blank img

The Big Value-Add AI Staffing Holds For Recruiters

Somen Mondal

December 14, 2017

post featured image

There are two sides to most AI staffing discussions.

AI staffing value-add

The first side is the business productivity one: 70% of staffing firm executives, for example, believe that AI staffing will play a role in improving recruitment.

Infosys completed a survey of 1,600 business and IT executives and most noted the potential of AI staffing, with 85% indicating they’d train employees on the benefits and uses of AI.

So that’s all good. There is legitimate potential for more recruiting productivity using AI staffing.

But the other side of the coin is the fearful one: if AI staffing truly gets to scale, will human recruiters be phased out?

This is a concern of many, with some estimates indicating 47-54% of human jobs might eventually be lost to automation.

How can we reconcile the potential productivity of AI staffing with the potential fear?

The goal of AI staffing isn’t to eliminate jobs

There are two types of decision-makers when it comes to anything related to automation:

  • A value-add for task work
  • A sheer “cost play”

If your decision-makers are in the second bullet, they see a concept like AI staffing as “A machine that will do work and not demand a salary.” This approach will lead to human job cuts.

The good news is this approach is myopic, and a lot of decision-makers are not going to be in that bucket.

How will AI staffing be a value-add?

Some of the most notable ones would be:

  • Machine learning automates resume screening
  • Deep learning can improve candidate engagement
  • Chatbots and virtual assistants helps with scheduling
  • Analysis of big data within your candidate pool
  • Re-engagement of previous applicants
  • RPA or robotic process automation

Think about what percentage of a recruiter’s week is taken up by administrative work such as resume screening, emails about interview times, and check-ins.

In many cases, it’s probably close to 40% of a work week. Imagine if all that was automated out. That’s 2 out of every 5 hours back to the human recruiter because of AI staffing.

What value could recruiters provide with more time?

Recruiters could, for example:

  • Spend more time designing a full talent management strategy end-to-end (sourcing to 90-day review and more), as opposed to responding to open headcount
  • Attend more trade shows and industry events looking for talent
  • Develop deeper relationships and spend time out of the office getting coffee or lunch with target candidates
  • Earn the oft-referenced “seat at the table” by connecting their metrics to financials of the company

AI and the time to hire value

Increased time to hire is a major pain point for companies.

One of the benefits of AI staffing is going to be freeing up recruiters to develop relationships, which can impact time to hire stats.

Why does that matter?

Especially in tech staffing right now, the market is very tight. A tech recruiter I met recently told me that in his region, tech unemployment is about 1%.

This poses challenges because a lot of tech projects are managed in terms of interdependencies (i.e., “This must be completed before this can be started”). You may need a very specific skill set and if you don’t have it in the right time frame, the project stalls. That’s a budget hit and now executives are going to be upset.

In short: you don’t have time to waste because millions of project budget are at stake.

You need to reduce your time to hire. But unfortunately, in North America that number is going up: it was about 12 days in 2009, 24 days in 2013, and over 30 days now.

AI staffing can reduce all the menial tasks (sourcing, screening, scheduling) and free up recruiters to develop those trusted relationships that lead to quicker hires.

That’s huge for the bottom line.