AI as a sourcing tool generates better quality candidates


AI has emerged as a great talent acquisition tool helping talent-acquisition professionals with tangible insights, not simply industry rules of thumb or anecdotal stories about similar searches.

Initially, it is always technology vs humans. Later, as technology gradually seeps into the system and more acceptability follows, it becomes technology with humans. The same goes with artificial intelligence (AI).

In the early days of AI, it was said that it would make the role of the recruiter impersonal and robotic.

Five years later, talent-acquisition professionals agree that AI has made their work easier. They are now welcoming it as a tool.

According to a survey by Korn Ferry, 64 per cent of respondents say that AI has changed the way recruiting is done in their organisation, with 76 per cent saying use of AI as a sourcing tool generates candidates of higher quality.

Around 51 per cent of talent-acquisition professionals say that big data and AI are making their roles easier. 40 per cent say its best service is in providing valuable insights and 34 per cent admit it has freed up their time.

Of the 14 per cent of respondents who say AI has made their jobs more difficult, the majority have too much data and have no clue what to do with it.

Pip Eastman, managing director APAC regional solutions, Korn Ferry, says, “AI helps us dramatically enhance outcomes by reducing the time spent on sifting through large numbers of CVs to find the candidates best matched for a particular position.”

“This is particularly true in emerging markets, where there are many potential candidates, but niche skills are in short supply. Looking ahead, we will see more leaders finding ways to reskill and promote existing employees,” he adds.

AI is not just helpful for sourcing external talent, but works well in managing in-house talent as well. Around 56 per cent of talent acquisition professionals say that more roles are filled through internal candidates compared to external candidates, which demonstrates a growing focus on home-grown talent. In fact, 75 per cent companies surveyed shared that they have an internal mobility programme.

Previous training on the company’s protocols and procedures, as well as the understanding of the company’s culture, puts internal candidates ahead of the game when it comes to grasping a new role in a new division or geography.

When asked to compare the quality of candidates today with those five years ago, when AI was still in its infancy, 65 per cent said candidates are more qualified today.

“Data for data’s sake is not a solution for smart talent-acquisition practices,” says Franz Gilbert, vice president of product innovation, Korn Ferry.

“Recruiters need to refine their skill sets and work with the right kind of AI tools that will provide them with critical information, such as compensation analysis and supply/demand reports on particular job categories in specific regions. We use AI to provide hiring managers with tangible insights, not simply industry rules of thumb or anecdotal stories about similar searches,” he adds.

Further endorsing AI’s role in recruiting, the vast majority (78 per cent) of respondents say they have at least some understanding of how AI can impact the recruiting process, and 78 per cent say they are excited about working with AI even more often in the future.

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