By Special Contributor (MightyRecruiter)
Self-driving cars, virtual personal assistants, self-adjusting thermostats – they’re all concrete examples of how artificial intelligence (AI) has already infiltrated almost every aspect of our lives. So it’s not all that surprising that next-generation technologies have made their way into the world of recruitment too.
In fact, a recent LinkedIn Talent Solutions report identified AI as one of the top four trends transforming hiring in 2018 and beyond. And it’s not hard to see why – AI has the potential to save overwhelmed recruiters heaps of time by taking over low-level tasks so top talent can be brought in much faster. It also improves candidate engagement, generates invaluable insights, and can even help to remove unconscious interviewer bias from the picture.
AI already a standard in sourcing and screening
The countless benefits of intelligent software have already inspired an explosion of applications in the realms of candidate sourcing, screening, and management. At ConveyIQ, for example, smart technology is used to automate the sending of personalized emails and text messages to applicants and to schedule interviews at times that suit everyone involved.
Then there are also innovations like Textio, which uses real-world data to help recruiters write attractive, inclusive job postings; Hiretual, which searches online platforms and resume databases to source the right candidates; SmartRecruiters’ recently launched Recruiting Assistant, which screens applications and generates match scores based on fit for the role; and Mya, who handles phone screenings and answers candidates’ questions in real-time. And that’s just a small sample.
When it comes to AI and interviewing, though, technology is a little less abundant – there tends to be an assumption that smart software holds less value in this department. But that’s not to say that the AI gurus haven’t made some headway here too.
AI and interviewing: the rise of robots
We already know that AI has pretty impressive natural language processing skills – there are tons of chatbots out there, many of them capable of dialogue that’s so organic you could easily mistake them for humans. Similarly, predictive hiring software like Koru has proven that machine learning can be used to quite accurately assess unique soft skills such as grit, rigor, and curiosity.
Beyond this, there are also those tools that use algorithms to measure thousands of subtle parameters – things like body language, facial expressions, tone of voice, and rate of speech, for instance – to determine suitability for a role, something no human could ever hope to be able to do in a single face-to-face interaction.
All of these developments naturally have important implications for AI’s use in interviewing. But none are quite as revolutionary as the lovely Robot Vera. Born in Russia, the lifelike virtual recruiter scans job sites to select appropriate talent based on the job description supplied by employers. She then phones candidates (or answers their calls), asks a few screening questions and answers their queries, and conducts “face-to-face” video interviews with those who’ve been shortlisted. Vera can manage up to 1500 interviews in nine hours, is capable of recruiting for diverse positions, and is currently being used by the Russian branches of a number of major companies, including IKEA and PepsiCo.
In 2017 she made her way across the waters to be tested in the United States. Her creators have since made a few changes to her appearance and pronunciation (she needed to sound more American), but believe she is just about ready to start shaking up the recruitment process on this side of the world too.
We can also almost certainly expect to see her abilities evolve quite rapidly. Because of the way machine learning works, chatbots and software like Vera become more competent and sophisticated as they “practice” and collect more data. As a result, it’s hard to even imagine where AI and interviewing might be just one year from now.
What does this all mean for the human recruiter?
All the buzz around automation naturally begs the question: could AI usurp the human hiring leader? But many experts in the field, including Hiretual co-founder Ninh Tran, argue that there’s really no cause for alarm. Their reasoning? Recruiting is a complex process, and there are just certain aspects of it – especially those that rely on personal engagement – that even the most advanced machines aren’t capable of doing as well as people. For instance, according to LinkedIn’s 2018 report, being able to judge culture fit or see potential beyond credentials are just two skills that AI can’t replace.
What’s more, currently, humans are still making the final hiring decisions, even when sourcing and screening are automated. Robot Vera, for example, only conducts the first round of interviews before passing on the most promising candidates to HR managers for consideration. She’s also much more adept at hiring for entry-level, blue-collar positions. As co-founder Alexey Kostarev told The Washington Post, “As far as searches for executive hires, I don’t see any opportunities for the robot to do that job. Humans can do it much better.”
That said, the human recruiter’s role in the hiring process will definitely change as AI-based software becomes the norm – only many suggest that it’ll be for the better. With emerging technologies stepping in to do the repetitive, mind-numbing tasks, hiring leaders will have more time on their hands to attend to higher-level activities, like strategy, training, and nurturing relationships with top talent.
AI can also provide HR professionals with invaluable intelligence that they would never normally have access to, making it easier to make informed decisions about who to place where. In other words, AI is not the enemy that’s about to take over the entire interviewing process; it’s the helpful assistant that’s capable of streamlining, guiding, and augmenting it.
About the Special Contributor: MightyRecruiter offers a free solution for every step of the hiring process. It all starts when you post free jobs with Mighty—once you start attracting talent, our proprietary AI engine provides the best candidate matches for your jobs. Drop by today to learn more!