While many technology companies are struggling to manage the overwhelming task of recruiting quality staff, some are taking advantage of developments in AI across important hiring functions.
There are a handful of software solutions out there today capable of integrating with application tracking systems in order to identify the best candidate for a given position. By taking both historical and current data into account, AI can evaluate a number of data points — everything from resume quality to technical skills — and make comparisons between candidates.
But, before delving into how AI is changing the recruiting function in HR, it's important to clarify the distinction between AI and machine learning.
By definition, Artificial Intelligence (AI) is any process in which machines improve their handling of tasks, learning as they go based on a set of rules or algorithms. Machine learning, on the other hand, is a subset of AI through which machines gain the ability to learn independently, based only on data. The more data, the better the education.
Automating the mundane, improving the process, and becoming a destination employer
So, practically speaking, what's the role of AI in recruiting? A great place to start is at the very beginning. AI can take an intense (but sometimes boring) human task, for example, of sifting through thousands of resumes and fully automate it. Using machine learning and AI in the right context, your recruiting process can get smarter as you go and can help refine your search so you get better candidates.
The leading edge part of the recruiting equation comes with the development of AI that's actually integrated into the interview process. In such a scenario, AI would generate “smart questions" — unique questions based on the answers supplied by the applicant — to be asked during the course of the initial interview. These questions would serve as an additional screening step to extract information that couldn't be discovered from the job application or resume.
AI is a huge value-add for recruiters but it can also help companies improve their reputation as an employer of choice. AI allows companies to get a better handle on key personal interaction milestones--and this is crucial.
We've probably all been in the situation where we've put in our resume online, had an interview—maybe even three!—and from there, we never hear so much as a peep from that employer again. What kind of message does that send potential employees? Most would argue it's not a positive one, and that sort of experience could prevent candidates from ever considering your company again.
But with AI and a powerful recruiting software platform, recruiters can seamlessly and automatically interact with prospects at every stage of the application process—leaving them feeling positive about your company whether or not they're getting an offer letter in the mail. Perception is key.
More than a trend: eliminating bias
Automating processes isn't the only exciting use case for AI in the HR and recruiting space today. Working closely with our customers, we've discovered that at least 80% of them place tremendous importance on hiring a diverse workforce. So removing as many biases from the recruiting process as possible is a no-brainer.
For instance, companies like Ideal have developed cloud-based AI applications that connect to application tracking systems and paint a picture of what a good candidate looks like, while also removing any information about the candidate that may trigger bias. That data includes a candidate's name, gender, race and age.
In the case of Ideal, larger clients have been able to reduce the number of hiring interviews they conduct annually by as much as 1,000, while still securing the same level of talent. That's a win!
Keeping employees away from the exit door
No less critical than recruitment is employee retention. Going forward, it's likely that machine learning and AI will become more important tools, helping companies plow through a bunch of data to find patterns around why people stay or leave. This data can come from sources like employee satisfaction surveys and exit interviews, for example.
By incorporating AI into your company's culture, retention can increase—that's especially true for tech companies, where employees expect more technology-led interactions. Gone are the days where ping pong, free soda and snacks in the break rooms hold the key to employee happiness. Today, it's more like, "Siri, set up the conference room for my next meeting." And with advances in AI, there’s no doubt that technology-enabled companies will find ways to deliver on requests like this and so much more.