Ask about the hottest topic trending in Talent Acquisition (TA) and you’ll get a mixed bag, but mostly the threads will weave toward the acute lack of qualified talent for open reqs. With the U.S. economy leaning toward full employment, this answer is no surprise.
If you refine that question and ask what TA “solutions” are hottest, you’ll get a bagful of AI, Automation and Chatbots. There are so many blogs and articles written about this, but “engagement,” the key element to all this activity, tends to get lost. It’s something we humans have done pretty well since the caveman days and translating the ability to communicate to a machine is the basis for all this AI chatter.
In recruiting, we’re having less success attracting and engaging with top talent, so we turn to machines to do it for us? No question, at large scale enterprises where hundreds of similar openings exist (hospitality, retail, logistics, etc.), chatbots are helpful. Engaging and communicating with scientists, software engineers, data analysts or other more complex functions is a bigger challenge.
My thoughts are not whether these machines can or can’t do the job, my question is, where and how should they be employed – particularly at this stage of the AI evolution? I’ve reviewed most currently marketed solutions, and they seem to be merely scraping the surface of AI, and seem more closely aligned with search tools and information browsers for keywords and phrases. Some chatbots aren’t much more than a prompt for information, asking users one question at a time as if this type of “engagement” will be less arduous than filling out a form. As usual, the lure of profits and being first gets ahead of where the tech is capable of delivering.
I am bullish on automation for TA and where AI will take us, and there is amazing work being done in the sector. For me, someone who has railed against the inadequacy of the “default” tools of our industry such as resumes, job descriptions, CEO videos, phone screens and the like, AI replacements for these poorly performing tools can’t come soon enough. I just think we should consider the best course of AI’s use as it evolves.
To me, AI interaction should not replace human engagement, but should be a bridge to it. AI should make the “career consumer” user experience a joy, not the chore that it is. It should enhance the desire to learn more about a company’s employment experience. Once candidates are “kicking the tires,” it should streamline content delivery and the application process. Essentially, in every instance we should consider how we can lower the barriers to human engagement.
AI, Machine Learning, Natural Language Processing and Automation TA focus:
- Automate and direct to whom and where our Employment Branding messages are targeted
- Real time analysis of Career Site visitor activity, timing a chatbot’s interaction so it prompts a visitor who has demonstrated an interest by the time they spend on site
- Using chatbot to offer a Career Site Visitor more info about the specific content they’ve been consuming - or matching what they’ve been consuming to an open req
- Use AI to recognize career consumer interest in our externally shared content and manage their Career Consumer Journey by nurturing more effectively
- Chatbots should consider using multiple choice questions for controlled interactions and clearer understanding
- Chatbots could offer choices that measure and parse career interest, motivation and job search activity, alerting recruiters to those that meet the qualities sought
- Chatbots should share job details most Career Consumers want to know such as: comp, commute, work life, etc.
- Chatbots in Messenger or Text should offer recurring job alerts for targeted job openings
- Using AI and automation to greatly improve the application user experience
Many in TA are anxious about the machines replacing our efforts. I think this is folly. We are the ones creating these machines – not the other way around. TA practitioners need to get ahead of AI development and direct it toward solutions that resolve our biggest issues, like increasing the number of qualified prospects and converting them to top candidates.
Few candidates will be hired without a TA professional’s hands-on involvement. Using AI programs that put candidates into the hands of a recruiter or sourcer are the solutions that are most needed.