How Do You Use This Type of Intelligence?

Most, if not all, hiring managers and recruiters have been faced with this picture: an endless amount of resumes submitted via email, job boards, or a corporate website and limited time to tackle them in between working on other assignments/duties. Depending on the size of the company and where the job positions have been posted, recruiters can be faced with dozens of resumes that don’t exactly align with the available role. This can be for a variety of reasons: applicants can be in the wrong location, not be at the correct experience level (too senior or too junior), or their skill set isn’t applicable to what the role needs accomplished. Shifting through these resumes and finding the ones that seem like the best fit can be overwhelming and time consuming, but Artificial Intelligence (AI) can help.

Some AI is used to before interviews are conducted to find the best possible fits by using predictive algorithms to assess human qualities utilizing research compiled from word choice and tone in resumes. By understanding the language a candidate uses, the software attempts to gain insight into that person’s personality and how they might behave in the workforce. This same idea can be applied to current employees – AI can look through company emails and discern how happy an employee is; if they’re unhappy a leader can try to engage them to keep retention high and turnover low. Using the same focus of tone and word choice, video interviewing programs have been created that examine both those factors and micro-gestures to see if candidates are being honest. For example, is the candidate using works like “can” and “will” or is the majority of their discussion based on negative words like “can’t”? What does their body language look like – is their face showing signs of stress or are they projecting confidence?

Other types of AI can help narrow down the candidate pool by the use of assessments; they can help determine if a candidate has integrity, the key job skills for the position, deductive reasoning capabilities, and many others qualities depending on the software. AI can even collect and mine through data from a range of sources to find candidates that haven’t even applied (when given a job description to follow). Certain AI can also aid in diversity hiring by taking applications and filtering out candidate’s names, gender, and any other personal identifiers to eliminate any unconscious biases a hiring manager may have. This ensures that the hiring process is fair and the hire is truly based on experience and alignment of keywords/skills comparing the job description and candidate resume.

While AI seems like an appealing application, it isn’t without its flaws. AI can develop its own biases, favoring applications with characteristics its seen before. It can also tempt hiring managers or recruiters to loosen their grip and allow AI to take over too much, perhaps making a decision they wouldn’t have with the extra human touch. AI can also go too far, looking into places that it should have stayed out of (like social media, where it’s risky for employers to look); it’s illegal to look through online profiles for information on race, religion, political affiliation, etc., but AI can still scan through online channels and look for tone and opinions. Some argue that AI protects employers from discrimination suits, while others are unsure if that’s really the case.  Though AI is making strides and changing the TA space, it doesn’t have the same grasp on environmental factors of a candidates current job, the management style they work under, or emotion as well as an actual human being. AI only gives what an employer asks for and sometimes hiring managers don’t know what they looking for until they see it and they could miss out on a number of strong candidates because AI sorted them out. Like any other emerging technology or software, it’s best to take it in stride and figure out how they will fit (or if they will even fit) into your role and duties.

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