The challenges of hiring in the era of AI

Jan 20, 2024
Posted in TALENT
Jan 20, 2024 Patrycja Czyzyk

The AI-driven recruitment era presents unique challenges and opportunities. To successfully navigate these, employers must consider both the technical capabilities and the interpersonal dynamics of their potential hires. Let’s delve deeper into the key factors.

Reflecting on AI’s Advent: A New Paradigm Emerges

In the not-so-distant past, the phrase “Artificial Intelligence” was revolutionary tech-talk. Employers would zealously seek candidates with proficiency in tools like Python, TensorFlow, or Keras. They searched for mastery over intricate algorithms on resumes and during interviews. This phase set the groundwork for what was to come: a holistic approach to recruitment where understanding the tech is just half the equation. The World Economic Forum’s report from 2020 shows that by 2025, the most desirable skills in the labor market will include: analytical thinking and innovation, ability to learn, creativity, complex problem solving, ability to think critically and flexibility. The number of AI-related jobs has increased by 450% since 2013. In addition, many traditional industries are adopting AI technologies, creating a demand for AI specialists in healthcare, finance, retail, education and manufacturing. Moreover, the World Economic Forum’s data demonstrated continuous growth, with an estimated 133 million new jobs during 2022 and previous years.

AI’s Progression: Complexities Unfold

With the emergence of tools like ChatGPT, some functions that were once exclusively human now faced automation. As a result, whispers of potential layoffs have begun to circulate, which, of course, are not borne out by reality (and any data reporting AI as the cause of layoffs). At the same time, another concern has emerged: the potential of interviewing using artificial intelligence. How would recruiters be able to distinguish between real talent and pretense enhanced by AI? Here, specific behavioral questions, asking for details and specifics or even an in-person meeting instead of a phone interview would be a definite help.  And more importantly, how could they identify those who are truly passionate about AI’s potential, not just its immediate benefits? I don’t have a clear answer to this question, but it nevertheless requires a comprehensive approach to the design of the technical stage – perhaps meeting around real cases and digging deeper into the most relevant issues. However, looking at this problem from the recruiter’s side – how much does the use of AI tools speed up the recruiter’s work. I would love to meet a recruiter who has not once (even out of curiosity) generated a job description or email template. This is very useful, nevertheless one should not forget to relate this generic creation to the requirements, specialization, and culture of the company – that is, a definite no to generic templates. 

Evaluating AI Aptitude: Beyond the Code

In the current recruiting landscape, simply understanding AI tools is insufficient. What is needed and necessary?

  • Practical use of AI: It is not limited to those who are tech-savvy. Every potential recruiter must understand and utilize the capabilities of artificial intelligence in their roles. As recruiters, we can simplify our tasks and improve our productivity by utilizing various AI-based tools. These tools can help us generate templates and scan resumes using keyword searches, allowing us to focus on the most qualified candidates.
  • Understanding AI: While technical knowledge is valuable, a fundamental understanding of artificial intelligence is non-negotiable. Think of it like knowing how to operate a car – understanding the basics is essential for effective use. You can already find many online courses on the basics of AI that you can enroll in, even if you are not a technical person. 
  • Adaptability: In a rapidly evolving AI scenario, agility and willingness to learn are key. By this, I mean that a key skill for both the recruiter and the candidate becomes openness to contextual change, i.e., accepting that AI can and will take us out in ever new areas. So, one should find the curiosity to apply these novelties. Stagnation is not an option. 
  • Critical analysis: AI is advanced, but it is not foolproof. Sometimes human judgment and the ability to fit this into the context of the organization (that’s on the recruiter’s side) is key – in one word, only personalized content makes sense, while candidates need to focus on critiquing their past experiences and reflecting in the context of what they could have done better and learned, which becomes important when faced with behavioral questions. 
  • Proactivity: Reactive strategies do not work in the AI era. Being one step ahead and anticipating change are traits that stand out.  So in short: looking, checking and testing is the method. 

Evaluating Soft Skills: Just as Vital

Recruitment in the AI domain isn’t merely about assessing coding prowess or familiarity with algorithms. Inter- and intrapersonal skills hold equal weight, if not more. These skills, which pertain to one’s ability to self-regulate, communicate, and cooperate, can be the difference between a cohesive team and a fragmented one. A structured behavioral interview with well-curated questions can offer invaluable insights into a candidate’s temperament, alignment with company values, and problem-solving approach.

Concluding Thoughts

The blueprint for successful recruitment in the AI era demands a dual focus: technical expertise and soft skills. By adopting a meticulous approach that evaluates both, organizations can assemble teams that are not only technically proficient but also harmonious and collaborative. When achieved, this balance sets the stage for unparalleled innovation and progress.

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