Almost exactly a year ago we first posted a blog about Artificial Intelligence in HR. Little did we know then that it would become one of our most read articles by a long way. The interest for the topic hasn’t faded since, on the contrary. It seems like almost every day there’s a new article about Artificial Intelligence (AI) and HR popping up. But apart from the obvious current popularity of AI, what is all the excitement about? We decided to take a closer look at the state of artificial intelligence in HR and found 5 reasons why recruiters should embrace AI now. Here goes.
What is AI?
A quick recap in case you’re new to AI: Artificial Intelligence is a term that’s used for several different techniques and approaches. Think of machine learning, deep learning, predictive analytics and predictive modelling for example. When it comes to AI, there are different levels of ‘intelligence’ a system can be ranked in, namely strong AI, weak AI and in-between AI. The first type of artificial intelligence is aimed at simulating human intelligence, the second one gets systems to function and the latter utilizes the way human beings think as a blueprint, but doesn’t focus on fully imitating our brain.
You may think AI is still very much something out of a science fiction film, but in fact it’s all around us. Video games for instance, have been using AI for a very long time. Smart cars, those self-driving vehicles you may have seen videos of, are another example of how AI is used for ‘everyday’ activities. One of the most obvious applications of AI however, can be found in the e-commerce business in the form of targeted, personalized adverts.
AI in HR
If you wonder where you can find AI in HR, the better question may be where can’t you find it? A few examples of how artificial intelligence is already being used in different HR functions:
I. Employee Learning & Development
Personalized employee learning and development (L&D) programmes are a trending topic in HR. Modern day (millennial) workers attach great importance to their (personal) development. AI can be very useful in creating a customized L&D experience for each individual employee.
Just like Amazon knows who to target for a specific product, companies now know who to target for a specific job. How? With programmatic advertising; the fully automated posting of job adverts. The power of programmatic advertising in HR lies in the fact that ads aren't just posted on relevant job boards. They're also shown to target candidates via display ads and different social channels; another example of AI in HR.
HR preselection software uses data and predictive analytics. Based on historical data, the software can ‘predict’ how likely it is for a specific candidate to be successful in the role they apply for. Over time and as more applicants flow through the system, more data is collected and the software’s algorithms get smarter. As a result, the predictions become more and more accurate.
5 Times Why Recruiters Should Embrace AI Now
1. To Spend more Time on Things that Matter
If you were to have a thorough look at your day to day activities, you’d probably be shocked by the amount of time you spend on tedious tasks. Things that often are easily automated with a few simple (AI) solutions. Think of programmatic advertising for instance. No more manual selection of job boards and price comparisons.
2. To Reduce Bias
Where there are humans, there is bias. When recruiting and selecting people however, you want to reduce bias - and its influence - as much as possible. Software doesn’t suffer from human bias, which makes it a suitable complementary tool to use. Particularly in your preselection process when it’s about hiring the right people for your organization.
3. To Hire Better
Preselection software that uses data and predictive analytics is an example of how AI can help recruiters to make better hiring decisions and hence improve quality of hire. While candidates autonomously go through an online interactive experience, plenty of data is gathered. Based on that data, predictions on, among other things, an applicant’s suitability for the role and company culture are made.
4. To Improve the Candidate Experience
From our own experience here at Harver we know that candidates appreciate a 21st century preselection process that uses video, colleague testimonials and realistic job previews. It is one of the ways in which AI contributes to a better candidate experience.
But artificial intelligence certainly also has a role to play when it comes to tedious tasks such as resume screening, (standard) email correspondence with applicants and interview scheduling. Relatively simple things that can improve the candidate experience considerably when done properly.
5. To focus on the human element in HR
Although we are totally on team R2D2, artificial intelligence won’t replace the people in Human Resources. Of course, AI can - and most likely will - optimize numerous HR processes and yes, it will lead to less manual tasks. On a different, less household-ish level AI will transform HR into a data driven function; supporting recruiters and hiring managers in their decisions and providing valuable insights about an employee’s likelihood to leave the company for example. If anything, these developments should be warmly received by the HR community. Why? Because it means HR practitioners will have a lot more time available to use their brain power for the one thing that really matters (and that can’t be replaced by technology): the human element.
Ready to embrace AI?
Almost exactly a year ago we first wrote about AI on our HR tech blog. A lot has happened since and by that we don’t just mean the exponential increase of articles on AI and HR. Slowly but surely, numerous applications of artificial intelligence are finding their way into the different HR functions. Rather than shy away from it, recruiters should embrace AI for what it is: A great way to support them in their everyday activities. It saves them time, helps reduce bias, boosts quality of hire and improves the candidate experience. And these are just a few examples of how AI can be beneficial to HR professionals. Developments are going so rapidly, who knows what AI news we’ll be writing about a year from today.
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