Technology

Candidates Don’t Seem to Mind Talking to AI

AI seems to be a critical part of the future of HR and recruiting. Today, we are joined by the Chief Product Officer of Monster, Chris Cho, to discuss AI.

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Daily Advisor: The idea of AI gets a lot of attention these days, especially in HR and recruiting. Can you help our readers understand what AI is capable of contributing to those fields now?

Cho: As we know, time is money, and AI is capable of shrinking the time you spend on repeatable, menial, and mundane activities within sourcing, searching, and engaging jobseekers. Today, however, AI doesn’t play a huge role in HR and recruiting. It’s still on the precipice of being implemented in meaningful ways that have a direct impact on the industry. Instead, you often see things like chatbots—which are often mistaken as AI—being implemented in the industry. They serve an important purpose but are not true AI

Monster is at the precipice of launching AI that pushes the job search envelope in the direction of candidate matching. Like smartphones that are able to recognize faces in photos, we can recognize the seekers, their capabilities, and their potential and match them with jobs. A neural network would learn from seeker and employer responses so as to provide better matches in the future.

Daily Advisor: With skill gaps rising, as well as increasing recruiting challenges, can AI help bring in better talent? How?

Cho: AI has the potential to significantly reduce the friction in connecting jobs and people. For instance, dating sites have it right! Recruiters are ultimately beholden to creating great matches, and there is nothing that fuels a great match like good data. Fortunately, information and data are everywhere. Unfortunately, and unlike dating sites, information that recruiters use and that AI needs to deliver a great match is scattered across applications and environments. In order for AI to help with the sourcing of good talent, the information needs to be housed in one environment so that its potential can be maximized.

Daily Advisor: I’ve heard a lot about how chatbots can help take care of the everyday aspects of recruiting, like sending out notifications, keeping people updated, and collecting information. What has the reaction by the candidates been like? Do they even know they are talking to a bot?

Cho: Monster’s own tests and studies with jobseekers indicate that people don’t mind or care that they’re interacting with a chatbot. I think it’s rooted in the notion that what people really care about are outcomes. If Monster can help jobseekers better themselves, get better jobs, and deliver meaningful outcomes, they don’t care as much about who they’re talking to.

Daily Advisor: What are the biggest challenges when it comes to using chatbots and automation for the purpose of recruiting? How about specifically for the candidate experience?

Cho: Recruiting (and the industry) has an excess of chatbot initiatives and start-ups willing to fuel these initiatives. The industry has gems, but a lot of chatbots are heavily powered by scripts and kits, which aren’t innovative or true AI Chatbots are also very one-dimensional in their application. In other words, chatbots have been made by different companies with very specific user scenarios in mind—including information gathering, sentiment assessment, or conversion enhancement. However, when chatbots are created for a singular purpose—as they often are—it becomes really hard to combine them into a multipurpose solution. People are more complicated than scripts, so you can easily create a negative user experience if you’re not careful.

Daily Advisor: Can AI go beyond chatbots and simple automation? What about in the near future?

Cho: AI absolutely has the potential to go beyond chatbots and simple automation. As I mentioned, however, there are a number of hurdles that the technology will have to overcome in order for it to be used to its maximum potential. I think we’re still a few years away from it having an impact on the industry day in and day out.

Tomorrow we’ll look at the rest of this interview, including whether software is outgrowing the pace with which HR can keep up.