Survey finds human-resources leaders turning to AI in force

Leaders of HR departments are looking to AI for help improving the employee experience. As part of the effort, some 59% are considering or already adding virtual employee assistants like chatbots.

The findings are from a survey conducted in August and September by Gatepoint Research for the AI vendor Espressive, which collaborated on the project with Amazon Web Services (AWS).

The researchers found that only 45% of employees commonly seek help from their organization’s intranet or self-service HR portal. More people reach out to the help desk, with 72% calling and 64% emailing.

“This is problematic when 34% say they have no formal tracking or assignment process and 27% use a shared inbox with multiple people potentially working on the same questions,” Espressive comments in a news release.

Nearly half the respondents were from Fortune 1000 companies and 81% work at the director level or higher in their respective HR departments.

Other findings included:

  • 57% of respondents said employees’ biggest complaint about getting answers from HR is that the HR portal makes it too hard to find the right answer.
  • 53% said employees report that they can’t keep track of where to go for an answer from HR.
  • 48% said it takes too long to get a response from HR when they use phone or email.

All of the challenges revealed in the survey results “can be solved with automation and AI,” Pat Calhoun, founder and CEO of Espressive, points out in the news release.

While no industries are singled out in the corresponding report, healthcare HR departments are likely facing similar challenges, possibly on a larger scale than average: The Bureau of Labor Statistics expects healthcare jobs to grow at a rate of 18% from 2016 to 2026. That’s a much faster clip than the rate of the rest of the economy, as noted by Investopedia.