We have so much data that we don’t have the time to use it in new ways that might provide innovative insights.
Relax, this is not going to be another article proclaiming that the sky is falling because you haven’t yet incorporated artificial intelligence (AI) into your recruitment processes. If you’re not yet using AI, maybe it’s because you don’t have the deep pockets of a company the size of Google.
Or, maybe you’re hesitating because, for as much as you hear about how recruiting is broken and it’s time to transform it, you can’t even find a consensus of people who agree what AI is or what it can do. Is AI the same thing as machine learning? Try putting that in a Google search and see what you get.
Is recruiting really broken?
Many experts in the field would argue that recruiting is not broken. Maybe the only thing that’s broken is the thought process that decrees we have to demote something to a malfunctioning status, instead of acknowledging that different times call for different approaches.
What no one argues is that many industries – particularly technology – simply can’t find the talent needed to fill open positions. It hardly means the recruitment process is broken. All it means is that we can’t keep looking into an empty cookie jar and expect there suddenly will be more cookies.
AI can’t create more highly skilled job candidates. The only thing it – and its cousin, machine learning – can do is pretty much what you’re already doing now. Only faster.
How hard would you kick yourself if you were looking for the most talented copywriter in the industry, and that person was available – but you never knew it because you were looking for a copywriter and she calls herself a storyteller?
Now, that is definitely a conundrum that AI could help you with. We all want to find the best people, but you can’t type that in as your search criteria. We have so much data that we don’t have the time to use it in new ways which might provide innovative insights. Maybe AI could have suggested that you strike copywriter from your candidate search. Or, full stack developer.
Maybe the only thing broken is your approach to searching. Don’t be so quick to dismiss the idea as ridiculous because “everybody” knows that full stack developers would only ever call themselves a full stack developer because, well, what else would they call themselves? Unless the only people you’ll ever be asked to recruit are full stack developers.
AI could throw a little bit of help your way. Unfortunately, you want only the top performers – so you’re excluding a whole bunch of what might be considered as mediocre possibilities. After all, you only have a specific amount of time to find the right person.
AI and machine learning would let you cast a much wider net. You know your perfect full stack developer can’t just sit in a room and code. You’ve been told to find someone who can fill a forecasted future leadership role. Oh, and it would be pretty cool if they spoke Japanese. AI has the bandwidth and the patience to look for the not-so-obvious information in resumes that – for whatever reason – never made it to a preliminary round of consideration.
You get the idea. AI is not the solution, nor is it going to be a replacement for recruitment. At least not anytime soon. What it can do better than anything is buy you more of what you really need.
More time for high touch
We’ve either learned it from personal experience or because of horror stories our peers have told us. This candidate was perfect! At least on paper. It was a 100 percent keyword match. There was literally nothing this candidate couldn’t bring to the table.
And, they went down in flames after the hire. They didn’t even last a month. The irony is that in hindsight, everything was obvious. In hindsight.
That’s the trouble with deciding that recruiting is broken, and it needs the technological transformation of AI to deliver your next round of superstars. Recruiting isn’t broken. It never was. Recruiting is about building relationships and facilitating engagement and uncovering the human elements which will determine whether a candidate is right. Google can’t help you be high touch.
What’s broken is finding people. Plan to embrace AI and machine learning to help you find those people, so you can focus on what really matters: recruiting them.