Algorithm-powered devices (Artificial Intelligence/ AI) are being successfully used in numerous business applications, but what about HUMAN RESOURCES? Intelligent Assistants or “chatbots” simulate human conversation for recruiting and HR-related transactions and are being harnessed by numerous companies with mixed results. In a recent survey of 400 Chief Human Resources Officers by IBM, over half agreed that AI has the power to transform human resources, but the early results are mixed.
On the plus side, AI programs, chatbots and virtual assistants used in human resource departments can improve efficiency by:
- reducing information overload
- focusing on a smaller candidate pool to improve hiring choices
- eliminating repetitious interview questions to reduce loss of qualified candidates
- potentially reducing recruiting bias based on gender, age, ethnicity, etc.
This sounds encouraging, but real-life experience shows some mixed results with downsides that include:
- current AI applications can’t read or interpret the “intangibles” of human behavior
- machines can’t build or sustain relationships that are the hallmark of human resources
- candidates can become alienated due to the impersonal nature of interactions
- AI applications are not able to determine the “culture fit” between candidates and hiring organizations
It appears AI can benefit HR operations when used at the proper phase of the recruiting process. But it is clear that the human touch is still necessary. Humans yearn for interactions with other humans who will accurately represent the organization, its goals, and the candidate’s role and potential future.
And, what happens if the bot recommends candidates, schedules interviews, checks backgrounds, produces all the data to support a hiring decision–but no chemistry exists between the hiring manager(s) and the candidate(s)?
We imagine Version 2.0 is already in development. Companies, corporations, and nonprofits will review the cost-benefit analysis and decide how to integrate technology to best represent their interests. In the meantime, job-seekers should know that email or phone call they get in response to their resume may be man or machine!
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