Nobody knows what the future of TA (or work, for that matter) will actually look like, but it’s a good bet technology will continue to play a central role.
And at the center of the tech trend is artificial intelligence, simultaneously viewed as the silver bullet and the boogeyman. Across all industries, learning how to use AI tools as a partner to support human activities has emerged as a common goal. This approach requires a lot of research, as well as strategic and critical thinking, and we’re lucky to have experts like Ben Eubanks exploring, writing, and speaking about the topic.
Ben is the principal analyst at Lighthouse Research, host of the We’re Human podcast, and founder of the UpstartHR community. A self-professed data nerd and former human resources practitioner, Ben has a 360-degree view of the discipline. His research on emerging technologies led to a fascination with artificial intelligence, and now he specializes in tracking the role of AI in HR. In his recent book, Artificial Intelligence for HR: Use AI to Support and Develop a Successful Workforce, Ben seeks to empower HR leaders in an age of rapidly evolving technology and uses his Southern storytelling skills to get the job done.
Joe Matar, our director of marketing, interviewed Ben for Episode 3 of Talent Acquisition Talks, Brazen’s video series for recruiting and talent acquisition professionals. Ben and Joe sat down over BBQ (at Smoking Kow BBQ, a Team Brazen favorite) to delve into Ben’s insights on talent acquisition trends, the role of artificial intelligence in TA, and why personalization can transform the candidate experience. Read on for a quick recap of the conversation and then check out the full episode below.
Be aware of the “convergence of industries”
Because technology has made its way into every other aspect of our lives, every company has become a tech company. Ben explains how employers like Carnegie Mellon found themselves competing for talent outside of their traditional industry when Uber lured away some of the research university’s technical talent for its self-driving car project. While Carnegie Mellon has typically expected to compete with other research institutions, like MIT, the times have changed.
As industries continue to converge, competition for top talent will only become fiercer. So what’s a company to do? While Ben and Joe dive into the details into how employers can use AI to help solve this problem, don’t forget to check out our recommendations for ways to implement AI solutions to improve recruitment marketing, which also helps employers compete for top talent across industries.
AI for automation, personalization, and augmentation
Ben breaks down AI’s benefits into three major categories: automation, personalization, and augmentation. The first major benefit, automation, is easy to see. Because AI can efficiently repeat menial tasks zillions of times without variation, it’s a great choice for the administrative work that drags human workers down. At the end of the day, Ben encourages talent acquisition leaders to focus on use cases when thinking about adopting AI tools. Instead of looking to tech to solve all your problems, look for ways to use it to relieve you of boring administrative tasks and low value conversations.
AI makes personalization easier by collecting and analyzing more data and doing it faster than ever before. Some AI tools track and assess candidate behavior on your career site, such as searches and page navigation. When a candidate revisits your site, AI tools can recognize them, recall their past behavior, and interact with them using personalized communication.
And when it comes to augmentation, Ben points to the ability to lean on AI tools to complement the work of human teams. A recruiting chatbot, for example, can answer questions without getting tired or irritated, and using AI tools in this way helps enhance your employer brand while delivering a better candidate experience. Ben’s research revealed that a high proportion of recruiting chatbot interactions happen at times when human recruiters aren’t on shift (after business hours, weekends, holidays), illustrating how employers can use chatbots to maintain visibility and availability around the clock.
How AI improves the role of human recruiters
Ben is adamant that the function of AI is to make work better for humans, both for talent acquisition professionals on the front lines as well as the candidates they are working to evaluate and persuade. A growing number of talent acquisition leaders are using AI tools to gather, analyze and report on data, resulting in insights that were unattainable in the past. With these data-informed insights, TA leaders can make better decisions, create better strategies, and design better processes to achieve their goals.
Nobody can be sure which came first: the desire for data analytics or the desire for better processes. But when TA leaders use AI to solve practical problems, uncover insights, and improve experiences, the results bear out.
Defending human work
With AI taking on some of the menial workload, as well as tackling tasks that humans simply can’t handle (all the data!), recruiters are freed up to focus on investing in the human skills that are difficult to teach AI. Ben’s research has identified five key skills that will become more important as technology continues to evolve, across all roles and industries: creativity, curiosity, compassion, collaboration, and critical thinking. As more tasks are automated, these are the key skills that humans need to focus on improving. What defines us as humans is what helps us figure out how to create connections with other people (like job seekers), and using technology as a partner can help recruiters excel.
Watch the full episode of Talent Acquisition Talks:
Previous episodes of Talent Acquisition Talks:
Episode 1: Ed Barrientos, CEO, and Ryan Healy, President/Founder at Brazen
Episode 2: Peter Brooks, Senior Director of Talent Acquisition at Northrop Grumman
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