In the dynamic landscape of modern workplaces, navigating the impact of artificial intelligence (AI) and hybrid work models stands as the foremost challenge for HR professionals in 2024.

Kholiwe Makhohliso, Managing Director for Southern Africa at SAP, emphasized the complexities faced by business and HR leaders amidst the evolving realm of work, shaped by hybrid models and intelligent technologies. “The ongoing influence of flexible hybrid work environments continues to place significant pressure on businesses to prioritize employee well-being and ensure adequate support as they navigate the intricacies of modern work,” she remarked.

Furthermore, with the expected surge of AI across various spheres of work and life in the upcoming months and years, leaders must find a delicate balance between innovation efforts and fulfilling the needs of their employees, who are the cornerstone of organizational success during this period of uncertainty.

A survey conducted by SAP, comprising HR leaders and over 1300 employees worldwide, revealed that slightly over a third of organizations are actively adopting intelligent technologies like AI. These technologies find applications in various HR functions ranging from recruitment to learning and employee engagement. However, according to research by IDC, understanding the appropriate implementation of intelligent technologies such as AI remains one of the top challenges for HR professionals today.

Shiraz Khota, Head of SuccessFactors at SAP EMEA South, emphasized the transformative impact of AI on the HR sector, heralding positive disruptions that streamline operations, enhance decision-making, and elevate employee experiences. “The influence of AI empowers HR professionals to focus on high-value activities such as strategy and vision,” he noted. By harnessing a strategic blend of technology and innovation, HR professionals can liberate time spent on routine tasks and concentrate on enhancing the employee experience and delivering greater value to the organization.

One of the paramount applications of AI in Human Capital Management lies in enabling data-driven decision-making. Modern AI analytics furnish HR professionals with insights that inform workforce planning, identify skill gaps, and predict employee turnover, thereby facilitating more effective strategic decision-making. Additionally, AI holds promising potential in mitigating bias to foster greater diversity and inclusivity in the workplace.

AI’s impact extends across various HR functions and tasks, with new use cases emerging regularly. From automating CV screening to deploying chatbots for initial candidate engagements, AI aids in reducing time-to-hire while enhancing candidate experiences.

Khota underscored the predictive capabilities of AI in shaping workplace trends, ensuring businesses remain at the forefront of talent management and retention efforts. “The integration of AI in HR is not merely reshaping current practices but serves as a fundamental enabler for the future of work, where human expertise and technology collaborate to cultivate more adaptable, innovative, and thriving workplaces.”

This article first appeared on ITNewsAfrica.