Total Rewards Asia Summit 2024 Singapore
From recruitment to employee engagement: Key uses of gen AI in HR

From recruitment to employee engagement: Key uses of gen AI in HR

"Gen AI is already here, so it’s a matter of how fast we embrace it rather than it being a ‘five-year plan’ situation", one panellist pointed out at Talent & Tech Asia Summit 2024. Report by Arina Sofiah.

How many of us have used generative artificial intelligence (gen AI) before? What about for work?

The use of AI has made its way into many job roles, but as HR professionals, you have your very own set of AI applications and implications. Beyond embracing new technology for the sake of keeping up, utilising gen AI can enhance human-centric practices in many areas of your people practices.

A recent panel discussion at HRO's Talent & Tech Asia Summit 2024 discussed the topic of: Applications of generative AI in HR: Employee experience, learning, and talent marketplace — with contributions from (pictured above, from L-R):

  • Moderator: Cyl Lin, Human Resources Director & APJ HR Business Partner, MDC & Analytics, Tech Data APAC,
  • Justin Ong, APAC CISO & CPO, Panasonic Asia Pacific,
  • Aloysius Sim, Regional Head of Talent Acquisition & Employer Branding for ASEAN, Siemens, and
  • Ng Kian Khar, VP People Technologies & Transformation, Singtel

Kicking off the discussion, one speaker shared two aspects to look at in terms of applications of gen AI in HR.

Workforce planning what is the implication of gen AI on jobs? What jobs will be affected or replaced? What kind of skill sets do you need moving forward?

This spurs the need to therefore think about how you are going to pivot your employees.

Applications  be it in HR or other areas. As the speaker pointed out, gen AI can be used in various tasks such as drafting job descriptions — and it can be done in under five minutes.

As you look at the various available technology gen AI systems, it is important to know practical use cases and how to piece them together – especially considering that there is a huge overlap in many cases.

In doing so, the speaker shared some tips leaders can look into, such as developing a digital HR transformation map, and articulating that value it can bring to the organisation, perhaps in terms of employee experience or productivity, before bringing it to the board.

As another speaker added, the utilisation of gen AI is generally focused on enablement.

He went on to highlight one key area that Gen AI can help organisations with: employee engagement personalisation. As each employee is different, engagement so far can be rather difficult – especially if you have a larger remit where employees come from many different countries and cultures. Gen AI can then help employees in a very personal way, he affirmed.

Another speaker chimed in on the benefits of using gen AI to create a more personalised and engaging experience for both employees and employers. This effectively puts focus on where human capacity can make the most impact, and introduces AI where possible.

“Gen AI is already here, so it’s a matter of how fast we embrace it rather than it being a ‘five-year plan’ situation.”

That said, the speaker acknowledged some hurdles faced — particularly, it takes some time for AI to be at the desired level in the shortest period. Upon first rolling out AI, there is a learning curve for the AI application before it can reach its fullest potential. It therefore admittedly takes a lot of time from when the early adopters start interacting with it, to start training it and providing it with the inputs and knowledge.

Another hurdle to overcome is that when we apply gen AI applications within the organisation, we may not necessarily benefit from the collective intelligence derived from other companies that have done the same.

Leveraging gen AI can also help accelerate your employee experience and HR transformation, the panel pointed out.

In that vein, one other speaker reminded: The applications of AI in HR are not limited to just gen AI, and can, in fact, cross into other categories as well. According to the speaker, it can potentially fall into two key domains:

  • Firstly, as a new form of storage – other than being able to retrieve information through key words and semantics, it can also cross–reference other sources of data and information.
  • The second domain is that of co-creation, where AI then acts as a powerful assistant for us to consult on.

From elevating the employee experience to engaging external candidates, here is how gen AI can assist in various areas of HR:

  • Recruitment and accelerating hiring: Creating targeted job description, improving the resume selection process.
  • Creating personalised and targeted communications: Engaging with candidates and creating content for employer branding.
  • Empowering internal mobility: Matching employees with potential job openings through various data points.
  • Enhancing the employee experience: Picking up data points across different channels to better assess employee feedback.

Bringing gen AI to the board

Understanding all its uses, what exactly is the best way to pitch the incorporation of gen AI to all your stakeholders? There are, of course, various methods to put a proposal forward for the use of gen AI, but the panel highlighted two main points.

First, it is important to emphasise that gen AI is a longer-term strategy; not a quick fix. The organisation will not see results tomorrow or next week.

Secondly, it is important to have a clear mind in what we want to achieve. What are we looking to solve? What are we looking to improve, and what are the benefits of it?

With all this in mind, it also helps us to not to get caught up in the hype cycle of new technologies — and instead, allows us to truly focus on getting the best uses out of it based on the organisational needs.

These are just some of the insights shared at our Talent Tech Asia Summit 2024 (TTAS)Head over here for the full coverage of some other sessions at the event. 

Held at Shangri-La Singapore on 15 & 16 May 2024, TTAS saw more than 200 HR professionals gather to gain insights on emerging technologies and megatrends that are profoundly changing people management practices and therefore forging a people-centred future of work in this tech-driven landscape.

Human Resources Online would like to thank all speakers, moderators, panellists, and attendees for being valuable contributors to this event. 

We would also like to extend our gratitude to our sponsors & partners for making this conference possible: 


Sterling Lexicon

Jobstreet by SEEK
Tripartite Alliance for Fair and Progressive Employment Practices (TAFEP)


ALSO READ: 3 key areas of focus for HR on the journey up the value chain

Lead image / HRO

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