People have been talking for years about artificial intelligence in the business world. Many of those discussions focus on the "robots versus humans" aspect of AI, but there's a "robots and humans" perspective to consider, too. People forget that they already live with and use AI every day. In the consumer market, for example, Amazon and Netflix both employ AI to sort through thousands of options and narrow them down to a few "recommended for you" suggestions for each user.
In the broader business world, AI has many potential applications in all areas of a company's operations. In talent acquisition in particular, it can enable organizations to do more with less (through advanced automation) and give them access to deeper insights for better decision making.
By predicting potential challenges and analyzing data (which can include, for example, answers to questions such as "How long did it take to fill this role previously?" and "Which job boards are most effective?"), AI can suggest ways to align a company's job descriptions more closely to similar roles in the industry and optimize the process for filling an open position.
Personalized Candidate Experiences
Although the job market changes daily, the candidate experience remains a priority, and a company's consumer brand and its employer brand have never been as intertwined as they are today. In an application process that uses AI-generated automated communications that remain personal and human, job seekers feel valued with easy applications, virtual hiring experiences, and tailored recommendations for best-fit jobs.
Recruiters for RPM Pizza (the largest Domino's franchisee in the USA) use AI to communicate with job seekers via texts and live chat. The company's AI-powered chatbot, nicknamed "Dottie," answers job-seeker questions, initiates the screening process, and offers candidates an application tracker to boost engagement and free up the hiring team's time.1
Increased Internal Mobility
By using AI to support teams in assessing internal talent for open roles, a company can give its current workforce and external potential candidates the same consideration when filling those positions. Such opportunities for internal mobility can help workers feel more invested in the organization.
The American Heart Association offers professional development to its internal talent through its Talent Exchange Portal. There, employees can apply to participate in projects outside their current roles in order to hone their skills and build relationships. A dedicated, internal careers site such as this can even intelligently match workers with adjacent roles within an organization.2
More Efficient Analysis
Talent acquisition teams often find themselves sorting through thousands of resumes and can struggle to find the time to narrow them down to the perfect candidate pool. These teams are starting to take a page from Netflix's playbook: instead of using one AI engine to enhance search results, Netflix uses multiple algorithms to beef up its offerings. AI using this strategy - called ensemble learning - selects the best options from a set compiled by many algorithms. In hiring, this method can "unearth the best candidates for a job - or jobs for a candidate - then serves those recommendations up in a single view" to provide recruiters with a more focused field to review3
Because bias is human nature, it's very difficult for hiring managers and teams to avoid exhibiting some degree of bias as they attract and engage talent. Cognitive bias (which derives from using shortcuts and "rules of thumb" to make sense of the world) can distort people's perceptions and cause them to draw on stereotypes. In the workplace, it can lead result to problematic decision making in the hiring process.
The old saying "We've always done it this way" is one common obstacle to change. Fortunately, more and more companies are recognizing the importance of addressing bias in recruitment and hiring so they can make stronger hires and achieve greater diversity. AI helps reduce bias by removing (or reducing) the dominance of human assessment - which is fraught with bias - from the initial review of candidates or jobs.
A Better Tomorrow
Through the adoption of AI, recruiters can improve the quality of their processes and increase the diversity of their organizations. AI will certainly be a core building block of the business world of the future, but it won't be the foundation. That role is reserved for humans, who will be needed to direct and control the technology.
1 iCIMS. 2020. "How an AI-powered Chatbot and Texting Help Domino's Largest Franchisee Fight High Turnover and Increase Applicants by 66 Percent." iCIMS website, cdn31.icims.com/icims3/prod/pdf/customers/RPM-Pizza-Case-Study.pdf.
2 American Heart Association. 2017. "Talent Exchange Portal." Heart U website, heartu.org/tag/talent-exchange-portal.
3 Virginia Backaitis. 2020. "Employers: iCIMS Holds a Key to Hiring in the Post-COVID-19 Economy." Digitizing Polaris, April 29, digitizingpolaris.com/employers-icims-holds-the-key-to-hiring-in-the-post-covid-19-economy-5a20fd7c3b8c.
Christine Rochelle is a content strategist at iCIMS, a leading provider of innovative Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) talent-acquisition solutions that help businesses win the war for top talent. To learn more about how iCIMS can help your organization, visit www.icims.com.