In recruiting, it seems the New Year always brings about a brand new hot technology. A Holy Grail designed specifically to solve our recruiting woes and help unearth the most qualified of candidates in rapid time. This year that technology was AI, a.k.a. artificial intelligence and it was everywhere. But unlike years prior, AI is planning to stick around for 2018. And what’s more – it’s growing and taking on new forms.
Chances are, it’d be near impossible to find a talent acquisition team not relying on some form of computing technology at this point. Now, without getting too technical, or making the obvious sci-fi comparisons (cough, Stranger Things), AI can do many things for many people but the keyword here is ‘people.’ That’s right, it’s people (Soylent Green, anyone?). And while 2022 is still a few years off, how we approach human-computer interaction in the recruiting function is critical, especially when it comes to incorporating AI.
Most solutions touting AI capabilities don’t actually leverage the truest meaning of the technology, but for the sake of argument we’ll be inclusive. AI, as it stands, is immensely helpful when it comes to sourcing and administrative tasks, helping to speed things up and streamline everyday processes. For example, if a candidate comes to your career site and asks a question about where to apply, AI chatbots can provide the answer, within reason.
AI for sourcing can sift through multiple candidate sources at once, replacing the need for manual searches. Taking things one step further, AI can also screen resumes to learn more and qualify candidates from the previously sourced pool. This leads to candidate matching and even the initial contact, without the human recruiter lifting more than a finger. However, despite this significant reduction in workload, this does not equate to the right hire. Though AI solutions report high rates of success in identifying qualified talent, the machines aren’t perfect and upwards of 10 percent of right-fit candidates will inevitably be overlooked.
Ultimately, it’s the skills held by the recruiter that make the difference. Consider recruiting for specialized skills such as nurses. While AI can help with the initial sourcing and screening, hiring a candidate with the bedside manner and personality needed is where the computer falls short. Recruiters recognize the nuances of organizations, understand what teams are looking for and what they need. Sure, the computer helps check the boxes off a list but there’s a big difference between emergency room and private practice experiences.
When it comes to hard-to-hire talent, AI may do little to convince a candidate to join an organization. If given the opportunity to chat with candidates, recruiters are much more capable of positioning the organization as a great place to work, while simultaneously helping identify if and where the candidate might fit. To effectively communicate culture and brand and reinforce the human element, it seems wise to connect recruiters, hiring managers and team with top talent early on in the process.
Yes, AI is helpful to recruiters but cannot negate the recruiter’s value. With it, recruiters can spend their time connecting with a smaller, well-vetted candidate pool – getting to know potential hires and determining best fit. Time-to-hire will be improved and the administrative burden of reading 100 resumes for every one req lessened. At least until the robots learn to emote but even so with what margin of error? The old adage still rings true, if you want something done right, do it yourself.