Talent acquisition leaders struggle to cut through the noise. Admist the constant outpouring of new HR technologies, marketing buzzwords, and press coverage it becomes difficult to make determinations about the potential for actual business impact new communications technologies posses. AI is the latest newcomer and it's impacts are the most poorly understood.
When you think of AI, what comes to mind? Popular science fiction films have characterized AI as powerful, smarter than humans, as the replacement for humanity as whole. It's why many of us even at the TextRecruit office joke about building "skynet". But such comparisons are absurd and nothing more than jokes.
While this isn't true about Ari, many of the products on the marketplace aren't even true AI's. They're simple decision tree programs that present a preprogrammed set of options and responses. If you've ever played a role playing game, many of the decision tree programs operate based on well understood technology that's been around in gaming since the early 2000's. They're interactive multiple choice questions with personality.
What Constitutes an AI?
In fact there are only 4 companies on the market today with actual AI. IBM, Microsoft, Google, and Amazon. These names are familiar to you. All companies who have invested millions over a decade to develop AI. It's not easy to develop a conversational AI. You need two components to develop it.
The first is natural language processing, something few companies have cracked. (Which is why we rely on IBM Watson to handle our language processing for Ari.) Natural language processing is a complex system that lets computers understand the written word.
The second componentis machine learning, another massive challenge in computer programming. Machine learning is creating a computer that can learn over time. Even fewer companies have achieved a pairing between natural language processing and machine learning. Again here, we rely on IBM Watson to manage our machine learning.
The "Missing Link" That Most Recruiting AI Don't Have:
With these two components in place, you have a system that can understand language as humans write it, and that can learn language over time. However, this system is like a child. It needs to be exposed to large volumes of relevant conversation to be able to hold a conversation. It needs "conversational data," something we have a lot of.
At TextRecruit we've communicated with over 2% of the US workforce. Building a database of over 10 million written recruiting conversations. We're feeding all 10 million of these conversations into our AI one by one, to educate our instance of IBM Watson. It's this database of conversations that makes our AI smarter.
Give it a try text "Recruit" to 97211.
Where Will AI Impact Recruiting?
Even though AI learns over time, it isn't as adaptable to sudden change as humans are. It also doesn't get bored, because of this, AI excels at repetitive tasks. Think about conversations you have with candidates. During the early stages of your relationship, there are a set of certain questions and answers you provide the candidate. It's during the early stage that AI can help.
AI's biggest impact will be making sourcing and early screening more efficient. It's important to note however, that AI's impact is happening in the context of an overall shift in candidate communication.
Communication Is Moving to Instant Messaging Applications:
Candidate communication, and communication as a whole, is switching to real time communication channels. Text message, live chat, messaging applications, and team management is all starting to happen in real time. In a real time engagement, high speed recruiting environment, it becomes impossible for recruiters to respond to the high volumes of communication present in early stage candidate engagement.
Imagine using a single platform to schedule a job opening campaign to a list of over 100 candidates. Messages would go out over text, Whatsapp, WeChat, and other channels. Message response would be nearly instataneous, with 50% of responses coming in under 15 minutes or less. You could get 30 -40 replies coming in from candidates in a span of 5 minutes.
That's where AI can help.
The Role of AI in the Future of Recruiting:
As more and more communication shifts to text based real time communications, recruiters will need a way to manage high volume early stage interactions. AI will send out open job openings. It will also make inquiries about salary, location, educational, and experience requirements. The final task AI will help with is scheduling and booking phone screens for recruiters.