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AI, ChatGPT and the human touch in hiring

Artificial intelligence is reshaping the way hiring teams source, screen, evaluate and onboard candidates – literally as you read this sentence. As the tech evolves, those in hiring need to evolve with it. The question is – what digital transformations are happening (ChatGPT, obviously, but what else)? And what can you do to keep pace?

Keith MacKenzie
Keith MacKenzie

Passionate about human resources, employment, and business management, and an expert at sharing that expertise.

ai recruiting software

The workplace has undergone an aggressive digital transformation for some time now. Let’s take a snapshot of where we stand at present, according to Workable’s recent survey report, The New World of Work, two years on: A 2022 Worker Survey:

  • Tech buy-in and adoption in hiring teams is a challenge for 22.8% of businesses
  • The percentage of businesses citing insufficient in-house capacity to hire as one of their major challenges has increased 84.5% since 2020
  • And finally – nearly one in five employers (17.5%) say their existing tech stack isn’t enough to meet their hiring needs

This was all before ChatGPT hopped into the ring with great aplomb. Surely, if we carried out the same survey today, all the above numbers would be higher. And as businesses increasingly incorporate more AI tools into their fold, many will find their existing tech stack is no longer enough to meet their needs. Likewise, employees worry that they’ll become redundant.

Plus, many businesses are exercising financial restraint. Technologies that don’t have a clear tie-back to revenue are being dropped like hot potatoes. Employees are being let go. That double-whammy means teams are limited in their capacity to stay on top of work – including in hiring.

The percentage of businesses citing insufficient in-house capacity to hire as one of their major challenges has increased 84.5% since 2020

That’s not supposed to bring you down, however. Stay with us here, and let’s go a little deeper:

Gartner’s Senior Director Analyst, Sandy Shen, said this about surviving the pandemic as a business:

“Businesses that can shift technology capacity and investments to digital platforms will mitigate the impact of the outbreak and keep their companies running smoothly now, and over the long term.”

“Businesses that can shift technology capacity and investments to digital platforms will … keep their companies running smoothly now, and over the long term.”

In other words, Jack be nimble, Jack be quick. That same sentiment rings even more true now – businesses that move quickly to AI-driven tech capabilities will stay ahead of the curve especially during these recession-prone times.

We’re seeing rapid adoption already, with a ResumeBuilder survey finding half of all companies are already using ChatGPT and 93% of current users say they plan to expand their use of this savvy AI tool.

Take on that optimistic spirit of early adoption of the tech – not just ChatGPT, but all the AI and digital developments happening in the hiring space – and you’ll see a vastly improved hiring process at a time when your business most needs it.

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The evolution of AI in hiring

But what exactly is changing in hiring? A lot, as it happens. ChatGPT is already being used extensively to auto-write job descriptions, interview questions, and many other elements of the hiring process that at one time required a human to create. You’re still the driver, however, and there are many elements of hiring that you can drive with the support of AI.

With that in mind, let’s look at some fundamental aspects of recruitment and the ways in which they’re being digitally transformed.

1. Sourcing and outreach

The rise of advanced search tools, AI-driven algorithms, and automation has expanded the ability to identify and target top candidates. To stay ahead, learn to leverage these technologies effectively, engage with emerging niche platforms, and build meaningful connections with candidates through online communities.

Some of the tech advances in sourcing include:

AI-based candidate matching

Platforms are utilizing artificial intelligence to analyze job descriptions and match them with the most suitable candidates from a large database. Workable’s AI Recruiter, for example, can build a list of top passive candidates for your job openings utilizing our data intelligence gathered from hosting 160 million candidates in 1.5 million jobs.

Programmatic job advertising

AI-powered programmatic job advertising platforms help you target and attract the right candidates by distributing job ads across various online channels. These platforms analyze real-time data to make intelligent decisions on where and when to post job ads, optimizing budget and reach.

Recruitment chatbots

Chatbots help automate initial candidate interactions, answering questions, and pre-screening candidates. These chatbots can engage candidates 24/7, collect necessary information, and schedule interviews, freeing up time for more high-touch interactions.

Talent pooling and candidate rediscovery

AI-powered platforms allow you to tap into existing talent pools by rediscovering candidates who have applied for previous positions. By analyzing candidates’ profiles, these platforms can identify potential matches for new job openings, reducing the time and resources spent on sourcing. A good example is Workable’s Resurface Candidates tool, which does exactly this.

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2. Screening and assessments

Technology can revolutionize the way you assess candidates’ skills, experiences, and cultural fit. AI-powered tools and gamified assessments offer more efficient and engaging methods of evaluation. Hiring team members must stay up to date with these tools and ensure they comply with privacy regulations to maintain candidate trust.

Some of those tech advances include:

Pre-employment assessments

Hiring teams are increasingly utilizing pre-employment assessment tools, such as Criteria Corp and Workable Assessments, to measure candidates’ cognitive abilities, personality traits, and job-specific skills.

