies with the entire leadership to consistently lead and behave in a compassionate manner.  

So, which one did Aila compile? Do you think I’m out of a job soon? 😉 

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