Let’s face it: being a Human Resources leader is a tough gig. Not only are you frequently left out of your company’s strategic decision-making process, the lengthy cycle time to find just the right talent often means you miss out on hiring them. The numbers aren’t in your favor. And that’s stress-inducing.

Factors contributing to the stress include:

  • Burdensome workloads for recruiters
  • Complex and inefficient recruiting processes characterized by information, stakeholder, and regulatory overloads
  • Overly-complex hiring decisions

Likely, we’re not telling you anything you don’t already know. Recruiting, hiring, and retaining key talent costs. A lot. And investment in new employees who may—or may not—stick around is enough to induce sticker shock.

Here’s what the stats say about hiring in 2018:

  • 71% of employers claim that they can’t find properly qualified candidates (Forbes)
  • Hiring cycle time exceeds 76 days while great candidates remain available for about 10 (plus, cycle time has increased by over 80% since 2010) (CEB)
  • The average first year investment to recruit, hire, and onboard a new employee is $240,000 (SHRM)
  • 95% of organizations admit to making poor hiring choices and 40% of new hires resign within their first year (GlassDoor)

According to industry surveys, because running the day-to-day human resource function utilizes over 60% of their available time and resources, talent managers struggle to respond in a timely manner to applicants (a startling 56% of applicants reported receiving no feedback from a company they applied to). Poor communication not only gives potential candidates a sour taste in their mouths, it adversely impacts your company’s overall image. Ouch.

The data begs the question, what can be done to streamline recruiting and hiring processes while increasing positive outcomes like reduced turnover and improved communication—without increasing an already burdensome workload?

Two words: Artificial Intelligence (A.I.).

Let’s face it: A.I. is a trending topic. One cannot scan technology—or any—publications without coming across something related to A.I. Before you click away, visualizing rogue robots taking over the world, consider how the right framework might alleviate the human capital acquisition stress on you, your team, and your company—while actually improving your hire and retention rates!

First, a definition of A.I. According to Webster’s dictionary, artificial intelligence is the theory and development of computer systems able to perform tasks that normally require human intelligence, such as visual perception, speech recognition, decision-making, and translation between languages.

In layman’s terms, A.I. is smart software that increases its effectiveness over time as it learns on its own. Its processes include learning, reasoning, and auto-correction.

Current A.I. has yet to reach maturity because although it uses human reasoning as a basis for decision-making, it’s not driven to perfectly model human behavior. The computer science adage “garbage in—garbage out” is apt because, despite the prevailing perception otherwise, humans have control over A.I. programming. Remember that a system is only as good as its data!

A great example of A.I. in everyday use is Amazon’s Alexa. “Alexa, find me an ideal candidate,” may sound ridiculous, but it’s not too far-fetched. Imagine having your perfect candidate “playlist.”

Current applications of A.I. are already making recruiting more efficient by finding better-qualified candidates faster. How? The use of social media sites to source candidates paired with talent acquisition technology, which manages the entire recruitment and hiring cycles, will change the face of human resources.

Technology, Media, and Telecom sectors lead the charge in adopting A.I. for information technology, customer service, and marketing purposes.  The integrated use of A.I. for human resources functions has yet to crack any industry’s top three A.I. applications.

Let’s be clear: using A.I. to streamline the hiring and retention processes does not replace human resource personnel. Rather, it alleviates workload pressures, burdensome costs, and optimizes hiring manager decision-making. Chief human resource officers (CHRO) ought to invest in and leverage A.I. to:

  • Accelerate hiring for firm-critical requisitions
  • Remove hidden process inefficiencies
  • Optimize hiring manager decision-making

In this blog series, we will explore effective, feasible, and actionable applications of A.I. throughout the recruitment process to help CHROs in companies of all sizes and across all industries address these strategic business challenges:

  • Main benefits of using AI
  • Challenges of applying AI to recruiting
  • Recruiting technologies you need to know
  • Potential applications of AI in recruiting
  • How A.I. will change the traditional recruiters role

Stay tuned for our next post where we’ll explore how A.I. can help recruiters with the age-old problem of creating an effective job posting.