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How are CHROs Using AI Tools

By George Waggott, founder, and Roberto Fonseca-Velazquez, summer law student, George Waggott Law


In the rapidly evolving landscape of work, Chief Human Resources Officers (CHROs) play a pivotal role in steering their organizations toward digital transformation. A recent report from ServiceNow, published on June 24, 2024, sheds light on how CHROs are leveraging artificial intelligence (AI) tools to redefine HR functions and align their talent strategy with the broader business goals of the organizations which they support.


The State of Digital Transformation

ServiceNow's report, based on a survey of over 1,200 HR executives across North America, Europe, and Asia, reveals that while the majority of HR leaders acknowledge the transformative potential of AI, only a small fraction of those who responded say they have fully embraced the technology. According to the findings:


  • 14% of CHROs are in the advanced stages of digital transformation, implementing AI and digitalization across their organizations and are seeing significant performance improvements.

  • 14% are in the early stages, just beginning to embrace digital transformation.

  • 73% are in the intermediate stages, making steady progress but not yet fully leveraging the potential of AI tools.


Innovators Leading the Way

CHROs who are at the forefront of digital transformation, referred to as "innovators" in the ServiceNow report, are significantly more likely to integrate AI into their operations. Among these leading CHROs, 70% says they are utilizing traditional AI tools, and 65% are using generative AI. These CHRO innovators report that they are applying AI across various domains, including the following:


  • Call Center Support: Enhancing customer service efficiency and responsiveness.

  • Chatbots: Streamlining internal and external communication.

  • Improved Search Results: Optimizing information retrieval on internal platforms.

  • Data Security and Privacy: Strengthening organizational defences against cyber threats.

  • Content Generalization and Summarization: Facilitating better data management and decision-making.


The Strategic Role of HR in AI Adoption

Brandon Roberts, ServiceNow’s Group Vice President of People, Analytics, and AI, emphasizes the critical role of HR in the adoption of AI tools. He notes that HR's involvement in AI initiatives provides a unique opportunity to align the organization’s people strategy with overall business objectives. This includes ensuring that employees understand and can effectively use new technologies.


“Organizations need to realize that this isn’t going away,” says Roberts. “There is not an organization in the world that’s not investing in AI. The CHRO has this opportunity to play a really crucial role in that transformation, both in terms of the implementation within their organization, but also in setting up the organization to be successful for the implementation of AI in sales, engineering, or whatever function.”


Aligning HR and Business Strategy

The report highlights a strong correlation between advanced digital transformation and strategic alignment between HR and business objectives. This is shown in the following results:


  • 88% of "innovator" CHROs report that HR and business strategy are considerably or very well aligned, compared to just 33% of HR leaders at organizations in the early stages of digital transformation.

  • 34% of top CHROs are becoming strategic partners with their CEOs, versus 17% at beginner organizations.

  • 47% of leading CHROs are collaborating with other C-suite leaders, compared to 31% from organizations in the early stages.


Steps for Lagging Organizations

For HR leaders at organizations which are behind in digital transformation, Roberts advises starting with a clear plan for AI adoption. This includes:


  1. Identifying initial steps for the implementation of AI tools;

  2. Evaluating the expected return on investment from AI technology; and

  3. Ensuring that HR staff are educated and trained in AI applications.


“You have to be implementing AI to be successful as an organization,” Roberts asserts.

As AI continues to reshape the world of work, the role of CHROs in driving digital transformation and aligning talent strategies with business goals becomes increasingly crucial. The insights from ServiceNow's report underscore the importance of proactive adoption of AI tools, and the strategic role of HR in fostering organizational success.


For more information about George Waggott Law, please see: www.georgewaggott.com, or contact: george@georgewaggott.com


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