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The World Economic Forum has forecasted that robots will eliminate 75 million jobs by 2022. However, they also predict they will create 133 million new jobs, a net gain of 58 million. Whatever the future holds, talk about automation is never going to be far away when it comes to work.
In the quest for profits and ever-increasing growth, organizations are constantly being challenged to cut costs, which technology can help them do. This is the reality of modern-day Business.
A few weeks ago I posted a thread on Linked in on Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Recruitment, it got 50k views and 280 comments, it certainly attracted a massive amount of interest globally (https://tinyurl.com/y6wpe2l7) with some polarising views and heated discussions.
I recently connected with the Sales team at Robot Vera (https://ai.robotvera.com/) to find out more about their proposition, to try to cover it in a more balanced light.
Off the back of that discussion, I thought that it would be of interest to do a follow up to clear up a few notions on what AI will and will not presently do in Recruitment.
The vision is not exactly in keeping with the popular Science Fiction narrative which dominates the mainstream.
The idea is more that AI will facilitate a shift in recruitment practice, with repeatable tasks being automated and humans being deployed to optimise the decision-making process.
What is clear that present incarnations of AI will not take the place of traditional means of hiring knowledge workers, Mid to Senior level staff or Executive recruitment. Like most current applications of AI, it can only be deployed in a very narrow set of circumstances, to automate in the main, repeatable business processes. The realm of “General AI”, where a computer is able to transfer knowledge from one domain to another and apply general human intelligence, is still a work in progress like it was in the 1970s.
For example, AI cannot perform a ‘Search’ in the same way a seasoned Recruiter can who is versed in understanding the brief and the candidate, to ensure a fit.
AI does, however, have resonance in the ‘Volume’ recruitment market where there is a high turnover of staff, for example, a Receptionist, Construction workers or Call Centre agents. This is the area where the Robot Vera team believes it can provide a solution.
In this market, candidates are normally sourced from an internal database by the Recruiter who then proceeds to make around 50 calls a day to find candidates willing to come to an interview, this short list is then passed to the client. These are low value hires for the Recruiter and contacting candidates is an endless cycle of call, reject, answer machine and agree – for relatively little money per hire. This is a task AI can do easily, freeing the Recruiter to do the higher value work such as sourcing new clients.
Here is an example: A national hairdressing salon was having issues recruiting stylists for their salons, they had a cold database of 300 applicants. The AI was employed to call them which it did over 1.5 hours, this would have taken a human Recruiter a week to call through. The results were impressive;
- 32 (2 newly identified) expressed an interest in the job,
- 18 (10 newly identified) expressed no interest in the job at the present time,
- 1 candidate didn’t understand what position was offered, and hang up,
- 84 other candidates picked up the phone, but replied nothing and hung up,
- 132 other candidates didn’t pick up phone specifically because of turned on voicemail,
- 13 other candidates had an unavailable number or insufficient funds and didn’t speak with Vera.
- The rest declined the offer of a role.
Using a simple script to understand their availability, interest and qualifications, Robot Vera saved many thousands of hours in time and cost. The AI was quickly able to understand the responses given and take the call to a successful outcome while enriching the CRM database. Other applications for AI are in the On-boarding of Candidates and informing the Candidate when they have not been successful, something that recruiters struggle with.
AI in recruitment has a place and it is not at the higher end of the market, for now. This is not to say that this picture won’t change in future as the technology develops.
Taking some of the more mundane elements out of recruitment has massive benefits for the industry. It also solves a big headache for the companies looking to hire in terms of cost and lead time and represents an improvement for those candidates who don’t get responses to applications.
Thanks to Adrian James and Lisa Tirskikh at Robot Vera for their contribution to this article.
You can read more about Robot Vera here.
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