Article | September 6, 2021
The accelerated integration of Artificial Intelligence into HR is poised to transform the recruitment market. Its rapid expansion has advanced a long-predicted change, as the industry responds to Covid-19 and the upheaval that almost all workforces have endured.
But how can HR best embrace this swift change, ensuring that AI and human practice is synchronised, to optimise the recruitment process? David Bernard, CEO of predictive recruitment platform AssessFirst, evaluates how AI can help firms to hire, retain and develop the perfect candidate.
A year ago, if you happened to encounter discourse concerning AI and recruitment, you would likely be reading one of two types of articles. The first would explain why AI will lead to widespread job losses. The second would counter that no, in fact, AI will lead to abundant recruitment and job opportunities.
And then came the pandemic. It became apparent to most that social restrictions would stretch beyond weeks or even months and the perceived relationship between recruitment and AI shifted: from the forecast of opportunity for recruiters to the implementation of AI solutions.
The Economist referred to the adoption of new technological solutions as “tech-celeration” in a report that collated business leaders' opinions - most of which spoke of our ten year evolutionary leap in digital adoption.
For those hiring managers not able to assess candidates with traditional face-to-face thoroughness, AI has offered recruiters remarkable solutions. Rather than simply assessing degrees, scanning CVs and inviting candidates in for an interview, recruiters can use tailored, self-adapting algorithms with which to find ideal candidates.
The emergence of artificial intelligence
In a traditional recruitment process, a single person or team of people is responsible for identifying and evaluating the candidate's soft skills. The efficiency of this practice is dependent on the recruiter's experience but, even with the most adept recruiters, the process can be problematic.
The very practice of conducting an interview, which is more complex than it is credited for, can result in the recruiter missing particular candidate skills - or misunderstanding them - due to cognitive biases. Similarity bias, confirmation bias, initial impression bias, projection, and groupthink are common occurrences when we need to make quick or pressured judgments.
And there is little a recruiter can do about these biases. Since they are the result of the complexities of the subconscious, recognising when we are conceding to these biases is difficult. The probability of acknowledging them and adjusting our decisions accordingly during an interview is negligible.
So what problem is this feeding? It leads to inconsistent judgments that vary from one candidate to the next. It fuels the lack of diversity in the workforce that most HR and business leaders are trying to address.
However, AI allows recruiters to use data from behavioural assessments and provide candidates with a standardised assessment. A fair vehicle - driven by customisable parameters – so that employer and prospective employee benefit equally.
Using AI to optimise the probability of success
Although AI integration has been accelerated by the pandemic, digital adoption was already surpassing traditional recruitment processes for companies like Vodafone, Tesla, and Google. These organisations – at one time ahead of the curve - are now discovering others are following suit.
At AssessFirst, we’ve found that our customers benefit most when candidate profiles are compared to top performing employees – or any employees for that matter. This ensures that desirable personality traits and skills for a particular role are found with accuracy and precision.
The probability of success within a particular role, within a particular team, or working for a particular manager, is suddenly predictable.
The threat of AI for human autonomy
We are amid an irreversible recruitment sea-change. And some fear that AI will eventually sweep away the need for human contribution. As a CEO of a tech company, I don’t believe this to be the case. Recruiters should see AI as means to assist the process rather than replace the recruiter.
Consider the prioritising of traits over degrees. This requires the computing of data from hundreds or thousands of candidates, analysed in the context of a fluid hiring process and environment.
Handling huge quantities of data like this at speed, with accuracy is impossible for the human brain. But this is what AI is built to do. HR and hiring managers can then immerse themselves in the human aspects: leaving data-handling to the intricacies of machine learning.
Rapport-building, mentorship, work-trials, and tasks will always require the human hand and eye. And, whilst a traditional interview is far from precise and objective, offering a role to a candidate without any human interaction is, most of the time, inconceivable and immoral. The judgment of skilled recruiters allied with data collected from AI will be required and desired indefinitely.
We must also acknowledge that implementing AI gives rise to new job roles and functions. People will be required to monitor, track, and adjust algorithms and data input. And, as the scope of AI tasks increases, humans will be needed to expand and refine that input and monitoring process.
AI presents recruiters with the ability to hire and manage candidates with greater efficiency than ever before. But, as John Giannandrea, Apple’s senior vice president of Machine Learning and AI strategy, has remarked: “The real safety question, if you want to call it that, is that if we give these systems biased data, they will be biased.”
