If one hasn’t been living under a rock – or buried in paper, so to say –the past few years, you would know that AI or Artificial Intelligence as a technology has made inroads into most spheres of human life. In the last 20 years or so, it has really come into its own as a mimic of the mind. While it seems to go against natural instinct to entrust machines with a people-intensive field like human resources, the record so far shows that AI has many ways of making tough and critical HR functions like talent acquisition much easier, and with higher efficiency and effectiveness to boot.
AI for Achieving Alignment
One of the primary areas of recruitment where AI can deliver better results is the sourcing and screening stage. Getting the right person for the job can be likened to spotting a unicorn. Seen from the other side, job satisfaction is like the holy grail for the global knowledge economy – it is estimated that as many as 70% of qualified and skilled individuals (the human capital on LinkedIn) are on the lookout for other, hopefully better, roles and / or careers (“Should Companies Use AI to Assess Job Candidates?”). But, if data and intelligence are brought into play, both sides can reap huge benefits. The algorithms of machine learning draw from patterns and best practices and match these to candidates’ skills, qualifications and personality to filter out resumes with greater potential. Companies should also look at storing data generated from every recruiting event in the past to build a ready reference and predictive model for the future. There are also emerging tech solutions that help companies put together stand-out job postings based on what has worked for others, and tools that track down and target job-seekers with personalised messages.
AI for Automating the Everyday
The burden of fulfilling the mundane, low-level tasks can scale up over a period of time for hiring managers. AI can help here by taking over the process of streamlining and managing candidates’ experiences for the benefit of both the organisation and the applicant. There are solutions that function like chatbots to eliminate the administrative bog of manual follow-ups to applications. These digital assistants can, in just a few seconds, schedule interviews and even register feedback on the interview experience. Some of these chatbots have been found to reduce the time taken to screen candidates by 30–50 percent or more. This efficiency effectively frees up time for more productive, higher value-generating activities like outbound recruiting and interviewing (“Accessing talent: It’s more than acquisition”). AI start-ups have also developed solutions that can set up tasks as part of the interview, especially for technical roles, by auto-generating challenges.
AI to Assess Effectively
Organisations often miss out on the right person for the job due to human bias – such leanings and preferences can vary from an overemphasis on hard skills demonstrated by an elite college degree over critical soft skills that are often gathered outside a structured education, to reading too much into candidates’ facial and other expressions during an interview. AI can help assess and identify the most competent and ambitious individuals by highlighting pertinent factors, filtering out the clichéd and often non-essential ones, and, most importantly, removing bias. There are solutions that can set up video interviews for a role. These video or digital interviews can make for a highly structured experience, giving each candidate the same set of questions and therefore equal opportunity. There are also nascent AI-based tools with promising findings that can leverage machine learning to interpret video interviews, pinpoint crucial things that go said and unsaid by a candidate, and link these to potential results in job performance. These tools can assess a range of human characteristics, such as body language, voice inflection, and facial expressions, to accurately map out a personality profile and even identify traits like communication and leadership skills, all of which are critical to performance in most roles (“Should Companies Use AI to Assess Job Candidates?”).
AI: The Way to Go
With the economy expanding all the time and job profiles and requisite skills mutating, recruitment has indeed become a tough nut to crack. In Deloitte’s Global Human Capital Trends survey, 16 percent of respondents cited it as one of the three most urgent issues their organization would face in 2019 (“Accessing talent: It’s more than acquisition”). Organisations can no more afford to depend on age-old, tried-and-tested practices. Studies show that algorithms can do a better job than humans at finding the right resources. Though AI cannot, for now, stand on its own, organisations can run some simple interference and oversight to tap into its vast benefits. Where essential, they can retain the human touch and amplify results by drawing on data. With another Deloitte survey showing that 40% of respondent companies have linked up with AI for HR (“Growing role of Artificial Intelligence in HR tech”), hiring managers can, with all confidence, lean on AI analytics and innovations to match people to jobs. Some smart use of good, new technology, and everyone stands to win.
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