What role will artificial intelligence play in human resources and payroll?

The integration of artificial intelligence (AI) into HR processes is a growing global trend. According to some international studies, around 70-80% of the world's leading companies plan to adopt artificial intelligence technologies in their HR departments within the next few years.

However, despite the recognition of AI's potential by Quebec SMEs, they seem rather shy about adopting and implementing the technology. Several experts note a gap between the development and implementation of AI in these companies[i]. Indeed, in its study, the Ordre des conseillers en ressources humaines agréés (CRHA) mentions that the role of AI in HR departments is currently "virtually non-existent" within the Quebec companies surveyed[ii].

AI will most likely enter the heart of HR departments via direct integration into HRIS systems. Indeed, large and small HRIS vendors alike are clearly engaged in a frantic race to integrate AI into their solutions, multiplying their announcements to the public, sometimes with certain setbacks and missteps along the way.

Despite a timid start, concrete applications of AI in HRIS will be expanding rapidly in the months and years to come, so we need to pay attention. Here are a few examples of current AI applications.

Automation of repetitive tasks

Where we can gain in efficiency is in administrative management and the automation of repetitive tasks. For example, we are increasingly seeing AI that can automate the calculation of wages, tax deductions and contributions, based on employee data and current regulations. AI can also automatically detect and correct errors in timesheets, overtime or vacations. What's more, the issuing of pay slips and tax statements can be fully automated via AI. Finally, AI can automatically schedule job interviews according to the availability of candidates and recruiters.

So, by enabling HR and payroll teams to focus on higher value-added tasks, these innovations will help to increase their efficiency, and will probably change the nature of some employees' jobs.

Help with recruitment pre-selection

In the field of recruitment, AI is playing a growing role as a decision aid. By sorting applications automatically, identifying suitable profiles and automating interview scheduling, it simplifies and optimizes the recruitment process and reduces processing time. Beware, however, that the temptation to go faster can sometimes lead to quality issues. AI algorithms are notorious for their tendency to reproduce discriminating patterns. Unfortunately, recruitment teams are not always fully aware of how AI is used by suppliers in their products, and could risk exposing the organization to legal action.

Virtual assistants

The introduction of personal assistants in the form of chatbots[iii] is also making a strong entry into payroll and HR departments. These chatbots, powered by artificial intelligence, can, for example, answer employees' frequently asked questions about leave, benefits or payroll procedures. HR chatbots can also guide new employees through their induction process. They provide relevant information, plan training and ensure personalized follow-up. In payroll departments, chatbots can help employees understand their pay slips, explain deductions and answer common queries. This automation enables HR and payroll teams to focus on higher value-added activities, while improving the employee experience with a fast, 24-hour service.

HR prediction and analytics

HRIS systems contain a wealth of valuable data on employees, their skills, performance and commitment. However, manually analyzing these vast quantities of data to derive strategic forecasts represents a major challenge. AI offers valuable support for decision-making by analyzing, in depth, the data contained in HRIS. For example, by examining detailed employee profiles, mapping their skills and cross-referencing this information with engagement and productivity data, AI makes it possible to make reliable predictions and accurately anticipate future HR needs. Whether forecasting retirements, identifying skills gaps or detecting high-potential employees, AI offers an informed overview. As a result, it helps HR professionals make more informed strategic decisions on talent management, succession planning and targeted skills development within the organization.

Other utilities

Other types of functionality offered include the creation of tailor-made training paths, adapted to employees' individual profiles, skills and development objectives. AI also facilitates the automated generation of standardized contractual documents such as employment contracts and endorsements, ensuring accuracy and compliance. What's more, it enables intelligent reading and automatic entry of expense claims and receipts, reducing time-consuming manual tasks.

However, integrating AI into HRIS also raises challenges and points of vigilance.

Find out more in the article entitled: What are the challenges and risks of artificial intelligence?


Sandra Labbé, HRIS Principal Advisor


[i] AI developed in Quebec is little used in the province | Le Devoir.

[ii] CRHA-Sondage-Intelligence-Artificielle.pdf

[iii] Chatbot: a virtual robot that takes the form of a conversation bubble that opens on social networks or directly on a website.

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