Asked to identify their biggest talent acquisition challenges, corporate leaders continually point to difficulty finding qualified people with the right skill sets. Unfortunately, recruiting technology doesn’t appear to be helping much. In fact, 26% of respondents to the 2019 Deloitte Global Human Capital Trends survey selected “ineffective recruiting technology” as among their biggest talent acquisition challenges. Perhaps even more striking is that, when leaders were asked to rate the effectiveness of their recruiting functions, only six percent “believed they had best-in-class processes and technology.”
The current lack of confidence in existing technology among leadership is particularly troublesome given that most organizations expect to substantially increase their use of AI-driven recruiting technology in the coming years, leaving many talent acquisition professionals wondering what they can do to ensure better outcomes with the next wave of recruiting technology.
One suggestion for TA teams is to take a step back and look closely at how they might improve their needs assessment and planning efforts before they begin reviewing HR tech vendors. Conducting an AI and automation readiness audit for recruiting is a good place to start.
Humans + Machines = Shifting Roles and Responsibilities
The main objective of the audit is to determine exactly where in the recruiting process humans and technology will interact, as well as how all tasks associated with the process will be completed. It’s also important to consider the risks of turning certain tasks over to technology and the safeguards you’ll need to put in place to mitigate those risks. Among the activities that should be at the center of your audit are the following:
1. Map out all phases of your hiring process (current and future state) and identify each individual task that you want AI or automation to take over. Focus on opportunities for the technology to absorb low-value recruiting tasks, which are often the most time-consuming tasks. Take candidate sourcing and engagement as an example. The most obvious task to hand over to technology is the matching of candidates against job criteria so that recruiters can spend more of their time getting to know talented applicants one-on-one and guiding them through the hiring process as quickly as possible. But what about other tasks, such as ranking the matched candidates and automatically notifying those who are strong matches with the opportunity? The more precise you are about the technology’s role in supporting your hiring process the better positioned you’ll be to select the right solution.
2. Identify safeguards required to ensure success. Providing visibility into risks and associated corrective actions is critical, so once you are confident in your process map think through all potential risks and how you plan to manage them. We know that bias remains a big concern when AI is used to assess and rank candidates. What safeguards can you put in place to ensure fairness, especially given the complexity that arises when the work of machines and humans is integrated? In this instance, you’ll want to look at safeguards that address both the technology (good, clean data are driving the algorithms, with outputs regularly reviewed by humans), as well as the human aspect (removing bias-triggering details from resumes and training for interviewers).
3. Acknowledge the negative aspects of standardization. AI-driven recruiting technologies have the potential to overcome many of our most pressing talent acquisition challenges. But they’re not a panacea, and they have limitations of their own. For example, machines are unbelievably effective at identifying patterns and then applying what they’ve learned relentlessly, but they’re not good at discerning nuances such as a candidate’s personality or effectiveness in a team-based work environment. Acknowledging what might be lost through recruiting automation can lead to ideas for how human practices can be adapted to balance the losses.
The HR tech industry is advancing at lightning speed. While it’s tempting to integrate AI-driven recruiting technologies into your hiring process as quickly as possible, taking the time to thoroughly assess your organization’s needs and plan properly for selecting the right recruiting technology is far more likely to lead to the best-in-class processes and solutions that are essential to talent acquisition success.
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