Employers and employees ready to embrace AI rather than fear it
- 72% of employers and 57% of employees believe we should embrace AI within the workplace
- 75% of employers and 55% of employees think we should trust AI in the workplace
- Two-thirds of organisations are already using AI technology in the workplace
- However, only 10% of employees say their employer is fully supporting them in upskilling on this new technology
- Hays comment: “Major change in a workplace is often met with wariness or suspicion. Interestingly, today’s research tells us that employers and employees ultimately see AI as a net positive, as opposed to something to be feared. However, it is important that organisations build on this sentiment”
Both employers and employees are keen to embrace the positive impacts that AI can bring, rather than fear it, according to new research.
Research published by leading recruiter Hays Ireland, finds that 72% of employers want to embrace AI within the workplace, and 75% believe we should trust the technology in a professional workplace environment.
Sentiment amongst employees is on balance positive, if a little less emphatic, versus amongst employers. Over half of employees believe we should embrace AI (57%) and trust AI (55%). Only 12% of workers say they don’t trust AI, whilst a third (33%) say they neither trust or distrust AI.
AI’s current impact in the workplace
AI is already being deployed in both an official and unofficial capacity in Irish workplaces. More than two-thirds (69%) of organisations are currently using AI tools such as ChatGPT on a regular basis.
Many experts believe AI will free up professionals from more routine work and will allow them to focus on more high-value work. However, amongst those surveyed, 35% of employers expect AI tools to change the type of tasks carried by their employees in the future; with 34% anticipating that the technology will lead to increased tasks for their staff. Only 16% believe working with AI will decrease workloads.
Amongst the professions expected to be most impacted by AI are customer service / contact centres, banking and finance, cyber security, accountancy and finance, and education.
Maureen Lynch, Director at Hays Ireland, comments: “Artificial intelligence represents the latest frontier for technological innovation, and it is already having a transformative impact on how organisations, both big and small, do business.
“In years to come, 2023 may be remembered as the year AI went mainstream. For many of us, we are still trying to understand how best to utilise the technology via ad hoc pilots or isolated business processes. Meanwhile, industry leaders and policy makers are faced with the unenviable task of attempting to regulate the technology and put the necessary safeguards in place.
“Typically, major change, including the implementation of new technology in a workplace, is often met with wariness or suspicion. Interestingly, today’s research tells us that employers and employees ultimately see AI as a net positive, as opposed to something to be feared. However, it is important that organisations build on this sentiment and support their workforces in embracing and adapting to this new technology.”
Upskilling employees to utilise new technology
According to the research, whilst employers and employers are generally positive about the potential of AI, there is a recognition that employers will need to invest in upskilling employees in how best to utilise this new technology.
Nearly four in five employees (78%) believe they do not possess the necessary skills to use AI tools to their full potential. Two in five employees (42%) do not think their employer is helping them to adequately prepare for the use of AI in the workplace, and only 10% say their employer is fully supporting them in upskilling on this new technology.
According to Ms Lynch: “AI is advancing at break-neck speed, however, it is crucial for employers to invest in upskilling their workforce to bridge the digital gap, advance their strategic commercial objectives, and position themselves as a sought-after employer for both existing and prospective employees.”
The research was conducted amongst a sample of 1,597 of employers and employees between April and May 2023. For more information, visit Hays.ie.
For more information contact:
Paddy O'Dea, FINN Partners
Hays plc (the "Group") is the world’s leading specialist in workforce solutions and recruitment, such as RPO and MSP. The Group is the expert at recruiting qualified, professional and skilled people worldwide, being the market leader in the UK, Germany and Australia and one of the market leaders in Continental Europe, Latin America and Asia. The Group operates across the private and public sectors, dealing in permanent positions, contract roles and temporary assignments. As at 30 June 2022, the Group employed c.13,000 staff operating from 253 offices in 32 countries. For the year ended 30 June 2022:
– the Group reported net fees of £1,189.4 million and operating profit of £210.1 million;
– the Group placed around 83,750 candidates into permanent jobs and around 250,000 people into temporary roles;
– 16% of Group net fees were generated in Australia & New Zealand, 26% in Germany, 22% in United Kingdom & Ireland and 36% in Rest of World (RoW);
– the temporary placement business represented 55% of net fees and the permanent placement business represented 45% of net fees;
– Technology is the Group’s largest division, with 26% of net fees, while Accountancy & Finance (14%) and Construction & Property (11%), are the next largest
– Hays operates in the following countries: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Hungary, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, UAE, the UK and the USA