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Job-Seekers: There's No Reason to Fear AI -- If You Use it the Right Way

An AI recruiter won't have a beer with you, but it can update and guide you on your job application.
Job-Seekers: There's No Reason to Fear AI -- If You Use it the Right Way
Image credit: Shutterstock

The hiring process is becoming more sophisticated, thanks in large part to the introduction of artificial intelligence (AI) in the workplace. In fact, many companies are moving toward full implementation in the near future.

Related: Now Artificial Intelligence Will Find the Right Job For You

Deloitte’s 2017 Human Capital Trends report found that 41 percent of employers surveyed had either fully implemented or made significant progress in adopting cognitive and AI technologies. As a result, AI is changing the workplace and the hiring process in several ways. However, it’s important, first, to consider how AI is impacting job-seekers.

A 2017 survey from Allegis Global Solutions found that nearly 60 percent of job-seekers questioned said they were extremely or fairly comfortable interacting with artificial intelligence apps to answer initial questions in the application and interview process.

Despite that comfort with the initial steps of the process, however, those same job-seekers were not yet comfortable with other types of interaction. The Allegis Global Solutions survey found, for example, that 39 percent of them were uneasy with AI's use for performing-skills assessments, and 34 percent weren't comfortable with AI's use for scheduling interviews.

Meanwhile, the onslaught of AI technologies' use in recruiting is causing employers and recruiters to rethink how they source and interact with job candidates. If this describes your hiring process, here are some things to keep in mind for integrating AI into your process:

Don’t ditch tradition completely.

One of the toughest aspects of the hiring process is narrowing down the pool of quality applicants. This is why several companies are turning to machine-learning tools like ZipRecruiter, an HR and job-search solution.

As the co-founder of Finder.com, a personal finance comparison website in New York, Fred Schebesta said he's had success using it. “It’s worked best for me in the early stages of recruiting, because it helps target people based on keywords in the job description and uses machine learning,” Schebesta explained via email. “The ability to rate candidates with a 'thumbs up' or down allows the AI to learn what kind of candidate you’re looking for and then helps you find them.”

However, Schebesta said he still values some old-school tactics. “I’ve found it works best in combination with more traditional means of searching for candidates,” he wrote. “Like meeting someone great in person, or through recommendations.”

Related: 10 New Age HR Software Solutions for 2017

By combining a more traditional approach with newer AI tech, he said, he feels his company is able to add even more value to its talent pool search.

Know how AI benefits job seekers.

The hiring process impacts more than just the hiring team. It’s important to consider what job candidates themselves think about the process and understand how AI technologies benefit them, as well.

Since implementing ZipRecruiter, Schebesta said, he's heard nothing but positive feedback from candidates, because they found the process easy. “It matched candidates with our job ads that suited them and fit their expectations, and they were also a strong fit for our company culture,” he wrote.

“The ease of the search has also been a highlight of the feedback, where some people commented that it’s taken a much shorter time than other job interview processes they’ve been through. This is despite our rigorous approach of many stages and testing.”

When companies consider AI only in terms of how it will solve their internal recruiting needs, the technology may then ruin the connection with candidates. Employers need to consider the candidate experience as well when making changes to their hiring process.

Evolve with it.

As AI reshapes the hiring process, companies will also need to focus on reshaping their current processes to complement the new technology. Tim Sox, the director of innovation at Colonial Life, an insurance company in Columbia, South Carolina, said that the HR role will be evolving along with new technologies.

“HR's role will begin to shift away from traditional assessment and recruiting,” he said via email. “With new advancements in AI, HR advisors will have more time to focus on driving other workplace policies and improvements, because they're not spending their time on administrative tasks.”

An example of a new AI tech advancement comes from San Francisco-based startup Mya Systems. That company developed an AI recruiter that automates steps like sourcing, screening and scheduling.

The recruiting technology also provides candidates with updates on a regular basis, and with feedback and guidance throughout the hiring process. Candidates can even ask it questions and get answers back in real time.

Clearly, such features take recruiting beyond the notion that it simply finds talent. Instead, AI technology can help deliver a personalized experience for candidates.

It also gives HR professionals more time to focus on making connections and further assessing cultural fit, which, as Colonial Life's Sox pointed out, will be more valuable down the road. “Many companies are now putting greater weight on cultural fit and malleability,” he wrote. “We'll start to hire individuals based more on their natural talent and creativity as AI takes on more task-oriented job elements.”

Related: Disruptive Tech Trends in HR Processes in 2017

AI, then, doesn’t just change the hiring process, it also will change how companies will define their talent needs. For these reasons, employers need to stay ahead of the game and know how to evolve along with the technology.

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