New research has revealed a distinct divide between perception and reality continues to plague the artificial intelligence landscape, with many workers seemingly afraid to admit to seeing its benefits.

A study by Deel highlighted Gen Z workers would “rarely or never” mention having skills on a particular AI platform in an interview.

Nearly a third (30%) said this reluctance comes from a belief that hiring managers would not see the value in AI skills, depsite the technology becoming increasingly widespread.

Non-AI users continue to be hesitant

A further survey by the company also found while nearly two-thirds (61%) of HR decision-makers believe AI will positively impact practices over the next five years, most of them are unlikely to adopt it soon.

That sentiment is even more apparent among non-users, with nearly three-quarters (70%) unlikely to implement AI within the next year.

The most commonly perceived use case for artificial intelligence in the HR sector is analytics (46%), with one in three also noting its benefits in checking employment laws (37%), employee learning and development (35%), payroll management (34%) and accessing hiring data and insights (33%).

However, the positive sentiment isn’t mirrored across all HR firms. Deel found that under-35s are the most likely to be optimistic about AI, with four in five (83%) in that age category expecting it to have a ‘somewhat’ or ‘significantly positive impact’ on HR in the next five years.

On the other end of the scale, over-55s were among the least optimistic, with around one in four (26%) expecting AI to have a ‘somewhat’ or ‘significantly negative impact.’ 

Larger companies were also found to be more likely to perceive artificial intelligence as being positive compared with those with fewer employees.

Surprisingly, only 16% were concerned about either AI reliability and accuracy or data security and privacy, highlighting the relative readiness for the technology.

“This reluctance to adopt AI is not just about the use of technology, it means many businesses are missing a trick in terms of gaining a competitive advantage in efficiency and strategic insight,” noted Deel Head of Product, Payments and Integration, Aaron Goldsmid.

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