“Alexa, turn on the TV”, “OK Google, weather tomorrow in Turin”, “Alexa, turn off the lights”: how many of you every day and several times a day utter one of these or similar phrases? We are convinced there are many of you: What we have just done is in fact just one example of how Artificial Intelligence can be used within the home.
But what happens if we transfer Artificial Intelligence to the corporate world and in particular to the world of work and recruitment?
In this article we try to see the pros and cons of the use of Artificial Intelligence, trying to understand if it is more the risks or the benefits.
There are several reasons why a company, be it small, medium or large, might make use of Artificial Intelligence.
One may decide to do so to improve the customer relationship. How? For instance by providing a 24-hour assistance system thanks to chatbots that allow the customer not to feel alone either during the buying process or once it is over.
This could be useful in providing answers to simple questions – such as whether the shop has opened or whether a shipment has taken place -, just as Artificial Intelligence could be supportive throughout the customer experience by helping to discover new patterns of engagement and also to understand what is not working and leads people to abandon the shopping cart.
Artificial Intelligence can then serve to reduce errors and improve processes, offer training courses to employees that are better suited to their needs, and much more. But above all, it plays a far from negligible role in recruiting.
Opinions on the use of artificial intelligence in hiring new people are often divided. Before analysing the pros and cons, we must also understand what kind of use we are talking about. When we talk about AI for recruiting, we first of all mean the possibility, through technology, to select the most suitable candidates for the missing roles and automate all the more repetitive tasks such as screening CVs, reading the various experiences and so on. Moreover, thanks to AI technology such as Inda, one can make use of functionalities and techniques such as Information Extraction and CV Parsing that allow one to speed up the extraction of information, automate the filling in of application forms and store data in the database.
Artificial Intelligence, in fact, is able to distinguish structures, texts, images and facilitates the analysis of personal, professional and skill data. Without forgetting then, that thanks to AI, the bias by which we are sometimes conditioned is reduced, CVs can be anonymised and we can move in the direction of blind recruiting. AI in recruiting can therefore serve to automate the process, to improve it at every stage, to guarantee quality in selection for candidates but also for the company.
It thus leads the recruiter to do a better job, but without replacing him or her, and above all allows this important figure to spend less time on activities for which he or she can receive help and finalise the various stages of the process.
But what are the advantages of using Artificial Intelligence? Let us look at some of them.
Aiming at Artificial Intelligence certainly means fostering innovation in the company and using different methodologies to collect candidate profiles, verify their potential and, above all, analyse the data in its possession. As well as the so-called degree of matching between the person’s characteristics and the position to be filled.
But not only in view of the vacancy, using AI means having advantages over competitors: the collection and analysis of data helps to understand how the job market is going, what skills are available, what can be used to grow in the future.
Artificial Intelligence, thanks to tools such as semantic search, for example, makes HR’s work much easier and allows it to work even on passive candidates, who are often difficult to monitor because they are not actually looking for work.
Artificial Intelligence can significantly reduce the time spent finding and recruiting potential candidates.
Just think, for example, of the hours spent on LinkedIn or posting job offers on multiple sites or attending career days: with AI, all of these obviously valuable activities can be automated and with excellent results.
But that’s not all: Artificial Intelligence also helps with screening, sorting the CVs received. Recruiters will be able to forget about analysing them one by one, to detect the experience that seems to suit the current selection and much more: with a technology like Inda they will have a great help in this respect and will be able to better manage other activities such as the interview, doing different selection tests or onboarding.
AI can then be a great support to improve communication with candidates. We talked earlier about chatbots for customer care, but their use is also important in recruitment.
Think of someone who applies at night or on holidays and perhaps finds difficulties during his application process: in that case he has to wait until the next day or send an email to find out how to proceed, which will only be read the next day anyway. And this might even lead him to give up.
With a chatbot, on the other hand, the applicant has a point of reference: he can ask questions at any time of the day or night and receive answers that can be comprehensive. And when this is not the case, a chatbot can still give a hint or provide links to help better understand the whole selection process.
The AI can also collaborate in an active way, for instance by contacting candidates to get more information and possibly schedule an interview. Just as it can help them through the selection process by giving them advice that can be put into practice immediately.
Such collaboration not only makes the process smoother, but also faster, and the whole company benefits.
So far we have only talked about the benefits, but, as with anything, there can be cons to AI, although they can actually turn into good opportunities.
Let us see what they are.
This is the question asked by almost every person working in HR. Does relying on technologies that automate the process actually mean fewer people in HR teams?
The answer is no: AI cannot replace people, but it can help them perform less repetitive, boring tasks and get them engaged in something where flair, empathy and listening can make a difference. And these are only qualities of people, not machines. What do we mean?
That if an HR person spends less time screening CVs, setting up interviews, matching job offers with candidate experience, they can spend more time figuring out how to grow teams, how to introduce innovative processes and think about actions that can increase employee benefits.
AI therefore does not steal work, but helps HR to focus on more challenging tasks and, in such a profoundly changed world of work, to be a very important business function.
Another issue that is always on the table with the use of AI in recruitment is bias. While it is true that thanks to Artificial Intelligence, certain cognitive biases can be avoided, it is also true that there is sometimes a fear that the machine will learn the wrong behaviour and perpetuate it constantly. At the same time, it must be said that this happens very rarely and, when it does happen, it is still something that can be corrected.
On the other hand, as we have said, machines are collaborators, but it is always HR that has to decide how to manage the process.
Among the cons, there is the fact that with AI we may be moving towards a ‘dehumanisation of work’. One wonders: if everything is handed over to technology, what happens to people, their values and empathetic ways of behaving?
Obviously this is a fair question also because it is true that the recruitment process could seem much more impersonal and that, if one entrusts talent acquisition to algorithms and chatbots, there is a risk of not having a direct relationship with these people who are likely to join the company. And again: the fear is that HR themselves may feel more detached and candidates less involved. This is of course a risk, but it depends on how HR decides to use the time they save. If he does so with people in mind, their involvement in the organisation, improving processes while still listening to needs, then he will get the best out of AI.
And when that is the case, the pros definitely outweigh the cons.
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