Talent Management

Why The AI In The HR Office Deserves A Raise

In today’s challenging and competitive race for talent, a star player remains undervalued. Here are four reasons the AI partner in the HR office deserves more recognition.

Finding good talent has always been hard – and the pandemic twist of the last two years has only made things harder for Talent Acquisition (TA) teams. Between voluntary resignations and COVID-driven departures, fewer workers than ever before are on the market. Finding suitable candidates and getting them hired is thus a top priority for all departments, and TA teams are in the spotlight.

Teams under pressure, however, have a diamond to lean on in the form of Artificial Intelligence (AI). More sophisticated and “smarter” than ever before, these systems are capable of supporting more people in more processes than many operational leads realize. Here, four of the key advantages to investing more in AI systems for TA will be examined.

Many TA teams had a rude shock this past year. It wasn’t just that offices were closed and industry events were cancelled. Teams that had thought of themselves as robust and resilient discovered that external demands on staffers – like childcare, eldercare, and shortages of key goods – put an unprecedented number of key workers offline at the same time.

Emails went unanswered. Interviews were pushed back. Voicemail… and even physical mail… hung unchecked or in limbo for weeks at a time. It was a very expensive and painful lesson to learn about frailties and limits.

Teams that already had AI systems in place, however, were able to lean on those systems to keep the candidate flows moving. Automated screening, immediate chat bot responses, scheduled follow-ups and messaging made it possible for limited numbers of human workers to keep entire offices functional. For any manager asking “Do we really need all this tech?” the answer quickly became an emphatic “Yes – and let’s get more!”

Over the last 18 months, existing conversations about diversity, equity, and inclusion have been amplified. Then, election-year politics and the subsequent fall out laid a secondary minefield on top of what could, at times, feel like an active war zone. Human recruiters and interview leads could not help – try though they might – to bring their own opinions, beliefs, and lived experiences to the talent acquisition process.

AI platforms? Not so much. One of the critical advantages to smart machines is that they don’t bring human biases to the assessment process. An AI system can consider a resume’s content without judging the paper, listen to an interview’s words without judging the accent, and see a candidates skill’s without judging their gender, ethnicity, race, or even perceived ability/disability. As a result, when set up correctly, initial screenings – and even some advanced evaluations – can be as gender-neutral, color-blind, and apolitical as possible.

There is a catch, though. AI systems have to be taught to recognize what a company likes to see in its candidates. Depending how the system is educated – for example, by only feeding it information about past hires at that company – it’s possible that the system can acquire the existing hiring biases of the firm. This can lead to perpetuating biases in hiring rather than eliminating them. Thus, TA teams need to be sure to give their AI systems a broader perspective by including idealized candidate profiles, cross industry profiles, and target group profiles in addition to in-house records.


Along with bringing a potentially less biased perspective to the talent acquisition process, AI platforms can help TA teams expand their candidate pools by revealing deep reservoirs of hidden candidates. Even better? These hidden candidates may even already be a part of the organization…

One of the strengths of Al systems is the ability of these systems to process vast amounts of data. This allows for analysis and predictive leaps in days or weeks that might take a human TA staffer years or even decades to acquire – and even then, that TA staffer might refer to them more as “instincts” than true analytical outputs.

AI platforms can continually scan incoming resumes, existing employee profiles, and comparable industry profiles (such as those on LinkedIn) to pinpoint individuals who can be rated as “most likely to succeed” for a given vacancy. Plus, on top of identifying these candidates – even if the person isn’t actively searching for a new job – the systems can assign confidence ratings for fit and future performance. This can guide TA teams to top talent that may have been hiding in the wrong role, or come into the organization through a different channel that didn’t get the person on the right radar. Then, with the confidence rating and data, TA teams can make a convincing case for bringing this “unknown” talent into the spotlight into the vacant role ASAP.

On top of its always-on status, unbiased perspective, and ability to uncover hidden talent, there’s one more reason to use AI systems – they save serious cash.

When CareerBuilder updated their talent acquisition software to include AI capabilities, the results were crazy good. Compared to their previous costs, the AI system helped the talent acquisition team identify and place candidates for 50% less than before. That’s right… simply updating the existing system to be AI capable cut TA costs per candidate in half.

Those cost savings can be used to supplement AI programs with more human supports – or invest in the next generation of AI technologies as they become available. Either way, knowing that there’s a tool that can provide round the clock support, free of bias, with a knack for finding great talent for less should mean that AI systems everywhere should get a little more of the recognition they deserve.