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Hi there. Force of Nature here. Slightly late with my weekly blog – that’s not like me at all is it? For those who know me, you all know I am ALWAYS late – for everything.  So much so that I actually get anxious when I am early.  No, that is a lie because I am never early…I get anxious if I am on time!

Alongside working extremely hard this week, I’ve been thinking back to the fab weekend that Rob & I had last weekend with the family.

Our activity was a little… different… but it was still flipping brilliant nonetheless! We took the kids and went banger racing. Now that doesn’t mean that Rob was suited up in safety gear bashing his car round a racetrack (unfortunately and needless to say the jokes about his car being next onto the track were constant all day!) Instead, we were spectators.

For those who don’t know, according to Wikipedia banger racing is “a tarmac, dirt, shale and chalk track type of motorsport event popular in countries such as the United Kingdom, Ireland, Belgium and the Netherlands.” Essentially, cars (bangers) race against each other and contact/damage to your opponent’s car is permitted and, dare I say, actively encouraged.

The highlight for me was the Caravan race. When I use the term race, I use it loosely. I would more describe that as Caravan carnage because it was just a load of caravans being smashed to pieces with thee winner being the “last one standing”…well, and nobody ever actually “won” the “race”.

All in all, it was a noisy, action-packed day out and I can’t recommend it enough.

Something else that is making a lot of noise in HR and employment law circles at the minute is Artificial Intelligence (dun nun nun!)

It’s something that Philip picked up on recently (https://precepthr.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/05/Click-here-for-our-latest-blog.pdf) but it’s something I wanted to update you on because developments are coming through thick and fast (like the banger racers) and that’s not likely to slow down or stop any time soon…in fact it will probably pick up pace!

In fact, the government have recently published guidance on using AI technology and systems responsibly in the HR and recruitment sector.

The full guidance can be found here: Responsible AI in Recruitment guide – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk) Now, I’m not going to go into it in granular detail because I could be here all day, but there are a few key points that I want to pick out and draw to your attention, because I think they’re important.

The idea behind using AI in HR is simple: it automates processes, maximising efficiencies.

The downsides are potentially huge: it can lead to claims of discrimination because it may sometimes rely on existing biases and it can also result in job losses because there is less need for actual humans to actually do the actual work.

Along come the government, with their guidance which aims to raise awareness of how AI can be used and the “assurance mechanisms” (their word, not ours) that can be put in place to manage risks appropriately.

Those assurance mechanisms are basically just practical tools that the government suggest organisations have in place when they are using AI in HR and recruitment processes. Some of the main ones are:

  • Put in place an AI governance framework – i.e. have a policy specifically dealing with AI in HR and recruitment processes. Did you know that at Precept we are ahead of the curve and our document bank that is accessible to clients includes a top notch AI policy? If you want to access that, then let us know and we can talk about signing you up!
  • Assess, assess, assess – this is one of the key points that comes from the guidance. Whether it’s risk assessing for potential discrimination claims or making sure you’ve properly assessed the data protection considerations, the guidance is clear that you need to put proper thought into why and how you will use AI systems before implementing them.
  • Test and monitor the system – don’t just implement it and let it run wild (I’ve got Terminator visions in my head). Make sure there are some manual checks and balances in place to avoid the system making discriminatory decisions.
  • Be transparent – make sure anybody who is potentially going to be impacted by the use of AI is aware. Signpost it clearly to applicants and potential applicants and make clear to them the mitigating steps you’ve got in place to address risks.
  • Allow and listen to user feedback – if applicants or workers think they have been negatively affected by the use of AI, let them bring that to your attention. For workers, that might be through your grievance system. For job applicants it’s as simple as letting them know in the process what they can do to raise any concerns they might have. When concerns are raised, look into those properly – don’t just ignore them.

AI is not something to be ignored. It’s going to become something that is used more and more often, so make sure you’re ahead of the curve.

If you’ve got any questions about AI, we can answer them and guide you through how to deal with it in your workplace. Give us a call!