New research from LinkedIn and Microsoft’s Work Trends Index Report shows that appetite for AI use in the workplace is strong, but leaders are grappling with implementation. Three HR pros demonstrate how they’ve started adopting AI to prepare for the future of work.

It’s no longer a question of when AI will impact work but how AI is already impacting work, with appetite from employees to utilise AI growing.

With the latest research from the 2024 Work Trends Index  report from LinkedIn and Microsoft showing that 84% of knowledge workers in Australia are currently using AI at work, above the global average of 75%.

The report also found that while 80% of Australian leaders believe their company needs to adopt AI to stay competitive, 70% worry their organisation’s leadership lacks a plan and vision to implement it properly.

"If you want to figure out how AI can make a real impact on your business, the best way is to enable your teams to start testing specific use cases and the biggest thing that will set any organisation up for success is building a culture of continuous learning," says Adam Gregory, LinkedIn's Senior Director, ANZ Talent & Learning Solutions. 

The report also discovered a rise in AI power users (those who use AI several times a week) are saving 30 minutes per day by reorienting their work days with AI and 85% reported bookending their days with AI, giving them the ability to enhance and streamline their workflow.

Not embracing AI could mean missing out on employees saving time in the workday and innovation, with the report finding that organisations with teams who embrace AI are more likely to save time (90%), think and work in more creative ways (84%) and find their work more enjoyable (83%).

Below, five organisations share how they’ve started to adopt and implement AI to enhance their learning and talent management solutions.

MinterEllison using AI to enhance its learning programs

Legal and consulting firm MinterEllison is seeing productivity increase by enhancing its learning and development approach with AI.

"Generative AI is increasing people's productivity and efficiency, but also improving people's experience in the workplace by freeing up time for more interesting work," says Kate Booth, Head of Learning and Development at MinterEllison.

"Traditionally, we've seen learning as attending courses or seminars. Now, we're shifting to view learning as something that happens in the flow of work – through mentoring and real lived experiences."

That means both utilising AI and ensuring employees are equipped to use AI with confidence.

The latter point is particularly important for individuals from a future-proofing perspective, as LinkedIn and Microsoft's report found that 74% of Australian leaders wouldn't hire someone who didn't have AI capabilities listed on their CV, compared to 66% of global leaders. 

Moreover, 79% of Australian leaders say they’d rather hire a less experienced candidate with AI skills over a more experienced candidate without them. 

MinterEllison is helping its employees' future-proof their skills by including AI as a key pillar in its upskilling programs.

"We're currently rolling out a 12-week program aimed at enhancing capabilities in using AI across MinterEllison," says Booth. "LinkedIn Learning has been a crucial partner, providing content that's not only high-quality and practical but also engaging. We curate this content to align with our specific needs, enhancing its relevance and impact."

Booth was "super excited" when LinkedIn introduced its AI-enabled learning coach, which provides real-time responses to learners by drawing on the entire LinkedIn Learning content library.

"It has really taken a load off my team in helping our people explore, curate and find learning opportunities that are relevant to them. It means they can make the most of that vast library of learning content because there's so much to get through."

Unisuper enhancing its recruitment strategy with AI

Recruiters in particular stand to gain a lot by adopting  AI technology into their workflows.

Australian superannuation fund UniSuper is a champion of AI-enabled recruitment.

"The first win is automation – getting rid of some of those administrative tasks, as well as being able to refine content. We're starting to use it for advert writing, writing our position descriptions and interview guides," says Luke Collard, UniSuper's Head of Talent Acquisition. 

"LinkedIn has been a fantastic tool that we've embedded at the heart of our talent acquisition strategy."

Before utililsing AI in your learning or recruitment strategies, it's important to create a culture that embraces AI because, as Collard notes, AI can cause unease in some people while others can be too quick to jump in without considering its strategic uses.

"It's like when the Internet when it first came out. People were very excited; they wanted to throw themselves into it, but we need to take a step back and understand where it's best used, so we're not investing our time and money into something that isn't going to give us a benefit."

RMIT University saving time with AI for recruiting

Victorian-based university RMIT is also seeing productivity benefits from LinkedIn's AI tool.

Tania Downling, RMIT's Head of Talent Acquisition, says when it comes time to engaging candidates, LinkedIn’s AI-Assisted Messages can speed up outreach.

"Using LinkedIn's AI for InMails has saved us time significantly. It allows quick drafting and customisation of emails, enhancing our engagement with prospective candidates," she says.

And while it can clearly make writing an InMail faster, it also encourages faster responses. Job seekers are over 10% faster to accept AI-assisted InMails, compared with messages that are not written with the help of AI.

For more insights read the full 2024 Work Trend Index Report.

Dive into a free LinkedIn Learning course, AI & the Workforce: A Deep Dive into the Future of Work, to explore how AI is impacting jobs and skills. This course is for anyone keen on navigating the AI-powered economy.