Canadian employees have mixed emotions on generative AI

28 August 2023 2 min. read

Canadian workers are feeling a mixture of emotions about their skills and career prospects in respect to generative AI, according to new research from Robert Half. The staffing and HR consulting firm polled 1,148 workers in Canada in May 2023.

Approximately a quarter (27%) think generative AI will have a positive impact on their career while 17% worry it will make their skills obsolete. Approximately a third (32%) of Canadians think it will have no impact on their jobs prospects, and a quarter (25%) are unsure.

Younger workers are predictably more optimistic about AI than older workers. Gen Z is most optimistic (46%), followed by millennials (36%), Gen X (20%), and baby boomers (16%).

Gen Z is also most likely to use AI to boost their job prospects. Over 60% told Robert Half that they would use generative AI to improve their LinkedIn profiles, resume writing, cover letters, interview preparation, and job searches. A significantly smaller proportion of older generations use or plan to use generative AI for career assistance.

Canadian employees have mixed emotions on generative AI

“Generative AI comes with many questions about both its potential and its risks, and it's natural for professionals and businesses to have mixed feelings about its impact," said David King, senior managing director, Robert Half, Canada and South America. "Understanding how it can be leveraged for both workers' and employers' benefit, along with considering its drawbacks, is crucial at this time."

Workers say the top benefits of using generative AI are automating time-consuming tasks (36%) and increasing productivity (24%).

Across various corporate functions, the top AI uses chosen by managers were writing copy (marketing and creative); drafting documents (legal); automating accounts payable and receivable (finance); analyzing customer feedback (admin); evaluating employee performance (HR); and processing large amounts of data (IT).

“Being receptive to the potential of generative AI—such as alleviating time-consuming routine tasks and freeing up bandwidth for more stimulating projects—is important,” King added. “However, it will require the implementation of clear guidelines and best practices to ensure responsible use."