"AI is no longer a futuristic topic - it is becoming the greatest transformation in business history."
- Simon Townsend & Josiah White
The impact of AI is unimaginably beneficial to the recruiting industry, providing convenience to recruiters who can now drastically cut down the time taken to source potential candidates. The transition from traditional methods of scouting to the use of computational techniques in finding best-fit candidates is a significant advancement for the recruiting industry. AI-based recruiting practices will ultimately bring a positive impact to businesses by finding the most suitable candidates to drive down cost of hiring with more efficiency.
We talked to Simon Townsend and Josiah White - who both have a passion for machine learning and AI - about how AI technologies are influencing the growth of businesses and productivity of recruiters in industries across the board.
Do you think AI will transform the recruiting process?
ST: Yes! I can't see why not, there are a lot of reasons why it would. It will take us as humans to become more comfortable with this technology, and every time we talk to a robot and it gets it right, we trust it a bit more.
JW: I think as long as we are comfortable letting [technology] do that sort of job, it will really improve recruiting. I think if we continue to allow it, we can spare time and money. I think machines can enable humans to do human jobs and that will be the most significant impact.
How would you go about building trust with these new technologies? What is the point at which you start to trust it?
ST: Trust is built slowly, and the fact that Siri and Google are already part of our lives makes it more accessible. The fact that we can casually say "Hi Alexa" makes it more trustworthy. When they get it right to the degree that I can get the song wrong, and AI gets the song right, that's when you start not just trusting it can do it, but also trusting that it can help me make a decision. It's almost like seeing is believing.
Are people losing money without AI?
ST: Yes, especially with the agency world. If you are only relying on your network, sure, it can work, but only if you have twenty years of experience. But if you are not at that level, and you are just an agency, then yes, you are missing out on money at this point. The other thing is, if you are looking for a useful and straightforward-use case, knowledge is power. The usage of AI to upskill in an area has been invaluable. At the moment, we live in a world where the accountant sits on the right hand of the CEO. If it can be done cheaper, it will be done cheaper. Businesses are designed to grow profits to shareholders, so any way you can automate something and make it more affordable, we will do so! If it's cheaper to do the interviews and the entire hiring process through automation, we will do so.
JW: Recruiting is pretty competitive by nature. You have to use the best tools, or else you are going to miss out!
Why should recruiters use AI to help them source?
ST: The world has changed. This stuff is available right now. If you are not using it, and not making changes, you will fall behind. In recruitment, if you fall back, you will start losing your network, and the trust of your candidates. You will begin losing placements and money, and you are going to start losing out on the candidate's experience. You are not going to have the speed to keep up with the agencies. It's going to cost you time and money.
Do you feel that people will continue to become more comfortable with AI technologies?
JW: I think it depends on the generation. Like in my age, people will have an easier time interacting with technology. As I have grown up with technologies like AI, I think those of my generation will be more accepting of it, while those of my parents' generation who know less about these technologies and will be less accepting.
ST: I think you [Josiah] are right! When I was driving with my daughter, we were talking about Adele (the singer), and she said she wanted to listen to a song. I said, "Okay, Google, play 'Photograph' by Adele," and it said, "Okay, playing 'When We Were Young' by Adele.'" Now, I got the song wrong, but Google is now smart enough to know which song I meant. I then turned around with this amazement on my face and said, "Oh my God. That's incredible. How smart is that?!" and my fourteen-year-old daughter was just like "So?" But, I still thought to myself, "That's amazing!" That is what I want; I do not want it to be human - I want it to be better than human. I want it to make my life much more comfortable every step of the way.