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AI could perform more than half of HR assistant tasks by 2032, report says

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HR assistants — as well as other popular entry-level jobs for new college graduates — could see more than half of their tasks automated by generative AI within a decade, according to a report from Cognizant.

Cognizant applied data from more than 1,000 jobs to Indeed’s list of “24 best jobs for college grads with no experience” to determine the potential impact of generative AI on popular entry-level positions in 2024.

Several in-demand roles could be affected by automation or generative AI assistance by 2032, the study found, including jobs such as proofreader, copy editor, customer service representative, sales representative, HR assistant, administrative assistant and auditor. In contrast, some roles may see a lower impact by 2032, such as veterinary assistant, medical assistant and legal assistant.

For example, HR assistants could see 55% of their tasks automated or assisted by generative AI by 2032. Proofreaders could see 83% of their tasks performed by automation.

“Gen AI actually makes human skillsets more valuable and talent should use this moment as a springboard to expand their capabilities, try new roles and become more versatile,” Kathy Diaz, Cognizant’s chief people officer, said in a statement.

Earlier this year, Cognizant and Oxford Economics — in the report upon which the most recent analysis was based — said generative AI could significantly change half of all jobs, particularly knowledge work and roles that involve computer programming, web development, database administration and graphic design. In the next three years, companies will have to commit to major overhauls of their business and operating models as AI adoption increases, the report found.

Robust reskilling programs, in particular, could build competitive advantage and brand reputation, according to the report, further supporting talent acquisition and retention efforts. Ultimately, reskilling could become so important that it transforms into an “area of shareholder scrutiny, with investments and outcomes highlighted in the company’s public reporting,” the report said.

But during the next decade, generative AI may have a “high human cost,” especially in finance and insurance, professional services and information systems, according to a report from the Society for Human Resource Management and The Burning Glass Institute. CHROs and colleagues will face several disruptions as job roles change, including likely reductions in force — but they also may see growth in learning and development opportunities. 

Employers remain split on using generative AI for HR tasks amid legal concerns, according to a Littler Mendelson survey. Most in-house lawyers, executives and HR pros expressed at least moderate concern about complying with data protection and information security laws, and around 80% said they expected at least a moderate impact from the U.S. Department of Labor and National Labor Relations Board in the next year.

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