From predicting who would or wouldn’t be a good fit, eliminating bias at the initial screening stage, scheduling interviews, communication with candidates regarding their application, even parts of the interview process – many things can be handed over to Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) nowadays and be run as well as, if not better than, a human could.
There seems to be fewer and fewer things Talent Acquisition (TA) professionals actually get to do. Indeed, according to research from Talent Tech Labs, 95 percent of recruitment is predicted to involve some form of A.I.in the next two years.
But whilst it might seem that you are getting squeezed out of your own role by your friendly robotic helper, in truth TA professionals just need to start filling in the gaps that have opened up now that so much busy work is being relinquished to computer programmes.
So what are those gaps we need to fill? What do we need to retrain ourselves in, if we want to stay relevant and continue to contribute to the organisation we are working for?
But before we jump into that, here’s a question to ponder: why aren’t robots great artists?
They can be technically skilled yes, as this artwork (left) demonstrates, but they aren’t ‘great’ artists. Nobody’s talking about robo-Brian’s emotionally breathtaking equivalent of, say, Van Gogh’s Starry Night, because A.I. is not emotional. It has no emotion to draw on, it cannot empathise or imagine. It doesn’t understand anything that hasn’t been directly programmed into it. A.I. can’t create, they can only replicate, and within that deficit lies space for the human.
Thankfully, it’s not your ability to paint that keeps you relevant (which is good, because I can’t). It is your humanity – your ability to empathise with other people, understand their motivations, create connections, and think abstractly and strategically. The human touch is something A.I. can never replace and it should be used to complement Talent Acquisition rather than replacing it.
So keeping that in mind, what are some skills that a TA professional need in order to thrive in a world dominated by A.I.?
The ability to be flexible will be essential in an A.I.-dominated world. A.I. technologies are number crunching, predictive, and responsive machines, but it is you who will use your expertise and deep knowledge of the Talent field to be able to learn about new and parallel markets, and jump into and capitalise on new industries as they emerge.
You will create new connections by using your foresight and intuition to link old and emerging businesses, and targeting up-and-coming industries. You’ll build a talent pool that lets you navigate changes and meet new challenges.
To achieve that, start having regular chats with your business leaders to keep yourself in the loop of the latest developments within the organisation. As Rob McIntosh advised, “Go on a listening tour with the business/HR/your own team to find out what is most important to them, what they think needs to be measured, and why.”
Having this information on hand will allow you to prepare ahead of time for any changes to requirements and enable you to be fill the Talent gaps quickly.
The proliferation of A.I will increase the need for a sales-type personality as more time will be spent on trying to get the candidate across the line by selling the company culture, career advancement opportunities, work environment etc. The ability to influence the business and present a great ROI is key.
A.I. technologies such as chat bots will be able to complete the more mundane tasks, such as scheduling interviews, and take candidate engagement levels up until as far as existing algorithms can. However, beyond that, they cannot recommend which direction to take the company in future, or debate the merits of new technology. They are unable to provide any additional consultation or value-added services.
This is where you come into the picture: take control of the communication process. Provide advice and strategic direction on what HR technology to adopt, what path to forge, and how to achieve success.
Be well-versed in your pitch and answer any question accurately and promptly. This, more than even the most responsive robot, will go a long way towards convincing that star candidate to sign up, or that GM to trust your judgement. Be prepared to take on a more consultative role and be able to provide sound career advice that can guide your candidates in their decision making process.
Digital marketing communication skills
A successful, modern, A.I.-proofed TA professional has a unique, authentic voice and a brand both in industry and their candidate market. This can be created through enhancing your personal profile online so that you can cut through all the digital “noise” to attract better candidates and generate quality leads and incidentally, if you want to.
You need to be familiar with how digital communications works and know how to tap into mediums such as online videos, blogs, etc. to build your profile and reach out to your target audience successfully. But don’t take my word for it, because it’s not my words at all! I learned all this from Ruby Lee, who is running a workshop on it at the upcoming ATC2018.
Ruby is the person to go to for a masterclass in this, but in brief, it’s more than simply recognising what online platforms such as YouTube, Facebook or LinkedIn are able to do. Understanding your target audience and how these platforms can be used to capture their attention online effectively is crucial. Use your natural ability to empathise with and understand other people’s feelings and decisions, and incorporate that into the messages you are creating. Paint pictures (not literally of course) that resonate with your target audience and always be purposeful with every word that you put out there.
Your ability to bring a human perspective to not just the communication process, but every aspect of your work will be key to thriving in and overcoming the challenges brought forth by A.I.
Cover image: Shutterstock
What are the other Talent Acquisition skills you need to thrive in an A.I. dominated world? Beat the queue and buy your tickets to ATC2018 to find out more!
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