Big data is not only here to stay, but it’s primed to get even bigger in the coming years. And a big reason for the growth in big data is our ever increasing ability to make sense of that data. Because without our ability to draw insights from the data, the data becomes nothing more than zeroes and ones on a computer screen.
And while humans play a role in making sense of the data, it is another force that is driving these changes: artificial intelligence. And its growth is just as steep as big data’s growth. In 2019 alone, artificial intelligence (AI) will continue to mean big business. Globally, AI business value is projected to reach $1.2 trillion in 2019, according to Gartner. And in the U.S., major investments in the future of AI are taking place left and right. For example, MIT will spend $1 billion in 2019 to create a college devoted to AI, marking the largest financial investment in AI by any U.S. academic institution to date.
When it comes to AI’s role in recruiting, 63 percent of global HR professionals said in a recent survey that AI has already changed the way recruiting is done, and 62 percent of companies plan to spend on AI-powered recruiting software in 2018. To ride the next wave of innovative recruiting, companies need to know what the next year will hold.
Here are the four biggest AI trends that will transform the recruiting landscape in 2019.
Trend #1: Chatbots continue to improve candidate engagement
Chatbots will continue to improve candidate engagement in 2019, primarily because of one simple fact. The majority of job seekers in the U.S. working population like them, understand them, and want to use them.
In 2016, millennials (those born between 1981 and 1996) became the largest proportion of the U.S. working population, making up 35 percent of the workforce. The oldest members of Generation Z (born after 1996) have already entered the workforce and already make up five percent of the working population in the U.S. As time passes, that number will only increase. With this shift, employers must focus even more on what younger job seekers want, starting with the candidate experience.
What’s the first step to a better candidate experience? Chatbots. Nearly 60 percent of millennials report having used a chatbot and, of those, 70 percent say the experience was positive. With feedback like that, employers that use recruiting chatbots can deliver a uniquely satisfying candidate experience for younger job seekers. According to our own data, almost 60% of candidates who engage in a chat within 6 minutes of connecting with a brand would promote chat to others and almost 80% rate ‘chat’ a 7 or above..
Trend #2: AI-powered recruiting tools lead to more effective sourcing
Using AI-powered recruiting tools, in and of themselves, helps improve the quality of candidates in your pipeline in a number of ways. The first is the most obvious: in order to complete an application, a candidate must exhibit adequate technical skills. After all, if they can’t even complete an online application, they may not be savvy enough to tackle the basic technical requirements of the position you need to fill. As AI recruiting tools expand to include video and voice components, biometrics analysis will evaluate the quality and authenticity of candidates’ responses, providing even more insight on the likelihood of a good fit.
The second benefit comes into play when you consider how AI-powered tools can screen out candidates that your human recruiters don’t need to communicate with on any level. As a result, recruiting teams are free to spend more time with quality candidates, working on relationship-building and evaluating for soft skills.
Another way AI-powered tools improve the quality of the candidate pipeline is by reaching passive candidates. Recent research suggests 95 percent of the people employers want to hire are not even looking for new jobs. That’s where the power of referrals come in, utilizing personal social networks to spread the word about available positions.
Lastly, how about a bold prediction that combines trend #1 with trend #2? I think we’ll start to see proactive chatbots in sourcing. Chatbots will go out and find candidates and start conversations with those candidates automatically on sites like LinkedIn.. Wow.
Trend #3: Giving candidates the personalized experience they want
We’ve already outlined the argument for providing what candidates want when it comes to chatbots, but it doesn’t end there. These days, job seekers have increasingly prevalent opinions about how they want to interact with potential employers as well. For many, the key to a great candidate experience lies in personalization. This goes beyond individually addressed emails and extends to tools that make candidates feel special or unique.
In traditional recruiting models, only a human recruiter could offer such an experience. However, as AI technology improves and results in even more realistic chatbots, employers will be able to rely on AI-powered tools to help human recruiters accomplish the same goals. And the candidates may not even be able to tell the difference. In 2019, we may see chatbots get even closer to passing the Turing test—that is, the gauge of a machine’s ability to exhibit behavior indistinguishable from that of a human. Some AI tools can already have ‘real life’ conversations in text, and Google has already taken that to the next level with its voiced AI assistant that is impressive, to say the least. (You’ve got to hear it to believe it.)
In fact, personalization might not even be the term to describe this shift. It’s personal to the point of connecting on a human to human level.
Trend #4: Using data analytics for more effective decision-making
The most tangible benefits from AI-powered recruiting tools might be on the frontlines, in the relationships between candidates and your system, and between candidates and human recruiters. None of the people in those roles need to understand the nuts and bolts of how the technology works – so long as it does work – but there are big advantages to be reaped behind the scenes.
Analytics from AI-powered recruiting tools can help employers improve the entire talent acquisition process, by evaluating a variety of candidate metrics, as well as performance metrics for the hiring team. For instance, predictive analytics will help recruiting teams staff appropriately depending on company growth, macroeconomic factors and open positions. Prescriptive analytics will help sourcing teams experiment more efficiently to determine which channels work and which don’t, while algorithms will better sift through resumes and identify those factors that lead to a really great hire.
A majority of higher-maturity companies (71 percent) are already using findings from their robotics, cognitive or AI methods, and as the utilization of AI-powered recruiting tools increases in 2019, we can expect to see that proportion increase as well.
The future of AI in recruiting
With AI becoming an integral part of so many aspects of recruiting and talent acquisition, many are still wondering what this will mean for human recruiters. Some people are concerned that AI will take jobs away from humans, and certainly that will happen to some degree, at some point in time. But as long as both human and artificial intelligence are aligned on a path to achieve progress then we believe that a more likely future is one where humans and machines work together, to achieve better results for companies and job seekers alike.
For more about how chat is helping recruiters hire top talent faster, read our Chat Revolution Guide.
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