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I was at the bank with my son the other day and it got me thinking. Each day I put any spare change into a jar in the kitchen that we refer to as “The Sam Fund.” Every penny gets put into his savings account, along with any money he earns, finds or receives as a gift. When the jar gets filled (or my 12-year-old can’t restrain himself), we head off to the coin counter at the bank.

I’m sure that most people have used a coin counter in the past, but how many of us really think about what it does in detail? Its main job is to take hundreds to thousands of objects, measure their value, sort them into categories and reject items that can’t be used. The result? For the person entering the coins, a valuable piece of paper that reveals its total value, and for the company behind the machine, all the coins sorted from highest to lowest value (with that Canadian quarter or old subway token getting politely rejected).

It’s similar to artificial intelligence (AI) in its most basic sense: making sense out of different inputs to maximize the value of the output. And perhaps even simpler: making people’s everyday tasks easier and more efficient.

After speaking with our partner Paradox.ai, creator of the Olivia AI Recruiting Assistant, I realized that it reminded me of a recruiting process and how AI can be used to optimize processes and insights. This was really reinforced when I was looking at SmashFly’s latest Recruitment Marketing Benchmarks Report and found out only 1% of the Fortune 500 are using AI tech like chatbots in their recruiting.

If we think of that jar of coins as all the data coming into the recruiting process, and each coin is like a potential candidate, the problem of too much data to value jumps out. Each one must be reviewed for its relative value and sorted for appropriateness of fit. The ones that are a good fit get sorted into candidate lists, and those that don’t get the polite “no thank you” responses. So, if a coin sorter does this for coins, what is the analogous machine for recruiters?

 

An AI Recruiting Assistant

This emerging technology is taking some of the labor out of the initial points of contact with potential candidates while helping automate time intensive activities for the recruiter. Let’s look at three areas where recruiting assistants can help. The first is the basic Q&A that occurs in many first interactions.

A potential candidate wants to know the basic parameters about a job: company benefits, locations, hours of operations etc. Granted, much of this information is likely to be available on a corporate website, but it would be easier if they could just get their questions answered directly by someone. However, having a recruiter on a chat line all day isn’t the best use of their time.

That’s where an AI Recruiting Assistant’s chatbot technology can help. By enabling a candidate to ask questions and get concise answers, the Recruiting Assistant makes life easier on the potential candidate. In addition, the Recruiting Assistant can ask questions such as, “Do you have more than 3 years of experience with JavaScript?” or “Can you work evenings?” to sort the candidate into the right position. This two-way interaction aids both the candidate and the organization.

But what about the recruiter? How does the Recruiting Assistant, in fact, directly assist the recruiter? Well, one thing that is incredibly time-consuming for recruiters is interview scheduling. The AI can help in that area by automating the process of reviewing the schedules of interviewers and reserving time for conversations with each candidate. This can save hours each day, and greatly lighten the load for recruiters.

 

Smarter is Better – and More Accurate

Strategically, there is an even greater benefit to using AI, whether that is driving consistency of process and data or adding intelligence to automated interactions. An AI Recruiting Assistant promotes consistent data, which enables better decisions. Where a human recruiter might forget to ask a question or fill out a form inconsistently, the AI won’t. Consistent and accurate data drives better and more informed decisions, which means better talent coming into organizations.

The candidate experience is both larger and smaller than it was. It’s larger because it starts with marketing a company’s mission, vision and values to a larger pool of potential candidates that could someday become applicants. It’s smaller because every interaction with a potential candidate must be more personal and tailored. Recruiters can’t scale to supply both high-level coverage and personalized interactions, but AI can. AI will be the lever that will make one-on-one recruiting a reality.

 

While a coin sorter is a pretty basic machine compared to what AI can impact in the recruiting space, the one thing they have in common is that they can make a long process more efficient and more valuable. And while the coin sorter will never evolve, AI is growing up fast. Today, it’s making our processes faster, cleaner and more efficient. Tomorrow, it will fundamentally change how we recruit, and you can take that to the bank.

 

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