Ever wonder how online retailers know what you desire before you even know it? For instance, targeted marketing seems to be able to pick out that perfect pair of shoes for you just when you need it. Similarly, why do so many appealing movies show up on your Netflix home page every time you launch the service? And how does your Gmail account know how to finish a sentence as you type an email? You can thank the power of AI for changing the way we lead our lives.
As AI and predictive analytics are put to use in a variety of ways, humans are increasingly reliant on their ability to anticipate our needs and desires. We will become more dependent on technology to choose our words for us, remind us of important tasks and dates in our lives, help us navigate to our destinations more quickly and efficiently and even keep us in closer contact with friends and family.
Similarly, it’s changing our expectations also, and this has some major implications on the world of work. Technology is being leveraged to better manage the workforce. For example, natural language processing, text analysis, biometrics and other innovation can be used to predict worker behavior and engagement. The data collected for each can be highly revealing about his or her productivity and mindset. Of course this also raises privacy and permission issues, but as technology becomes more ingrained in our daily lives, expect this to be a recurring question in the future.
shifting employer-candidate interactions
One of the most important ways in which AI will impact the workplace is the interaction between employers and talent. As technology enhances organizations’ ability to source and engage job candidates, they expect improved access to all types of talent, including those seeking permanent employment status as well as those wanting temp and freelance opportunities. For most employers, their talent acquisition function still relies on traditional recruiting methodologies, but as innovation makes its way into the process, how companies find and hire talent will change dramatically.
For instance, by using AI-powered tools such as chatbots, employers will able to process a higher volume of candidates more quickly and cost effectively. Tools such as Wade&Wendy or AllyO will help tomorrow’s recruiters place qualified slates of candidates to hiring managers in a fraction of the time. That means businesses get the human capital they need more quickly and reduce opportunity costs as a result.
When this happens, expectations will shift also. Much in the way that Amazon has changed consumers’ expectations about how to find, buy and take possession of products, companies will also expect a more expedited and trackable approach to winning talent.
The implications are enormous for human capital leaders. They will be expected to leverage AI and analytics to more precisely predict workforce needs and their organization’s ability to deliver. Technology will play a pivotal role in prescriptive actions, like where companies should build an office to ensure talent access, what skills they will need in the future and whether to staff up with permanent hires or flexible workers. Most importantly, it will enable them to order talent at with the click of a mouse.
In the past, when hiring managers needed talent, they waited for recruiters to find and screen suitable candidates before receiving a qualified slate. But because AI in the future will be used to anticipate and identify these resources preemptively, the model will take a page from the consumer world so businesses have instantaneous access. Recruiters will no longer spend time finding talent; instead, they will focus their efforts to market openings to jobseekers. As a result, hiring managers will expect their talent acquisition specialists to help “sell” the openings by building relationships with candidates and marketing the employee value proposition of their organizations.
The same magnitude of change will happen for job candidates. With smartphones increasingly embedded in daily lives, candidates will expect prospective employers to provide a seamless and transparent hiring process via mobile technology. That means the ability to apply and track the progress of their application, connect with hiring managers through chat and overall enjoy a better and transparent candidate experience. Furthermore, technology will better alert them to jobs they may be interested while bypassing those they don’t want. By using AI to perform low-level decision-making, candidates can find roles more suited to their preferences. In essence, the Amazon effect will be mirrored in their professional lives.
There are risks, however. Employers who fail to make timely investments may find themselves locked out of access to much-needed talent. Failing to provide for a memorable candidate experience could negatively impact a company’s employer brand and even their corporate brand. And because an abundance of human capital software is flooding the marketplace today, choosing the right one can be challenging.
For candidates, the race to find the perfect job may come down to their ability to adapt. Millennials and Gen Z workers have the edge as they have grown up in the digital age and are more adept at leveraging social media and newer search tools. Regardless of age, candidates who can best use technology to their advantage will have an edge when it comes to finding the perfect job.
So as human capital leaders, how can you position your business for the changes ahead? For starters, consider how AI can help transform your talent acquisition process. Identify the tasks that can benefit from technology and make appropriate investments that can deliver value to your business in the near and distant future. Look for tools that offload transactional work from recruiters and help them build relationships with hiring managers and talent. Their role will evolve into talent advisors so make sure you provide the training needed to help them thrive in a new world of work. Furthermore, help set the expectations of all stakeholders by emphasizing that while transformational change is coming, they should be patient about how quickly your organization can adopt and optimize these upgrades.
Technology has for decades changed the way companies and workers find each other, but more recently that process has accelerated due to a proliferation of innovation. Undoubtedly, the dynamic will continue to evolve over the next few years. That means you and everyone else you know will increasingly change your personal and professional expectations.