With low unemployment and a robust economy, finding the right people to hire has become more difficult. Forty-five percent of employers say they are unable to find people with the skills they need. That represents a large increase in unfilled jobs and the toughest hiring environment in a decade. Right now, there are more than 6.7 million job openings in the United States.
The job for the person doing the hiring has always been difficult, even with an abundance of applicants. Determining which candidate will be the best fit for an organization is a critical decision and the cost of a bad hire is high — The Department of Labor estimates a bad hire will cost the equivalent of 30% of what the employee would earn in the first year. That doesn't take into account the impact on your team either.
Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh estimates that bad hires have cost his company more than $100 million. Perhaps that’s why the shoe and clothing company is incorporating artificial intelligence and machine learning into its hiring process.
AI Is Already Being Used for Job Seekers
LinkedIn has been using its version of AI and machine learning for years to match job seekers with openings, and they claim a 50% increase in efficiency since implementation. Indeed also uses AI, claiming it sorts through trillions of data points to serve up the most relevant openings, while Google Jobs is aggregating job listings across job boards into a dashboard for online search and then using AI to present the best fit to searchers.
How else is AI being used?
- Better Matching
During the interview process, it’s easy to get dazzled by candidates. Whether it is the candidate's personality, their knowledge, or their resume, Hiring Managers often overlook deficiencies when they instinctively like a candidate. AI and techniques such as deep learning and NLP (Natural Language Processing) can eliminate candidates that may look good to a manager, but lack the skills or traits necessary for long-term success.
Other applications, such as chatbots, are being used in pre-application phases to provide two-way conversations both in fielding questions from job seekers and evaluating candidate responses. Learn more about these bots in our AI and recruiting white paper.
- Screening Applicants
Labor-intensive tasks, such as social media reviews, can be automated as well. Data can be scraped to locate potential red flags or positive attributes valued by employers. Background checks, reference checks, and initial screenings can be conducted in an expedited fashion as well. Just be careful you aren't breaking any laws.
- Predictive Identification
AI can not only identify potential candidates, but predictive software can also analyze traits of top performers to surface candidates that have a better chance of success.
Some companies go as far as eliminating the resume altogether and identifying potential applicants with brain games that target specific skill sets. For example, an organization looking to hire a coder might put an applicant through a series of test to determine their skills and creativity.
- Reducing or Eliminating Bias
AI can play a pivotal role in eliminating bias in hiring. By taking feelings out of the hiring decision, AI can focus on the key skills needed and rank performance metrics to match better candidates for jobs. Algorithms, though, are only as good as the people that program them. The model might not be good at identifying the best candidates if you haven’t programmed it to identify and evaluate the right skills and traits. Unintended bias can creep into the AI.
- Finding Passive Job Seekers
Right now, AI is being used mainly for sourcing candidates, ranking them according to skills, and assessing their potential. One big area of growth for AI is finding people that are only passively looking for jobs. We know that often the best candidates aren't submitting their resumes because they are too busy doing their current job, and finding passive job candidates is exceptionally time-consuming and expensive, but by analyzing social media and professional sites, candidates can be identified and sent personalized messages gauging interest without human intervention.
So do we still need people to help us hire?
Yes, Humans Still Matter
The good news for Recruiters — yes, we still need you.
You can hire two people with identical resumes and have one of them be a great team member while the other never fits in. AI is great at processing data points and objectively evaluating data, but no matter how good an algorithm is at finding and assessing candidates, there are still some things it cannot do. They can’t build a relationship with a candidate, and AI has a difficult time identifying soft skills, such as active listening and empathy, and cultural fit.
Where do we go from here?
AI can be a powerful tool for job seekers and Recruiters and it’s changing the way the process works. It can streamline the process and surface candidates that might otherwise get overlooked, as well as help eliminate bias and reduce the risk of a bad hire. Most importantly, it can reduce the amount of time it takes to handle tasks and let your internal team focus on high-level evaluation of qualified candidates.
Bottom line: a strategic use of artificial intelligence, combined with a human’s personal touch, can improve the hiring process for everyone.
Download our white paper, “Finding and Sourcing Employees in the Digitization Era: Leveraging the Strengths of Humans and Artificial Intelligence,” for more actionable information.
Let Us Help You
Artisan Talent is a creative staffing agency with a deep pool of digital and creative talent. We use the latest technology, but we also take the time to get to know the real person behind the data and understand their needs so we connect the right people with the right jobs.
Whether you are looking for a job or trying to fill one, contact Artisan and let us get to work for you.