A new global report from Sage reveals that HR professionals welcome AI to ease the burden of admin jobs, take away time-consuming tasks, and, ultimately, ease burnout.

The annual report, titled 'The Changing Face of HR', surveyed over 1,000 HR leaders across a range of sectors and countries, finding that 77% believe AI has the potential to revolutionize ways of working within their company. With 95% of respondents reporting an increase in their workload over the past year and 91% seeing an increase in more responsibilities in their role.

The research also revealed that:

  • Amount of work (80%), low morale and burnout of employees (79%) and limited budgets (79%) are the top challenges keeping HR professionals up at night
  • 80% of HR professionals believe the role of HR will change considerably due to AI
  • 71% of HR professionals believe implementing AI in HR tasks will create more jobs
  • 45% of HR leaders are currently using HR metrics, 44% are utilizing automation, and 43% employing cloud HR solutions, showing a significant shift towards automation and analytics

The report also highlighted some areas of focus, with more than half (56%) of HR leaders reporting that they need more technology to operate effectively. By utilizing technology, HR leaders will be able to collect, analyze, and report meaningful data-driven insights to better inform their decisions. Training was identified as key to taking advantage of the benefits of technology with 79% agreeing that education was needed to fully capitalize on AI’s capabilities.

Future outlook

Looking forward to the future, the top three areas HR professionals want to spend more time on are strategic planning (61%), using data to drive decision-making (59%) and employee engagement (59%). This demonstrates a fundamental shift from paperwork to people strategies, meaning that there is a need to automate labor-intensive HR admin tasks. Although 68% say over half of the HR processes in their organization are automated, 79% say more could be automated to improve efficiency.

Interestingly, the research also revealed a gap between small businesses (57%) and medium businesses (80%) in terms of automation levels, indicating that smaller companies may benefit from investing in HR technology to keep up with larger competitors.

The report concludes that HR professionals are well-positioned to navigate these changes and continue to play a crucial role in shaping the future of work.

Amanda Cusdin, CPO at Sage, comments, “Our findings show that HR professionals are facing increasing pressure to deliver results while managing an ever-growing list of responsibilities. However, the industry and its people are resilient and those that embrace technology and AI will gain more time back, which we know is so invaluable when you’re trying to avoid burnout. As a result, HR professionals will be able to shift their focus’ to areas of their jobs that they find more valuable, such as people strategies, which in turn can increase job satisfaction.”

Ben Brooks, Founder and CEO at Pilot says “The importance of HR analytics in strategic HR cannot be underestimated. Finance, Sales, Operations, Technology, Marketing, and more all come to the table with numbers that illustrate progress, challenges, and performance against goals, and HR must do the same. Leveraging technology to collect, analyze, and report meaningful data driven insights becomes a superpower for HR.”

Notes to EditorsTo download the full report, visit https://www.sage.com/en-gb/human-resources/resources/hr-trends


Over 1,000 HR leaders across a range of sectors were surveyed across the following countries: US, UK, Germany, South Africa, Canada, Spain, France. 50% of respondents were from small businesses (50-249 employees) and 50% of respondents were from medium businesses (250-2,500 employees).

Media contactJordan KerchevalSagejordan.kercheval@sage.com


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Sage exists to knock down barriers so everyone can thrive, starting with the millions of Small and Mid-Sized Businesses served by us, our partners and accountants. Customers trust our finance, HR and payroll software to make work and money flow. By digitizing business processes and relationships with customers, suppliers, employees, banks and governments, our digital network connects SMBs, removing friction and delivering insights. Knocking down barriers also means we use our time, technology and experience to tackle digital inequality, economic inequality and the climate crisis.

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