HR Tech Interview with Brigette McInnis-Day, Chief People Officer at UiPath

Journey into Tech

Hi, Brigette, welcome to the Interview Series. Please tell us about your journey in the technology industry and how this industry has transformed in the post-Covid era.

As Chief People Officer at UiPath, I am responsible for leading HR strategy, execution, and vision, with a focus on acquiring and developing talent and shaping the culture. Over the 20 years I have worked in the technology industry, the landscape has changed dramatically. Business looks radically different today than it did three years ago, and yet some areas have not advanced as fast. In the past few years, companies have learned to adapt to a decentralized workforce and within the past six months, there has been massive technological change and developments in Generative AI. The ongoing hype around ChatGPT demonstrates that we’ve entered a new era of AI – one that can empower us to work smarter. By understanding the new challenges of the current way we work, and seeing where innovative technology like AI-powered automation can help, we can help employees embrace this evolution.

Enterprise automation is the biggest game-changer for the HR teams in the recent years. Could you tell us how you utilize automation in your own HR Tech stack?

In the post-Covid era, the HR industry has experienced growing pains as the demands on HR professionals have shifted and workplace trends such as the Great Resignation, Quiet Quitting, and Great Restructuring appeared. To navigate the complex and ever-changing landscape, many companies now expect that their HR leaders have the business acumen to take a more strategic approach to not only advance HR but lift up the entire organization. For busy HR professionals, automation can serve as a valuable tool, helping accelerate key processes so employees can focus on the interpersonal work that’s so central to their role and skillsets.

One example of this is scheduling interviews, which is a highly time-consuming and repetitive activity. Internally, we have expedited this task by implementing automations that can check calendars in different time-zones, provide the candidate with time slot options and then set up a meeting and send details to its participants. By using this digital coordinator, our operations team can focus more time on facilitating the process for recruiters and candidates with up to 30-45 min saved per candidate.

At UiPath, our mission is to uplevel knowledge work so more people can work more creatively, collaboratively, and strategically. Our AI-powered automation platform not only optimizes workflows but also enables employee engagement – empowering people to go beyond mundane tasks to focus on work that inspires them.

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Would it become more challenging for workers to chase upward mobility in their current organizations with the arrival / maturity of AI capabilities?

On the contrary, automation and AI create new opportunities for job creation and career mobility. While it is natural for there to be hesitations around the impact of AI, these technological advances will ultimately enrich employees’work and personal lives by preventing them from feeling like robots themselves. With the help of automation tools, employees will have more time to learn new skills and focus on critical tasks. They’ll be able to eliminate the tasks they dread doing and the ones that might prevent them from having opportunities to reach up. Plus, as organizations increasingly deploy these tools, workers with AI and automation skills will be highly coveted and sought after–giving them a leg up against competition in job searches.

Could you highlight the key takeaways from your recent report on how AI-powered automation is dominating the job markets?

UiPath conducted a survey of more than 6,400 workers from around the world and compiled a report that examines the challenges The Automation Generation is facing as a result of shrinking teams and economic pressures—and how they’re using automation to offset those issues. Unlike traditional generations, the Automation Generation is not tethered to a specific age group or demographic. Rather, this generation encompasses every worker who is embracing AI and automation to excel in their roles and create a more enriched professional and personal life.

More than one in four workers (29%) around the world report feelings of burnout, leading to more staffers leaning on AI-powered automation tools to provide relief. Automation is seen as a viable solution to enhance job satisfaction with 58% of respondents saying that they believe the technology can address burnout and improve job fulfillment. Another 57% report that they view employers that use AI-powered automation to help support employees and modernize operations more favorably than those that do not. The data shows that the Automation Generation is able to successfully navigate this era of work, and I expect that to continue as more organizations lean on AI-powered automation to maintain productivity and business continuity.

Generative AI and similar technologies have completely taken over all major discussions in terms of investments and budgeting this year. Could you highlight how these AI capabilities could revolutionize HR Technology?

Technological advances like AI, ML, and predictive analytics have affected every industry and HR is no exception. For recruiters, managing the relationships from potential talent and sourcing defines their success. In the HR industry, workers can now use the combination of Generative AI like ChatGPT and UiPath to expedite talent searches. These technologies can reduce their search time by 95%. From a compliance perspective, automation can audit employee data in Workday across all other systems to ensure data accuracy and notify HR administrators if it identifies an anomaly. Another example is in benefits. Automation greatly reduces the time it takes a specialist to log into various systems, download invoices, and reconcile in Excel to send to finance teams. This is a labor intensive that becomes an easy win with automation because it empowers HR employees to spend time on value-added tasks.

