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Interview with Rob McIntosh: Talent Acquisition and AI

Rob McIntosh is Chief A.I. Evangelist for Olivia (a recruiting chat bot assistant) where he has deep insights into how A.I. technologies work and what they can and cannot do. He has some unique insights into the A.I. space and he will be sharing them at the 2018 Australasian Talent Conference.

It is easy to be consumed by the hype surrounding Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) and be overly concerned by the impacts it could have on Talent Acquisition practitioners.

Everyday there is a news article that discusses A.I. and predictions of the end of work as we know it and recruiters going to be taken over by an army of machines. All these doomsday predictions are plenty and it is easy to be sucked into all these end-of-the-world rhetoric.

But how true are they? Will a machine be able to do a recruiter’s job? Can it replace you? Are you becoming obsolete soon?

Rob McIntosh is Chief A.I. Evangelist for Olivia (a recruiting chat bot assistant) where he has deep insights into how A.I. technologies work and what they can and cannot do. He has some unique insights into the A.I. space and he will be sharing them at the 2018 Australasian Talent Conference.

But before that, Rob has offered us a sneak peek of what he is about to say at the conference.

Q: How and where will AI impact TA?

I think the question is not how it will impact recruiters, but how Ai is going to assist recruiters to free up their time to focus on the more important aspects of what recruiters do…engage with other humans (candidates/hiring managers). The place that this is happening now in TA functions is at the top of the funnel with Ai helping assist candidates with questions they might have around company culture, comp/ben, and what it is like to work at your company. I see it today helping with interview scheduling and engagement pre-screening at the top of the funnel. I see it helping with automating the more effective matching of candidates to roles.

As an example, I have seen Paradox.ai clients have hundred-plus percent increases in candidate engagement, helping candidates in their search for jobs and answering any questions they might have about the opportunities available. Contrast this with traditional web site approaches where candidates leave because they don’t find what they are looking for, or conversely, give up and abandon the application process because the traditional approach takes too long. I have seen hundreds of hours saved by using Ai to move away from the traditional approach to interview scheduling, with its back and forth reschedules, because the Ai can now handle this seamlessly with little interaction from a recruiter.

Remember, Ai I should be designed to help assist a recruiter, and keep them involved when needed, not replace them.

Q: What should a TA function do in the next 12 months?

If I was the head of TA or even a recruiter, I would take the time to carefully assess what problem Ai helps solve. Worry less about the marketing speak that you might be seeing out there related to Ai, and ask yourself what Ai actually means for your business,. What does the technology do to help solve a problem? What is the ROI you get from your technology decisions?

Q: What skills and capabilities will be required?

My view on where Ai is heading is that it will free recruiters up to be more ‘Talent Advisers’. It will allow recruiters to be consultants and proactive advisers to both candidates and their business. If I was a recruiter today, I’d be focusing on being more strategic, understanding the competitive landscape, and getting better connected to how the recruiting strategy ties into the business strategy, and how helps solve business problems.

I get that we are all busy, but being an inbox-centric, reactionary recruiter is not where a business will look to measure your value, not only in the future, but today, right now.

Q: What will you cover in your talk?

I definitely want to spend time showing TA leaders the practical application of Ai. I want to make this practical and real, as I relate to the challenges of running a complex recruiting function. We are all trying to build better mouse traps, improve quality, and reduce cost and speed. If I was sitting in the audience, I would want to hear the real life examples of how the technology is being used, and examples that I could take back to think about how I might also leverage technology to suit my own company’s needs.

This article was originally published on ATC.

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