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AI in Human Resource & Payroll: What Does the Future Hold for Education?


Artificial Intelligence (AI) has exploded in the past few years, going from a steadily growing field of computer science to dominating the mainstream narrative in almost every industry. 

The numbers don’t lie, either. According to a Gartner survey, 79% of corporate strategists see AI and analytics as a critical part of their success in the next two years.

And we agree. That’s why we haven’t overlooked AI and how it can advance the field of Human Resources and Payroll (HRP) for educational institutions. Edsembli always strives to help our users put our software to work, improving productivity, cost-effectiveness, and supporting better student outcomes.

From advanced chatbots to intelligent candidate screening, AI has the potential to transform education HRP to cut costs and minimize time spent on mundane but necessary tasks. 

HRP is a data-heavy field, and that makes it a perfect industry for AI transformation. So, let’s take a high-level view of AI and explore how we see it shaping the world of HRP software and processes. Keep reading to learn what the future might hold for HRP.


Automation vs. AI: What Do We Mean by AI?

What exactly do we mean by AI? You’ll often see automation and AI used interchangeably, but they are two different terms, albeit they have similarities and benefits to organizations. So let’s define both terms and how they vary to help you navigate the world of AI:

  • Automation: Any task that’s completed by a computer without human intervention falls under this category. At the most basic level, you can think of automation as “If this thing happens, then the program will take this action.” Automation can become exceedingly complex and provide plenty of benefits, but it doesn’t always cross over into AI territory.
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI): Conversely, AI strives to mimic human intelligence by creating programs that evaluate complex datasets and learn from them over time. AI can find nuanced patterns in data sets, perform narrow tasks better than humans, and make informed decisions. AI is further divided into plenty of subcategories like computer vision and machine learning, but for now, we can focus on AI as an overall field.

For example, automation is when your teacher enters student grades from a given assignment, and a program uses them to update each student’s overall grade. AI might evaluate current grades and specific assignments to identify students needing more assistance to pass the class and then alert the teacher.

Both automation and AI are crucial, but be careful not to mix up these terms as you start navigating the world of AI.


AI and Human Resources: Improving Efficiency and the Employee Experience

AI systems have been applied throughout many fields, from manufacturing to creating new works of art. So, let’s explore how it may be applied to education HRP — starting with HR.

We will break HRP into both components since they aren’t always the same team and have distinct responsibilities. However, be aware that most HRP platforms are designed for both departments and will likely include a mix of payroll-focused functionality, as well as self-service options for employees. 


Recruiting and Onboarding

Recruiting is a significant expense for most organizations, and education is no exception. Posting ads, sorting through resumes, and conducting resumes all eat up time before those efforts translate to business benefits.

Once complete, the process of onboarding to get the new hire up to speed further takes up time but must be done before the new employee can become productive.

So, how can AI help? Let’s take a look:

  • Trained algorithms combined with Natural Language Processing (NLP) can screen resumes with a new level of precision to help identify the most suitable candidates and then pass those results to an HR specialist.
  • Chatbots can take over some candidate requests and schedule interviews, freeing up HR’s time to conduct interviews and review pre-screened resumes.
  • Once hired, employees can benefit from an AI-guided onboarding process that may be able to handle the basics and even some advanced topics, letting trainers focus only on the higher-level topics.

Each of these possibilities can make a significant impact on HR’s operating expenses and efficiency.


Better Employee Support

Employee support is a significant portion of HR’s workday. AI can help reduce the workload by taking over various requests, giving employees faster responses and letting HR focus on more complex requests.

Chatbots aren’t new, but the latest growth in Natural Language Processing (NLP) has made them much more intelligent and valuable. ChatGPT is arguably the most well-known AI tool and has advanced the field of NLP to entirely new heights — why not put similar tech to work for your teams?

This new generation of chatbots can better understand written language from your employees and generate novel text responses right back. Additionally, employees can provide feedback to help improve these tools over time.


Summarizing HR Calls

Voice recognition combined with NLP can revolutionize how calls are transcribed and documented, which may be necessary for compliance reasons or as internal processes. Transcribing these calls can be done without human involvement and produce more accurate results.

