In popular culture, artificial intelligence is the stuff of science fiction from HAL 9000 to Wall-E. AI has also worked its way into our daily lives with virtual assistants like Siri and Alexa. Technological advancements like driverless cars make headlines. Now, artificial intelligence has the potential to transform the hiring process.
Defining the Terms
If you aren’t entrenched in technology, trying to understand the mechanisms behind AI can be headache-inducing.
Artificial intelligence: Artificial intelligence is the umbrella term. Put most simply, it is a branch of computer science that involves computers doing things normally done by people.
The definition of exactly what we, as a culture, call artificial intelligence changes over time. For example, Microsoft Excel’s ability to complete mathematical calculations doesn’t seem like artificial intelligence in 2017, but when it came out in 1985, that’s what it felt like.
Now, virtual assistant programs like Siri and Alexa feel like artificial intelligence because we can talk to them and they respond in the most human way we can expect from computers. Looking forward though, it’s likely the artificial intelligence of the future will make these current iterations look simple.
Machine Learning: Machine learning is the next step in artificial intelligence, where computers are able to learn how to do something without being specifically programmed how to do that one thing. Machine learning develops algorithms, which are procedures or processes for solving problems.
Examples of machine learning are everywhere. Email spam filters learn how to identify spam depending on context and subject. Facebook’s photo tagging algorithm learns to recognize faces based on previous tags.
Machine learning has a lot of potential. According to the Harvard Business Review, corporate investment in artificial intelligence is expected to triple in 2017, and experts expect the talent acquisition industry to see major impacts from machine learning advancements.
Deep Learning: Deep learning is one step deeper in AI. It’s a subsection of machine learning that uses computers designed to mimic the way the human brain works.
According to Forbes, deep learning is already common in everyday life. It’s used by Google in image and voice recognition. Netflix uses it to recommend shows, and Amazon uses it to predict your purchases.
Predictive analytics: Predictive analytics uses data to find patterns and then uses those patterns to attempt to predict the future. Another way to look at it, according to PC Magazine, is that predictive analytics is something you can do with AI, machine learning and deep learning. Predictive analytics takes large sets of data and then applies these different forms of technology to see trends and patterns that would be difficult, time-consuming or possibly impossible for humans to accomplish alone.
What’s Possible Now?
These technological advancements are already making an impact on the talent acquisition industry. New technology solutions are developed every day on the cutting edge of what AI can accomplish.
One major application for AI identified by Harvard Business Review is sifting through job applications and selecting the best candidates for the next step in the process. Applicant tracking systems already search through resumes, but AI advances can make them better, moving beyond keyword searches. The impact of AI can start even earlier in the hiring process, like using AI to source candidates by searching through social media profiles.
AI helps remove bias in the hiring process. AI structured interviews also help recruiters and hiring managers focus on relevant skills, and AI interview analysis uses data analytics to predict how successful a candidate will be at a position. TLNT further explores the ability of technology to sort through resumes, looking only at relevant information rather than social cues that may sway recruiters or hiring managers.
AI improves the candidate experience as it becomes a part of the entire hiring process. Studies already show that people prefer chatbots over humans for customer relations. That could apply to multiple stages, from applications to initial interviews and scheduling. AI also makes sure candidates don’t get lost in the process, an issue that’s frustrating for candidates and time consuming for recruiters. At PeopleScout, we use AI technology that allows candidates to feel like they’re talking with a real person and lets them to apply through a conversation instead of a long, impersonal process.
The interview process is also seeing the impact of artificial intelligence. Digital interviewing can allow for live or on-demand video interviews and can also use artificial intelligence to provide reports that analyze verbal response, intonation and nonverbal communication.
Where Do We Go Next?
The question of what is possible in the talent acquisition industry through artificial intelligence is the most difficult question to answer because the possibilities are constantly evolving.
On a different level, AI will change the jobs the talent acquisition industry needs to fill. AI skills will become indispensable. Transportation companies are already looking for workers to maintain driverless fleets, rather than drivers to sit behind the wheel. New industries and job titles demanding new skill sets will emerge and demand innovation from talent acquisition.
AI is one of the top trends impacting the talent acquisition industry. To learn more about how it could transform recruiting and to learn about the other six trends, download our ebook: Seven Tech Trends Shaping the Talent Landscape.