Tech innovation is changing the future of employer recruiting, with more companies turning to artificial intelligence (AI) to improve the hiring process.
“Roughly 35 percent of New York-based chief information officers that our firm recently surveyed are incorporating and using AI into their organization,” says Ryan Sutton, a district director at Robert Half Technology.
Just last month, Marriott International Inc. announced the launch of Marriott Careers chatbot for Facebook Messenger, a computer program designed to simulate conversation with job seekers. The virtual assistant aims to create a more personalized, efficient experience for applicants.
A short quiz provides an interactive way to decide which of the organization’s 30 brands may suit the applicants’ interests. It also answers questions such as “Where are the best bartender jobs in Chicago?”; “How do I get in contact with a recruiter?” and “What are Marriott’s core values?”
“You can get a direct, real-time dialogue instead of submitting a question and waiting for a response,” says David Rodriguez, executive vice president and global chief human resources officer for
Marriott, which received more than 2.8 million job applications last year.
“Once you apply for a job, the system sends you updates. If it isn’t available, when another job meets your specific qualifications, you’ll receive a direct message on your digital device,” says Rodriguez. “Generation Z, which is starting to graduate from college, has a strong preference to communicate with companies this way. It’s the wave of the future.”
Mike Clementi, vice president of human resources at Unilever North America, a leading consumer-goods company, says campus recruitment for interns is also ripe for AI.
“The traditional process of going to a campus fair and learning about different companies is a bit burdensome with resource implications in time, travel, interviewing and hosting people back at campus,” says Clementi. “The digital recruitment process allows us to be more effective.”
Unilever has partnered with digital human- resources service providers Pymetrics and HireVue. The former develops cognitive games to test traits such as the ability to concentrate, memory, and relationship to risk. Candidates who have the characteristics required then take a HireVue video interview using a computer camera or smart device. The company’s software platform uses AI to screen the interviews and narrows down a small pool of candidates based on their speech, facial expressions and body language.
“A typical video interview will ask the candidate three to seven questions, showing in text in the margins of the screen,” says Loren Larsen, chief technology officer for HireVue. “Most of our customers record videos to ask the questions, to provide a more personal touch. Some brands create mock scenarios, like an upset customer, to allow the candidate to show how they’d handle the situation.”
At Unilever, after pre-screening, “final candidates come to our company for a sit-down discussion,” says Clementi. Since implementing, “we’ve had a 100-percent increase in applications, with a much wider range of schools represented in our hired class. Our offer and acceptance rates both improved, and we have a 25-percent decrease in ‘abandoned’ applications. Costs have come down.
Everything is trending the right way. We’re going to stick with this. We’re sure it’s the future.”