These assessments help to streamline the screening process and identify candidates who are more likely to be a good fit for the role and company culture.

Gamified assessments

Gamification has been incorporated into the assessment process to create a more engaging experience for candidates. Tools like Pymetrics and Arctic Shores utilize game-based assessments to evaluate cognitive abilities, problem-solving skills, and personality traits.

These provide a fun and interactive way to measure candidates’ fit for a role, while also collecting valuable data to support hiring decisions.

Skill tests and coding challenges

Companies use platforms such as HackerRank and Codility to administer skill tests and coding challenges, allowing candidates to demonstrate their technical abilities in real-world scenarios. These tools enable you to objectively assess candidates’ skills and compare them against established benchmarks.

Virtual reality assessments

Virtual reality (VR) technology is being utilized in the hiring process to assess candidates’ skills and aptitudes in immersive, simulated environments. Talespin and Immerse, among others, are VR-based assessment tools that test candidates’ decision-making, teamwork and communication abilities in realistic scenarios.

Automated reference checking

Automated reference checking platforms such as SkillSurvey and Checkster streamline the reference checking process by collecting feedback from a candidate’s professional contacts. These tools use AI algorithms to analyze the feedback and generate detailed reports, supporting hiring decisions.

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3. Virtual Interviewing

Virtual interviewing tools have become increasingly popular, providing valuable insights through AI-powered analysis. Through these technologies, whether carried out synchronously or asynchronously, hiring team members can make more informed decisions about candidates.

Asynchronous video interviews

Asynchronous video interviews enable candidates to record their responses to pre-set interview questions at their convenience. Platforms like Workable’s Video Interviews allow you to review and assess these recorded responses on their own time, streamlining the interview process and eliminating scheduling challenges.

Then, AI-driven analysis of these interviews can help you identify key soft skills and communication abilities – more on that below.

Synchronous video interviews

Real-time video interviews conducted through platforms like Google Meet, Zoom, and Microsoft Teams became increasingly standard during the pandemic. These virtual meetings provide a cost- and time-effective alternative to in-person interviews while still allowing for real-time interaction between the interviewer and the candidate.

AI-driven video interview analysis

AI-based platforms can analyze recorded video interviews to assess candidates’ soft skills, communication abilities, and other attributes. These platforms use natural language processing and machine learning algorithms to evaluate candidates’ responses, providing you with valuable insights and data-driven recommendations.

Likewise, AI-powered transcription services such as Supernormal can then be used to transcribe, analyze and summarize these interviews, providing you with valuable insights and data points for further evaluation.

AI-based sentiment analysis

AI-driven sentiment analysis tools can evaluate the tone, emotions, and sentiment expressed by candidates during video interviews. These insights help you to better understand candidates’ communication styles, emotional intelligence, and cultural fit.

Platforms like RingCentral and IBM Watson can integrate with video interviewing tools to provide real-time sentiment analysis during virtual interviews.

Facial and voice recognition

Advanced facial and voice recognition technologies are being utilized to analyze non-verbal cues and vocal characteristics during video interviews. Realeyes and VoiceVibes are two such tools that can help you identify key traits and behaviors that may not be evident through traditional interviewing methods, offering a more comprehensive assessment of the candidate.

Virtual interview coaching and feedback

AI-driven coaching tools provide candidates with feedback on their interview performance, identifying areas for improvement and offering personalized guidance. This helps candidates to refine their skills and better prepare for future interviews, while also providing you with a slicker pool of applicants. InterviewStream and MyInterview are two such examples of this technology.

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4. Onboarding and beyond

The onboarding process is also evolving rapidly, with virtual onboarding tools and personalized experiences driven by data analytics and AI.

Digital onboarding platforms

Cloud-based platforms like BambooHR and Talmundo enable companies to centralize and streamline the onboarding process. New hires can access essential documents, complete paperwork, watch training videos, and connect with team members—all from a single platform.

These tools allow HR and managers to track progress, ensuring that new employees complete required tasks and receive necessary support during their initial weeks.

Virtual onboarding events

As remote work and distributed teams continue to gain traction as a standard in the workplace, companies are increasingly hosting virtual onboarding events to welcome new hires. Organizations use video conferencing tools to conduct virtual meet-and-greets, team-building exercises, and training sessions to help new employees feel connected and engaged from the start.

Personalized learning paths

AI-driven learning management systems (LMS) like Docebo and Cornerstone can create personalized learning paths for new hires based on their roles, responsibilities and skill sets.

By leveraging AI and data analytics, these systems can track progress and adapt training content to suit individual needs, ensuring that new employees are equipped with the necessary knowledge and skills for their roles.

Employee onboarding chatbots

AI-powered chatbots like Talla can assist new hires during the onboarding process by answering common questions, providing relevant information, and guiding them through required tasks.

