Technology: whether you consider it friend or foe, not only is it here to stay, but it is also rapidly transforming the future of work. Merely 10 years ago terms like Cloud Architects and Python Developers may seem like characters in a mystical board-game, yet now they are some of the most in-demand roles in Australian workplaces. Equally, artificial intelligence or AI is being cited as one of the most disruptive forces in generations. Think driverless cars, digitised learning, robot customer service assistants and virtual reality – AI is already driving transformation in industries including Education, Transportation, Manufacturing and Healthcare. The recruitment industry is certainly not immune, so what does AI mean for us, and hiring managers more broadly? We look at some of the uses of AI in the hiring process.
1. Candidate screening
Going through applications is one of the most time-consuming parts of the recruitment process. Companies like Ideal, a provider of AI-powered talent screening & matching systems, use algorithms to scan incoming CVs against key words and location data, and grade prospective talent accordingly. Ideal’s CEO Somen Mondal, compares this data analysis to “a recruiter Googling a company [on a CV] and learning about it” but saving those crucial human hours for other tasks. Online assessments and personality questionnaires can add to this data pool, with all this information being fed directly into an Applicant Tracking System (ATS). Streamlining the hiring process in these way means the cost and time per hire is reduced, freeing up resources for more meaningful interactions and projects.
Back in 2016, Gartner predicted that by 2020 we would be having more conversations with chatbots than with our spouses. This somewhat disturbing prediction may not be as far-fetched as initially thought, as chatbots are now widespread tools for services including customer service and recruitment. Automating communication with candidates through NLP (Natural Language Processing) can reduce the time-consuming task of responding to applicants on roles that attract large volumes of applications. Chatbots can further assist in answering common candidate questions, scheduling interviews and even phone-screening. The US army has used chat bots successfully for several years in their recruitment and marketing processes, and the colloquially named Sgt Star has now amassed quite a following. In the first five years of action, Sgt. Star answered over 10 million questions, averaging out at 1,550 per day. This represents a colossal saving in time.
The use of digital interviewing by companies across the world has been gradual, however due to the COVID-19 epidemic almost every workplace is now accustomed to interacting with potential talent remotely via Zoom and other platforms. AI can record and share these interviews with other senior stakeholders, but also to attract talent in the first place. VideoMyJob is a Melbourne-based app that allows hiring managers to film, edit and share recruitment videos attracting candidates to their business. In an age when candidates want to have as much information as possible prior to applying for roles, and the demand for talent so competitive, this creates a unique opportunity for candidates to gain real insight into your business.
4. Remote Hiring – And Working
In 2012 Linda Chandler, Enterprise Architect at Microsoft UK and Phillip Ross, CEO of UnWork.com created the idea of the ‘Anywhere Working City’. They explore the concept of ‘the third space’; a sort of in-between location that is neither work or home, but where employees can still carry out the duties thanks to cloud-based technologies and greater connectivity. Organisations are witnessing first-hand the diminishing need to have their workforce in the same country, let alone the same building, and this realisation has been further impressed since the outbreak of COVID-19. AI can help with not only the recruitment of new hires remotely, but also ongoing performance management and ensuring employees remain connected. As business reassess workforce planning and employee safety and well-being post-COVID-19, harnessing AI technologies could prove integral to swift economic recovery.
When used correctly, conversational AI engages candidates in a human and natural way to help build trust with candidates. This is especially important when hiring remote workers, knowing their interaction with others in the company will rarely be face-to-face.
Vinita Venkatesh, Vice President of Product Marketing at Mya Systems
So….does this mean we’re out of a job?
Call me an optimist, but whilst evolving technologies are certainly contributing to the effective recruitment of staff for companies globally, I don’t think the recruitment industry is on its way out just yet. Time and money are key considerations for companies when sourcing new talent, but neither are compromised when engaging with long-term recruitment partners that know your business well. We pride ourselves on our long-term relationships with clients across all industries, equipping us with the insight and understanding of the ‘human elements’ of an organisation, with company culture perhaps being the most important. Candidates may present with an A+ resume, but their ability to work with and engage with other humans in a successful and collaborative manner can only really be successfully tested using other humans. This assessment of nuances and intuitions paired with a solid understanding of a company means only a person who has a good insight into a company’s style and culture can properly asses a candidate’s fit within a business.