AI can enhance candidate experience, but a balance between speed, quality, and personalization is crucial.
- Candidates and employers prioritize an efficient hiring process with personalized feedback.
- Validation of data at source exposed a male bias in competence overstatement.
- Investing in internal knowledge and training can overcome challenges in AI adoption.
- Virtual interviewing offers flexibility and efficiency but lacks personal connection for some candidates.
The COVID-19 pandemic has been a catalyst for change across various sectors and Talent Acquisition is no different. In this second installment of our blog series aiming to shed light on the transformative changes in talent acquisition, our participants delved into the role of artificial intelligence (AI) in shaping the future of candidate experiences. Our research panel featured a diverse group of both TA and HR thought leaders and experts who offered a comprehensive look at the complexities, opportunities, and best practices for incorporating AI into talent acquisition. Read on for some insights into the final report scheduled to be available at the end of this month.
High tech but make it personal
@Amy Cropper (she/her/hers), Global Talent Acquisition Leader, underscored the critical importance of an efficient and error-free hiring process that also offers personalized feedback. "Candidates and employers both value an efficient hiring process that minimizes mistakes. Candidates understand the need for technology in high-volume hiring but also want personalized feedback. AI needs to balance speed, quality, and personalization," Cropper shared. Her point emphasizes that while AI can streamline the hiring process, it must also be nuanced enough to provide a personalized touch.
@Brad Cook, recently retired Global Head of Talent Acquisition at Intuitive Surgical added, "In the world of high-volume applications, the AI needs to supplement the digital touch. A simple acknowledgement email from the ATS is no longer enough but instead we should deliver an ideal conversational interaction until such time as the recruiter screen has kicked in, and the candidate is dispositioned in or out of consideration." Brad Cook believes that AI should elevate the candidate experience beyond basic acknowledgments, offering meaningful, conversational interactions until the recruiter's screening process takes over.
Ethical considerations when using AI
At CareerXroads, we're taking proactive steps to ensure that AI serves as an ethical and transparent tool in the realm of talent acquisition. We've recently partnered with nearly 30 leading companies in the HR Technology space to establish foundational guidelines for ethics in AI within recruiting. Our collaborative effort aims to set industry-wide baselines that promote transparency, fairness, and accountability in AI-assisted talent selection and recruiting processes. By creating a framework that prioritizes ethical considerations, we're striving to make sure that AI not only streamlines hiring but also upholds the highest standards of integrity and inclusivity.
Barry Flack, an expert in Digital HR & Recruitment solutions, highlighted the challenges tied to data integrity and skill verification. "Matching technology depends on data quality and self-certification of skills, requiring some human interaction for integrity," Flack reported. This suggests that while AI can be a powerful tool, its effectiveness is dependent on the quality of the data it processes and the human oversight that ensures its accuracy.
Don't neglect the human component
A significant obstacle was pointed out by Nicole Brown, Vice President of HR for Quarterra Group: the skills gap within organizations when it comes to AI technology. "Lack of internal knowledge and skills in AI technology hinders adoption in talent acquisition processes. Investing in an internal knowledge base and training existing talent is a long-term solution," Brown advised. Her insights underscore the need for organizations to invest in upskilling their teams to fully leverage the capabilities of AI.
Despite these challenges, AI's value in modern HR processes is undeniable. Brown also touched upon the growing importance of virtual interviews in today's socially distanced world. However, she cautioned that this could inadvertently disadvantage low-income candidates and dilute the personal connection that is often crucial in interviews.
@Aaron Kraljev, a strategic talent acquisition leader, echoed the sentiment that AI should complement, not replace, human interaction. "AI can improve candidate experience, but it has to be used for the right reasons. Using AI to cut costs or reduce headcount can harm the candidate experience and damage the brand. Some segments prefer human interaction," Kraljev warned. He further elaborated on the successful deployment of AI in the Talent Acquisition space, where AI-driven bots have been instrumental in addressing candidate queries and enhancing transparency. "These systems reduce candidate fallout, increase satisfaction scores, and save time," Kraljev added.
However, Kraljev also stressed the irreplaceable value of human connection in the recruiting process. "While AI is excellent for automating tasks like strategic sourcing, reference collection, and offer letter distribution, the human element remains crucial and should never be sidelined," he concluded.
In a rapidly evolving HR landscape shaped by the pandemic, industry experts are increasingly recognizing the transformative potential of AI in enhancing the candidate experience. From streamlining the hiring process to offering personalized interactions, AI is proving to be a valuable asset. However, its successful integration hinges on ethical considerations, data integrity, and the preservation of human touch. As we navigate the complexities of the post-pandemic world, striking the right balance between AI-driven efficiency and meaningful human interaction will be key to delivering a candidate experience that is both efficient and genuinely engaging.
Stay tuned for our future headlines that will further explore the game-changing impact of AI on the candidate experience in our new normal. Also, be on the lookout for our in-depth report coming this fall, poised to be an indispensable guide for Talent Acquisition leaders across the board.
Up Next: Envisioning the Future of Candidate Experience