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AI and HR: Don’t Trust a Robot to Do a Human’s Job

This is not about robots taking over jobs in manufacturing, retail, food service, etc. You don’t even need AI for that. Machine learning is handling the repetitive and less creative job skills. But too often I keep running into HR “influencers” using the AI topic as clickbait.

ATTENTION PLEASE: We are decades away from general AI, so please stop trying to sound cutting edge. HR robots still use algorithms to search for keywords and patterns on your application/resume. They are trying to reduce seekers to binary even though hiring is MUCH more of an art than a science. AI teams can’t even simulate a simple human cell, much less a human brain, much less the human brain that knows what is best for your company hiring needs right now.

Decades away.

So, in the meantime why don’t we try to let humans work for a living and use real people to identify the best talent and job fit? In the past it has been way too time consuming since they get bombarded with applicants (which the data shows is probably not even genuinely interested) who submit text-based documents that try to paint a picture of who they really are and what kind of difference they can make. Sadly, most HR has turned over the screening of those documents to robots that have no idea what kind of soft skills your managers are looking for– soft skills that the data says are just as important, if not more so, than hard skills and certifications. Further, who says the person that programmed those HRbots wasn’t a biased maniac? The public is less trusting of these algos everyday… hence all the drama with Facebook and other social media (that are supposedly using unbiased robots to program your newsfeed– but that has been proven untrue many times). So why trust them with hiring? Heck, they haven’t exactly cured the hiring problems, anyway.

I ran across the below comment today while reading about IG and many of the users frustrations with changing algorithms:

“I feel like IG could build more customer trust by giving more control to the user. The ‘one-size fits all’ / ‘we know what’s best’ approach to feed curation & personalization is great for the business but likely limits engagement for those who want more control of their feed display.”

More people are demanding control and transparency with their technology. Hiring and recruiting is not an exception. For a substantial fee, employers are often giving away complete control of one of the most subjective and important aspects of any business operation: Personnel. When so many employers cry for better personality and better communication skills, why would they trust an algorithm that, according to the industry data, does such a poor job of funneling good candidates to your company?

The pendulum is swinging back the other way in many cases…. just like Instagram. Users are demanding more control instead of trusting the robots (and their engineers). Sure, the robots do a great job at a ton of things… and they aren’t going away… but many of these subjective decisions require a little human touch to get the best results. The trick is making it easy and efficient for humans to get involved where they are needed.  In the recruiting process, it’s the intangible attributes, soft skills, and character traits that are so much easier to identify using Headhunter. Further, job seekers feel like the employer is actually giving them a shot with Headhunter… instead of leaving the decision up to keyword matching algorithms.

Headhunter gives plenty of great tools to the users, but allows them to quickly make better decisions and find the best fit for their company. Job searching need not be left to the robots. Let’s keep the “human” inside HR.

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