“Technology is nothing. What’s important is that you have faith in people, that they’re basically good and smart, and if you give them tools, they’ll do wonderful things with them.” Steve Jobs, Rolling Stone, 1994
In the realm of talent acquisition (TA), continuous innovation isn’t merely an option for gaining an edge; it’s an absolute necessity to stay in sync with ever-evolving employee needs, business objectives, and operational strategies. While emerging technologies like AI and machine learning serve as indispensable tools for pursuing innovation, it’s imperative that we empower TA teams to wield these tools creatively.
So, how can TA teams effectively harness technology, such as AI, to drive innovation across the employee lifecycle?
Adapt or Fall Behind: AI in TA
In the current landscape, complacency is no longer a viable choice. The competition for top talent has reached an intense level, compelling business leaders to re-evaluate traditional talent strategies.
Technology, particularly AI and machine learning, holds immense potential within talent acquisition. When harnessed adeptly, it can streamline feedback processes, unearth patterns that inform better hiring choices, and optimise the analysis of extensive data sets to glean deeper market insights and remove bias. Consequently, AI technologies and skilled professionals to operate them are in high demand.
Nonetheless, adopting this technology isn’t a universal solution for talent acquisition challenges. Businesses must approach new technologies with caution to avert potential pitfalls in the acquisition process. The success of tools like Applicant Tracking Software (ATS) hinges on the competence of those handling them. Mishandling can result in inconsistent data capture, misuse, or even GDPR violations.
Clearly, the rapid evolution of technology necessitates a meticulous examination of our digital tools. In response to the ascent of AI, regions like North America have initiated legislative changes to adapt to this shift. For instance, New York City mandates that employers using AI in their hiring process conduct an annual audit of their recruitment technology.
Steering Clear of the AI Mirage: Embracing Human Expertise
AI and automation facilitate the identification of connections and trends. However, without human input and understanding the underlying causes of these trends, predicting shifts becomes challenging.
Hence, it is imperative to marry innovative technology with human thought processes. This synergy ensures that the data underpinning TA technologies remains free from reinforcing biases which could hamper the success of the employee lifecycle.
Humans possess the ability to incorporate real-time experiences, context sensitivity, and emotional intelligence, which AI cannot. Therefore, TA teams must leverage these skills to devise tailor-made technical solutions that precisely address specific business needs.
For instance, at Elements, we have developed real-time, automated dashboards customised to relevant data for each of our clients (which we call partners). We ensure that our team’s in-depth knowledge of our partners’ needs informs the way we implement automation – not just relying on out-of-the-box software solutions that are not always fit for purpose.
Technology should complement and augment the efforts of TA teams, not replace them. Infusing technology into a team’s mindset will empower TA professionals to innovate creatively across the board.
Empowering Future-Proof Talent Acquisition
To effectively utilise technology for innovation within your TA teams, it’s crucial to recognise that technology cannot and should not handle everything on its own. Fostering creativity and problem-solving in TA necessitates striking a delicate balance between technology and human expertise.
In the subsequent blog posts of this series, we will delve into three more fundamental pillars of future-proofed TA teams:
Stay tuned for our next blog instalment, which will focus on the importance of advocacy.