Many industries undergo transformations every few years, and talent acquisition is no exception. Rapid change followed the arrival of applicant-tracking systems in the late 1990s, and today it’s AI-enabled tools that are set to fundamentally reengineer how hiring is done. The adoption of those new tools is being driven in large part by candidates’ constantly shifting expectations. (In the 1990s, for example, companies didn’t need career sites but in the 2000s they did—and by 2012 companies that didn’t have mobile-optimized sites were in trouble.) Therefore, organizations that want to provide consistently great candidate experiences must adopt a forward-looking mindset.
Because artificial intelligence is poised to lead the way in shaping how companies treat their candidates, it’s critical for hiring managers to develop baseline understandings of those technologies. Knowing what can be possible with emerging technologies (even when that functionality isn’t yet available on the market) can enable companies to develop strategies for using them—and be ready to jump on those tools when they finally hit the market. Here are three areas that organizations should keep an eye on as they think about adopting and implementing new technologies.
Using AI as a Candidate Guide
Now that candidates are effectively consumers, organizations must provide them with tools to serve their needs. Chatbots that fulfill the human need for immediate answers, for example, can connect candidates to the right opportunities. This type of AI application can do more than just respond to key phrases. It can give a candidate direct access to information and personalized directions (based on information in the candidate’s resume or from a conversation he or she has with the bot) to navigate what is often an indecipherable list of job titles and find an answer to the question “Where do I fit in this organization?” A company that employs this technology also benefits: AI provides a better way for it to engage with the increasing volume of interested applicants. (This example describes just one possible early, first-wave application of technology reengineer candidate engagements. It probably won’t be long before people starting their job searches from their couches by saying “Hey, Alexa.”)
Using Technology to Increase Convenience (for Everyone)
Once a company has connected with a candidate, the next step is to evaluate his or her abilities. In today’s job market, most candidates are currently employed, which can make it very difficult to schedule assessments and interviews. Organizations can provide a better candidate experience—and increase hiring efficiency—by letting candidates complete parts of the hiring process on their own terms.
Consider the example of a healthcare IT company that used to screen every engineering candidate via an in-person interview in which the engineering team would give the candidate a problem and observe how he or she solved it on a whiteboard. Although this type of interview is a great way to see how a candidate processes data, it does require complicated scheduling and costs associated with bringing every reasonably qualified candidate onsite.
New technologies can replicate this screening step in a way that gives candidates the same interview coding experience on their own terms. For example, qualified candidates can complete several coding challenges offsite and record videos to explain their thought processes and approaches to solving each one. Because this entire process is asynchronous, the organization can consider more candidates and accelerate its recruitment of developers, as well as decrease interview expenses (by flying in only the top candidates for in-person interviews) and free up hundreds of hours for its engineering team.
Using AI to Screen and Drive Candidate Flow
With the rise of mobile applications, cloud storage of resumes, and easy access to information about employers, candidates have turned into consumers. Because it’s easier than ever for someone to apply for a job on a whim, many companies have seen an increase in applications. As a result, recruiters are now spending the majority of their time reviewing incoming applications to find the best ones rather than actually placing candidates in new positions in which they will succeed. New AI capabilities are being developed to learn the measure for success and sift through applications and sourcing channels in order to connect recruiters only with the best candidates, thus ensuring that recruiters spend their time building relationships instead of wading through applications.
As long as companies need employees, recruiting will continue to be a critical area for every organization. With new technologies making HR functions more efficient and easier each day, it’s clear that companies that want to improve their hiring processes will need to understand, anticipate, and embrace those new solutions.
As the director of recruiting for Cerner, Troy Teague focuses on talent acquisition for the USA, Europe, and India by developing strategies to identify and attract the best talent for Cerner’s human capital needs. He ensures that Cerner has the right talent to execute for its clients and leads in the areas of recruitment, recruitment systems, reporting, recruitment marketing, veteran initiatives, and diversity outreach. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. This article was originally published on the HireVue blog (hirevue.com/blog).