As the world gets back to normal after the COVID-19 pandemic, many companies have undergone a digital transformation and are looking for better processes to hire employees. More and more companies are turning to AI to supercharge their hiring process.
Meeting modern hiring demands
There are a few tailwinds at play that increase the need for and acceptance of AI in the hiring process:
- Globalization of workforce and customer base
- Digital transformation (accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic)
- The shift in hiring processes to focus on proven skills and credentials as opposed to just resumes and interviews.
If companies are not willing to change, their margins will decrease and their competition will pass them by.
HR and talent managers are focused on time to hire, cost to hire and train, decreasing turnover, and increasing customer and employee satisfaction. All of these pains can be at least partially addressed by the use of AI and assessments in the hiring process. AI assessments make evaluating remote employees easier, enables the screening of thousands of candidates simultaneously, and engages with applicants anywhere, any time of the day, and on any device.
When used early in the recruiting process, AI also helps weed out candidates who are clearly not a fit for the job, leaving more time and money to be put towards evaluating the more qualified candidates.
Enhancing human benefits with AI
The recruiting process has traditionally been a very people-centric process. As technology has improved, companies have implemented HR Information Systems (HRIS), Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) and, more recently, assessment platforms.
Companies are more global than ever with employees located at home and in the office requiring new processes and the use of technology where face to face interviews were the norm. With all of these changes, HR and talent leaders are trying to balance what steps of the recruiting process should be executed by people vs. software.
There are certain evaluations that people are clearly better at, and there are others that AI/technology are clearly better at. There’s also a third category where people are better at the evaluation, but, for the necessary price, scalability, and/or urgency, using AI is a better value. AI-based assessments and evaluation help weed out candidates who are clearly unqualified, can highlight competency in specific skills, and inform HR and talent managers on the applicant’s likelihood of success in the role.
Coming from a CEO of an AI language assessment company, this next statement may be surprising: I firmly believe that AI should be used to augment and improve the human experience, not replace it.
For example, when it comes to cultural fit and mission alignment, people are often better at evaluating fit. AI can give indicators, but people are often much better at evaluating cultural fit in person. Highly paid, highly skilled recruiters should only be spending time with pre-qualified candidates. AI can help narrow down the candidates so that recruiters can spend more time on strong candidates to hire.
Minimizing AI performance risks
AI gets a bad rap regarding legal issues and bias because it’s only as good and unbiased as it has been trained to be. I believe AI often removes bias depending how it is used. It doesn’t see gender, color, nationality, etc. unless it has been trained to see those things. You also need to decide how AI will be used. Is it used to make decisions or inform decisions?
AI is just another way to get data and companies need to decide how much weight to put on the data in their overall evaluation process. There are certain skills, like language ability, where AI recommendations can be heavily relied upon, but, in other cases where there is more subjectivity, it’s important to involve people in the decision.
I like this perspective on bias in AI:
“AI has many potential benefits for business, the economy, and for tackling society’s most pressing social challenges, including the impact of human biases. But that will only be possible if people trust these systems to produce unbiased results. AI can help humans with bias — but only if humans are working together to tackle bias in AI.”
As companies across the globe begin hiring again, leaders need to balance where people or technology should be used in the recruiting process and ensure bias is not swaying their decisions. One thing is clear: AI supercharges the hiring process.