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Can AI Help With Your Talent Search?

If talent acquisition has been a key challenge for your business over the past 12 months, you're not alone. A 2022 survey found that 45% of UK employers considered recruitment the most significant hurdle they're facing - and it's no surprise.

The talent market has seen a changeable landscape over the past few years with furloughs and layoffs creating an unease for many professionals, while the so-called 'Great Resignation' and 'quiet quitting' did the same for employers.

In a bid to simplify the acquisition process and ease pressures faced by HR teams, many companies are now turning to AI-powered software, supporting all manner of tasks typically owned by a hiring manager or recruiter.

But can the technology really enhance your talent search, or is it simply another costly integration for your systems? We explore. 

What AI can do

AI-powered tools can drastically reduce the time - and resources - spent on laborious administrative tasks. Tasks that can take days or even weeks for the average professional to complete. Freeing them to focus on more strategic, socially complex matters.

Task Automation. One of the most common benefits and uses of AI tools right now, HR professionals and hiring managers can automate time-consuming jobs like filtering through CVs, and matching applications against job descriptions to reduce bottlenecks in the recruitment process.

Quality JDs and Postings. Creating job descriptions and quality postings with AI can help combat unconscious bias and use of language that may deter traditionally marginalised professionals. This positively reinforces the ability to acquire skilled, experienced talent whilst checking human biases.

Candidate Communications. Using AI effectively can support indicative communications between a recruiter or hiring manager and prospective candidates. From running targeted ads using cookies, LinkedIn and other data points to attract and engage quality prospects, to automating emails declining applications, inviting candidates to interview, and more.

What AI can't do

AI sophistication is strides away from overhauling the role of a hiring manager or recruitment professional - if it ever will. The technology is no silver bullet, and for a process as vital and intrinsically people-orientated as talent acquisition, AI has its very real limitations. 

Interview Stages. The interview stage is one of the most important factors in securing the right candidates - from assessing how their experience aligns with your team objectives, to determining how they'll contribute to company culture. If you want to reduce shortlisting labour, speak with a recruiter who can own some or all of this task on your business' behalf.

Multi-Faceted Decision-Making. AI tools may be able to assess things like skill alignment and experience, but it's not yet capable of the levels of decision-making required in talent acquisition. Such as cultural compatibility, leadership and mentoring capabilities, and weighing candidates' potential all need team discussion and debate.

Negotiations. Negotiating salaries and contract terms is a uniquely interpersonal process. It requires a strong understanding of the talent market and business, adaptive communication tactics, active listening, solution architecture, discretion, empathy and many more 'soft' skills that AI simply can't accommodate. This remains a task for quality recruitment professionals.

Fleeting trend or valuable tool?

For most, Artificial Intelligence isn't some unknown phenomenon. The vast majority of us have used chatbots, facial recognition, autocorrect and countless more tools to enhance and simplify our everyday life. Now, the technology is steadily making its way into other corners of our lives - so how can we make the most of it?

It's important to note that while AI continues to evolve at a rapid pace, it also requires high levels of diverse data points in order to function effectively. Before we can fully benefit from its capabilities, more education and advancements need to occur to support decision-making, unconscious bias, and other complex factors that play an important part in the talent search.

The best use of the technology for now is to enhance the attraction and acquisition process, and to free up resources to spend on more people-oriented tasks.

AI could clear the path for a new way of filtering through CVs, applications, and expanding pools of quality, skilled candidates. But AI cannot replace the need for bespoke, hands-on recruitment experts, and the wealth of market knowledge that accompanies them.

Posted on 12.05.2023

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