Why AI is essential to winning the war on talent

By Alan Bourne
Businesses can no longer take baby steps when it comes to utilising AI in the war on talent – it will be the key factor that separates those that surv...

Digital transformation has been a buzz word in business for years. Yet, the global COVID crisis has brought into sharp focus not only how necessary technological evolution really is (especially to the bottom line), but also just how many organisations have been resting on their laurels for too long when it comes to turning intent into action in this important area.

Now that most organisations have effectively grappled with the transference of its workforce into a digital operating space, the next big issue many are now facing is managing the tidal wave, if not tsunami, of applicants flooding the market, arising from the growing numbers of job losses seen as a direct result of the pandemic.

Businesses are feeling the pressure to process candidates at a time when budgets are also being squeezed, creating a perfect storm of pressures. If not managed effectively, these challenges stand to place organisations directly in the line of fire, both in terms of ensuring they attract and secure the best talent in the pool, but also regarding their ability to maintain brand value and reputation through offering a positive recruitment experience for the entire cohort of applicants.

The good news is that technology to support these pressures has never been better. What is now required of organisations is a bravery and willingness to commit to the changes that will revolutionise recruitment processes. With the right systems in place, businesses stand to make huge cost savings by automating laborious tasks such as CV reviews, interview administration, as well as assessment tasks and even some stages of the interview process itself.

There is of course a cautionary tale here, in that all AI systems are not created equal, with many offering a piecemeal approach which is neither fully integrated enough to make best use of data and analytics, but may also offer a poor candidate experience owing to clunky and inconsistent systems that are difficult to navigate.

Design must therefore be a significant consideration for all organisations as they undertake this process as part of their transformation, with people placed firmly at the centre of all decision making. By getting this right, businesses can filter candidates at a scale and pace that would not be otherwise possible. It can also help ensure applicants are treated fairly, with decisions made based on science and devoid of inherent biases that can so easily, and all too often, blight the hiring process. 

The long-term benefits of this approach are multiple. Aside from the clear monetary benefits, AI also opens up the possibility for businesses to gain vital data and analytics to indicate long term performance markers amongst its employees, tracking employee journeys from application to exit interview. 

In a market as volatile and competitive as the one which we currently find ourselves operating in, businesses can no longer take baby steps when it comes to utilising AI in the war on talent – it will be the key factor that separates those that survive from those that thrive.

By Alan Bourne, CEO & Founder of Sova

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