As a recent Gallup survey stated, “The media have reported extensively about the potential for Artificial Intelligence (AI) to eliminate large numbers of jobs across the U.S. economy, and Americans agree, with more than seven in ten saying AI will eliminate more jobs than it creates.”(1)
What does that mean for a recruiter? Is this the beginning of the end? Will a machine be filling open roles automatically? Will recruiters themselves be entering the job search market? Or will AI be a welcome enhancement to the recruiting role, making the recruiter’s day-in-the-life more fulfilling?
Like any early technological change, speculation tends to rule the roost. From a practical purpose, however, it’s difficult to imagine AI completely replacing all aspects of a job. As posted recently on The Verge, “Even in high-risk industries like truck driving, there’s only so much automation can do. A computer can drive on a highway, yes, but it can’t repair a truck, unload its inventory, argue with unhelpful warehouse managers, or even refill the gas tank.”(2)
How does that relate to recruiting? If you look at the trucking analogy, driving is the most time-consuming and monotonous part of that role. If we look at recruiting, we can break down the functions into tasks that require a high-touch human element, and those that are repetitive and monotonous, and would lend themselves to automation. I.e., the “driving”-equivalent tasks.
From Upsider’s perspective, the most important steps in the recruiting process are the human ones: building relationships with prospects, sharing the company culture, handling the irrationalities of candidates and hiring managers, and closing job reqs. But the reality of the current recruiting model shows that less than 40% of recruiting time is spent on these important and high-value tasks.
Unfortunately, the bulk of a recruiter’s time is spent on monotonous and time-consuming tasks – the “driving”. Things such as pouring over résumé́ databases, writing complicated Boolean searches, guessing which companies might provide candidates, dealing with the constrictions of LinkedIn InMail, scheduling, etc. On the positive front, these are the exact activities that can be executed by AI at scale, and where AI will have a massive impact in shifting the time allocation to higher value tasks. As noted in the Gallup poll, “While Americans agree that AI adoption will result in a net loss of jobs, they remain largely positive about the impact the new technology will have on their lives and work over the next decade.”1 This is one area where AI will be positively impacting recruiting, and in a big way.
When it comes to candidate sourcing, weeks and months of tedious efforts can be executed in minutes using AI. No need to ask the hiring manager for their list of companies to target, or spend time grinding through résumé́ databases. Based on specific targeting, such as years of sales experience, base salary range, technology stacks, etc., AI will analyze hundreds of variables across millions of companies to define the right targets at a scale not possible in any other way. It will also analyze candidate data and deliver a wide range of candidate pools based on sophisticated scoring techniques. All of this occurs in real-time, so recruiters get immediate results.
Additionally, AI will return predictable conversion rates and timelines, enabling recruiters to communicate to hiring managers the number of candidates available for outreach, as well as the expected follow-on conversion rates: how many responses expected, number of screening calls that will be made, the size of the qualified candidate pool, and the hire timeline. Being able to present the required candidate pool size and the “projected role fill date” is an effective way to manage expectations.
AI can impact other time-consuming recruiting activities. AI can automate the outreach to candidates, making it easier to be more personalized, relevant and effective. AI allows recruiting managers to keep tabs on their target candidate sets more easily. AI-based triggers drive follow-up communications at key moments. This “right-time, automated interaction” drives higher conversion rates and more successful recruiting.
“What Gallup’s survey helps illustrate is that AI is not some mystic event that will change the world overnight at some point in the future. It’s something that is already happening, in ways both big and small.”(2)
The fight for talent is on and the first movers adopting artificial intelligence will have a significant advantage. As IBM posted recently in How AI will impact business in the next decade, “AI makes finding the right candidate a more intelligent, data-driven process.” (3)
AI is a transformational technology that can have a disruptive impact on recruiting management. By leveraging AI, recruiting managers will vastly improve candidate identification and matching, provide better recruiting predictability and accurate forecasts for candidate fulfillment, and reduce overall recruitment costs and reliance on third-party staffing agencies.
Recruiters need to pay attention to the impact of AI. Harvard Business Review summarizes it perfectly: “If managers aren’t ramping up experiments in the area of machine learning, they aren’t doing their job. Over the next decade, AI won’t replace managers, but managers who use AI will replace those who don’t.” (4)
If you’re interested in learning more about how other companies are taking advantage of AI in their recruiting process, and learn how you can use AI, you can easily contact us and/or schedule a demo at upsider.ai
1. Note. From “Northeastern University/Gallup survey of Americans' attitudes toward AI and its effect on their lives and work,” published by Gallup | January 2018
2. Note. From “Most Americans think artificial intelligence will destroy other people’s jobs, not theirs,” posted by TheVerge.com | March 2018
3. Note. From “How AI will impact business in the next decade,” posted by IBM | November 2017
4. Note. From “The Business of Artificial Intelligence,” published by Harvard Business Review | July 2017
Thoughts on recruiting strategy, data, automation, Artificial Intelligence, and best practices.