This clarifies a key concern for all recruiters. AI is not a panacea, but a greatly beneficial and essential tool that requires the guiding hand, and learned minds, of human skill and interaction.
Article | September 6, 2021
In Executive Search now, we have a perfect storm. There is a shortage of labour, a shortage of skills, and a shortage of talent. On top of that we have a global pandemic. A pandemic that is affecting employment now, but it is employment that will bounce back when we get through this.
However, the current situation presents a new challenge for businesses considering how to build their A Team when this startes to recede. We have seen businesses caught up in "now" - and rightly so. We have also seen businesses, still concerned about now, but making plans for the future. It is the agile and the ready that will emerge fastest.
Over a decade ago the Productivity Commission published a report called The Implications of a Ageing Australia. At that time they identified that by 2021 Australia would have zero net new entrants to the workforce. This is not a forecast, it was a demographic certainty as an understanding of the retirement rate is reliable and birth rate from 2003 is simply a matter of fact.
So, it is demographics that produce the labour shortage. This is at a time when there has been substantial growth in high-paid high skilled roles and also growth in low skilled low-paid roles. Across the OECD, it is the roles in the middle, the so-called middle management roles that have been decimated.
In looking for senior executives to join an organisation as this crisis recedes boards and hiring managers need to be considering how they can best access the required skill set. They also need to be considering the additional dimensions that define talent. Across most high-value roles, on top of the requisite skills for the job, the ability to think and act strategically, the capacity to embrace change and even drive it, and people skills, specifically the ability to inspire and motivate others are what separates the merely well-qualified from the leaders of the future. We also believe a new form of holistic leadership will emerge, systemic leadership. It had already begun, but in 6 months time, the new breeed of leaders will have a different view of the world. Leaders who can see their decisions influenced more by compassion, caring for us all and for the society we live in.
It will be easy for organisations to sit on their hands when looking at the talent that they will require going forward. However, the current global pandemic will, one way or another, come to an end. With real talent in such short supply, it will be the brave and bold organisations who fulfil the talent requirements right now that will have the capacity to pull their businesses through into a new growth curve in the near future.
These are troubling times, but the reality is that organisations large and small need to re-think leadership.
Article | September 6, 2021
A PwC study shows that over 58% of businesses deploy HR technology for attracting and retaining new talent. With the Covid-19 pandemic, HR analytics and automation are slated to embed deeper into the people management framework. The demand for optimal HR tech will put it at the heart of a global transformation in the workplace.
While HR professionals will see a drastic rise in their responsibilities, HR tech is evolving even faster. Therefore, keeping up with the latest trends in HR can prove critical in meeting business objectives.
The unprecedented demand for tech in workforce management is demonstrated by the fact that by 2022, the HR technology market will surpass $10 billion and there is a reason for that.
Covid-19 led disruption in HR management
The role of HR has acquired a new dimension post-pandemic, going from supporting a business to driving much of its momentum through its employees. In addition, it has forced organizations to modify their priorities about their workforce.
A Harris Poll survey of U.S. employees reveals that about 48% of employees reported feeling isolated from co-workers and 42% felt their career progression has been impacted due to lack of in-person interactions. As a result, employee learning, mentoring, engagement, mental health and all-round wellness are more important than ever. And HR technology is rapidly taking shape to cater to this new outlook.
Most successful organizations share the awareness that people management is the key to achieving great heights in business. Taking a people-first approach will help mitigate the hurdles created in the aftermath of a global health crisis. Integrating technology into the fabric of HR management might be the answer.
The confluence of HR and technology
Now that companies manage a workforce scattered across various physical locations providing a boundless working environment is vital. Simulating an office atmosphere may not be completely possible, but recreating the workplace experience virtually with collaboration, communication, engagement at the core is within reach.
Recently, Miami-based startup, Mytaverse launched a VR platform to make remote work more productive and collaborative.
On the other hand, HR tech has revolutionized core HR processes as well. Increasingly, human resources professionals are relying on technology to automate everyday operations.
It has made paperwork redundant and reduced the scope of administrative duties, creating more efficiency and redirecting precious resources to be used in a strategy-driven manner. In addition, HR functions like payroll and compliance being digitized will make HR a powerhouse of strategy and analysis.
Performance management will also see tangible impacts. With the adoption of analytics across employee engagement, recognition and retention components, HR managers can make better data-backed decisions.
The pandemic has also provided HR tech startups and software providers with much impetus to innovate new solutions. As a result, feature-rich platforms which offer end-to-end user journeys that align smoothly with every stage of the HR workflow are on the rise.