These chatbots can be integrated into workplace communication platforms like Slack or Microsoft Teams, offering real-time support and minimizing the need for new employees to contact HR or managers for help.

Social and collaborative learning

Digital tools like 360Learning and Degreed foster social and collaborative learning experiences for new hires. These platforms allow employees to share knowledge, ask questions, and collaborate on projects, enabling new team members to learn from their peers and build relationships within the organization.

The future of hiring tech

That’s a lot of tech already. But there’s more on the horizon – and ChatGPT and its cousins are really only at the cusp of it. Let’s look at the various other ways in which digital transformation of recruitment is continuing to grow:

Advanced AI-driven candidate matching

AI algorithms are growing to the point where they can predict the success of a candidate within a company based on data analysis of past employees’ performances. This could significantly improve the quality of hires and streamline the recruitment process, allowing you to focus on the human aspects of your role.

Virtual reality interviewing and onboarding

Virtual reality (VR) technology is already revolutionizing the hiring process. Candidates can be immersed in a virtual work environment, interacting with potential colleagues, and participating in real-life work scenarios before they even get the job. This provides you with valuable insights into a candidate’s ability to adapt and perform in their new role.

Augmented reality (AR) enhanced job previews

Likewise, augmented reality can be utilized to give candidates a more immersive preview of their potential work environment, from their desks to the company’s facilities. Candidates can use their smartphones or AR devices to explore their future workplace, interacting with digital information about company culture, benefits, and team structures.

This would allow candidates to make more informed decisions about accepting job offers and help you identify candidates who are genuinely excited about joining the company.

Blockchain-based credential verification

Blockchain technology can play a significant role in recruitment by streamlining the verification of candidates’ credentials, such as education, certifications and work experience. By using a decentralized, secure and tamper-proof system, you can quickly and accurately validate the qualifications of candidates.

This reduces hours spent on background checks and minimizes the risk of fraudulent claims.

Remote workforce management through IoT

The Internet of Things (IoT) could play a vital role in managing remote workforces, as companies increasingly adopt flexible and remote work models. IoT devices and wearables could be used to monitor employee health, productivity, and engagement in real-time, providing valuable insights. This data could be used to create personalized support plans for employees, addressing their unique needs and preferences.

There’s plenty more, of course, but that’s just a taste of what’s happening now and in the near future.

Lessons from Michelangelo, Borg and Ford

Let’s step out of that tech rabbit hole for a moment, and consider some real-life lessons to help assuage fears that jobs will be taken over by artificial intelligence including in hiring teams. The reality is, AI can be your friend if you embrace it.

Michelangelo and the Sistine Chapel

First, let’s look at one of history’s great painters and one of history’s equally great paintworks. While Michelangelo is famous for his work on the Sistine Chapel, he did not complete the masterpiece alone. He had a team of assistants to help him bring his vision to life. He consulted with them, worked with them to prepare the “canvas”, and so on. He still led the project and directed his teams to set the foundation for what ultimately became his masterpiece.

Likewise, for you, AI can be your assistant. It’ll take care of the other work and help you focus on the human aspects of your role, including fostering a positive candidate experience and ensuring that your teams are highly engaged.

Bjorn Borg and the wooden racket

When tennis legend Bjorn Borg made a comeback in 1991 after years in retirement, he chose to stick with his wooden racket rather than adopting the modern graphite rackets that had become the standard in the sport. His insistence on staying with outdated technology led to disappointing (and even embarrassing) results.

This is a reminder to stay up-to-date with – and ahead of – the latest technologies and trends in your area of work. If you don’t stay on top of your game, you’ll fall behind and miss out on top talent.

Henry Ford and the assembly line

Car titan Henry Ford revolutionized the manufacturing industry with his innovative assembly line, which dramatically increased efficiency and reduced production costs. Ford took inspiration from meat-packing plants and a grain mill conveyor belt to divide the labor into clear steps and to bring the work to the workers, thereby reducing time wasted in moving around and leading to mass production and cheaper cars.

Likewise, you can explore and adopt new technologies that can optimize your workflow and save you an incredible amount of time and hassle – and money.

AI isn’t a threat – it’s your ally

SWOT analysis is a common element of business strategy. Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats – hence, SWOT. Think about what you’re doing at work, and what your company’s doing. What are your strengths right now? What are your weaknesses? And what are the opportunities you can capitalize on to overcome those weaknesses?

The fourth one – the threat – is probably overplayed when it comes to AI. The infusion of AI in hiring need not be seen as a threat to the profession, but rather as an opportunity for growth and enhancement.

Don’t forget that the human touch continues to be a vital aspect of the hiring process, and AI technology is the tool to support and streamline your efforts.

It’s an exciting time. Embrace this age of digital transformation, including in hiring. Learn from the successes of Michelangelo and Henry Ford, and the failure of Bjorn Borg, and navigate this new road. The future of hiring sits squarely in the harmonious blend of technology and human skill. Master that balance, and you’ll do very well.

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