I was thinking out loud on LinkedIn recently regarding a dilemma I faced with my new-found dependence on an A.I.-powered sourcing tool, and I thought some of the responses I received were very interesting.
If you have no idea what I’m talking about, let me quickly bring you up to speed. I was using an A.I.-powered tool recently for two assignments:
- Sourcing a senior Innovation Manager in New Zealand; and
- Sourcing software developers in Melbourne.
In both cases I parsed the position descriptions, keyed my search criteria into the A.I.-powered sourcing tool, and within seconds I was presented with a list of quality candidates that I could reach out to immediately. The process was so easy and quick, and it took me by surprise. It also got me into quite a dilemma.What happens when you use an AI-powered sourcing tool? @trevorpvas shares his experience Click To Tweet
So, my normal process when starting a new assignment is:
- Take a detailed job brief;
- Gain insights from hiring manager on the definition of a high performer;
- Develop a detailed sourcing mind map and share with client to gain more ideas of their desired candidate;
- Build Boolean strings to source some early candidates and share progress early to get a feel for best fit.
With this A.I tool, I can jump from step 1 to 4 immediately and it got me worried that it is making me lazy and playing to my impatience, which might lead to me overlooking certain areas or miss out on a good candidate.
How much should we be relying on these A.I. tools for our sourcing? If they are able to get us what we want quickly, should we be concerned at all? After all, speed is king right?
One common theme that ran through the discussions on my LinkedIn post is uncertainty. There was no clear consensus as to what is right or wrong, is A.I. good or bad, and there were more questions raised than resolutions reached.
Perhaps this is indicative of how the use of A.I. in TA is still at its infancy stage and I do not really think that leaders in this space have truly taken a step back to look at how it will impact their Internal Recruitment Functions or Agencies.
Nevertheless, there are still some good takeaways from the conversations, and I am grateful to the people who have contributed.
Here’s what I learned:
- If the output quality is the same or better vs the old way, it does not matter whether if you are sourcing with A.I. or doing it the traditional way, as it would free up time to do other more value-added tasks (e.g. engaging with the candidates);
- The use of A.I.-powered sourcing tools will impact the number and composition of recruitment teams. Some jobs will disappear, and others will become something new;
- The TA team is set to evolve, with candidate care and outbound sourcing set to take on more prominent roles;
- It is easy to get caught up in the debate on the use of the term “A.I.” and how we seem to attach it to any TA tool that is built on technology that is even remotely based on the mimicking of a human’s cognitive abilities. However, the key is whether the tool helps to make hiring faster and cheaper, and if it does, then these distinctions are pedantic;
- We should be aware there will always be outliers and we need to understand the impact of these candidates on the whole sourcing function, regardless sourcing with or without A.I.;
- It is important to keep humanity in the sourcing process. Algorithms will not solve all the issues associated with assessing candidates and a fine balance is required to ensure we get the best results; and
- Traditional networking is still important to find candidates, especially those with limited digital footprint.
It is crucial for us, as TA professionals, to continue trying new things and to understand the impact these new technologies have on our profession, so that we can become proficient in those that could help us make a difference.
When I first joined Linkedin at Kevin Wheeler’s invitation in 2005, I thought it was useless and intrusive. I put my profession down as Minister of Religion and I had all these religious people from around the world trying to connect with me. I quickly changed my profession when I realised its power. I will not make the same mistake with A.I.
Cover image: Shutterstock
Talent Acquisition (TA) is on the cusp of a new wave of innovation and the 12th Australasian Talent Conference will be shining the light on it – say hi to Artificial Intelligence (A.I.). Find out more here.
Leave a Reply