Artificial Intelligence Takes on Talent Acquisition


Amanda Peterson, Enlightened Digital

Almost 2 million individuals are preparing to receive bachelor’s degrees in May 2019, meaning a wave of fresh talent is gearing up to take the workforce by storm. With diplomas in hand, an eager generation of prospective employees are beginning their job search and sending resumes to dozens of human resource departments.

For recruiters, however, this number can be daunting. An expanding talent pool coupled with an unprecedentedly low unemployment rate poses one of the greatest challenges in talent acquisition: screening resumes in a timely and efficient manner. In fact, over 50 percent of talent acquisition leaders say the hardest part of recruitment is identifying the right candidates from a large applicant pool. Sourcing candidates for just a single role is extremely time-consuming, encompassing more than 13 hours of a given work week, as many talent acquisition professionals complete all required tasks by hand. Fortunately, new developments in automation technologies offer more efficient ways to modernize and streamline recruiting efforts.

Artificial intelligence (AI) is one of the leading technologies that works to simplify high-volume, repetitive tasks like resume screening. At its core, AI focuses on solving problems as well as humans can. Today, AI has an increased capability to learn from experience, adjust to new inputs and perform human-like tasks. By combining large sets of data with fast, iterative processing and detailed algorithms, AI programs can learn from dataset patterns in real-time.

Tech industry leader Oracle, which has been named one of the most popular companies for recent graduates, has begun to utilize AI in its own hiring methods. “We recruit 2,000 college students today,” says CEO Mark Hurd. “It used to be done manually, but now we use machine learning and algorithms to figure out where to source people.” Not only can AI assist in finding potential employees, but it can also evaluate whether an applicant would be successful at the company.

AI can be applied on an existing resume database to automate and learn from the candidate screening process. More specifically, an AI program gathers information on existing employees’ experience, skills and other qualities and applies this knowledge to new applicants in order to automatically rank, grade and shortlist the candidates who match these qualities.

Additionally, AI-powered chatbots can respond to applicants in order to quickly provide feedback, updates and next-step suggestions. As 67 percent of job seekers say they form a positive impression of companies that provide consistent updates throughout the application process, AI is also improving the recruiting experience from a candidate perspective. Online interview software equipped with AI can even assess minutiae such as candidates’ word choices, speech patterns and facial expressions to assess his or her fit for the role as well as the company culture.

AI will undoubtedly change the recruiter role as we currently know it, but the position won’t be replaced by AI technology anytime soon. As Shobhit Gupta, business strategy and operations lead for AllyO, describes it, “We at AllyO think of [AI] like the Roomba, the friendly vacuum cleaner that frankly does things that no one wants to do and does it well.” Utilizing AI gives recruiters the opportunity to become more strategic and creative rather than devoting time to completing mundane tasks.

Recruiters will be able to conduct proactive strategic hiring that ensures the selection of candidates who are truly the best fit for the organization. A hiring process equipped with AI efficiently sorts out applicants that don’t fit the needs of the organization and gives hiring committees more time to analyze suitable candidates. Of 800 surveyed recruiters, 69 percent said that incorporating AI into their hiring process has helped them source better candidates than before.

AI is changing the field of play across many industries and will continue to have a significant influence on the recruiting process. With an influx of recent graduates ready to take on new endeavors in the workforce, AI will be an integral part of streamlining the process that allows them to begin their careers.

About the Author: Contributor to Enlightened Digital and software engineer from the one, the only New York City. When I’m not trying to find the best record store in the city, you can find me curling up to watch some Netflix with my Puggle, Hendrix.

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