While 98% of respondents in Singapore and Malaysia were already using AI tools, concerns and doubts between the two groups diverged.
In a May 2023 survey about AI trends across 300 HR professionals in Singapore and 315 respondents in Malaysia who were responsible for managing employee experience, human resources and payroll, a number of concerns around privacy and transparency were discerned.
Regarding the use of AI in HR, 37% of respondents employee cited privacy as the most concerning factor, followed by 26% who worried about the lack of trust and transparency and the lack of AI governance principles.
Respondents also seemed cautious about further experimental development of AI in the HR space, with 73% of HR respondents who were leaders indicating their sentiment that ambitious AI developments be paused.
Between Malaysia and Singapore respondents, the former group had significantly less worry about giant AI experiments such as ChatGPT and similar tools. Malaysian HR respondents did not see their use of AI increasing anywhere near the levels Singaporean respondents did. There were also differences in opinion among the two groups about how AI would apply to HR management, and how they saw a skills gap widening in this area.
According to Kevin Fitzgerald, Managing Director (Asia), Employment Hero, which commissioned the survey:
“While AI serves as an assistant in HR processes, it by no means replaces the human elements of people management. Rather than automating every process, AI should be used to streamline the manual, tedious aspects of HR processing. With more time back in the day, business can then focus on the more people-centric aspects of the job, and on other revenue driving initiatives.”
Fitzgerald added that employers should prioritize education and facilitate learning within their workforce to ensure ethical and successful AI use, and allow employees to spend more time on tasks that still require a human touch — such as people management, recruitment, company culture, and activities that benefit the bottom line.