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The future of recruitment and why AI will be pivotal in making new hires

18 Sep 2019

Siliconrepublic.com spoke to Eric Sydell of Shaker International to get a better understanding of the role AI will play in recruitment in the future.

Future of Work Week

Most of us are familiar with how applying for a job typically goes. Candidates complete successive steps, based on a traditional model with applicant tracking systems.

Many of us also know from experience that it can be a slow and painful process – one that’s difficult to receive feedback from and that often doesn’t offer much meaningful insight into the job or the employer.

But how can we embrace technology to transform the recruitment process in the future? Siliconrepublic.com spoke to executive vice-president of innovation at Shaker International, Eric Sydell, to find out.

According to Sydell, some companies are getting better, through being less reliant on outdated programmes and investing in new ways to enable personalisation and clear communication.

Embracing AI

As one of the founders of a company providing predictive talent intelligence to improve industry recruitment methods, Sydell is by no means a newcomer to the field. The secret, he said, resides in the sharper treatment of relevant information.

“Artificial intelligence [AI] and related technologies are now able to analyse data much more thoroughly and powerfully than the statistical techniques of those from only a few years ago.

“By doing this, there’s potential to better understand a person’s true nature – not just what they typed on a resume or how they answered a simple multiple-choice question,” he said.

One example of a company putting these ideas into practice is Singapore start-up Impress, which has developed a recruiter chatbot designed for the preliminary stages of the interview process.

Challenges in integration

AI technology will drive real change in hiring processes around the world, but we must be cognisant of a common pitfall, Sydell warned.

“The biggest challenge with AI in recruiting is – as with all powerful tools – that it can be misapplied. Companies must be extremely diligent to use it carefully, and many AI start-ups are ill-equipped to see the bigger picture of when AI should be used versus when it shouldn’t.

“It is nearly impossible to ensure the tool is working correctly and not having unintended consequences – such as hiring people who are good problem solvers but tend to be more of one race than another.

“Another large challenge is that much of this technology is so advanced that the rules and regulations that govern it are hopelessly behind.”

The future of recruitment

The current hiring model is frustratingly one-sided, without many benefits for jobseekers along the way. This poses a significant problem, Sydell noted, as positive hiring experiences are crucial in recruitment.

Mutually beneficial hiring processes are the way to go, he said. Incorporating two-way conversations between employers and candidates will help both parties determine whether or not it’s the right fit.

“In an ideal world, companies will be able to match candidates with employment opportunities in a way that is mutually beneficial.

“On top of this, assessments, interviews and other tools will be integrated in a way such that they are not discrete steps, but a seamless flow that eliminates redundant information collection. Candidates should also receive feedback that helps them grow and learn about themselves.

“Additionally, AI will ensure that the scores that come out of the hiring process are both maximally predictive of outcomes that matter to employers and also free from all types of bias,” he added.

Clearly, we still have a long journey ahead of us when it comes to harnessing technological advances to streamline the recruitment process. But, as Sydell noted, there are many interesting opportunities ahead.

Lisa Ardill
By Lisa Ardill

Lisa Ardill joined Silicon Republic as senior careers reporter in July 2019. She has a BA in neuroscience and a master’s degree in science communication. She is also a semi-published poet and a big fan of doggos. Lisa briefly served as Careers Editor at Silicon Republic before leaving the company in June 2021.

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