Will Artificial Intelligence Change the Talent Acquisition Process?
Talent acquisition has transformed radically in recent years as technology has become increasingly integrated into the process. In the years ahead, this transformation will continue as new technologies become available. Organizations will always seek to stay ahead of their competitors by adapting novel approaches to talent acquisition.
The latest, most ubiquitous tool available to human resources professionals is artificial intelligence (AI). It can be leveraged to single out the best candidates for a position or generate position descriptions most likely to attract the caliber of hire the company wants. Moving forward, use of AI in talent acquisition will likely become requisite for recruiting success. At the same time, organizations will have to be judicious in how they apply the technology. Here’s what you need to know:
Expanding the List of Viable Hires with Artificial Intelligence
One of the most exciting applications of AI in talent acquisition is its ability to highlight candidates that companies might otherwise overlook. Everyone comes to the hiring process with some degree of implicit bias, which limits who we think will make a great potential hire — even if we try to fight against it. Sometimes, the combination of life experience that a candidate has would make them an excellent choice even if their other credentials do not align with expectations. AI can help identify these candidates who otherwise would not move to the next stage of the hiring process.
The real value for organizations is in the diversity this can bring. Companies tend to become more homogeneous over time without a concerted effort to increase diversity. Even with policies that encourage diversity, making these hires can be challenging. Diversity is so important in terms of bringing in new perspectives, and AI can be an effective way to eliminate the implicit bias of humans and attract more diverse candidates. AI can also write descriptions of positions that attract a more diverse group of candidates, which has been challenging for many human resources departments. AI can analyze previous postings and responses they generated to generate an ideal description for attracting more diversity.
Expediting the Hiring Process with Streamlined Screening
Another application of AI in talent acquisition involves its ability to streamline the process. Today, the average time to hire is at an all-time high. This means lots of lost productivity for companies. AI can be used to speed up some of the more tedious parts of the process, such as the initial résumé screen. Not long ago, people in the human resources department would spend hours scouring résumés to decide who made it through the initial screen for more in-depth consideration. Not only is this process extremely time consuming, but it is also full of human error. Many qualified candidates get passed over accidentally. With AI, the screenings can take a matter of seconds and be both systematic and reliable.
Some companies are going even further with AI, using chatbots to conduct the initial interview round. Importantly, this round is considered an extension of the screening process and used to get the additional information collected in a first interview. In other words, candidates are not given any sort of heavy-hitting interview question by the chatbot. While this approach can save time, companies need to be careful in terms of how they represent the process to candidates and ensure that the process still feels personal. If people do not feel engaged, they may lose interest and remove themselves from consideration.
Maintaining the Human Element in the Hiring Process
The biggest challenge that companies will need to negotiate is how to keep the human element represented in the talent acquisition process. Some companies have already discussed making the entire talent acquisition process AI-driven. It would take a very specific type of candidate to be willing to go through a process like that. Companies ultimately need to think about which parts of the process need a human touch and which don’t. Some time-consuming processes, such as scheduling interviews, can easily be handled by AI. This frees up personnel to engage with qualified candidates to discuss the opportunities offered by the position.
Of course, there are also parts of the hiring process that can be divorced from the human element with confidence, such as the initial résumé screening. One of the strengths of AI is that it implements the given parameters free of additional bias. AI learns from its inputs, automatically replicates bias, and can even exacerbate its effects because it is being implemented at scale. Checking for bias remains important. When the system has the same implicit bias as the humans who would otherwise be screening, there is no value in implementing it. Figuring out how to monitor for this sort of bias in AI will be one of the big challenges moving forward — not only in talent acquisition, but in virtually all applications.