Can AI become an ally for talent acquisition?

Many executives, hiring managers and HR professionals are skeptical about AI’s potential to truly support the detection and hiring of new resources. 

Often this skepticism is nurtured by the fear- inducing rhetoric that is wide-spread on common media. It’s either search engines or personal research that find the best candidates; it’s either algorithms or hand-picked selection that are best for pre-selection; it’s either robots or humans that make the best interviews; and eventually … robots will take over the world, won’t they?  

This “either – or” logic leads nowhere. At adVeci Advsiors we believe that a more inclusive approach, which smartly combines -rather than opposes- AI and human skills, will provide better recruitment results. Here are some points for discussion. 

Recruitment robots have been used by large corporations to conduct virtual pre-selection interviews. We need to keep in mind though that many of these corporations are facing well over 100.000 applications per year. With these numbers, it probably makes sense to build a business case for a speedy and standardized digital pre-selection processes. When numbers are smaller though, there is an equal business case to be made for a personal, customized research, pre-selection, assessment and final selection process. 

Candidate experience

We have all had positive – and scaringly negative – experiences with chatbots. If you are going to use AI to interface with your candidates, you need to be 100% certain that systems will enhance, rather than deteriorate, your candidate experience. The issue is that building and implementing sophisticated systems, that can smartly talk to your candidates, is quite a challenge. In this area, we believe that professional, responsive recruiters can prevail over AI because they will respond more immediately, more flexibly and more specifically to a candidate’s most quirky questions. Particularly, if they have an in-depth knowledge of the business domain or the country you are working in. 

Personal value

The value of good recruitment does not lie in good recruitment alone, but also in the fact that the hired candidate will gel with his/her colleagues, clients, hierarchy and job specifications. Every business, every culture, every country, every team, every boss, every client and every job will be different. Real life is quite the opposite of a standardized environment. We all know of candidates who were good a paper and good during an interview – and still failed to perform, or to integrate with their new team. Why? Because paper and standardized interviews only tell half the story. The opposite is equally true: average candidates on paper have made great careers because they found the right environment, or because their life circumstances changed. It would be quite a challenge for intelligent systems to integrate all of these parameters. Therefore we believe that a personal, customized recruitment approach -which provides a place for AI if and where it makes sense- will perform better overall. We plead for a “and” strategy, rather than a “either – or” face-off. 

Dimitri Davreux, Managing Partner

d.davreux@adveci.com / +352 691 116 139