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Weekend Roundup: AI as HR, Theft at Work, Slow Background Checks

Will artificial intelligence (AI) replace human resources? The thought seems far-fetched, but according to a 2018 survey by consulting firm Korn Ferry, 87 percent of recruiters say they were excited about using AI to perform their roles. At the SHRM 2019 annual conference attendees found booths touting the benefits of AI software to assist in the vetting process. Alabama, schools are off to rocky start due to personnel vacancies resulting from a slow background-check process. In other news, as temperatures rise, so does the office crime wave. It seems that full-time employees spend an average of 3.3 hours a day working from home and this is a reflection of office sticky fingers. Click the headlines below to get all the details in today’s Weekend Roundup.

Can AI make hiring fairer and more efficient?

Artificial intelligence applications like Siri and Alexa wake many of us up. They tell us the weather, give us directions, answer our questions, sing us songs, even tell us jokes. They have been welcomed warmly into homes. When it comes to the workplace, people tend to be less welcoming.

A lot of Americans—about 60 percent according to one survey—worry about robots taking over jobs. It’s not an unfounded fear. According to Brookings Institution, about 36 million Americans work in jobs where 70 percent of the tasks can be automated. AI has found its way onto factory floors and into offices, and the HR department is no exception. Not only is technology changing the way we do our jobs, but it’s also changing how we apply for those jobs and whether we are considered.

According to a survey released last year by consulting firm Korn Ferry, only 25 percent of recruiters had yet to use AI in their job. A majority of the respondents (87 percent) said they were excited about using AI more in the future.

Slow state background checks leave hundreds of vacancies in Huntsville schools

Every school employee from the cafeteria to the classroom must get a state background check, according to Alabama law. With the start of the school year across the state, hundreds of positions are yet to be filled because of the slower background-check process.

“We have over 100 people in this limbo just in our company here in Huntsville,” said head of customer experience with SPUR, Chris Hand. “In other parts of the state we have even more people waiting on backgrounds.”

Workplace Theft Is on the Rise

Your office is a den of thieves. Don’t take my word for it: When a forensic-accounting firm surveyed workers in 2013, 52 percent admitted to stealing company property. And the thievery is getting worse. The Association of Certified Fraud Examiners reports that theft of “non-cash” property—ranging from a single pencil in the supply closet to a pallet of them on the company loading dock—jumped from 10.6 percent of corporate-theft losses in 2002 to 21 percent in 2018. Managers routinely order up to 20 percent more product than is necessary, just to account for sticky-fingered employees.

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