There is only one resource that ultimately can’t be recovered: that resource is time. The old adage “time is money” has never been truer than it is in a business climate where instantaneous communication has raised productivity expectations to unprecedented levels.
Productivity still comes from people, but our computer companions may be the key to reclaiming time in a non-stop value creation race. Equipped with artificial intelligence boosted by machine learning algorithms, they will soon possess the potential to begin intelligently taking on time-consuming tasks. Therein lies opportunity for the recruiting industry; machine learning and artificial intelligence could, if researched ahead of time and utilized cleverly, enable recruiters and recruiting firms and groups to focus on what matters most: the human touch.
Recruiters Will Always Be Humans
When the recruiting industry truly began to flourish, it contended with the ability of the newspaper to bring classified and personal ads to job seekers and employers. Some recruiting firms saw this as a threat, but others saw an opportunity instead.
By leveraging the reach of newspapers, recruiters could then speak to a much larger pool of candidates who lived and worked further distances from the job site. The same happened when job-hunting and networking websites like Monster and LinkedIn proliferated; smart recruiters took advantage of the technology to lay the groundwork for building a candidate list, then applied their communication and vetting skills to improve the search for people.
The true test of AI in the hands of recruiters is still to come. Right now, candidates and employers are struggling to gain access to human interaction. Candidates can easily send resumes to employers, but their digital paperwork tends to get lost in the hundreds and thousands of applications for which employers must then somehow pool the resources to sift through.
That’s where the recruiter’s assistance is inevitably needed. The electronic connection isn’t enough to find the right fit – there’s simply no replacement for humans.
Getting Ahead of Artificial Intelligence
Before we master machine learning and can apply it across many industries, we must plan actionable ways to take advantage of artificial intelligence technology. The places where AI will serve recruiters the best are:
As machines become better able to parse larger data sets for key characteristics and skills, research will improve in the areas of:
- Efficiency – While humans will still need to do their own vetting for candidates discovered by machine, AI will give thousands more candidates a chance to be seen and heard per job posting.
- Effectiveness – Seeking candidates calls for undivided attention to detail when scanning the skills, work history, credentials, and accomplishments of a mountain of candidates. AI will help find more potential best fits that might have been missed otherwise.
Consciously programmed AI can also help facilitate communication. When candidate and employer communications pile up, AI assistance can send reminders and help track conversations while presenting relevant and useful information for keeping the back-and-forth alive. Deep learning frameworks will allow the same artificial intelligence to determine how it fits in with the recruiter’s workflow to optimize communication for increasingly larger audiences.
In the end, harnessing AI will always be about using the technology to engage with real humans on both sides of the job hunt. It’s a high-tech, high-touch approach that continues to prove more effective as executive search and recruiting evolve into global functions aimed to identify the hard-to-find candidates.