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AI and the Future of Recruitment

14th Jul 2016 'Cilla Arnold


AI (artificial intelligence) and IA (intelligence augmentation) have been discussed a lot in the industry lately, most recently for me I had the privilege to listen to Chris Stephenson's (APAC Head of Strategy and Planning at PHD Singapore) presentation on AI at mUmBRELLA360 in June. It is a hot topic for the media and advertising industry, but could it have positive implications on recruitment?

I'm mainly referring to IA here as this is the computer system which for example Google search and Siri uses and which we have proven works. Pure AI, which is a computer system that reproduces human cognition, is yet to fully be proven.

So, currently recruitment is very reactive - a need in the business is identified, e.g. a person leaves the business and a replacement is needed, or the business has grown and more resources are needed, or a project has been sold and now needs to be delivered, or new technology has emerged and we need someone with those skills to be competitive in the market, either way, we are mostly reactive in our recruitment.

Though consider IA and the power of the computer system to predict a business needs into the future, it analyses previous and current data, it's listening to what people are saying, doing and talking about across the business, and can asses a future recruitment need based on this, it is much quicker and more precise with analysing all this data than a human is. How great would it be, to be able to predict not only a recruitment need in advance, but also exactly what skills and personality that person would need to have to assist the team and company to excel. I'm not suggesting that the system would choose that person, because I still believe that there is always a human element to choosing the right person for a team and company that a computer system cannot deliver on, but if IA can assist us with gathering the requirements way in advance before it’s needed we can start sourcing, head-hunting and talent pooling in advance and have the right person join the team and company before the need is urgent or critical.

Wouldn't this make your CEO sleep a bit better at night, knowing that their company is being not only proactive in their recruitment needs but also knowing exactly what type of skills and personality are needed in the future for their company to keep being profitable and growing.

Simply a thought and would love to discuss this topic further.