The world has seen rapid AI advancements, and the recruitment industry is no different, except that maybe AI has already been part of the talent search process. Going by the public’s response, artificial intelligence can be a tool for the benefit or something to fear in the workplace. As always, things are not so clear, and the pros and cons are more nuanced than the myth.
Continue reading below to see what leading publications and experts have to say about the rise of AI.
Everyone wants to save time when they’re searching for talent. Recruiting is a fast-paced career, where search consultants, companies, and even candidates try to find each other to make a match made in heaven. So, is AI heaven-sent? Well, yes and no. In the Harvard Book Review article contributed by Jessica Kim-Schmid and Roshni Raveendhran, they argue that things aren’t quite so black and white but that AI might bring some relief to recruiters and organizations if used wisely.
There are several ways in which using AI can be used to maximize time and minimize “pain points” that tend to hinder the talent management process. Three areas where AI works its magic are employee attraction, development, and retention. Being major areas of the employee lifecycle, you can see why organizations are so eager to jump on things that offer so much improvement.
Still, not everything can be taken at face value.
“They can make managing talent easier and fairer, but it’s not as simple as plug and play — and if leaders want to get the most out of these tools, they need to remember that.”
As they point out in the article, there are many pitfalls to AI, as it can’t even begin to capture the nuance of humanity fully. After all, it is not a one-size-fits-all solution, and it can only be taught to do so much. Even Chat GPT needs to be given painstakingly clear instructions.
The most common failings are low trust in AI decisions, AI bias, employee privacy while tracking, and of course, all the legal risks of these implications. Now, there are varying ways to mitigate and redirect the AI efforts that the authors enumerate in the piece, but these still require the input of an actual person.
“If search professionals don’t prioritize their time, they will lose out to the competition.”
Time is essential for a recruiter’s job. Hiring authorities will only hire the best candidates, and corporate and freelance recruiters must race against each other and the clock to get candidates ready to make a job change.
In Jack Kelly’s article for Forbes, he argues that not only using but learning the ways that AI works can make or break a deal when looking for candidates. As an example, he uses LinkedIn as a platform that recruiters and candidates have used to their advantage to find opportunities. Still, they’re making changes with AI, implementing different strategies like screening thoroughly and analyzing information for a better use of their time.
LinkedIn is not the only company using it, though: Amazon, Hired, Phemon, and other big companies also implement various forms of AI in recruiting. This only means that the usage will increase, helping recruiters, but only those who get the skills to use it to their full potential.
AI is more than a trend. As Alyssa Harmon quotes in her contribution for Recruiter.com, 84% of business leaders believe that it will help them stay competitive.
Still, as with any other tool, it has its downsides, some of which coincide with the ones that HBR cited in their own articles. The plain truth is that AI is mostly automation, which as Harmon points out, 90% of businesses are already using and will continue to use.
Not only that, it will continue to grow and develop, as these tools do have many efficient uses, as long as people foster the skills necessary for its correct management. Thus, upskilling to work properly with AI and automation is not only a need but a way to ensure that a role isn’t redundant.
“While AI has great potential, it’s not a silver bullet that can solve all recruitment challenges. Human judgment and intuition still play a critical role in the hiring process.”
The pros of AI are efficiency, improved communication thanks to customer-service-based techniques, help in finding more quality candidates, and speeding up the whole process, from writing job descriptions, screening applicants, and scheduling interviews, etc.
Still, the cons are there, like impersonal communication, biases that may make it less accurate, and a big lack of human judgment that may get the best person for the job falling through the cracks because they didn’t check a single item on the list. It’s not all bad though, as always there needs to be a middle ground, and the best solution is simply human.
In a SHRM interview, Roy Maurer sits down with Eric Sydell, author of Decoding Talent, to discuss some hard-hitting questions and misconceptions that have plagued the world of AI.
Syndell, best known as executive vice president of Modern Hire and expert in AI and machine learning, aimed to quell anxieties over the use of this new tool in hiring, while also conceding that there have been many missteps on the road to progress. Some of the things he mentioned are how privacy and data usage shouldn’t be blindspots for developers, as this can rightfully anger and endanger the public.
“So finding the right balance between constraining privacy problems and bias and also enabling AI to be effective and helpful is a delicate dance between business and human interests.”
What he points out is that AI is something that we can train to be better for humans. That is by finding the right balance between corporations and human work. If used correctly, AI can help us eliminate the biases that have tripped us in the past, thus working in a fully beneficial way and ensuring fairness in all aspects of the process of hiring.
According to him, the capturing and interpretation of big data that AI can manage is a game changer for talent acquisition as it can help us recognize patterns and create a narrative surrounding it. As far as technology has come, though, there is still an urgent need for human interpretation to fully extract all of the subtleties of HR roles.
AI is a useful tool that can be leveraged to benefit all areas of the hiring process. Recruiters can use it to shorten the search times for the perfect candidate or find a bigger amount of qualified candidates. Meanwhile, companies can use it to better the whole employee lifecycle.
Still, a key detail that should be thoroughly encouraging for all of those that fear AI is that human intervention is essential to fully extract all of the benefits that this innovative technology has to offer and to avoid any of the downfalls that unchecked power might have. All in all, data interpretation and the sheer human perspective are crucial for future automation.
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