Making Merry with Artificial Intelligence
For recruiters struggling to meet the demands of seasonal hiring, AI can be a friend -- not a foe.
By Mike Trigg
The United States is at or near full employment, which is great for the economy, but poses an added challenge for the thousands of companies trying to hire an estimated 600,000 seasonal employees this holiday season. With the battle for skilled workers hotter than ever, savvy HR and recruiting professionals should consider some of the newest technologies now available to help them staff up. Some of the most time-consuming activities in recruiting can be reduced with modern automation tools that use artificial intelligence and other intelligent, predictive technologies. What once seemed futuristic is now becoming standard, and there are plenty of practical use cases for advanced AI and machine learning technologies to help you hire.
In retail alone, new research from IDC predicts that more than $9.3 billion will be spent on AI technologies by 2021. Some of that money will be spent on consumer-focused solutions, but given the war for talent, some will undoubtedly be spent on hiring and recruiting, too. For many organizations, holiday seasonal hiring is a crucial moment for your business and, with almost 80 percent of consumers planning to spend at least as much as they did last year, no retail company can afford to be understaffed.
As companies aggressively ramp up headcount over the next few weeks, the savvy ones are using technologies to automate some of the hardest processes, such as resume review, outreach, phone screens and background checks. As you look for ways to augment your hiring this holiday season, here are a few ways AI can help.
AI Helps Create Effective Job Descriptions
According to the Talent Board, 77 percent of job seekers say the most important information they want to receive is a job description, salary ranges and benefit details. This means drafting a quality job description is crucial to success, particularly during the busiest hiring season of the year. AI tools can not only help you write effective job descriptions but, further, can predict how job descriptions will perform and offer concrete tips for improving them to maximize responses. What’s more, artificial intelligence can also help companies avoid biased language that could unintentionally discourage candidates from applying for roles.
AI Automates Resume Sifting
An influx of resumes is always a good problem to have but, at scale, can debilitate a small talent team trying to quickly screen candidates. It's estimated that recruiters spend just a few seconds or minutes on a resume, which may sound brief but if we have just a handful of recruiters and thousands of applicants, reviewing resumes can quickly become a full week's effort. How can teams process hundreds or thousands of resumes and speed up phone and video screens? AI to the rescue, yet again. Tools that automatically qualify candidates using online databases come in handy for recruiting teams tasked with hiring massive workforces quickly. If your problem is too many resumes, consider investing in an automation tool that assists with resume reading and calls out candidates who may be a fit to shorten resume stacks and prioritize your recruiting team's time.
AI Can Put Sourcing on Autopilot
At Entelo, we hear from recruiters who say they want to spend more time sourcing, but they simply don't have enough hours in the day. A customer recently shared with me that he wanted to see if he could improve team efficiency, so he manually tracked how much time he spent on each section of the recruiting funnel, from sourcing, to qualifying to candidate experience and so on. He found that if the team each spent more than 10 hours per week sourcing, they had enough candidates to sort through during phone screens per week, but they rarely had enough time to research and personalize their messages. If they spent less than 10 hours sourcing, they'd have enough time for quality candidate experience, but fewer candidates to work with -- meaning they often had to scramble to make their numbers. When it comes to seasonal recruiting, every second counts. AI can come in handy here, with tools that can automate the sourcing process by matching candidates to a job description and then contacting them automatically with optimized messaging. This saves recruiters valuable time during the busy season and can ensure a healthy pipeline of candidates to quickly vet, screen and hire.
As you ramp up your seasonal hiring efforts and look for ways to get an edge on the competition, consider artificial intelligence a friend, not a foe as you set your hiring teams up for success. Happy Hiring!
Mike Trigg is general manager of Entelo Envoy and chief marketing officer of Entelo.