Will the Recruiter role survive in the era of AI?

  Mats Nemelka , Advisory HR Solution Consultant EMEA @ Servicenow

Mats Nemelka, Advisory HR Solution Consultant EMEA @ Servicenow

 

We all know it. Artificial Intelligence (AI) will change all our lives whether it is your personal life or at a professional level. In a recent article, the World Economic Forum quotes the co-founder of Coursera who says “AI is the new electricity”. Electricity has completely shaped our lives over the last 100 years. Day-to-day activities such as crossing the street with the help of traffic lights, or using your smartphone simply wouldn’t be possible without it. Think back how technology has changed our lives in just the last 10 years. Apple recently celebrated the iPhone’s 10-year anniversary. 10 years ago, nobody could imagine that an autonomous car would replace a taxi driver. In 2016 Singapore debuted the first autonomous taxi and since then it has grown to 20 self-driving taxis. Making an autonomous car after all seems more complex than recruiting a suitable candidate. Do you agree?

In the era of the war on talent, where companies are having a challenging time finding the right candidate, the recruiter becomes more important every day. The profile of the recruiter has already changed a lot over the last decade. In the past, recruiters were used to having many candidate applications and being in the comfortable situation to select the right one. Nowadays recruiters are more often sales people who are hunting for the right candidate and being paid a bonus when the candidate eventually decides to sign the contract.

In the last 10 years, companies invested heavily in Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) to streamline the recruiting process, seeking a full pipeline of candidates and creating talent pools with the hope to select the right candidate out of many. ATS systems have helped companies to be more efficient but they will be just one piece of the puzzle in the future as speed becomes an even more important component of the recruiting process. Officevive.com outlines that the best candidates, the top talents are already off the market after the first 10 days, so if you are one of the average companies then it takes you more than 27 days. This means an “average” company does not hire top talent anymore these days. The vital question is what can you do to be faster and more responsive?  

The era of Artificial Intelligence (AI) has begun and it is going to change the rules of many markets and businesses. AI will also play a crucial role in the area of recruiting. The good news is AI will help you in being faster, more efficient and more important in identifying and screening candidates in a way you never could before.  Three AI technologies will support you in your day to day job as a recruiter and will let you take better decisions.

Facial Action Coding System (FACS)

 source: Hirevue

source: Hirevue

Hirevue is one of the leading video interview solutions on the market. It is used by the likes of Goldman Sachs and Unilever. Video interviews give a more transparent and natural impression of the candidate and let the recruiter get an early idea of the personality of the candidate. On average, a video interview on Hirevue takes 15 minutes and a candidate is asked 7 or 8 questions. The questions are designed to identify the behavior of the candidate. Lately Hirevue also integrated AI functionalities into their video recording capabilities. It now also recognizes and analyses the facial expressions of a candidate, identifying habits like passion, sincerity, nervousness and disagreement. Based on 25,000 features, AI then analyses the future potential and performance of the candidate.

Voice Recognition

Another piece of the puzzle is voice recognition. Cognitive scientists in 2012 confirmed that an affirmative language has a positive impact on the performance of the person.  Human beings naturally tend to like positive minded people better. When it comes to interviewing and recruiting the focus is on finding someone who is a good fit but also who will add value to the organization. Next to the FACS capabilities, Hirevue also created an algorithm that analysis the voice of the candidate. The software assesses whether the words the candidate uses are considered “active” such as “I can”, “I will” or if the candidate tends to rather use “negative” words such as “I can’t” “I have to”. Furthermore, it looks at the tonality and assesses the emotions of the candidate. 

Chatbots

Hasn’t chatting become one of the most natural things? In fact, 1 billion Whatsapp users send 55 billion messages every day. Scientists are already concerned that we lose the ability to communicate in a verbal way. In the recruiting area nonetheless chatbots can be of help as Anna Ott states in her LinkedIn post. “For the better, tech will let us spend more time on human interactions. When algorithms take over repetitive and inefficient tasks, we can get back to what we signed up for: human relations.“
Many companies simply do not have the adequate resources to establish appropriate communication with potential candidates. Often emails sent by a candidate with pressing questions remain unanswered. And as mentioned before, speed is one of the most important requirements these days when it comes to hiring top talent. Intelligent chatbots learn over time and become better the more interaction they have with a candidate. An intelligent chatbot can be a great tool to get you closer to the top talent out there. The prerequisites of a functioning chatbot is that it is well implemented otherwise it may backfire and it can cause you more pain than benefit. Recruiters need to create a collection of the most asked questions by candidates and create specific answers to them.

The headline of the article asks the question whether the recruiter role will survive in the era of AI. My personal view is “yes”, as long as HR departments adapt to the new tech that is coming. The role of a recruiter will further change as it always has over the last 10 years. Artificial intelligence lets the recruiter once again focus on the human interactions with a candidate and it takes away many boring and time consuming administrative tasks. It will let you make better and more accurate decisions to eventually find the best fitting candidate for your organization.


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