My robot said you’ve got great leadership credentials: recruiting in the age of AI

AI recruiting
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Recruiting is hard. Recruiting great leaders is even harder. Managers are arguably one of, if not the most integral function within an enterprise, and therefore investing the time and resources into finding the right talent is essential. According to a Deloitte survey, 81 percent of respondents named talent acquisition the most important challenge last year.

Luckily for hiring managers, filling these top positions just got a whole lot easier. Chatbots and artificial intelligence (AI) are storming their way into numerous industries, and the recruitment space is no exception. A staggering 80 percent of enterprises are investing in AI, and reinventing recruitment is high on the list of priorities.

In the recruitment landscape, machine learning-driven solutions are already doing the heavy lifting: pre-screening candidates, assessing talent from a large application pool, and weeding out the ill-qualified. However, beyond being able to simplify and automate the hiring process, AI is pushing forward, revolutionizing how companies fill leadership and management positions.

AI allows a company to dig deeper and move past first impressions to guarantee they are locking at the best potential candidates for these important management roles. Here’s how:

Collecting personalized data

While AI has the muscle to ease the tedious task of filtering through job applicants, it can also collect a huge amount of personalized data on a candidate. A chatbot can leverage information such as who the candidate is as a professional, her style as a leader, behavioral values, what she prizes most about herself, and more, through knock-out questions and executing rapid background checks. With this data collected and evaluated, hiring managers can engage with the right people and the leaders best suited for the position.

More often than not, a company’s next ideal manager will not actively be pursuing job opportunities. Relying on LinkedIn or other traditional recruiting methods will therefore unlikely succeed at discovering and attracting the most suited candidates for leadership roles, as most are already employed. Smart bots, however, can browse the web and accumulate data from hundreds of sites to find a match. More importantly, this technology can also predict the likelihood of someone being open to a job change.

Finding a company fit

By analyzing millions of other data points, chatbots can determine whether a candidate is not only a good match for the position, but a psychological match for the company and current employers. For management positions, finding a candidate who will seamlessly mesh with the company culture is a big tick as it will encourage employee happiness and deliver better results. According to a recent report, 97 percent of employees and executives believe lack of alignment within a team impacts the outcome of a task or project.

An AI platform is capable of reading details from a candidate’s data. For example, by  integrating data enrichment platforms like Clearbit, and personality identification systems like Crystal, we can find out if a candidate would be better suited in a certain environment, be relocated to a different office, or work with a particular group of people.

Mya is an AI platform designed specifically for the recruitment industry. The chatbot talks and engages with applicants through a simple messaging app and can record data and answer questions posed by the candidates. By initiating meaningful conversations, Mya supports time-consuming aspects of the recruiting process, while also gathering unique information from the applicant.

Another similar recruiting chatbot is Debra. In addition to answering candidates’ questions, gathering data and screening applicants, Debra offer psychometric testing of candidates. The platform can confidently determine a candidate’s personality and whether she will be a good fit for the company, without the need for traditional quizzes or questionnaires.

Often hiring managers are found guilty of employing their “twins” — people who are just like them, rather than those who compliment their skills or who would better strengthen the team. However, by using the same pre-employment assessment during the hiring process, AI is able to match employers with candidates who will provide a balance on the team.

Finding talent for the company’s vision

Companies are constantly adapting to keep up with industry advancements. It is therefore valuable to hire managers who will be able to lead the company through changes and showcase the necessary skills that the company may need in the future.

AI is able to find the talent who can thrive in change and meet the demands that the company will face four or five years down the line. By feeding an algorithm with a particular industry trend, the algorithm can be “taught” to monitor the public profiles of prospective candidates and spot the ones already adding these industry skills. Therefore, specific algorithms can search for candidates that may already be developing and strengthening the attributes that the company may not need currently, but will in the coming years.

Onboarding

Deployed correctly and a chatbot can help deliver a positive candidate experience and enhance brand messaging. It can also help a new hire settle in and foster solid relationships with employees from the start – something that is paramount to the success of a leader.

Consultancy firm EY currently has more than 20 chatbots in production, in areas including HR. Last year, they tested a chatbot called “Buddy” to respond to onboarding-related questions from 600 new university hires, helping them transition into the company.

New managers and company leaders, in particular, will have their plates full in their first few days. Chatbots can act as onboarding coaches to answer predictable queries, and even automate mundane paperwork or enrollment formalities. Having a chatbot fill out this paperwork will eliminate chances of error and save candidates time of having to wait on HR personnel or schedule extra meetings.

Hiring a suitable manager could just be the catalyst a company needs to succeed. It is therefore likely we will see more companies invest in AI and chatbots to improve the uncovering, courting and onboarding of their next leaders and managers. Be it widening the search, poaching employed candidates, or ensuring easy and efficient onboarding, AI and chatbots present enormous potential to cement themselves as HR’s right hand man.

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Othamar Gama Filho

Othamar Gama Filho is the Founder and CEO of Talentify Inc., an AI-enabled recruitment automation startup. He is an entrepreneur with experience in areas such as mobile, digital media, HR tech, and RPO.