The rapid growth of the HR tech market demonstrates that organizations, too, recognize the need to upgrade their HR tech.
Hiring with Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning
While onboarding and recruitment have always relied on technology, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) are further opening up avenues of optimization. Technology is no longer just the facilitator but a catalyst in the hiring and onboarding process, as proven by the recent launch of Engagement AITM.
The only way to improve the recruitment pipeline at scale is to automate the labor-intensive parts of the sourcing process with AI while optimizing candidates for quality. Today, recruiters manually reach out to candidates for each role only to receive a few responses. About 63% say that talent shortage and engagement from candidates is their biggest problem. Talenya's Engagement AITM converts ‘passive’ candidates into applicants without the extra work by optimizing and fully automating the process.
- Talenya CEO and Co-founder Gal Almog
Talenya, a leader in AI-powered hiring solutions, launched its fully automated talent sourcing software, Engagement AITM, to engage passive job seekers. The tool allows HR teams to be proactive in automating sourcing and contacting candidates who meet requirements. The tool further integrates with Talenya’s Diversity AITM to design talent search keeping the organization’s diversity goals in mind.
Software innovations like these take hiring to the next level by integrating organizational HR objectives into one powerful solution. Additionally, with the advent of cloud solutions, organizations have the opportunity to create a truly boundless HR process.
Is cloud-based HRMS the future?
Any discourse on HR tech is incomplete without the mention of cloud-based human resources management.
Today’s HR tech may have eliminated paperwork, but cloud solutions helped organizations put it into action. As a result, HR professionals can store, access and manage vast amounts of information through a centralized portal with virtually endless storage capacity and built-in data security.
Small businesses are especially making the most of cloud-based HR software solutions to move from an offline outdated HR function to a more future-ready setup. With single-point tracking, cloud platforms allow HR teams to manage workflows across all HR functions seamlessly.
In addition, the flexibility of the cloud and its ability to scale without extensive modifications has leveled the playing field for small businesses. As a result, they can compete better and scale faster.
Discovering new horizons of HR Management
The future of human resources technology is in good hands as providers and tech leaders continue to keep their eye on the future. Further, data analytics in HR is being used to gather insights into the workforce and to predict patterns and outcomes. For example, predictive analytics will be central to HR as more and more HR teams use it to identify which employees will be successful and most at-risk for turnover. But there is more.
Predictive data analytics allows HR teams to identify scope for optimization in areas of productivity, engagement and performance. Not only that, new tools enable HR teams to implement initiatives that boost performance. HR teams can add a layer of analysis to fine-tune processes to perfection with the continued mapping of these measures.
To put it simply, the confluence of HR and tech has created an exciting outlook for the function. While the pandemic may have left many repercussions in its wake, it has also exposed HR leaders to the potential of human resources technology to change the face of HR. From being a purely administrative function, HR will acquire a strategic advantage with the help of the latest technology in the future. Being open to solving challenges with the help of HR tech will prove crucial for forward-looking organizations in adopting upcoming technologies.
Frequently Asked Questions
How does cloud computing help maintain data security?
Data security features today are cutting edge and the cloud is no exception. Cloud solution providers today offer comprehensive data integrity that follows global compliance regulations as well. In addition, automation and self-service can further eliminate data manipulation and increase compliance with high-security benchmarks.
In what HR functions can data analytics be implemented?
Today’s human resources software offers data analytics and reporting across the board. Most HRIS functions offer data collection across recruitment, payroll and retention functions. However, with the rise of employee engagement and recognition, modern HR software solutions can now map and analyze data for workforce management.
How to improve adoption of new technologies within the organization?
A training program should help orient your employees to adopt new systems into their daily work. Ensure that HR teams develop fast and result-oriented programs that can be tracked for efficiency. It may not be an overnight process, but a dedicated program will enable the smooth implementation of new technologies.
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"name": "In what HR functions can data analytics be implemented?",
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"name": "How to improve adoption of new technologies within the organization?",
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Article | September 6, 2021
Did you know that the people already employed at your workplace can prove to be the best instrument to streamline your hiring needs? No marketing effort can be as successful as a happy employee bearing the flag for your company. Through them, you can reach the best talent available in the market which you possibly couldn’t even reach if not for your employees. A great workplace is the first step to ensuring employee advocacy. But you can take further measures as well to ensure that your employees have the right tools to help the company’s recruitment efforts.