In Conversation: HRCI, NASCAR, University of Louisville, and Yum! Brands on AI in HR

A few weeks ago, HRCI co-hosted a very special HRCInsights, our weekly events series on the latest HR products, services and technologies.  I had the pleasure of welcoming John Ferguson, SHRM-CP, PHR, Chief Human Resources Officer at NASCAR; Alfred Frager, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Practice, College of Business, University of Louisville; and Mark Lagestee, Chief People Officer of Yum! Brands, for a conversation about AI in HR.

Dr. Frager moderated the session, which served as the University of Louisville College of Business Inaugural CHRO Roundtable.  I can’t detail everything we covered (and we covered a lot!), but here are some highlights from our discussion:

  • Starting off with how HR teams can support the successful implementation of AI, my co-panelists considered researching the holistic application of AI at an organizational level to ensure employees are comfortable with the technology first. From there, I talked about the opportunity for HR to lead the change management process as a way to reinforce organizational culture. From my perspective, this might include developing training materials and workshops or a sandbox to help employees get used to new solutions.
  • Recognizing the need to adopt a mindset of change, Dr. Frager shifted the discussion to the possible implications of AI in HR. Drawing parallels with the creation of the internet, our panel explored how AI will revolutionize all aspects of work, from education and credentials to headcount and work processes. This means that HR professionals will need to adapt their skill sets to include AI sooner rather than later, as this technology will fundamentally change the entire function.  
  • Digging more into the practical uses, generative AI came up repeatedly, touching on various aspects of HR and talent acquisition. Mark mentioned how gen AI might help with drafting job descriptions, while John talked about how it can work to refine prompts and edit language. That said, the panel agreed that, for now, generative AI tools like ChatGPT remain a reach for HR, with organizations still getting used to the idea of AI in general.
  • Even so, given the implications discussed earlier and throughout our session, there is a feeling of immediacy behind the adoption of AI for HR, with organizations – and individuals – keen to stay competitive in this new era. The gating item appears to be concerns around data security and compliance, especially as legislation around AI is nascent. Few HR teams would be willing to take a chance on AI-based solutions when organizational risk is involved, making this still a wait-and-see.

And that’s just scratching the surface. To learn more about AI in HR and hear our perspectives, you can access the event replay by clicking here