• Accendi Group

Recruitment & AI- The Future Looks Blurred

Updated: May 7, 2020

Author: Fawn Hentrel, Managing Partner, Accendi Group

Recruiting is one of the top issues businesses face today and the war for talent and for sought after skills is not expected to end anytime soon. So, what does the future of recruitment 5.0 look like? Consider the thought of combing artificial intelligence, machine learning, and recruiting to help employers solve their human capital management issues. The future of recruitment will be focused on finding the right talent because hiring the wrong person is expensive and the right hire is tied to a company’s success.

With each recruitment process, there is a substantial amount of data created, but it is not being captured for future reference. When a company needs to hire, it typically posts a job, starts to source from various channels, screens the candidates, sends them to the hiring manager, commences the various interviews, and selects a candidate to extend an offer to in order to fill the vacancy. It’s a cycle repeated every time the hiring process starts, and more often than not, the process varies depending on the hiring manager or recruiter. Documentation is not consistently done in most cases, and with the lack of efficiencies in the process, time and information are often lost, or biased actions are often interjected into the process, whether consciously or unconsciously, causing there to be numerous iterations of a process that should have more credibility.

Selecting the right candidate from a large applicant pool is one of the key tasks of a recruiter. As humans, we are all faced with certain conscious or unconscious biases and that often shows very heavily in the hiring process. Biased decisions are a common problem for all sorts of organizations, but with increased introduction of software that use Artificial Intelligence or AI solutions, recruiters have an automated tool to deploy across the various stages of recruitment to reduce the influence of those biases.

Increased automation could resemble something like, recruiters harvesting more candidate data to evaluate candidates more effectively by helping to minimize the human and sometimes amplified prejudices that can infiltrate the hiring process. This would allow companies to benefit by being able to make objective, data-driven decisions to hire only the best candidates based on their real potential using algorithms, and taking into consideration resume and profile data only.

AI is surrounded by many misconceptions as many people think about robots armed with artificial intelligence taking over the world. However, think of the possibilities as AI is used to automate core recruitment practices. This could go beyond what many do today in automating repetitive task but move to addressing routine and complex issues that limited internal resources cannot tackle.

The future of AI’s success is linked to helping companies make more objective and predictive decisions when mining data to make the best informed decision when hiring, however companies should remember that the data is only as good as the data coming in.

In the search for ways to improve human capital management, will companies view AI as an opportunity or an inhibitor? Well, that remains to be seen. If AI makes it easier to remove the biases that humans innately have within and replace it with algorithms to provide a more diverse, equitable and fair work environment, then I can see AI and recruiting going hand in hand. How could this work? By having an enabled AI talent management world, many of the daily recruiter tasks can be automated; from automatic interview scheduling when AI has access to both the candidate, recruiter, and hiring manager’s calendars, to suggesting available interview times, helping HR from playing phone tag with all parties, speeding up the hiring cycle, to notifying candidates of salary ranges, to asking for follow-up such as confirming they want to continue the interview process, and obtaining the necessary forms or certifications required for that position. AI can notify candidates they do not meet the requirements of a position and suggest other available positions more suited to the skill set, when it culls their resume.

When recruitment meets true talent acquisition, when AI’s role in recruitment augments what the recruiter does rather than removing the role of the recruiter, everyone benefits. Candidates will no longer go into the black hole of not being reviewed or receiving no response to an application as more systematic candidate touch-points are added to the full lifecycle of the hiring process. The recruiter benefits from the automation of basic tasks in the recruitment process and improvement of the use of technology in hiring, such as the use of videos and candidate communications through AI chat bots. AI could help to identify and quantify soft skills, such as truthfulness and empathy, by looking at word choice, inflections in a candidate's voice and gestures which aren’t purposely chosen such as micro-gestures or displacement gestures when a candidate is feeling conflicted emotions.

What does all of this mean with the introduction of more AI into the hiring process? In the not too distant future, one could see blurred lines between human and machine interactions. Gartner research states that by 2020, nearly one in six customer service interactions will be managed by AI, and I believe that future looks very similar for the recruitment and selection process with AI.

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