Why AI Is Becoming Critical in the Quest for Amazing Talent

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We all know automation technologies, AI, machine learning and data aggregation have changed the way businesses operate and how they recruit talent. We’ve also seen a shift over the last decade or so, from employer-centric recruitment to candidate-centric recruitment and now relationship-centric recruitment, with a real focus on bringing meaning to your employment.

What I’ve realised is that all the companies I’ve seen using tech and data to disrupt have identified the importance of the human element in everything they do. They’re leveraging the magic of technology to successfully transform their candidate experiences, but making sure they keep those experiences personal, targeted and engaging. 

Simply put, when you use the insights that data provides to really understand your audience, you can really and truly draw candidates in.

You can make them feel a connection to your company and feel like they can belong there. And these days, that’s what EB is all about.

Creating unique and attentive experiences for candidates

I love some of the technology I’ve seen US companies using in this space recently. One is utilising programmatic-led technology to create tailored communication and engagement with candidates based on their behaviour online.

For example, they can detect someone’s location via their IP and see via their LinkedIn profile, that they have a background in marketing. From there, they start sharing marketing jobs they have available in that user’s location. Then, as the candidate starts to search and navigate the company’s website, and perhaps asks the chatbot a question or two, the company learns more about what motivates this candidate and what may help convert them to an applicant.

From there, they can keep them engaged through the application process, based on what they’ve gathered from their search behaviour, and the candidate feels understood and connected to the company by the time they’re deciding whether to accept a position or not.

It’s a very high-touch, customised connection, even though it’s done in an automated fashion. At Amazon, our hiring volumes are huge so maintaining that ‘human’ element in recruiting is difficult, so we’re looking at how we can use automation to get to know our audience better and still create tailored experiences with high volume hiring.

Utilising technology in this way helps to ‘free up’ recruiters’ time to do the stuff they do best – engage with candidates and create meaningful connections.

Keeping it ‘human’

Another new disruptor I’ve seen gaining popularity in the US, is an AI tool that lets you ‘rank’ candidates based on CV-matching technology and projections on the candidate’s propensity to leave their current organisation. This tool collects LinkedIn activity and flags candidates who are displaying common job seeker behaviours, so you know which people to focus on. From a sourcing perspective, it can create a simple way of working out who to talk to first and who may be easier to convert.

I’ve also seen some interesting case studies from Unilever in the US around the work they did with their assessment platform, Hirevue. Instead of just your normal, psychometric testing, they started to look at tone of voice, body language and other visible cues to ascertain cultural ‘fit’ based on candidate behaviour and removing any human-led biases along the way.

Again, it’s all about truly understanding candidate motivations and habits beyond what is gathered via the general resume review, multi-choice questions or psychometric profiling.

It’s letting the candidate drive the recruiting process. Rather than having systems and processes dictate the relationship that you create with your candidates, you’re doing the reverse and actually creating unique experiences around your candidate's fears, motivations, habits, activities and online actions.

Adapting EVP to align with changing candidate motivators

Two companies that have started to look outside the box with what they can offer employees are AirBnB and Netflix. They’ve brought in policies around ‘work from anywhere in the world’ – a step further than ‘work from home’, which in this post-pandemic world, is no longer ‘special’ or unique.

In a candidate-driven market crying out for hybrid and remote options, how do you stand out? Give your employees the choice to work from anywhere in the world for 90 days! That’s the messaging that Airbnb and Netflix have put out into the talent market and it’s a great example of using data to be thoughtful and give people what they actually want.

The message we EB practitioners need to take from all of this is that we’re now in a situation where we really need to understand our audience.

Recruitment today is about them, not us. We can’t just rely on what we can offer in terms of perks like free mini bars in the office and gym memberships. We actually have to look at what our candidates need and want out of an opportunity and their career, and how we can give it to them.

Whether it's workforce intelligence, content intelligence or people intelligence, data and people are at the heart of this disruption. The US has had to move into that for a long time and now APAC has to follow suit. It’s time to use AI intelligence to drive what we do in the EB and recruitment world.

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