Let’s Modernize Talent Acquisition Before Jumping on the AI Train

By Linda Brenner | January 15, 2024

The integration of Artificial Intelligence across all organizations has been touted as a game-changer, promising increased efficiency and effectiveness for nearly all functions. However, for most Human Resources and, more specifically, Talent Acquisition teams, they are simply not adequately prepared for the AI revolution. 

And what do I mean by “AI” when thinking about Talent Acquisition? One of three things:

  1. Automating administrative tasks such as scheduling, reporting, offer development, benchmarking, etc.
  2. Adding value to the development of TA content such as differentiated recruitment marketing, compelling job ads, personalized candidate communications, segmented employer branding, etc.
  3. Speeding and improving the research, sourcing, selection and assessment of both internal and external talent 

In many business environments, Talent Acquisition lacks the foundations that are essential for a successful implementation of AI-driven solutions.
Unlike other business functions such as finance, supply chain, customer service, sales, and e-commerce, Talent Acquisition often operates as a siloed realm where individual managers dictate the hiring process based on personal preferences and beliefs. This decentralized approach has hindered the establishment of consistent, data-based goals and continuous improvement initiatives. The absence of well-defined and differentiated hiring processes, appropriate supporting technology configuration, and a clear strategy further compounds the challenges faced by Talent Acquisition teams.

Another downstream and fundamental issue plaguing Talent Acquisition is the absence of a robust organizational structure that supports the strategy and processes, including role definitions and measures of accountability. In comparison to departments with clear key performance indicators (KPIs) and well-defined goals, Talent Acquisition remains a domain where ambiguity reigns. This lack of clarity in roles and responsibilities hampers the ability to measure success and hold individuals and teams accountable for improving critical metrics such as the speed, quality, diversity, and cost-effectiveness of hiring.

Once these foundational elements are in place, organizations can then begin to explore the potential benefits of AI in Talent Acquisition. AI has the capability to revolutionize the hiring process by automating routine tasks, analyzing vast datasets to identify top candidates, and improving the overall candidate experience. Where will AI take recruiting specifically? In the near future, I expect it to deliver the following to support hiring efforts:

  • Automated screening and shortlisting of candidates
  • Development of internal candidate slates
  • Enhanced candidate research and sounding
  • Meaningful, always-learning and value-added ChatBots to engage with prospective talent
  • Predicting candidate success on the job over time
  • Interview analysis and determination of the next, best steps
  • Skills assessment and new hire training
  • Dramatically improved and personalized onboarding processes

But attempting to integrate AI without a solid foundation is like building a house on unstable ground – it will probably lead to inefficiencies, misalignment with key priorities, and ultimately, collapse. It’s not sexy, but we have to build and sustain the basics first.

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