The Future of AI: Transforming Talent Acquisition

Devin Foster

Artificial intelligence (AI) has changed (and will continue to change) the recruiting process, and the transformation is nowhere near slowing down. 
 

AI technology will shape the future of talent acquisition, so in what key ways will organizations use it? 
 

A panel of in-house experts at our virtual event, AI & The Evolved Recruiter, discussed what the future of an AI-driven talent experience could look like: emerging trends in AI, uses for automation and need-to-know insights about how HR tech will likely change how we work tomorrow. The panel included Ilya Goldin, Principal Data Scientist, Jonathan Dale, VP of Marketing, Eytan Shleizer, VP of Product Experience, and Nancy Gray-Starkebaum, VP of International Customer Success.
 

Check out highlights from the panel below — and be sure to sign up to watch it on demand!


CLICK HERE to watch the panel's full discussion on the future of AI, and unlock access to all on-demand content from AI & The Evolved Recruiter! 



How will AI impact the talent experience in the coming rears?
 


AI’s chief benefits today revolve around automation as it's a valuable time saver for recruiters, taking over repetitive tasks. Phenom’s panel sees AI technology expanding into more sophisticated uses:
 

Interview re-scheduling interactions - As conversational AI (chatbots or voice assistants) becomes more interactive, recruiters will be able to use AI for the extremely time-consuming tasks involved in rescheduling, Gray-Starkebaum predicts, in using data, machine learning and natural language processing to imitate human interactions.
 

Screening - AI’s role in screening will become more complex in the future, with the ability to interpret nonbinary responses (given in text or paragraph form rather than yes/no) could enable deeper assistance with applicant screening.
 

Job descriptions - AI could start generating candidate matches based on recruiter input of the ideal employee, and also compare how job descriptions perform for specific categories, providing valuable insights for recruiters and hiring managers.
 

Helping leaders save time - Currently, the focus is on streamlining administrative tasks for recruiters, Dale noted. As a hiring manager, he’s looking forward to seeing how the technology can help him invest more time in his team. 
 

“How can AI help me be a better manager?" he said of his prediction. "I think this is a growth potential area for AI.”


WATCH: Demystifying AI and The Evolved Recruiter 


From the data science and design perspective, Goldin and Shleizer note that advances in the technology’s capabilities could lead to a dramatic evolution of the entire recruiting process. There’s the potential to automate even more steps, Shleizer said, especially for entry-level positions. 
 

AI’s value as an assistant could expand, for example, by generating reminders for recruiters about important candidate interactions. Reminders that range from “You haven’t had a conversation with this candidate yet about salary” – to the complex, such as encouraging the recruiter to engage the candidate on a topic that hasn’t been sufficiently revealed.


RELATED WEBINAR: The Art of Conversational Recruiting



AI's true potential: Setting realistic expectations 
 


Fully leveraging AI’s capabilities requires an understanding of the technology’s limitations and directions it’s not likely headed. 
 

AI can actually create complexities. As Goldin points out, automating too many aspects of the talent journey may breed unforeseen complexities that need to be addressed.  
 

AI is not deterministic. By their nature, AI systems are not deterministic – meaning that users can’t expect to get a definitive “yes” or “no” answer to questions or problems. 
 

AI cannot eliminate bias. Gray-Starkebaum has observed that organizations she works with are concerned about bias existing at the recruiter level and in AI. In her view, bias exists mostly at the organization level. So AI itself is not biased, but it will reflect existing organizational biases.
 

AI can’t perform deep assessments of candidate skills and strengths. AI isn’t likely to add much value when it comes to evaluating candidate proficiencies and personality traits like problem-solving skills and confidence, Goldin said. 
 

AI does not excel at understanding culture and team fit. Dale said he believes it will always take the instincts of a human leader to grasp the fluctuating skill levels and competencies of team members, and balance that with talent needs. A hiring manager’s view of what a job role should be and what kind of candidate will be the best fit sometimes changes throughout the hiring process, he pointed out. AI, at least in its current form, can’t keep up with changing expectations. 


RELATED: 5 Misconceptions Surrounding Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning



Why (human) recruiters will always be needed
 


Perhaps the most crucial expectation to set? 
 

"We should not expect AI to replace human thinking or advanced interactions," Gray Starkebaum said. “We’ll always need recruiters,” she emphasized. 
 

AI can’t replicate relationship-building and strategic decision-making. AI should be viewed as a decision-making supporter, not as the ultimate decision-maker
 

“Recruiters are the storytellers,” she said, "the human links that can apply AI’s insights and data-driven intelligence to the specific needs of their organizations." 
 

In the future, she said she sees the recruiter roles transforming into strategic talent advisors as AI technology arms them with increasing levels of insight and data. 
 

What Is Most Exciting about AI’s Evolving Role in the Talent Experience?
 

Restructuring Processes around AI 

In Schleizer’s view, the key to true advancement of AI in talent acquisition lies not in improving AI, but in restructuring hiring processes around it. This would involve segmenting the hiring process in a way that would enable full automation in certain areas, and finding a place for people in the process. “How can we develop technology around recruiting that’s going to be sustainable?” is the question he’s most excited to find answers to.  
 

Mining Treasure Troves of Data 

Large employers – and the huge volumes of data they’re sitting on related to sourcing, onboarding, performance evaluation, and more – will drive the future of recruiting, Goldin said. Ultimately, companies that commit to a data-driven vision, who are willing to partner and use data more efficiently, will be the ones that accelerate and benefit most.
 

Applying Knowledge on a Massive Scale

Recruiters amass incredible amounts of insight from working with talent and hiring managers. Until now, it hasn’t been possible to apply all that knowledge and insight on an organization-wide level, Gray-Starkebaum said.
 

But AI can change that, unlocking the ability of employers to take these microcosms of data sets and translate them to actionable insights to improve the entire talent experience. “It will change how we view the role of the hiring manager, the role of recruiters, and what we need that candidate and employee experience to be.”
 

Building Better Relationships

Dale cited the continuing ability of AI to eliminate the repetitive tasks that divert us from doing what really matters as the most exciting opportunity. 
 

“It allows us to build better relationships,” he said. “AI isn’t doing that. That means we get to do that. AI helps take care of all the small things to free us up … and make a meaningful difference in candidates’ and employees’ lives.” 
 


RELATED: Everyday AI: Understanding AI's Role for Recruiters 


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