For a long while now, artificial intelligence has been branded as something that will be detrimental to job markets. It’s an easy conclusion to come to: As technology becomes more capable of fulfilling human tasks, it will inevitably replace some human workers. Indeed, we’re already seeing some subtle signs of this – in manufacturing, where machines can work quickly and more exactly than humans, or in food services, where touchscreens can take orders in lieu of waiter staff.
Despite all of this, though, a counterargument has emerged: While AI will inevitably replace some jobs, it will by and large serve to make jobs easier. In many situations, we expect advanced technology to work with humans in ways that make the technology most effective and keep human workers essential. However, Wired suggests humans will take on more “problem solving” roles, essentially making sense of how to use AI (while the AI does the heavy lifting). And interestingly enough, one example of an area in which the relationship can work like this is talent acquisition. In other words, companies can actually use AI in their efforts to attract and hire more human employees.
Turn internal research into data
There is a need to determine business goals and assess talent needs before starting the process. This means interacting with HR, talking with people in each department, and aligning vacancies and needs with both the broad aim and specific goals of your company. This is a valuable process with or without AI, as it provides essential insight into what sort of candidate you actually need to seek out, and why. But with AI, this insight can be turned essentially into a customized, data-driven candidate search.
How this is done specifically depends on the tools you have at your disposal (and rest assured there are by now plenty of intelligent programs that can help with candidate searches). Generally, though, you can use the information you gather from internal research to design specific parameters for a search that go beyond basic bullet points like age range, level of education, etc. From that point forward, AI can comb through applicants (or sometimes even other resources like social media profiles) to find appropriate matches. In this way, humans and technology can work together to refine candidate searches.
Building creatively on AI findings
We just noted how a process can work when humans gather information for an AI program to act on. But in other aspects of the talent acquisition process, the same can happen in reverse. That is to say, AI can gather insight that human workers can put to use to make a company appeal to the right candidates.
In this regard we’re talking about marketing and content presentation. In terms of these topics, Ayima sums up the marriage of AI and workers, suggesting that companies use technology where they can, and people where they have to. What this means when it comes to a company’s content and marketing efforts is actually fairly straightforward. A company can first use technology to make assessments — analyzing the effectiveness of content in reaching target audiences, generating engagement, and so on. Then, the same company can rely on people to enact creative solutions based on the assessments — adjusting content and outreach in a way that AI indicates will be more effective.
In this way, AI and humans can work together to ensure a company is visible where it needs to be. This boosts the overall image of the company, and thus makes it more appealing to prospective talent.
Start the process from an unbiased place
Another very important role that AI can play in the talent acquisition process is the removal of bias from the process. This is not meant to imply that people are intentionally biased in harmful ways when seeking out and recruiting candidates. However, various biases can almost inevitably come into play, even if that just means a company naturally favors candidates similar to others who have worked out in the past.
An Undercover Recruiter post on these same general topics referred to “unconscious bias” when discussing this problem, but noted that an AI mechanism armed with adequate, up-to-date data can help. The idea is basically that if enough pure data is involved – covering skills, experience, ambitions, and various intangibles – an AI can sift through potential candidates without bias.
In all of these ways, AI can work alongside human beings, not just to improve job activity, but to acquire more working talent.
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Trina Grayson is a writer based in London, UK.