Is Your Recruiting Ready for Machine Learning?

Dec 29, 2016

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After years of lagging, recruiting professionals are catching on to modern marketing techniques. Analytics, machine learning, and neuroscience are defining new ways of sourcing, screening and selecting candidates. Recruiters who learn to leverage these innovations will become better at their work. New methods promise to improve organizational performance and productivity.

Despite alarmist warnings, artificial intelligence is not about to replace recruiters because it does not yet exist. Depending on how you define it, may never become a reality. No machine achieves intuitive human thinking. They can learn faster than humans, but only within specifically programmed parameters. What will define the future of recruiting will be the partnership between recruiters and their machines.

Machine learning and biometrics (a subset of neuroscience) are impacting how recruiters operate. The transformation has already begun in sourcing, screening, and selection.

Improve Sourcing with Marketing Tools

Marketing has been using data to refine its messaging for decades. Analytics and biometrics have enabled marketers to fine-tune messages to the needs of individuals and to know who is likely to respond, where, and when. If you apply the same principles to recruiting, you can radically change the way you source candidates.

The standard practice is to broadcast job openings to the entire world and sift through hundreds of resumes to find a few suitable candidates. By adopting analytical tools developed in Marketing, you can identify likely candidates and use analysis of their online behavior to predict when they might make a move. You can then target those individuals and gain a much higher response rate than with mass marketing.

Targeted recruiting shows promise in attracting people who are strong candidates. Coupled with job descriptions that focus on objectives rather than lists of requirements, you can start with a much better slate of possibilities.


Analytics Improves Psychometrics in Recruiting

Psychometric assessments have proved their value over the past several decades, but machine learning in recruiting promises to take applicant screening to a new level. Algorithms can use a wide variety of information sources to determine the suitability of candidates without the inherent biases of human screening. Machine learning can identify predictors of success, and can help companies eliminate the artificial barriers of “creeping credentials.” As the industry gathers data, we find that education and experience are much less valuable than other attributes. Machine learning promises to make that information more accessible to recruiters.

Improved Candidate Selection Lowers Your Risks

Machine learning can help companies make better selections and avoid many of the discrimination pitfalls in selection. In a world where one in five interviewers asks an illegal question, unbiased selection tools can improve your diversity initiatives and reduce your exposure.

Video interviews enable analysts to evaluate facial expressions, vocabulary, tone of voice, and many other indicators that a live interviewer will miss. It allows us to create a quantifiable picture of each candidate. As the amount of data grows, the predictions will become much more accurate, enabling recruiters to eliminate many of the natural biases in the selection process.

Human Judgement and the Personal Touch in Recruiting

Predictive analytics are not a panacea. Algorithms can inherit the biases of their creators, and machines cannot replace human judgement.

Machine learning in recruiting requires massive amounts of data, and making defensible employment decisions requires accuracy and validation. Smaller companies who do not have sufficient numbers of people to support accurate analysis would do well to engage a consulting firm with enough cases to support their validations.

Biometrics and machine learning can help recruiters make better decisions and manage their workload, but they cannot replace human conversation. Some analysts tout chatbots and human-like talking computers to handle routine communications with candidates. History may prove us wrong, but we believe nothing can replace a recruiter’s personal touch.

Pixentia is a full-service technology company dedicated to helping clients solve business problems, improve the capability of their people, and achieve better results.

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