Leveraging AI for Remote Hiring
In the context of hiring, AI can help in removing human bias, improving the candidate experience, and bringing in a cognitive ability to make human-like decisions without the probability of human errors.
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With the COVID-19 pandemic continuing to impact lives across the globe, organizations have undergone drastic changes in their ways of working. With most of the workforce operating out of their homes, companies are getting used to the concept of remote working. Also, several organizations have laid-off or furloughed their employees due to the lack of business during the lockdown period. Many countries, including India are now easing lockdown restrictions and work is resuming incorporate clusters, albeit remotely. Organizations are trying to get back on their feet. Many of them will now restart their hiring process in order to pick up the pace of work.
With social distancing still a crucial element, it is expected that remote hiring will become a norm as candidates and prospective employers would not be sitting across a table. They would be connecting remotely with the assistance of digital technologies. Recruiters will have to take the help of digital tools that could help them navigate the challenges of remote hiring without compromising with the quality of their hiring process. In order to do so, these organizations will need to include cognitive technology platforms like artificial intelligence (AI) into their HR technology mix. With technologies like Artificial Intelligence, companies can breathe a new lease of life into their remote hiring efforts.
How can Artificial Intelligence be leveraged for remote hiring purposes?
Artificial Intelligence can add a human element to technological efficacy. In the context of hiring, it can help in removing human bias, improving the candidate experience, and bringing in a cognitive ability to make human-like decisions without the probability of human errors. AI tools have the capability to help a company to hire a candidate without meeting them in person because they can mimic human ability to think and make decisions.
Below are some of the ways in which recruiters can give their hiring process an edge utilising AI tools -
Automated candidate sourcing
HR recruiters have to create a pipeline for sourcing potential candidates for their organization. Usually candidate profiles are sourced from multiple platforms such as job boards, social media channels, employer website, etc. This is a time-consuming task and suffers from the perils of human bias. But thanks to the developments in the field of artificial intelligence, recruiters can automate their screening process. AI-based tech startups like Skillate have automated the resume screening process for many organizations. It is a much faster process that does not require human interference.
Given the speed it offers to the screening process, AI helps organizations extend their reach to a much large candidate universe as well. Also, because it is a fairly efficient process, it eliminates the need of a screening interview with the candidates.
Hiring best-fit remote working staff
With the COVID-19 scare on the rise, organizations may need to continue working remotely for a while. AI can be useful in hiring the remote workers that fit organizational requirements without having to meet them in person. AI based pre-assessment tools such as Harver can help in gauging if the candidate’s personality and working style is a good fit for the organization. They have a built-in algorithm that can help predict the quality of hire by considering several factors such as the candidate’s cultural background, aptitude, soft skills as well as their ability to succeed in their chosen career path. All of this would have earlier required an in-depth face-to-face interview with the candidate.
Improving the candidate experience with AI-powered chatbots
Any form of remote working may face challenges due to the lack of face-to-face interaction. In the case of remote hiring, it is especially true. Prospective employees need to make a connect with the organization that they want to work with, and remote hiring inhibits that sense of connection. However, AI-powered chatbots can ease a candidate into a comfortable hiring process. It can tremendously improve the candidate experience by engaging with the candidates and answering their queries while picking up on the details relevant to the hiring process. Chatbots like Olivia can interact with prospective candidates via multiple platforms by using natural language processing (NLP) functionality. AI powered chatbots save precious organizational time, give candidates regular updates on their application, schedule interviews and are always available to answer candidate queries.
Remote interviewing with facial expression analysis
One of the most important tools for remote hiring is the use of video combined with AI. Videos are a great way to interview remote candidates as it allows face-to-face interaction. Video interviews can be scheduled and attended quickly as no one needs to reach any specific physical location to attend them. This makes for a smart way of hiring candidates especially during a pandemic. Also, one can revisit video interviews if recorded and analyse them for the candidate’s personality and other qualities before making a decision on their candidature.
When AI is added to the video interviewing process, it enables employers to read the facial expressions of the candidate to understand their personality traits. This kind of AI-powered decision-making is more than a mere gut feeling and is more reliable since it is backed by science. Already many companies are trying facial recognition technology to assess their candidates. HireVue’s facial analysis software analyses the language and tone of a candidate while recording his facial expressions to assess him for a job. Similarly, Indian startup Zwayam has a remote recruitment platform which is helping corporates like Flipkart, Mindtree, and Dr Reddy’s. Post COVID-19 outbreak, many companies are working with leaner teams and recruiting remotely. This combination makes it difficult to engage with the employees. With its capability to combine its AI platform with video conferencing tools like Microsoft Teams and Google Hangout, Zwayam is enabling remote recruitment interviews. Their platform enables the automation of the recruitment process by taking care of various elements such as scheduling of interviews, tracking the progress of candidature, and managing the entire process through its automated platform.
The ongoing crisis is an entirely new experience for the organizations. With advanced ways of working, they have to reassess the current roles in their workforce and create new roles according to the needs of the present reality. Companies will also be looking for people with skill sets that are suitable for a remote position.
Considering the fact that many companies have gone through a phase of lay-offs, there will an upswing in job supply as companies start hiring again. With COVID-19 pandemic continuing to impact us, all the hiring will be done remotely. In such a scenario, Artificial Intelligence-based tools and technologies will enable organizations to steer ahead with their remote hiring plans.
(The article is authored by Swati Thakur | Associate – Advisory Services, SHRM India)