Artificial Intelligence (AI) is transforming the workplace in significant ways that are being used by recruiters to expand and improve their workforce. These AI applications are not about replacing human beings as much as efficiently finding the best human beings as candidates for open job positions.
AI Tools for Talent Acquisition
Recruiters are increasingly using AI tools for talent acquisition, which include:
AI for Keyword Optimization in Job Advertisements
AI is extremely efficient in data mining to find the keywords that will be the optimal choices for advertising copy about open job positions. AI is also effective in screening potential candidates to find a match. To have job listings rank high on the search engine results page, recruiters use AI-driven keyword optimization techniques to have the best results.
AI Helps Eliminate Bias in the Hiring Process
A research study of hiring bias in America found that simply having an ethic-sounding name reduces interview invites. The study used the same resumes and changed the names from Emily and Greg to Lakisha and Jamal when applying for job openings advertised in Chicago and Boston. Even with all the other resume content being exactly the same, the ethnic-sounding names reduced the interview offers by half.
This is strong evidence of the unnecessary and harmful bias that gives those with “white-sounding” names an advantage in the hiring process. AI selection of candidates can be made that eliminates this bias entirely and focuses only on a job applicant’s qualifications for the position.
Talent Pool Evaluation Using AI
The popular business-to-business social media system, LinkedIn, offers the AI-driven LinkedIn Recruiter application. This application helps HR recruiters to build up a talent pool of candidates to optimize the possibilities of successful hires. It is unique because the algorithm screens the LinkedIn profiles for talent that may already be employed. This is a “headhunter” recruiter’s dream to have the LinkedIn data mined in such a useful way.
Employed people are not necessarily in a job-seeking mode. However, they may be looking for a lateral shift as career advancement. These highly-talented individuals are candidates for future positions in a company. It is beneficial for a recruiter to make use of this LinkedIn Recruiter system. It expands the talent pool of potential candidates. Then, a recruiter can draw upon this talent pool to inform them when a position they qualify for becomes open.
Recruiting Applicants Using an AI-Driven Chatbot
Chatbots have been widely used in customer service for many years, being able to successfully resolve 80% of issues.
An innovative program, used by the government of Singapore to recruit qualified software engineers, shortens the hiring process significantly. The AI-driven system can rapidly select the most qualified candidates for in-person interviews from all who apply.
Job applicants are asked to engage in a conversation with an AI-driven chatbot that uses advancements in the principles of chatbot design to make conversational assessments automatically. Using natural conversation, the chatbot asks applicants questions about their technical skills to validate them. As soon as a qualified candidate applies, the recruiters get an email of their success with the chatbot conversational assessment.
Risks and Disadvantages of AI in HR
The old saying of “Garbage in, garbage out.” is very appropriate to consider if recruiters want to rely on AI to influence the hiring choices with less human oversight. Sometimes the data that an AI system can use to select a candidate is limited when dealing with the recruitment of people. If the data is flawed or incomplete, the AI-driven results from the data analysis will be inferior.
For example, a simple error of not screening the candidates to see who is still seeking a position can skew the AI analytical results in the wrong direction. It is not as useful if the AI system says the best candidate for the job is the person who was already hired by your competitor last week.
Machine learning techniques used for data mining are very good at narrowing down the candidates for a position to the most-qualified ones according to their resumes. AI is not as good at evaluating the sense that an experienced human recruiter has about whether any candidate will fit in well with other team members. For AI to be helpful with this, it would need to analyze the results of personality testing of all existing team members that the new hire must be able to collaborate with to be effective.
Personality characteristics of humans do not come through on their resumes. There is tremendous value in human contact through personal interviews. The “gut” feeling that an experienced recruiter has about a candidate is not something easily taught to an AI-system. AI helps recruiters but will not replace them.
Post-Pandemic Changes to Expect in the Workplace
The global pandemic has forced sudden and major changes in the workplace that include:
More concerns about employees’ safety.
- Increased remote work.
- Office space redesign.
- Changing work shifts and office hours.
- Less business travel and more use of virtual conferences and online meetings.
As a recruiter, you are now looking for potential hires to have new skills in these areas. Moreover, you will need to have an organizational-wide strategy to address these serious issues to stay competitive and be able to recruit top candidates for key positions.
Even after widespread use of vaccination strategies, it is likely that airborne contagious diseases will continue to be a major risk for the foreseeable future. It is naive to think this is a “once and done” pandemic phenomenon. Many of these changes are going to be permanent.
Millions of jobs have been lost and a large portion of them are not going to come back. Rather than thinking only about these unemployed as a massive problem, consider that there are now millions of people available as a pool of new workers to draw upon.
AI can help shift through their resumes to find the best ones. Those people are a treasure waiting for recruiters to discover. As everything is shifting more to a virtual workplace, there is less concern where the workers are physically located, with an array of remote collaboration tools available.
Clever recruiters are setting up online training programs to create newly qualified candidates. Many people have free time now to complete these training programs and even participate in remote networking, so recruiters can take advantage of this opportunity.
Use these megatrends to drive your recruiting policies and you will be able to benefit from this disruption instead of being further harmed by it.
In the future, we will see more practical applications of this technology as AI combines with virtual reality innovations in the workplace. In recruiting, imagine you want to test the skills of a potential new hire. VR simulators are an effective way to test applicants.
With AI-driven data mining of resumes, you can more easily select those who say they have the experience for the position, and then, with AI-driven VR interview experiences, they can be asked to demonstrate their skills before being hired. Although there are some concerns that robots may replace human workers in future, we can’t deny the economic benefits of AI. New technologies bring significant shifts in the way all the industries are operating.