This Company Utilizes AI to Prevent Large-Scale Layoffs

Technology

Deloitte, a leading member of the ‘big four’ consulting firms, adopts an innovative strategy using Artificial Intelligence (AI) to mitigate the need for extensive layoffs

Over the past 14-15 months, the job sector has been marked by fear and uncertainty. As Artificial Intelligence (AI) gains prominence and companies implement AI-driven initiatives, the debate over the necessity of humans versus AI in replacing jobs has come to the forefront. Amid economic downturns and uncertainty, hundreds of thousands of employees have faced job losses, with mass layoffs showing no signs of abating. In contrast, consulting giant Deloitte is taking a distinctive approach by leveraging AI to prevent widespread layoffs.

According to a recent Bloomberg report, Deloitte is turning to artificial intelligence to reshape the trend of large-scale staff layoffs. The company is actively assessing the skills of its existing workforce and devising a plan to transition employees from routine tasks to more complex responsibilities in the evolving business landscape. This evaluation forms a part of Deloitte’s strategy to witness sustainable hiring growth in the future.

Deloitte’s move to evaluate and categorize its workforce based on skill sets aligns with its plan to hire approximately 130,000 employees in 2023. However, amidst this significant hiring initiative, the company has cautioned employees in the US and UK about potential job losses, citing the need to restructure certain departments due to a slowdown in demand.

Steven Rolls, global chief talent officer at Deloitte, emphasized the company’s objective to avoid drastic fluctuations in hiring and layoffs, stating, “It is obviously a great objective to be able to avoid large swings of hirings and layoffs. You could always be more efficient and effective about finding the right people.”

Importantly, Deloitte’s adoption of AI for workforce management is not an isolated effort but reflects a broader industry trend. Professional services firms, including Deloitte’s competitors, are exploring generative AI to automate repetitive tasks traditionally assigned to junior staff. Generative AI, such as ChatGPT, is streamlining tasks like document preparation and data compilation.

In the context of Deloitte’s latest initiatives, the company aims to extend AI’s role beyond task automation to handle the influx of thousands of employees annually. With a total headcount nearing 460,000 after a recent surge in hiring, Deloitte recognizes the need for a strategic talent management approach to sustain its growth trajectory.

Commenting on the potential challenges of continued exponential growth, Rolls expressed concern, stating, “Let’s imagine Deloitte was so successful and we doubled our size again; I’d be really worried about hiring a quarter of a million people a year. It might not be fewer, but it might be the same as we hire now.” This underscores the company’s commitment to innovative solutions for managing the complexities of a rapidly expanding workforce amid the transformative impact of AI.

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