Every new technology implementation comes with challenges. Artificial intelligence has the potential to transform HR and talent acquisition (TA) for the better, but its exponential growth amplifies some of these challenges.

Cielo experts offer their insight into some of the most salient challenges for TA leaders considering AI adoption and the best ways to overcome them:

1. Fear and hesitancy

Many talent leaders worry that AI adoption will lead to job loss and reduced job security in their TA function, as well as less influence on processes. This acts as a barrier to AI adoption by recruiters. Other challenges with AI adoption include the perceived complexity, cost, lack of understanding around benefits, and ethical concerns like potential biases in algorithms or privacy issues related to candidate data.

To overcome these hurdles, talent leaders should focus on education and communication around fears and misconceptions about AI. Providing training on the capabilities and limitations of AI, as well as showcasing successful case studies, will help build confidence.

It’s also important to clearly identify areas of the hiring function to improve with AI. Talent leaders should seek out AI point solutions designed for maximum impact within a specific part of the hiring process – an approach that’ll also reduce costs compared with broad-stroke enterprise solutions.
– Shailesh Singh, Director – India

2. Underestimation of AI

TA leaders still see AI as a passing fad, but it’s not. AI is set to change everything, and organizations must embrace it to start seeing the benefits and stay competitive. In the short term, AI will increase efficiency. In the long term, it’ll change business models. Organizations need to test AI now to see what works and what doesn’t. The new KPI should be "speed of learning."

With AI, losing control is a common fear among TA leaders – some even fear losing their jobs – so they’re hesitant to adopt it. But they should learn more about AI, so they can welcome it. Then there’s the speed of change that AI is transforming TA. We’re not talking years, we’re talking months. Those who continue with the old playbook risk falling behind.
– Felix Wetzel, Vice President – Product Management

3. Legal and ethical compliance

Ethical use of AI and legal compliance are the two biggest challenges with AI adoption facing HR and TA leaders. To mitigate these, it’s crucial to prioritize education around AI. This can involve training, as well as researching companies and their auditing/legal practices before making decisions on specific AI solutions and their implementation.
– Rebecca Volpano, Vice President – Product Management

4. Shortage of expertise and ethical concerns

A major inhibitor of AI adoption in TA is the undersupply of technical expertise in many organizations. Additionally, there’s a widespread perception that AI is evolving so fast that any technology will become rapidly outdated. These factors can lead to “paralysis by analysis”, where a fear of making the wrong technology decision means no decision is made at all.

But playing it too safe drives more risk. To stay ahead, talent leaders must carefully experiment with technologies as they arrive, partnering with AI vendors who also experiment and provide ongoing updates. These agile partners can provide scaled AI laboratories without the need to invest in internal AI teams and infrastructure.

There are also important ethical considerations with AI adoption. Talent leaders must clarify whether any AI they adopt can be used to reduce biases against protected groups and without jeopardizing user trust. This requires developing robust protocols for bias mitigation and transparency around how AI chooses candidates.

Managers must also avoid what recruitment technology experts call “shiny penny syndrome” – the temptation to adopt technology because it’s trendy. Technology must add value, improve experience, or drive effectiveness and efficiency. AI can do these things, but you need a solution that’s the right fit for your business.
– Chase Wilson, Senior Vice President – Solutions & Product Innovation

5. A widening knowledge gap

As with any adoption of emerging technologies and tools, it's important to first understand. TA leaders today are faced with a fast-paced and ever-changing landscape when building and managing the talent strategies for their organizations. Many challenges with AI stem from ambiguity. Without clarity of intent and direction, most companies aren't sure where to leverage AI or even where to begin.

TA leaders should invest in educating themselves and their teams on what tools and capabilities are available. Then, they’ll understand which tools will enhance their teams and improve candidate connections.
– Eric Williams, Senior Vice President – Strategic Accounts

6. Waiting for proven results

Many organizations understand the value of AI and believe it will help them in the future. As generative AI is a relatively new technology, companies want to see further proof points and applications that show real ROI and organizational benefit.

There are unanswered questions around data security, privacy and bias, leading some TA leaders and organizations to sit on the sideline while the less risk averse take the lead. The best course of action for a given organization depends on many different factors, but education is a good starting point.
– Josh Needle, Senior Vice President – Business Development

The challenges surrounding AI for talent acquisition – namely hesitancy and a lack of prior experience with a fast-moving technology – are mirrored across organizations of all sizes and industries. However, AI is here to stay. To create better experiences for everyone, talent leaders must promote a culture of learning around AI, then begin testing and implementing it across hiring functions.


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