More Than Half of HR Managers Say Artificial Intelligence Will Become a Regular Part of HR in Next 5 Years
- HR managers say they lose 14 hours a week on average due to lack of automation
- Companies embracing automation to focus on strategic aspects of their jobs

CHICAGO and ATLANTA, May 18, 2017 /PRNewswire/-- Artificial intelligence and automation will have a major impact on HR and employment over the next few years, according to new CareerBuilder research. More than 1 in 10 HR managers (13 percent) are already seeing evidence of artificial intelligence (AI) becoming a regular part of HR, and 55 percent say it will be in the next five years.

The national study was conducted online by Harris Poll on behalf of CareerBuilder from February 16 to March 9, 2017 and included a sample of 231 human resource managers across industries and company sizes in the private sector.

While the majority of HR managers said the thought of AI in HR does not make them nervous, a third (35 percent) said it does. Still, only 7 percent of HR managers say they think a robot could do their job.

"There are certain aspects of HR that are transactional in nature, such as how we capture candidate and employee information and maintain those records and reports. Automation is key in finding efficiencies in those processes," said Rosemary Haefner, chief human resources officer for CareerBuilder. "What robots and AI can't replace, however, is the human element of HR that shapes the company culture, provides an environment for employees built on IQ and EQ, works hand in hand with company leaders to meet business goals and ensures employees have the training and support to thrive. You need living, dynamic people who can navigate the 'gray' to do that, not robots that can quickly work through black and white."

Manual Data Input Causes Wasted Time and Productivity, Errors
HR managers who do not fully automate say they lose an average of 14 hours a week manually completing tasks that could be automated; more than a quarter (28 percent) waste 20 hours or more, and 1 in 10 (11 percent) spend 30 hours or more.

"We always say, 'I wish I had more time to plan, to think, to keep up on new trends, to strategize.' To have 14 hours back in a week, the majority of that would be well spent planning for the future instead of reacting to the present," Haefner said. "Time would also be spent connecting with the business, with employees. That may mean catchups with company leaders, educating yourself on the company's products/services, learning the industry, and networking outside the walls of your office."

Below is a breakdown of the HR functions that HR managers say are currently fully automated, partially automated or not automated at all.

HR Function

Fully Automated

Partially Automated

Not Automated


50 percent

42 percent

7 percent

Background checks/drug testing

39 percent

35 percent

21 percent

Applicant tracking

38 percent

35 percent

21 percent

Benefits administration

34 percent

49 percent

13 percent

Distributing job postings to different websites

30 percent

36 percent

28 percent


25 percent

45 percent

27 percent

Performance management

24 percent

38 percent

33 percent

Sourcing job candidates

20 percent

47 percent

25 percent

Predictive assessments

20 percent

24 percent

25 percent


18 percent

47 percent

28 percent

Employee referrals

16 percent

29 percent

45 percent


15 percent

56 percent

26 percent

The survey found that a lack of HR automation can have a negative ripple effect on a business. HR managers who do not fully automate say manual processes have led to:

  • Lower productivity: 41 percent
  • More errors: 40 percent
  • Higher costs: 35 percent
  • Poor candidate experience: 18 percent
  • Poor employee experience: 17 percent
  • Less engagement: 17 percent
  • Poor hiring manager experience: 11 percent

Survey Methodology
This survey was conducted online within the U.S. by Harris Poll on behalf of CareerBuilder among 231 human resource managers (employed full-time, not self-employed, non-government) between February 16 and March 9, 2017. Percentages for some questions are based on a subset, based on their responses to certain questions. With a pure probability sample of 231, one could say with a 95 percent probability that the overall results have a sampling errors of +/- 6.45 percentage points, respectively. Sampling error for data from sub-samples is higher and varies.

About CareerBuilder®
CareerBuilder is a global, end-to-end human capital solutions company focused on helping employers find, hire and manage great talent. Combining advertising, software and services, CareerBuilder leads the industry in recruiting solutions, employment screening and human capital management. It also operates top job sites around the world. Owned by TEGNA Inc. (NYSE:TGNA), Tribune Media (NYSE:TRCO) and McClatchy (NYSE:MNI), CareerBuilder and its subsidiaries operate in the United States, Europe, Canada and Asia. For more information, visit

Media Contact
Ladan Nikravan Hayes
312.698.0538 x70538


SOURCE CareerBuilder