Why Do We Need Artificial Intelligence In Talent Acquisition?

Tim Sackett A.I., Smashfly, Tim Sackett 6 Comments

Ahead of the HR Technology Conference, we are seeing a bunch of new releases about artificial intelligence products for talent acquisition. It’s not unlike every other year at HR Tech, companies love to launch their new stuff at the biggest events. For some reason, though, this A.I. stuff seems a bit different.

When we look at any technology we have to ask ourselves basically three questions as TA Pros:

1. Will using this tech give me a better quality of candidate?

2. Will using this tech help me fill my positions faster?

3. Will using this tech be cheaper to use than traditional methods I’ve been using?

Faster – Cheaper – Better. Classic, right?

But now I’ve tried to go to the core of the ‘why’ when looking at these new machine learning and A.I. technologies. Don’t get me wrong, this is not a post on how these techs are bad. I love the new technology and believe within three years most TA shops will have some sort of A.I. integration at some point within their process.

I think I’ve actually found a 4th reason of why we need A.I. in Talent Acquisition.

Artificial intelligence technology is critical for talent acquisition because talent acquisition hasn’t figured out how to measure the performance of recruiters and sourcers. In the absence of great performance management metrics, we’ve given up even trying.

Stay with me young Padawan.

Artificial intelligence would be unnecessary if sourcers and recruiters were rocking it out. I don’t need a robot to do the heavy lifting of sourcing and recruiting if my folks are doing exactly what they’re supposed to be doing. But, for too many of us, they don’t.

So, we see the rise of A.I. in talent acquisition to do all that work that our recruiters basically won’t do. A.I. will now take each one of your job postings, go source for those jobs in your entire talent landscape, rank those candidates in a really intelligent way, then reach out and nurture those candidates. Basically, your recruiters will come in and call vetted candidates who are already interested.

That’s good. But, isn’t that entire A.I. process what they should have been doing all along? That’s rhetorical—of course, it is!  But they weren’t doing it enough, so technology came and found a solution for a problem we didn’t really have.

We don’t really have a problem with sourcing and vetting candidates. We all know how to do that, but it wasn’t getting done.

So, what technology do we really need as TA Leaders, but no one is giving us?

Recruiter measurement and effectiveness software. If I’m a TA leader with 10 recruiters or 100 recruiters I should be able to easily tell you, with data, who is my #1 recruiter and who is my #100 recruiter, and which of those recruiters needs to go because they’re just ineffective.

I would hope this technology would also be prescriptive to tell me as a leader what exactly does each recruiter need to do more of, or do better, to increase their effectiveness. Ultimately, I need very specific performance management technology for recruiting.

I think if we had that level of insight into our teams we could probably get away with not having to use the new A.I. technology, or if we decided to use the A.I. technology it would be because we wanted to increase our capacity and not cover up a major hickey we are too scared to talk about.

FOT Note:  We here at FOT like to think we get talent and HR at a different level. At the very least, we are probably going to have a different take than the norm. So it made perfect sense to ask SmashFly to be an annual sponsor at FOT, where they’ll sponsor posts like this one, allowing FOT contributors to write, without restriction, on all things related to recruitment marketing and how it helps organizations find, attract, engage, nurture and convert talent. Learn how you can proactively protect your organization from the talent crunch by building pipelines of engaged talent in our Talent Pipelines Solution Guide.

Comments 6

  1. So A.I. needed more for TA managers to do performance than it is to automate tasks at the lower end, right?

    Related- if you automate the lower end activities, each recruiter ends up with a similar quality of candidate to convert. That’s interesting….

    1. That is a very interesting point to bring up. I am not sure how I feel about this–on one hand, it seems to me that AI could be built to be very objective, but it may “learn” to be prejudiced after time.

  2. Awesome site you have here but I was wondering if you knew of any
    discussion boards that cover the same topics discussed here?
    I’d really like to be a part of community where I can get
    opinions from other experienced people that share the same interest.
    If you have any suggestions, please let me know.

    Thank you!

  3. To expand on your #4 point: There’s something to be said about the tightening of the labour market and the increase in demand (especially in tech) meaning that recruiters now need to ‘turn over more stones’ than they used to which isn’t scalable when done manually (and therefore recruiters aren’t ‘rocking it’ anymore). AI in sourcing/recruiting will allow recruiters to cover more ground than they used to which is required in today’s tightening labour market.

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