Changing the Way We Hire

Much has been made of the world’s progressive transition to a mechanized society. Artificial intelligence and machine learning are hot new buzzwords and for good reason: at their roots, these words indicate our shift towards enabling machines to do our work for us, which, when taken to the extreme, can be thought of as “machines taking over the world.” Nonetheless, we are quite far from that dystopian world, in which machines have enslaved us and established rule over the world. For now, our advances in artificial intelligence have contributed to developments in a wide variety of fields. Among the most interesting fields revolutionized by these technologies is job recruiting.

For many years, companies have hired people to recruit, or headhunt, talented individuals that they think would benefit their company. Recruiters would scour the Internet on professional social media and job search sites like LinkedIn, trying to find a person who was actively seeking a job and qualified for the position. It’s difficult enough to find such talent, but recruiters would have to convince these individuals to then apply for the job. Finally, to complete the entire process, the people in charge of hiring at this company would have to sit and wade through hundreds of resumes and applications, most of which are nothing special. The question arose: can we automate this process and get our computers to do all of this work for us?

The answer? Of course! A few companies have been utilizing the powers of artificial intelligence in recent years in order to expedite this process and cut costs. A faster process is extremely important to these companies because many of them have money to spare. What they don’t have is time to sit in a room for two days and sift through resumes. This also lessens the need for recruiters since the majority of the work will be done by the computers; maybe a few recruiters will be kept around in order to oversee the entire operation.

One of the most fascinating trends that has arisen due to artificial intelligence’s new role in the job search market is the different selection of candidates that computers create as potential hires, compared to that of human recruiters. For example, Eightfold, a recruiting service that relies on artificial intelligence, picked out a physicist from UCLA as a potential candidate for a data scientist job. Shouldn’t the algorithm be looking for resumes that include the words “data scientist”? Why did the program deem this man to be a good fit for the program? It turns out that the algorithm was able to see that the man had a very solid background in math and computer programming, and thus he’d be capable of learning on the job. More and more skills now have higher demand than simply experience. Similarly, a program that uses AI would spot a theme of social justice in a person’s online profile, which might make them the perfect candidate for a job, and thus it would flag that person as someone to further look into.

The future possibilities for AI throughout the process of recruitment are limitless. AI’s power lies in its ability to do ten times the amount of work a human could do in the mere fraction of the time. In an industry that is flawed in many ways, from its inherently rigorous manner of interaction with others, to the natural inability to read hundreds of applications and differentiate between which of the eleven qualified candidates would actually be best at the job, the rise of artificial intelligence is a fantastic development.

Sources: AI as a Talent Scout, How AI is Changing Recruitment