Conversational AI
5 min read
March 12, 2024

Adopt or die — it’s not too late to become an AI early adopter, but time is running out.

While it might seem like AI is everywhere, the data says that it's not in TA. Not yet, at least. Right now you not only have the opportunity to catch up in the AI race, but be one of the companies that are actually pacing the field.

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Somewhere between the dawn of ChatGPT and a TV series about a sentient Buffalo Wild Wings AI forcing a nun to go on a quest for the Holy Grail, 2023 felt like the year we reached critical mass with artificial intelligence.

After all, you can’t spell “mainstream” without AI. And you can’t spell “fatigue” either. 

The speed of AI growth has been so rapid that it defies almost any attempt to accurately chart its trajectory. It’s not really even up and to the right — it’s just up. It’s been remarkable to see, because I remember a time not too long ago when AI was viewed as something of a party trick by many. It was a fun vision of a future that never seemed to turn into the present; a computer-generated carrot at the end of a stick just out of reach. 

And then, all of a sudden, it was here. 



AI has become culturally omnipresent: It’s at the the core of every newsletter, every social media trending topic, every corporate talking point, and it’s expanding daily, infinitely, like Hubbard’s Law gone rogue: first ChatGPT, then Grok, then Bard, then Gemini, then Sora, et al. Terms like “conversational” (which we’ve actually been saying at Paradox for a while) and “generative” and “LLP” have entered everyday lexicon, whether people truly understand what they mean or not. It’s all been so much, so fast, that it’s not only understandable that you would be exhausted and confused, but expected. I’m sure you have questions:

  • Is AI just the latest “cure all” trend that I should ignore?
  • Is everyone really using AI for everything like it seems?
  • Have I fallen too far behind to ever catch up?

As someone who was working for an AI company before it was cool (and then maybe not so cool), let me assure you: It’s not. They’re not. And you haven’t.

Yes, AI is certainly trendy and trending, but it’s not a trend. An AI-augmented world was always our fate, it was just a matter of how and when it would happen. And after years of steady, incremental progress, it feels like we all collectively boarded a rocket ship to the future we used to dream of. I promise, there is no going back — the only option is adoption.

But here’s the best news I can share: Even if you feel like you’re lagging behind, we’re still much closer to the start of the race than the end. As it pertains to TA and HR specifically, AI adoption is practically primordial. In fact, according to a report we did with Harvard Business Review last year, we found that only about 11% of organizations have used AI to automate significant parts of their hiring processes. 

So relax. 

You haven’t fallen behind. You’re not losing the race. There’s still time.

And that time is now. 

If you’ve been ignoring AI’s impact on recruiting, read this.

With the relentless discourse around AI, I don’t blame you if you’ve opted to just block out the noise entirely. There’s nothing worse than being bombarded with the same buzzword over and over again (remember when we all decided the Great Resignation was the most important thing of all time). Being able to self-filter BS is actually a crucial sixth sense in the TA industry.


AI is well beyond a buzzword. It works. Like, really works:

Additionally, Harvard Business Review found that 97% of senior leaders say AI valuably impacted their organization’s hiring process. Look, no one is saying you have to read every single piece of AI content that hits your newsfeed — the vast majority of it isn’t relevant to you and your company’s hiring processes — but those are numbers you simply shouldn’t ignore. You can’t.

And that’s probably the best advice I can give you: Make sure it’s measurable. If you don’t know what the AI actually does, or what specific problem it’s solving, or how it directly impacts your hiring teams or bottom line, then it’s probably just noise. 

Leading employers aren’t using all AI for all things, just one type of AI for one very specific thing.

You might be thinking: “OK, you said AI works. But what type of AI? How? Where? Why?”

Getting those answers might actually be the biggest hurdle to adoption right now. Most talent professionals seem aware and interested about the benefits of AI at a high level, but the specific details are getting lost in translation. Or in many cases not being communicated at all. The term “AI” is incredibly vague and broad, and in and of itself says little about specific functions it could do or problems it could solve. AI education right now is often lightweight, unclear and maddeningly unhelpful. It’s like asking someone what they’re wearing and their response is just “clothes” — it leaves more questions than answers. Well, what kind of clothes? Shorts? A bucket hat? A parka? And don’t even get me started on what the colors are. 

So for the sake of clarity, and for the sake of AI adoption, let’s align on the basics. What does AI actually do?

The short answer is: Lots of stuff. And also nothing, if you don’t use it correctly. 

With the TA world, the best use of what we call “AI” is to automate all the small conversations that take up time and slow down the hiring process. Think screening, interview scheduling, candidate comms, etc. When we talk about AI at Paradox, it’s specifically conversational AI — AI that uses natural language models to communicate in real time with people via text or chat, 24/7. Previously manual tasks usually handled by recruiting teams (like the aforementioned screening and scheduling) become automated conversations on the candidate’s device of choice that moves them through hiring stages seamlessly. It might not sound like much, but at scale, it drives massive ROI

The trap TA practitioners often fall into is trying to solve the entire problem at once, jumping straight into using AI for a full hiring process, thinking about bias in language models, regulations, and other hairy topics. They get stuck in this “analysis paralysis” looking for magic beans, as their time to hire sits north of 60 days — meanwhile, the companies that are winning are simply using AI to move faster through the majority of hiring processes that are just waiting or administrative work.  

The important thing here is that you can clearly, directly connect a line between the root hiring problem, and what the AI does. Recruiters sinking too much time in interview scheduling? Conversational AI fully automates that so your recruiters never have to schedule an interview again. Candidates dropping off before the interview? Conversational AI reduces scheduling time to minutes and also sends text reminders, reducing friction points and increasing conversion. 

There’s no mystery or smoke and mirrors here. You don’t have to guess what the fancy new AI tool you purchased is going to do for your organization. 

Just stick to what works and what’s proven. 

And what works is simple.

Lagging AI adoption equals opportunity for you.

It might not seem like it, but basically everyone is in the same place as you. 

According to Harvard Business Review, 37% of organizations have yet to implement AI into any of their talent acquisition processes, and 52% have only automated one or two steps. So while it might seem like AI is everywhere, the data says that it's not in TA.

Not yet. But that could change fast. 

So now is the time — you have an opportunity to not only catch up in the AI arms race, but quickly become one of the companies actually pacing the field.   

You know what I just realized? You can’t spell “adoption” without AI, either.

Written by
Adam Godson
Chief Executive Officer
Adam Godson
Written by
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