When you take away the repetitive processes in an HR professionals’ day-to-day and give back the crucial time and resources that they didn’t have before, they can focus on the larger business strategy. At UiPath, we have implemented a variety of automation solutions that focus on recognition to improve engagement. For example, we have started the creation of an interactive automation that all employees can use for HR-related enquiries. As part of its initial features, the bot can raise tickets on employees’ behalf, so that they don’t need to go on different systems to make requests. The impact is it is a one-stop shop for employees’ inquiries.

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How do you prepare for the AI-led disruptions?

As the speed of AI development accelerates, leaders must prepare their workforces to adapt to ongoing technological disruptions. AI and automation have become critical for businesses to improve efficiency, reduce costs, and stay competitive in today’s digital age. For example, having accurate data is key to staying on top of your business strategy. Automation can ensure that the information available in the systems is complete, accurate, and consistent. For example, working with a partner, we created a CHRO dashboard supported by the automation platform that pulls all relevant data from HR and other systems to provide leadership with valuable real-time information to make decisions.

In this way, automation can help identify trends and patterns that are more effective to deliver people-centric solutions. By using this data to develop targeted interventions, HR can improve overall employee performance and productivity.

How are AI journeys influencing business operations related to hiring, recruitment and talent development in an organization?

HR teams can be a source of innovation helping organizations – and their people – run. It’s clear that employees in the HR organization need solutions that can help them tackle the ever-growing pile-up of tasks. I believe AI can impact an HR organization, but also improve an entire organization across three areas – strategic HR, talent experiences, and employee empowerment and engagement. Some industry surveys show that the majority of employees are not engaged with their work or feel they lack the resources to work effectively, so HR leaders should look for AI-powered automation possibilities that empower employees and enable them to do their job effectively.

From automating weekly requisition reports to matching candidate profiles to several open requisitions they may be a fit for, automation helps recruiters be more productive, improve quality hiring, minimize hiring bias, and reduce time to fill positions. In addition, at UiPath, we created Athena, interactive automation that can be used by all our employees. Athena matches employees with both mentees and mentors, which removes the difficulty employees have with identifying colleagues they can learn from or share their knowledge with.

The major events in the employee journey, such as onboarding, performance management, career development, and others can be automated.

What are your predictions on the future of HR technology platforms for talent management?

As employers continue to navigate today’s tight economic market, we will see businesses investing in technologies that can help bridge the gap between what employers need and what employees want. We will begin to see more digital workers take over repetitive and lower-value work, like logging into applications and systems, moving files and folders, extracting, copying, and inserting data, filling in forms, and completing routine analyses and reports. With the right technology and tools, the workplace can transform into a place where everyone can feel supported and set up for success with human resource professionals being a main driver of this change and transformation.

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Lighter notes:

  1. Burn the midnight candle or soak in the sun?
    BMD – Burn the midnight candle
  2. Coffee, or Tea?
    BMD – mint tea
  3. Your favorite UiPath automation feature you want everyone to try out?
    BMD – Athena – an automation that offers mentoring accessibility for everyone in minutes
  4. First memorable experience in your career as a technology leader?
    Understanding how technology can accelerate all aspects of talent – building talent pools, always full succession, career paths, ability to search any type of experience, skillset, location and career desires to grow talent and find right person for the right role at the right time – beautiful.
  5. One thing you remember about your employee (s):
    As a leader it is not about me, it is about how we lift and serve our people…sometimes it takes us time to mature and figure that out and hope all get there.
  6. Most useful app that you currently use:
    LinkedIn – I am always looking for amazing talent.

Thank you, Brigette! That was fun and we hope to see you back on HR Tech Series soon.

[To share your insights with us, please write to]

Brigette currently serves as the Chief People Officer at UiPath. With over 20 years of experience working in HR and in the business, Brigette believes in fostering a people-first philosophy that focuses on attracting and developing teams of innovative thinkers and shaping a culture of customer-centricity to drive business growth and transformation. Brigette strives to reshape the future of work through technology and automation, redefining the next generation of leadership through diversity and inclusion, pay equality, and digital transformation.

Before joining the team at UiPath in 2022, Brigette served as the leader of Google Cloud’s human resources function and prior to that was the Chief Operating Officer of SAP SuccessFactors and EVP Human Resources SAP, where she worked to shape a culture of customer empathy, implement business strategies, and create sustainable growth while empowering employees and company leadership.

UiPath is on a mission to uplevel knowledge work so more people can work more creatively, collaboratively, and strategically. The AI-powered UiPath Business Automation Platform combines the leading robotic process automation (RPA) solution with a full suite of capabilities to understand, automate, and operate end-to-end processes, offering unprecedented time-to-value. For organizations that need to evolve to survive and thrive through increasingly changing times, UiPath is The Foundation of Innovation

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