Transcription is only the beginning, though — once that’s done, advanced tools can evaluate the call content and create specific insights. These insights can impact decision-making and policy development, contributing to a more effective and responsible HR team.


HR Productivity

We’re excited to explore all ways AI can improve productivity for HR departments. You’re likely aware that HR is filled with various crucial and repeating tasks. How many of these can be simplified or entirely handled by AI? Some possibilities include

  • Qualifying or managing leave requests
  • Creating advanced self-service tools for benefits
  • Processing many aspects of payroll (we’ll explore this in detail below)

These operational efficiencies aren’t far away, with many already possible with existing automation tools. AI-enabled upgrades can use historical data to take these utilities to the next level — ultimately creating a more productive environment for HR teams.

It may even be possible to use AI for entirely new strategic use cases, such as identifying educators who may be at risk of leaving and then recommending specific interventions to keep them around.


AI and Payroll: Transforming Payroll Management and Employee Compensation in Education

Payroll is ripe for transformation with new AI tools. The number-focused, data-heavy department has plenty of ways to benefit from advancements in AI. Let’s explore a few of what’s possible and probably not too far from becoming a reality.


Next-level Automation for Staff and Admin

We broke down automation earlier and how it varies from AI, but the two fields can undoubtedly team up to help simplify payroll. 

For example, the timesheet approval process can go beyond existing automation by identifying discrepancies and checking for the accuracy of reported work hours. A system can catch any human errors and send them back to be corrected before the timesheet moves on to approval by payroll.

How else might AI take automation to an entirely new level? The advanced ability to recognize patterns and anomalies can be integrated throughout payroll tasks to help streamline them and minimize human error.


Better Payroll Management and Reporting

Reporting is a crucial aspect of payroll, and a department using leading-edge systems can already generate a variety of reports on-demand or autonomously. 

So, how can AI improve reporting? AI can make sense of more data sources to generate valuable insights and trends for every employee. These insights can help administrators take a more proactive approach to payroll management while also identifying and correcting any potential issues as early as possible.


Staying Compliant with Education’s Regulatory Requirements

The ever-evolving world of compliance creates unique challenges as regulations change. Failing to meet specific regulatory requirements can have severe consequences for educational institutions. In the payroll context, teacher benefits and salaries may be under scrutiny.

So, how does AI come into play? We may see new systems capable of frequently evaluating known regulatory documents, analyzing any changes, and making suggestions for any necessary payroll-related updates.

This type of feature can greatly reduce legal risks while also ensuring all employees are paid fairly and in accordance with regulations. Something like this isn’t as far off as it might seem and can help create a more trustworthy and transparent payroll system.


Keeping Humans in the Loop with AI

Some employees worry that AI will replace them entirely. That may be true for other industries, but it won’t be as common as many expect and is extremely unlikely to affect HR.

Human oversight is vital to make sure AI systems are ethical, transparent, and are held accountable for decisions. The goal of AI is to be an efficient addition to or replacement for many tasks, but it’s not perfect. AI lacks the ability to make ethical judgments, does not have empathy, and may reflect biases in training data. It will likely be quite a long time before these issues are removed, if ever.

The result: humans aren’t going to be leaving Human Resources anytime soon. Humans need to be kept in the loop to ensure transparency and accountability of the results of any AI systems. This fact is especially important for education, an industry that’s highly regulated and directly affects student success. 

Rest assured, these new and evolving systems aim to improve your workflow, not take it over completely. 


Prepare for the Future of AI in HRP with Edsembli

Even though developing, testing, and implementing all of the features we dreamed about above, many of them aren’t far from becoming a reality. 

However, you won’t be able to put them to work if you’re still using disjointed tools and spreadsheets for HRP. You’ll need to have an HRP solution in place from the right vendor actively developing and deploying these features with a focus on the needs of education.

Edsembli is a leader in education-focused HRP solutions, along with other purpose-built platforms focusing on the unique utility possible for educational institutions. We’re continually exploring how we can leverage new technologies to improve the value and utility our platforms provide.

Ready to adopt a future-ready HRP platform? Book a demo with us today to see how Edsembli can help.

Book your demo with an Edsembli education specialist today

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