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AI experimentation: Your next move to recruit Gen Z

Jill Barthhttps://hrexecutive.com/
Jill Barth is HR Tech Editor of Human Resource Executive. She is an award-winning journalist with bylines in Forbes, USA Today and other international publications. With a background in communications, media, B2B ecommerce and the workplace, she also served as a consultant with Gallagher Benefit Services for nearly a decade. Reach out at [email protected].

I recently joined a webinar by RedThread Research called The Learning Tech Landscape: Navigating the Noise for Smarter Decisions, which was designed to help HR leaders make buying decisions in a growing field crowded with more than 420 vendors.

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The company’s co-founder, Dani Johnson, warned the audience against purchasing a learning tech solution simply based on the presence of generative artificial intelligence. She said genAI should not be considered a functionality in and of itself—and HR leaders should ask how it improves the capabilities they need before making any big buys.

It’s clear that learning tech providers are including generative AI in both functionality and integration efforts. “The $350 billion employee training industry is hungry for generative AI,” according to a recent article from the Josh Bersin Company. “We’ve seen tools that generate training from documents, automatically create quizzes, and take existing content and turn it into a ‘teaching assistant.’ ”

This could be good news for hiring and developing fresh graduates. A report from Handshake, which provides resources for early community professionals, indicates that half of 2024 graduates want to grow new skills to prepare them for dealing with genAI in their future workplaces. The report looked at nearly 1,150 students pursuing bachelor’s degrees from 440 institutions. One in five of them said they’d be more likely to take a job if it offered the opportunity to experiment with genAI.

“More employees are going to ask whether potential or current employers are adopting and adapting to the new world of generative AI,” Joe Atkinson, chief products and technology officer at professional services firm PwC, told CNBC. Many—if not most—of the learning tech platforms include some element of generative AI, at times expressly to support experimentation. Experimentation is a key area for on-the-job learning opportunities, according to RedThread, and this could lead to interesting talent acquisition conversations between companies and early career candidates.

HR tech in action

There are a couple of interesting HR tech people moves stemming from Google’s talent pool:

Cloudstaff, a global remote staffing provider, this month appointed Richard Lyons as chief AI officer. Prior to this role, Lyons had been at Google for 15 years overseeing machine learning models at YouTube Search. Leveraging this experience with AI-driven processes, Lyons will lead the development and implementation of AI strategies to address critical issues, including talent shortages, the growth of remote work, evolving work practices and more.

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“In just a few short months, generative AI has revolutionized the world of work,” said Lyons in a bulletin. “I’m impressed by [Cloudstaff’s] forward-thinking mindset, and I look forward to creating a future where AI is seamlessly integrated into the fabric of outsourcing, delivering transformative results.”

Melonie Parker
Melonie Parker

Melonie D. Parker, chief diversity officer at Google, Inc., was recently appointed to the board of directors at DEIB tech company Kanarys, which was co-founded by Top 100 HR Tech Influencer Mandy Price. Parker told HRE in a recent interview that Google was one of the first to “publicly hold a mirror up to itself” by publishing workforce representation data nearly a decade ago.

“What we’ve found by continuing to emphasize transparency and taking a deep inward look with our Diversity Annual Reports each year has really helped guide our diversity and inclusion efforts, both internally and externally,” said Parker.

More from Human Resource Executive

A Dynamic Organization is one that anticipates environmental changes and continually transforms at a rapid pace, driving exponential growth in business, people and innovation outcomes, according to Josh Bersin and Kathi Enderes. “They are essentially ‘architected for change.’ ” In today’s post-industrial economy, these companies set the standard for all others.

The HR Technology Conference agenda kicks off Oct. 9—making HR Tech a true weeklong celebration of the HR technology community. Hopefully, you have organized your travel arrangements and are planning to be with us starting Monday. If not, here are just a few highlights from the “pre-conference” day that Conference Chair Steve Boese knows will convince you to be at the event from the jump.

A robust AI governance strategy will ensure ethical and sustainable practices that align with your team’s priorities. While it remains crucial to evaluate new technology for functionality, such assessments should be conducted within a robust and steadfast governance framework. To create a versatile blueprint for any technology acquisition, HR executives should first address the following questions.

HR Technology Conference 2023 sessions to note

Culture-Driven HR Technology: The True Measure of a Great Workplace

Learn from UKG‘s 30 years of culture data to bring your own culture and DEI approach into every facet of your people strategy and technology experience. That can fuel higher retention, reduced burnout, faster innovation, greater resilience and, ultimately, higher revenue and stock returns compared to others in your industry.

Workforce Intelligence and Skills Ontologies Explained

Organizations are anxious to begin taking a skills-based approach to talent attraction, growth and retention—but it’s often difficult to know where to start. This HR Tech Talk with Phenom will use real-world customer examples to illustrate best practices and impactful results. Additionally, you’ll leave with a talent management maturity model that you can map back to your own organization.

Modernizing Recruitment: The Dynamic Collaboration of First Advantage and Paradox in Transforming FedEx Ground’s Hiring Process

Learn how First Advantage and Paradox redefined efficiency in FedEx Ground’s hiring process. The streamlined integration of First Advantage’s background screening insights with Paradox’s AI-driven candidate engagement tool provides the company a competitive edge in attracting, assessing and securing top talent.

Check out the HR Tech Conference agenda here. The countdown is on, and I hope to see you in Las Vegas.