Is Artificial Intelligence the future of recruiting?

HRD looks at whether AI can remove bias from the hiring process and the challenges of forming a high performance team

Is Artificial Intelligence the future of recruiting?
cost of getting a hire wrong can be very substantial, according to Timothy Mannah, Head of Digital at Servian.

There is a negative loss of productivity of 40% or more when the wrong individual is introduced into a high performance team, according to research by Servian.

This results in a sizable financial loss estimated to be 25-50k per year for every year you have that employee.

Consequently, IBM business partner Servian has created the Intelligent Profiler, which is designed to bring data back into the recruitment process.

Built using IBM Bluemix on top of Watson, the application profiles and compares successful and potential candidates, comparing personality traits and values, to match candidates to specific teams and roles.

“We are not saying that the Intelligent Profiler removes the need for a recruiter,” Mannah told HRD.

“What Intelligent Profiler does is ensure that recruiters are making decisions based on data in areas or ways that they may have not done in the past.”

Mannah said that when it comes to hiring someone many recruiters will say that nothing beats gut feel. Nothing beats their experience meeting an individual, looking them in the eye and asking them face-to-face questions.

“I completely agree there is no way that you can have a hiring process that doesn’t involve face-to-face contact,” he added.

“But when you are basing more of your process on data and less on gut feel what we are finding is that the potential of reducing the probability of a wrong hire is becoming better and better.”

Mannah said that what the Intelligent Profiler does really well is take a group of people and benchmark them against known behaviours that you would expect a psychometric evaluation process to be able to do.

“You are able to work out are they a lone wolf? Are they a team player? Are they a manager? Are they a leader? And these are the types of personas or profiles you expect to find within a team,” he said.

“It can potentially stop you from getting two leaders in a team or getting two lone wolves in a team.”

Mannah said that when you are understanding people at a deep level what you are doing is removing bias.

He added that when it comes to picking up on IQ that is very straightforward. You can give someone an IQ test and immediately know where they fall in the grand scheme of the hiring bell curve.

However, a lot of things come together to formulate someone’s EQ.

“It is very hard to pick up off the back of a face-to-face interview. There are a lot of different nuances to every individual,” he said.

“When someone carries out a psychometric evaluation profile they are answering about 100-120 different questions. And that can take more than an hour to complete.

“What this technology allows us to do is carry out the exact same thing in about seven seconds.

“So the more you know about someone, the more that bias is being removed from the hiring process.”

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