Artificial Intelligence and Hiring Your Workforce

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Not all that long ago, the concept of artificial intelligence (AI) felt like some far-off notion that current generations may only briefly encounter. Today, digital technologies like AI are everywhere, promising to change every aspect of our lives and how we live them. The workplace is certainly not exempt from the effects—both direct and indirect—of AI.

Is There a Place for AI in Modern Hiring Processes?

At this point, it is probably little surprise that AI has become an increasingly significant part of the human experience at nearly every turn. Recruiting and job search measures are no exception. According to a poll through Ideal Recruiting from February 2019, 96% of surveyed recruiters reported that they believe AI can enhance talent acquisition and retention and that they can save 14 hours of manually completed tasks per week.

Considering all that AI can do for recruiters and job seekers, it is clear how invaluable AI is set to become across all industries, including human resources.

How Is AI Changing Human Resources?

Traditionally submitted resumes, applications, and cover letters have been on the wane for years now. Job candidates are increasingly sending these encapsulations of information to recruiters and job managers via email and website submission centers rather than the U.S. Postal Service.

AI is now starting to take automation and all its benefits even further when it comes to getting to know job candidates.

The Value of Resumes Has Significantly Changed Over the Past Decade

Resumes were once the cornerstone of the hiring process, but hiring managers are finding that AI does a far better job at fulfilling the need to learning essential information about job candidates. AI actually streamlines the search and determination process greatly for human resource managers by scanning each resume, searching for designated keywords to determine whether the prospective employee has the edge requirements needed for a given position. Once a capsule of information, a resume now is merely the transportation device to reach the AI-oriented scanner. The rest is up to machine learning at its finest. If hiring managers had time to sit down and read over every resume, the documents would still hold greater value. As it is, they are a smaller part of the data puzzle.

Will AI Lead to a Lack of Humanity in Human Resources?

A major concern in handing over the hiring process to AI is that the human factor will eventually and ultimately be removed from the process. In a February 2019 articles from Forbes entitled “Why Your Company Should Use AI in Hiring—But Keep it Human,” Wayne Elsey discussed how AI is meant to be used as a tool to assist recruiters rather than removing them from the process at some point.

AI has the power to efficiently and effectively filter through resumes and applications, so they can more quickly meet with people who most closely align with the company’s objectives. For example, upon a resume or application scan, hiring managers can request certain parcels of information, such as how far away candidates live from the business location and the times that they are available for work. Such nuggets of information can help an employer rule out an unrealistic candidate fairly quickly since someone living a great distance with limited availability may become a liability to the business and a burden for the candidate if they become an employee. Better to remove them from consideration and move to someone with better potential logistics.

At the same time, it is also important that the human element remains. If a candidate living far away has educational and job experience truly unique to the position, it is worth a second scan from human eyes to see if it may work out, after all.

Additionally, a human read on resumes and applications can help ensure that they hire candidates more aligned with the organizational culture and with a greater chance of delivering on objectives more successfully.

3 Ways to Keep the Hiring Process Fully Human While Adopting and Implementing AI Hiring Strategies

Hiring managers and organizational communication leaders continually work on ways to develop and adopt AI strategies in hiring that do not remove the crucial human factor. It is always vital to keep in mind that the desire to find and hire the best candidates does not mean it is all right for hiring managers and C-level executives to forget that they are hiring human beings.

Candidates can make value judgments of their own, especially if they feel like they are judged solely by AI capabilities, rather than human hiring managers.

Here are just 3 ways to keep things human while streamlining the hiring process with AI.

1. Plan Policies Regarding AI in the Recruiting and Hiring Process

No one needs to let AI simply take over the hiring process. Every organization and its leaders can control the degree to which AI plays a part in hiring. Focusing on factors such as transparency, fairness, and accountability are good considerations to keep in mind when beginning to use AI for hiring practices. Developing strong and ethical policies helps everyone understand that AI is just a tool to assist in human processes and is not a means to replace the human factor.

2. Work to Eliminate Human Biases from AI Systems

Of courses, computers themselves do not hold biases, but it is important to remember that humans do the programming and can instill some elements of bias. When organizations or recruiting firms begin to shop for an AI recruiting platform, it is important to ask the provider what they have done to protect against human bias in AI.

Some people—even machine learning programmers—may harbor biases deeply inside of themselves, whether they are fully aware or not, so it is crucial that providers take extra precautions against biases when possible, such as insisting on psychological profiling and predictive analytics. A few biases that could negatively affect the hiring process are based on gender, race, age, and socio-economic status, so diligence is invaluable on everyone’s part.

3. Remember That the Human Resources Team Is the Core of Hiring and That AI Is Just an Assistive Tool

It is easy to feel impressed by all that AI can do to simplify various processes in hiring, but remember that it cannot replace a dedicated human resources team. People understand matters such as integrity, ethics, and morality from a human perspective and in ways that AI never will. Empathy is a highly human trait that is important at looking at the finer details of hiring matters.

What Is Next on the Horizon for AI in Recruiting and Hiring?

Technology does not stagnate for a moment these days, so it is a certainty that more AI refinements are incoming for the hiring process. One of the most important features of AI immediately on the horizon is its ability to make better data-driven decisions.

Here are just a few ways that data-driven recruiting helps in improving the quality of each hire and more.

Developing an Improved Overall Hiring Funnel

AI and the data it provides can help hiring managers find issues at various points in the recruiting process. For example, if there are strange fluctuations in the number of applications filled out by candidates in one hiring round versus a previous one, communication leaders and hiring managers can determine whether there is a problem with the application itself or if there is an issue with the entire hiring process.

Allocating the Budget to the Best Channels to Gain the Most Exposure

The data that AI gathers can be used to find the best channels to attract the best candidates, whether the platform is based in social media advertisements, recruitment platforms, or job portals. The data aggregated can quickly tell the story, identifying where the most final hires have historically come from, guiding hiring managers to the best channels and thus, the best use of the allocated budget.

Prepare for the Continuing Emergence in the Hiring Process and Beyond with an Advanced Communication Degree

The adaptation of AI to new and different areas of business is showing no signs of slowing down, which makes it critical that communications professionals learn everything possible about this continuing wave of emerging technologies. As future communications leaders pursuing an online communication degree, understanding the role of AI in your career is paramount to success.

As topics such as AI are being introduced to business and communication practices, communications professionals can become aware of new and emerging technologies by advancing their education. Visit the University of Southern California (USC) Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism website to explore the online Master of Communication Management degree program. Uniting communication research and theory with practical applications, the online Master of Communication Management degree program prepares professionals to leverage communication principles and practices to address real-world communications challenges and opportunities.