Newsletter Archive

Meet Your Replacement: Mr. Algorithm

Artificial intelligence is undeniably transforming HR. Here's how leading employers are leveraging AI to improve sourcing, screening and selection -- and how to protect your value, so you're not replaced by an algorithm:

Interest in artificial intelligence (AI) is at an all-time high, and companies are investing in this emerging technology to help make the hiring process run more smoothly as HR teams are stretched to their limit. There are many ways in which AI can help teams do their jobs faster, better and with improved outcomes by taking over traditionally manual tasks.

AI as a Candidate Sourcing Tool

The first hurdle in any candidate search is sourcing. With the vast number of online resources available to HR teams, sourcing should be easy, right?

If anything, sourcing qualified candidates is becoming more of a challenge in today's hyperconnected world. Artificial intelligence can help streamline the sourcing process by searching the data trails that people leave online in the form of resumes, personal portfolios, blogs, social media profiles, etc., to identify active and passive candidates that meet your requirements, saving countless hours and improving the accuracy of searches.

AI as a Candidate Screener

Between 75 and 88 percent of the resumes submitted to a job posting come from unqualified candidates1, which makes the resume screening process extremely protracted and frustrating. In high-volume recruitment industries, HR teams do not have the time or resources to manually screen the resumes that come in for each open position.

AI screening is helping to automate the process. Going a step beyond traditional applicant scanning technology, post-hire data points like performance and tenure time can help the software make stronger recommendations. As the new data is entered, the computer can apply what was learned about previous employees and use it to evaluate new resumes, continually improving the screening process.

AI as an Undercover Intelligence Operative

Most hiring managers and HR teams spend quite a bit of time on Google, trying to learn more about a candidate through social media and other web-based intelligence. Artificial intelligence can speed up the process and make it much more accurate. Software is available that allows users to conduct automated web searches on candidates. It scans their social profiles, news coverage, blog posts and more to uncover everything from community and professional involvement to signs of drug use, violence or bigotry. These insights can help hiring teams make better decisions when it comes time to make an offer.

AI Can Identify Soft Skills

Interviewing for soft skills is essential, but it's also rather difficult. It can take years to develop an effective means for evaluating soft skills, and even the most seasoned hiring manager can sometimes find it difficult.

AI is being developed that can help you identify soft skills in a candidate through analysis of speech patterns and even facial expressions to uncover attributes like empathy, grit, curiosity and emotional intelligence.

Can Robots Fully Replace Human Resources?

Artificial intelligence can help recruiting teams get their jobs done faster and more accurately, but if you study the list above, what do you notice? AI is best used as a means of supplementing the recruiting and hiring process, and the human element is still required to make decisions once the computer has made an assessment.

There are many indispensable and inherently human competencies that cannot be replaced by artificial intelligence. As organizations rely more and more on AI, it will be imperative for HR professionals to showcase the importance and necessity of these attributes as companies continue to put pressure on them to do more with less.

Let's examine some of the ways AI can never replace an HR or recruiting professional:

  • Machines can't sell: Let's be honest. Recruiting is sales. It requires human interaction, empathy and the ability to assess how a relationship is progressing at every step and adjust accordingly.
  • Culture can't be automated: The recruiting process is becoming more and more about culture. Hiring managers are ambassadors of that culture, and candidates need to get a feel for organizational culture as much as recruiters need to evaluate a candidate's cultural alignment.
  • Computers are not infallible: Machines can only act on the data input into their systems. Effective artificial intelligence is only created over time, as more inputs are collected and the user of the system tweaks those inputs accordingly. Machines don't always get it right, and there will always need to be human overseers to make sure AI is doing an effective job.

Human resources is just that: human. The job of recruiters, hiring managers and other members of the hiring team can be enhanced by AI, but they cannot be replaced. So, embrace artificial intelligence as a tool to do your job well, but don't worry. The machines aren't coming for your job any time soon.