I’m proud to introduce our guest blogger this month, Jack Spain, our business and partnership development lead. With over 40 years of experience in the technology field, over 20 years of strategically advising business development and partnerships, 3 published books, and an irrevocable passion for technology and creating strategic business partnerships, we are proud to have Jack and his pristine expertise and leadership on the Leoforce team. Hear his take on the shift into A.I. recruiting.
The shift into A.I. recruiting:
The past twelve months have been an exhilarating adventure for recruiters and talent acquisition professionals. Among other things, HR Tech has received a remarkable amount of attention during this period. Innovation is truly alive as evidenced by a tremendous amount of entrepreneurial activity and investments in this field. The intersection of the following five trends have become catalysts for a new revolution in the recruiting profession.
- Moore’s Law – In 1965, Gordon Moore made a prediction that would set the pace for our modern digital revolution. From careful observation of a newly emerging trend, Moore extrapolated that computing would dramatically increase in power, and decrease in relative cost, at an exponential pace in the context of the number of transistors in a dense integrated circuit doubling approximately every two years. This phenomenon has had a dramatic impact on the application of technology globally over the past five decades.
- Cloud Computing – Software as a Service (SaaS), or Cloud Computing, has evolved steadily over the last two decades resulting in a dramatic impact on computing total cost of ownership due to the availability of easy access to cheap computing cycles and cheap storage. The trend has also been a catalyst for innovative new entrepreneurial businesses to emerge rapidly without the considerable capital investment requirements in previous decades.
- Big Data and Data Science – New database storage and programming tools in conjunction with the increased application of advanced statistical models and machine learning algorithms have resulted in incredible new insights, formerly inconceivable without advanced computing power, machine learning algorithms, and neural networks.
- Text Analytics tools – New sophisticated search capabilities to process unstructured data (i.e. resumes and candidate profiles) have ushered in a new wave of analysis and automation opportunities for traditionally paper-based processes and systems.
- Strong economy – The current period of extended economic growth has vastly increased the competition for quality candidates, competitive environment for recruiters and talent acquisition professionals, and a sense of urgency to identify quality candidates quickly.
I have been studying Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) throughout a four-decade career as a technology professional. Serial entrepreneur and venture capitalist, Brad Feld, noted in a recent post that, “For 50 years, computer scientists have been talking about A.I. However, in the past few years, a remarkable acceleration of a subset of A.I. (or a superset, depending on your point of view) now called machine learning has taken over as the hot new thing.”
IBM’s Watson technology platform has enlightened the masses relative to “A.I.” in competitions against chess masters and Jeopardy legends, and more recently for applications in the healthcare field. While A.I. has been applied outside the academic environment across a number of industries for years, it is a relatively new entrant in the Human Resources (HR) profession. This is not surprising as it has also been my experience that HR is typically one of the last business functions to receive investments in technology as HR and talent acquisition have not typically been perceived as a strategic function in the executive suite. The intersection of the five trends noted earlier have recently changed this perception.
A.I. in the HR Technology space began to emerge publically in conferences and exhibitor booths beginning in 2016. Now there are hundreds of technology companies applying A.I. machine learning techniques across the HR Tech spectrum. Many new businesses have emerged from bedrooms and business accelerators along with the considerable investments from legacy HR Tech companies.
A.I. offers the potential to truly disrupt our traditional recruiting process reducing candidate sourcing cycle time by 40-80% to permit recruiters to prioritize candidate engagement. The resulting productivity impact results in increased speed in access to higher caliber candidates; increased speed in the decision-making process; and ultimately a competitive advantage for the enterprise.
Talent acquisition and recruiting professionals should be aware though that it is quite easy for a marketing team to insert “A.I.” on a website and a datasheet. It’s another thing to make a considerable investment in hiring qualified data scientists to build and refine complex algorithms to actually incorporate machine learning into a software platform. A recent post from the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) noted that, “Experts say they see an increase in the incidence of ‘A.I. washing,’ a practice where technology vendors exaggerate the role of A.I. in their products to woo customers. A recent report from research firm Gartner Inc., which tracks commercial trends through a tool called the Hype Cycle, suggests vendors across industries often apply the A.I. label too indiscriminately to their offerings.”
I am proud to be a member of a team of pioneers at Leoforce introducing the benefits and return on investment that A.I. recruiting can deliver to recruiters across the globe. Our world-class team of data scientists and software engineers have been building and refining our Arya A.I. candidate search platform since 2013 resulting in millions of qualified candidates and placements for our clients across the globe.
A.I. recruiting is alive and well. It’s time to hop on board.