The term Artificial Intelligence (AI) often conjures up science fiction imaginings of Skynet and robot uprisings. The reality is less sensational but still incredibly powerful for the future of business and the world at large. A recent study by PwC found business leaders believe AI will be fundamental in the future, with 72 percent terming it a “business advantage.”
In the talent acquisition space, AI technologies are poised to be transformational but the changes they bring are not without concern. As a people-based business, the danger of losing the human element in recruiting is a looming threat when automation and robots enter the picture. However, AI can be used to help make smarter hiring decisions and to complement – not replace – the work of hiring professionals.
According to Accenture, AI is projected to increase labour productivity by up to 40 percent and enable people to make more efficient use of their time. Talent acquisition is complex but AI can help make recruiting more efficient. AI will help streamline processes and automate repetitive tasks, helping improve human recruiters’ performance and productivity – and giving them back time to focus on connecting and interacting with quality candidates.
Talent acquisition is business-critical. Unfilled positions or hiring the wrong person can have costly implications for a business. With the average cost of a bad hire being approximately $17,000, it is imperative that a quality employee is the end-result of the hiring process.
AI can be a critical tool for sourcing candidates. Using predictive analytics culled from recruiting data, businesses can optimise their hiring strategies, determine the best hiring sources and even develop job advertisements catered to finding the perfect candidate. Predictive analytics can also be used to determine candidate success, recommending candidates most likely to perform well based on past data.
While these recommendations provide a strong starting point, human recruiters must step in to analyse and evaluate. Intangible information – like soft skills or cultural fit – must be taken into account and that is not something AI can assess.
Nearly half of candidates (48 percent) say the screening experience has an impact on how favorably they view a potential employer – this number rises to 63 percent among millennials. Today’s candidates are consumers and want their job search to mirror their other daily experiences. AI-powered methods for screening candidates provide job seekers with the fast and easy experience they crave. AI can help easily automate communication, from establishing initial connections with job seekers to scheduling and performing interviews to helping onboard new hires.
Chatbots are quickly becoming one of the most prevalent AI-methods for screening candidates. Tools like Ari by TextRecruit, an AI-powered, customisable recruiting chatbot, use natural language processing and machine learning to announce jobs, gather data and confirm skills and engage candidates in two-way conversation asking and answering questions about open positions.
Candidate communication via Ari is 98 percent faster that candidate communication via email. By letting technologies like chatbots take over these repetitive, time-consuming activities, recruiters are able to be more proactive and high touch on more strategic tasks.
AI is also impacting the job search. In 2017, Google entered the recruiting space, using AI and machine learning to help job seekers more effectively find open positions. Google for Jobs is also changing the game for businesses improving the talent pipeline while reducing advertising spend by cutting out middlemen job boards.
The recruiting landscape is continuously changing. Technologies to help businesses hire smarter are popping up daily. Artificial intelligence technologies will continue to advance but the human recruiter is not going anywhere. AI is smart but the human element brings a value that a machine cannot provide. The co-existence of human intelligence and machines is what will ultimately allow recruiters to become more strategic.