The role of AI in talent acquisition and business decision-making goes beyond finding the right talent with skills and experience, to meet the organisational fit. AI tools and technologies have empowered recruitment and talent acquisition efforts by researching through data and gathering insights about a potential candidate for senior management roles.
According to a research paper by MIT Technology Review1 focussing on the Asia Pacific penetration of AI and its impact on the future, 70% of HR executives feel that AI and adoption of robotics will result in significant job losses in Asia over the next five years. However HR managers and talent acquisition professionals feel that their roles will evolve into broader, and more strategic- productivity management roles. The business landscape in Asia is not only poised to embrace AI but the future will be defined by it. Asian governments are particularly suspicious of the threat AI poses to their efforts to transform skills in the labour force. Whilst most professionals believe that their job roles will be altered as a result of AI and robots taking over lower-skilled jobs. AI and robotics will only complement for the better and jobs will not be replaced. Rise in AI would only create a seismic shift in processes that senior managers use, to grow talent and increase productivity across every industry sector.
A sneak peak on Recruitment in AI era
With global talent war at its peak, organisations are now looking at harnessing Artificial Intelligence (AI) capabilities, to use search optimisation tools, data analytics, and talent mapping to reach out to the right talent for crucial job roles. Technology has been revolutionising the way recruitment works with the entire process being now automated with ATS and other talent management softwares. This saves time and costs involved with recruiting for HR managers, whilst allowing them to do away with third-party service providers for talent sourcing such as employment bureaus and traditional recruitment agencies. With modern talent acquisition technology empowered by AI, the time taken for recruitment is halved and search narrowed to reach out to only the best talent that matches job requirements. There is no need for human intervention and manual personality matching to choose the best candidates for suitable job roles.
AI for recruiting is the application of artificial intelligence such as learning or problem-solving exhibited by machines to the recruitment function. AI uses techniques such as machine learning, natural language processing, and sentiment analysis to learn, troubleshoot, and problem solve. “Automated HR tools have built-in capabilities to think faster; that leaves HR to focus on more meaningful things like getting the candidates onboarded,” says Glenn Dittrich, Director Smarter Workforce, IBM Asia Pacific. With recruiting teams struggling to recruit candidates, sourcing continues to remain a number one challenge. Use of AI in recruitment helps find passive candidates that meet the exact job requirements, whilst streamlining the process and saving the hours instead. AI tools have been extensively used to automate the resume screening process as well, by providing recommendations to learn about an existing employee experience, skills, and experience to get cumulative insights before arriving at a hiring decision.
Automation of repetitive tasks such as screening through candidates allows recruiters to save on time, whilst realigning their priorities to engage with those candidates who are the perfect fit. Matching the best talent with the right job roles is an even bigger challenge than sourcing them. Most recruiters will agree with the fact that identifying the right candidates from a large talent pool is one of the hardest parts of their job.
Talent mapping, with the help of big data, is definitely the next step in recruitment technology. With talent mapping, recruiters can determine their candidate needs well in advance and develop a strategic plan for hiring long-term. This includes filling any skill gaps, bolstering the team for sudden changes in the workplace, or just simply having suitable talent in mind for the future. All of these, when prepared ahead of time, can save companies the trouble and time in future. Recruiters who are able to understand how AI works, harness the technology to save on time and costs will be rewarded with improved quality of hires, enhanced efficiency, more productive workforce and less turnover.
AI can reduce unconscious bias during the recruitment process by ignoring demographic information on a candidate’s resume or profile such as age, gender, and race. AI is trained to find patterns in previous behaviour; however, so any human bias that may already be in the recruiting process – even if it’s unconscious – can be learned by AI. To avoid replicating human bias that may already exist, make sure any AI software we use is has taken steps to remove clear patterns of potential bias.
Artificial Intelligence Market Forecasts3 by Tractica4 suggests that revenue will reach US$36.8b by 2025, with almost every industry seeing an impact from AI. Tasks like customer acquisition and planning, job candidate finders, predictive sales and marketing, travel concierge and booking services, and chatbot-based e-commerce and sales will be impacted by AI tools. 56% have a negative impression of a company if they don’t hear back after submitting an application. AI in the form of chatbots promises to improve the candidate experience as today’s candidates want and expect continuous feedback, often immediately. The current candidate-driven market is only going to get more competitive: 56% of talent acquisition leaders say their hiring volume will increase this year. That means recruiters who can speed up their hiring process using AI automation tools will win the war for talent in 2017.
Automating the recruiting workflow through AI will ironically allow recruiters to become more "human" by freeing up their time to more deeply explore candidate’s needs and desires and determine fit. Overall, the impact of AI will not be felt by blue-collar jobs alone, even the white-collar workforce will be impacted. This is an issue to which policy makers and the governments should pay close attention, to be better prepared for the next wave of technology. There’s also, of course, that human element that’s so critical to recruiting: the art of persuasion. Without a closed offer, recruiting has fundamentally failed, no matter what tech we are using. And no machine will ever be able to do as good a job as recruiters at developing the relationships and repartee with candidates that’s an absolute imperative for getting offers accepted, requests closed, and business moving forward. Emotional intelligence is still every bit as valuable as artificial intelligence – no machine can ever account for the complexities of human emotion and behavior.