I’m really looking forward to this upcoming webinar on recruiting in the age of AI. Together with SmartSearch on Thursday, Nov. 7, I’ll be diving into one of the keys to empowering recruitment today: using the latest AI technology.
We all know that to be successful, any organization has to place a high value on finding and retaining the best possible human capital to drive its growth. A full 70% of respondents in Deloitte’s 2019 Global Human Capital Trends survey said that effective, efficient recruitment is one of their key concerns for 2020.
Overall spending for AI software is predicted to overtake hardware purchases by 2023. AI is changing work across the board. And as AI-powered technology changes the face of recruiting, it’s allowing us to engage with candidates at levels of personalization never seen before, and at a speed that fits the demands of hiring today. We’ve seen the application process accelerate, exploding into an environment without limits. The numbers are staggering. With the rise of job boards and the need to follow multiple paths from application to interview, the scope of information and applications has gone far beyond anyone’s ability to process manually.
AI is simply the most expedient tool to enable leaders to address critical concerns, such as accessing candidates with the proper skill sets and shortening the time to hire. It also helps AI hiring managers mitigate recruiting challenges and provides staffing agencies with the tools and power they need to source well and source fast.
The Tools for Hiring in the Age of AI
Chatbots and Conversational Tools
Chatbots will soon be the new normal in recruiting and hiring. Chatbots can help with a broad range of tasks, including candidate screening, pre-interview Q&A and helping applicants set up interviews with recruiters and hiring teams. Chatbots can be used to screen candidates with multiple-choice questions and pre-established decision paths that direct the applicant to the next logical question. Chatbots can field the answerable questions and convey the rest, serving as a neat archive of the candidate and indicating any gaps in information as presented by a company.
Screening for Skill and FIt
Three-quarters of the recruiters who reported difficulty AI hiring this year, according to research from SHRM, named skills gaps as the No. 1 problem, and more than half see skills shortages on the rise. Tech-driven skill and fit assessments help weed out applicants who might look great on paper but don’t have the specific training and skills for a certain role.
Since AI tools used in the screening function often have machine-learning capabilities — they learn from repetition — they get better at screening the more they do it. They can be taught to identify the types of candidates an organization is seeking or learn to be legally compliant and avoid biases related to age, gender or race. AI-based screening software can integrate with onboarding and offboarding tools and existing HR platforms to provide a comprehensive snapshot of a candidate with predictive analyses about an individuals’ potential or possible future performance.
Data and Predictive Analytics
Using statistical methodology and software to analyze worker-related data and predictive analytics allows you to find and exploit patterns in that data to uncover risks and opportunities, and improve decision making. Data and predictive analytics help predict applicant performance, select best fits, analyze the probability that a candidate will accept an interview or an offer, and assess the long-term outlook for potential hires. With some of the world’s biggest companies setting the example — Google, Sprint, Cisco, Salesforce and Credit Suisse all use predictive analytics programs in recruitment and hiring — it’s a mistake to overlook this tech.
Inherent biases in the recruiting process are still a challenge, but AI bias detectors are creating new ways around these contentious issues. AI recruitment tools can remove data like age, gender, race or gendered language to present and rank applicants based on skills, competencies and abilities, excluding the more subjective and potentially problematic qualities.
Digital video technology enables employers to incorporate skills and behavioral assessments powered by AI within their video interviews. According to SHRM, virtual interviews actually give recruiters and AI hiring managers a better understanding of a candidate’s skills than traditional interviews do. Using video interviews at the front end of the hiring process can move candidates more quickly through the system, and holding live-video interviews for candidates who live across the country or the globe reduces the need to fly in all top candidates for face-to-face interviews.
Virtual walk-throughs can convey a valuable sense of the organization’s environment and play into the current “show me” social media mindset. Using video as an employer branding tactic offers candidates a snapshot of company culture and the people with whom they’ll be working, and a clear sense of the job they may be accepting.
A Boost for Staffing Companies
When it comes to sourcing talent, staffing companies that keep up with the latest advances in technology enjoy a competitive advantage. For employers, the practice of reaching out to staffing firms to assist with hiring needs is on the rise, and more recruiting and hiring teams are turning to outside agencies to source as much as talent as possible, given the current talent market. Thirty-two percent of hiring managers who turned to an outside staffing company cited the organization’s technological capabilities as a selling point.
Sixty-three percent of talent acquisition professionals report AI has changed the way recruiting is done at their company, according to research published by Korn Ferry. And an equal number say that since the introduction of AI, candidates are more qualified and vacancies are filled faster than ever before. According to the survey, talent acquisition professionals are welcoming AI: 48% say big data and AI are making their roles easier, 40% say the top way it helps is providing valuable insights and 27% say it has freed up their time.
With the U.S. unemployment rate hovering at a 50-year low, sourcing and securing top-notch employees has never been more challenging. But given AI’s increasing role in the process, that could change. AI has certainly turbocharged recruiting and staffing among those who choose to leverage it; and for those who don’t, it may be time to rethink that strategy.
About the author
Meghan Biro founded TalentCulture in 2008 to lead a conversation about the future of work with her peers in HR and leadership. These days, she is consistently included in lists of top online influencers and writes about HR tech and talent management at Forbes.com, SHRM.org and a variety of other media outlets.