It’s no secret that digital technology is becoming ever prevalent; simultaneously a source of great interest and growing concern. More recently, with the emergence of self-driving technology, like Tesla’s Autopilot and virtual assistants such as Alexa, people have also begun to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of Artificial Intelligence (AI). But really, what is AI? For some people, the term elicits an image of robots taking over the world and dominating humans. Thankfully, it’s not that scary. In its simplest form, AI allows machines to perform tasks that usually require human intelligence. The term was first coined in 1956, but has quickly become omnipresent. We, unconsciously, use AI in our everyday lives and are dependent on it for tasks that are seemingly simple, such as the filtering feature in your spam inbox! As AI becomes less of a luxury and more of a necessity, businesses have also realized how important AI is to give them a competitive advantage (Forbes agrees!).

How do recruiters really use AI?

Whether you’re using Scouted or another similar recruitment platform (tsk tsk), your future career is in the trusted hands of the team, and their machines. At Scouted, AI is used for two processes. First, to derive insights about your talents; for example, the algorithm learns to look at data points from Scouted candidate’s resume, Round 1 interviews, and other sources to calculate EQ, grit, and communication. Secondly, AI is used to match you with your dream job. So when we receive a potential candidate who is analytical, adaptable, and intelligent, the algorithm knows to match them to an employer looking for someone who fits that same profile. These assessments, that used to take professional recruiters hundreds of hours, can be completed by computer algorithms in seconds. Recruiters still play a role, however, as being presented meaningful candidate insights is only part of the process. The team then uses their expert knowledge of the company culture and vision to make the final decision. Modern recruiters aim to make successful matches in the most effective and efficient way, and AI has become essential to that process.

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How important is AI?

When you’re finding a job for one person, algorithms won’t be much help; such a small number of data points leaves little chance for iterations and limits the algorithm from ‘learning’. But when you start to match hundreds, thousands, and ultimately hundreds of thousands of candidates during a given timeframe, artificial intelligence starts to come in handy. Similarly, traditional recruiters who match candidates manually are successful when dealing with a small number of candidates, but as soon as the quantity of candidates rises, the quality of matches falls. AI, on the other hand, is really valuable as the number of candidates grow; it helps modern recruiters find the needle in the haystack that we call, “the perfect fit”. AI also allows recruiters to ensure consistently high-quality matches at a speed much faster than humans could deliver. Additionally, it allows recruiters to be more efficient and use the saved time to focus on initiatives that require their strategic insight. With 83% of businesses prioritizing their AI strategy, the HR tech recruitment industry, and Scouted in particular, is no exception. Our CTO at Scouted, Howie, is a huge proponent of AI himself; “AI is a huge part of the special sauce that makes Scouted tremendously powerful.  It has enabled us to already have a superior track record compared to the rest of the industry. When combined with our proprietary approach to assessing human capability, candidates and companies are experiencing a success rate of 95%, compared to the norm of 50%!”

So… where does AI fall short?

With the progress we’ve seen in AI over the past 10 years, it’s hard to predict how far it will go. It’s fair to assume that, as time goes on, the number of tasks AI can’t do will decrease. But, there are unique human skills which cannot be successfully replaced by artificial intelligence. Recall the feeling of frustration when you finally get off hold, just to be met with a Siri-like voice? This is where AI falls short. The value of human-to-human contact when dealing with customer-client relations is irreplaceable, and the impersonal candidate experience may decrease the quality of the product. Additionally, as AI is trained off data that has been collected in the past, it has been shown to be inherently biased, which is a real risk in the recruiting world. So, AI can provide insights and data about a client to make the interaction more efficient and effective, but AI is not at a stage where it can replace humans. As Thomas Limoncelli, a leading network engineer, puts it, “automation should be like Iron Man, not Ultron.” He argues that algorithms should use artificial intelligence to specialize in the repetitive tasks that humans don’t do well in (such as data collection and data analysis), while leaving the nuanced judgments and flexible improvisation to humans.

So, we’ve discussed how AI is used, how important it is, and where it falls short. Needless to say, AI is a big deal and it will only continue to grow and become more important to us as time goes on. We’ve gone from posting job opportunities in newspapers to having AI matchmakers aid our hires. So, the future of AI? It’s hard to say. But it’s certainly exciting…

 

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