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This article was published on June 3, 2017

How artificial intelligence optimizes recruitment

How artificial intelligence optimizes recruitment
Ben Dickson
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Ben Dickson

Ben Dickson is the founder of TechTalks. He writes regularly about business, technology and politics. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook Ben Dickson is the founder of TechTalks. He writes regularly about business, technology and politics. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook

While we worry about artificial intelligence driving us into unemployment, a lot of job positions remain vacant and a large percentage of applicants never hear back from employers.

This is largely due to the inefficiency of the manual recruitment tools and processes, which make it extremely hard for employers to find the right candidates. Among problems that recruiters struggle with are company job boards and applicant tracking systems that fail to deliver, email threads that become unmanageable, resumes that get lost in the corporate hiring pipeline and online job posts that become cluttered with low quality applications.

Fortunately, developments in artificial intelligence have created a huge potential to fix the problems of antiquated hiring systems and accelerate the process to make recruiters more productive.

Automating the hiring process

A handful of software vendors are incorporating AI algorithms into their tools in order to automate tasks such as examining resumes, sending follow up emails, or finding potential candidates for your company’s new vacancies.

Beamery, a candidate relationship management software, uses machine learning software to enhance its clients’ applicant tracking systems and build relationships with their candidates. Beamery searches across social media channels to find and parse information and fill the gaps in candidates’ profiles.

The company, which provides its service to Facebook and VMware among others, uses data mining algorithms to keep track of interactions between candidates and employers to find the best candidates to engage. The service can help companies scale their recruitment efforts without the need for large teams.

Alexander Mann Solutions, a recruitment outsourcing and consultancy services provider that made early investments in AI, creates profiles of candidates by processing their resumes and extracting information that is publicly available on the web. The company uses AI to analyze the data and determine which candidates are best suited for each job role.

ThisWay Global, another recruitment platform, has tried to incorporate AI while avoiding bias, a problem that exists in both humans and machines. ThisWay focuses on gathering skills data instead of identifiable information such as gender, race and age, and it uses that information to match the employer’s requirements.

Automating mundane tasks will help recruiters perform better by freeing up their time and enabling them to engage applicants at a more personal level.

Improving responsiveness through chatbots

Another interesting development in the space is the advent of AI-powered assistants that help streamline the process of seeking jobs and hiring talent.

An example is Mya, a recruiting assistant that automates up to 75% of the recruiting process. On its front end, Mya provides a chatbot that applicants can communicate with through its native environment or popular messaging apps such as Facebook Messenger.

Instead of waiting for a recruiter, applicants can get immediate feedback on their applications. Mya uses Natural Language Processing to examine candidate data and pose relevant questions to fill the gap. Applicants in turn can query the assistant on topics such as company culture and hiring process. Whenever Mya can’t answer a question, it will ask human recruiters. The assistant constantly learns from its interactions to become more efficient at its work.

Mya subsequently processes the data to rank candidates based on several factors, including their qualification and level of engagement.

JobBot, another AI-powered chatbot, aims to optimize the recruitment of hourly workers, a labor market that is growing in demand and hard to manage. JobBot plugs-in to platforms such as Craigslist and Indeed and interviews applicants immediately after they apply. The assistant uses AI to assess and rank candidates and book interviews with the staff.

Tests show that applicants that go through AI assistants are much more likely to get a response from their employers.

Being more responsive to job applications will ultimately have a positive impact on a company’s customer relationship management, because applicants that don’t hear back from an employer are less likely to buy from it in the future.

Helping out job seekers

Other assistants are focused on helping out skilled workers find their next job. One example is Yodas, a bot that asks a series of questions, analyzes your skills and brings back job listings along with its own assessment of the employer. For the moment Yodas works for software engineers only, but the company plans to expand to other domains in the future.

Jobo, an HR chatbot, provides a similar service. You can provide it with your LinkedIn profile address and resume and let it search for jobs that fit your skill-set and send you alarms. Alternatively you can query Jobo for jobs in your area of expertise and apply directly through the conversational interface.

EstherBot, another interesting project, helps turn your resume into an interactive chatbot that interacts with potential employers.

Ironically, the same technology that is becoming known as a job destroyer might facilitate your way into your next job position.

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